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Nexus 7 Suffering From Dead Pixels and Lifting Displays (Updated: With Fix)

We love the Nexus 7 (our review) and have had almost no issues with it so far. That however, is not the case for everyone. Units started arriving in waves this week and customers are noticing a couple of issues that are probably big enough to warrant a return and exchange.  

The first issue has to do with displays starting to lift from the body of the Nexus 7. As you can see in the picture above, the display has lifted up and above the actual housing and side frame of the unit. You can push it back down, but the adhesive has clearly worn out or wasn’t used properly. The display will eventually rise back up.

The second issue is also display related, but has to do with dead pixels. In the retail unit I received yesterday, I am noticing a dead pixel in the top right corner of the display. It’s not a bunch of pixels and I personally, can probably live with it, but it may drive some of you nuts. Now, I’m not the only person reporting this. If you cruise into various forums across the web, you’ll see similar stories from those that received orders this week.

What can you do about either situation? If you receive yours and notice dead pixels or your screen rising up, you should probably take it or send it back to wherever you received it from. The display is arguably the main component to a tablet, so if it’s not in prime condition, I’d request a new one.

If you ordered from Google, you will find info on returns and exchanges here. They will ask you to contact device support here. According to their returns page, you only have 15 days to send it back.

If you purchased from a retailer like Staples or Gamestop, you will have to return it and ask for an exchange from them.

Update:  A few readers have had success with this tip on how to fix the screen lifting issue.

Update 2:  We posted up step-by-step instructions with pictures here.

Via:  XDA | RootzWiki

Cheers geeknasty, Ben, and Shawn!

  • yeomandroid

    Just a fair warning. You are risking to lose your ability to obtain a refund by doing this and there have been several cases of people cracking their screens. If you are already within the 15 day return policy window then request an exchange or a refund. That said, the FTC and BBB is already looking into the issue about Google’s return policy and may have knowingly kept it short with the amount of back orders it expected, therefore leaving consumers in a quandary of keeping their devices.

  • I have a bright green dead pixel in the middle of my unit but you can only notice it on a black page…… awesome

  • David

    Mine arrived today with a defective backlight. We’ll see how the RMA goes.

  • JorgeGomez

    What do you expect for $200? Asus is not known for building quality tablets. Google should have contracted out to Apple and their manufacturer and design teams.

  • RocketPumch

    How many of you actually read the warranty pamphlet included in you N7, specifically about the section pertaining dead pixels?

  • Ekknr

    Another Android Faillllllllllll….
    It has got to suck being an Android fanboy…

  • ruledbycats

    My Nexus 7 had both the screen lifting problem and a dead pixel in a conspicuous location, so I figured I’d try Google’s warranty route. I was pleasantly surprised that I got through to Google in about 10 minutes on their 800 number, and was told they’d send me a replacement immediately with instructions on how to send the faulty Nexus 7 with the new one. We’ll see how fast they get the replacement out, but the Google Play Help Desk was very helpful and offered the replacement tablet no questions asked.

    • ruledbycats

      It took 4 days but I did received my RMA from Google in the early hours of the morning today with instructions on how to initiate receiving the replacement unit. We’ll see how long it takes to get the replacement in.

  • My I/O N7 has a dead pixel smack down in the middle of the hotseat. But it also has so much image retention that ASUS is swapping it out. Bye-bye, white back 🙁

    • Allen Byrd


  • Jim McClain

    Its a samsung nexus, they never work right out of the box

    • Artune

      Except this is a nexus device made by Asus

  • I had to replace a couple of 24″ Dell LCDs because they had 1 dead pixel. I can’t stand dead pixels, so hopefully when my N7 arrives tomorrow, it looks flawless.

  • JMonkeYJ

    I have the screen lifting issue on my 16 gb one. I also ha e headphone jack issues that I haven’t heard elsewhere. The Jack is incredibly my finicky, with the audio sometimes just cutting out. Also, if I plug all the way in it almost never works. I have to pull the plug out slightly. Big fail 🙁 definitely sending it back. It’s from the play store.

  • Artune

    I’ve had no problem with my 16gb. But I hope none of you settle with either issue. You payed over 200+ dollars and I would send it back until you get a perfect one. I picked one up from staples and purchased a 40 insurance for one year if anything happens so I should be straight

    • $18.99 for a 2 year warranty through Squaretrade. =)

      • Artune

        Nice! Wish they offered that. They had a 2 year for 100 but I wasn’t paying that much. I do have the option to take full money back instead of a replacement

  • quiklives

    I’d be really interested to find out, if there is any way to do so, how many of the units with the problems were manufactured after the demand skyrocketed. With several weeks between preorder and shipping, I suspect there was plenty of time to rush manufacture quite a few in addition to whatever the first run was.

  • All good over here. 16gb model

  • That’s not the first time, I got the same problem (lifting screen) on my tf201 with a bunch of others problems. It look like Asus does’nt know how to use glue

    • fixxmyhead

      haha yea thats what i was thinking. they should of used more glue or screws

  • c4v3man

    Used my fingernail to pull off the rear cover and tighened the screws as per the tip. Took 1 minute, and resolved an issue that only showed up when pressing really hard on the bezel of the device anyways. Never showed as an issue during normal use.

    Great tip though…

  • jcuvs

    I have a slight creak on one of the sides, so I’ll consider sending it back to Google because there’s no way in hell I’m DIY-ing the display.

  • I’m having this annoying pixel discoloration streaking thing. I opened up the back and tightened down the screws, which fixed the screen lifting issue, but my screen is still freaking out. Also been on hold with Google Support for 2 hours now…

    • mothRelay

      Whoa, nasty, hope that gets cleared up for you.

  • adam

    when i got the ipad 2 last year it had a couple dead pixels so i returned it and did not get a new one. then in may i got a razr maxx, had a dead pixel. returned it, got another one. couple dead pixels on it, and returned it. on my 3rd Maxx now and it’s perfectly fine.

    so if i had a nexus 7 and it had a dead pixel(s) i would be pissed and demand a new one. not paying a couple hundred dollars for a defective screen!

  • Greg

    Has anyone had an issue with their microphones not working?

    • PJA

      Yes. I tried Skype, Google Voice, and Voice Search and none of them worked.

  • cgalyon

    I wonder if this is happening more with the 16GB version due to high demand and possible rushed building resulting from that.

    • LionStone

      I’m not sure, but my 16gb doesn’t have any display issues.

    • Bikerdog

      Yes, My microphone only works in Portrait mode, seems to be some sort of jellybean issue from. it wants to work when straight up but just does not understand.

  • Detonation

    My HP Touchpad has the same screen lifting issue. I didn’t really care though, I paid $99 for it and pressing it down here and there works for me.

  • Luxferro

    Too bad Google support doesn’t replay back to the support emails. And the phone lines have about an hour+ wait before you get a human who probably doesn’t even know what to do to RMA your defective unit.

    • I got someone on the phone last week in less than 10 minutes.. Reply to my email took about 5 days though..

      • Luxferro

        I waited on hold today for 42 minutes… I hung up because I got tired of waiting. Everyone else on forums is having similar experiences. Some people finally get a person after waiting longer then an hour only to get disconnected. Their system needs lots of work.

  • PhillipCun

    I found creaking in mine in one very small area. probably 1 inch on the left side middle. I just pressed really hard thinking it probably isn’t touching the glue. fixed my problems LOL

    • jcuvs

      Same issue. I’ll try to apply some pressure when I get home. Thanks.

    • fixxmyhead

      yup same area on mine too. will try that

  • We all know the Nexus 7 is better then any of the iPads.

    • yeomandroid

      Unfortunately that is not true.

  • FknTwizted

    and Asus was never thought of as a solid manufacturer. You pay cheap you get cheap.

  • teng247

    with so many of these units being rushed out due to high demand, im not suprised. Heres hoping mine that i ordered doesnt have this happen.

  • fanboy1974

    I’m very picky with my toys and I’m glad to have a unit without any of these issues. Just to give you an idea I returned 3 iPads 3’s with pixel issues.

    • JP

      I’ve been debating on getting this and I have an iPad 2. What do you think I should do?

      • mothRelay

        Sell the iPad and buy two

  • markgbe

    dead pixels, light bleed? same ol crap that gets reported with every device release. Some people are just a bit too obsessive about things.

    • fixxmyhead

      yea normally i would agree with u but the lifting display is real it does lift up a little (this is coming from someone that never believes these things) it creaks a little on mine. the pixel thing and light bleed im not buying cuz everyone always says that

  • FknTwizted

    Lol and this is why I was laughing when they did that poll last week about which manufacture had the best tablet lol. Do another and see now. (posted fromm quite realiable and well built Motorola Xoom wifi)

    • TimothyLMJR

      Oh noes, a few out of the thousands and thousands of Nexus 7 sold aren’t perfect and have a few defects. Would you like to Motorola tablet reviews? LOL

      Bottom line, there will be devices that have defects. But out of all of them ASUS is the best, bar none.

      • FknTwizted

        yes lets, hrmmm how’s that gps fix for the prime going…. only thing xoom really had an issue was that it dropped with 3.0… last time I checked I didn’t have a build issue with my or others xoom…. This is Asus’s 2nd with issues and yet people blindly still call it the best…. I’ll keep my humv u keep your geo metro.

  • No problems with mine. I haven’t completely checked for dead pixels, but I did not notice any at first glance. Completely happy with my purchase.

    • paul_cus

      Same here.

  • RW-1

    One of the things that still make our devices cost so much is the screens, I wonder how that got thru QA, or, if it occurred while using it.
    Not that you caused it or anything. Also in that vein, I wonder what Google considers passable on the number of dead pixels on the screen, laptop manuf’s have up to 5 on occasion, though you can still call up and get it returned, etc.

  • BunLengthHotDog

    The screen lift is very easy to fix, the thread was posted in the comments.

    • KenBarnum

      Fix didn’t work for me. Still doing it. Google is sending me a replacement no questions asked and I get to play with the current one until I get the new one.

  • beng8686

    That’s what u get for 200 bucks lol.

    • fixxmyhead

      seriously its no big deal its still a badass tablet and i wouldnt send it back for this tiny issue

  • JDHokie

    I have a slight screen separation issue. May not have noticed it had I not read about others having it. Now … do I ignore it (probably impossible to do at this point), send it back, or try the fix from the XDA thread?

  • Mike

    When I had a TF101 I had the display lifting issue. Getting it fixed was a nightmare, as once I sent it in, they sent it back all dinged and scratched up. Made me seriously question Asus’ built quality.

  • Stephen Gaskins Jr.

    That sucks. Mine has been golden so far.

    • mothRelay

      Odd, the one my friend got is black.

      • Allen Byrd

        I do indeed see what you did there

  • Kizipotamus

    There is a thread on XDA about how to solve the screen lifting issue. It worked for me.


    • Sweet, thanks for this.

      • Blood

        Like I’ve said Asus is horrible in the hardware department but really great with the software updates and such. I know from experience because I have a tf101.

        • michael arazan

          I wonder if these issues are a result from a week of shipping in 120 degrees heat while on transit and sitting in hot trucks and on doorsteps

    • got mine in this morning and noticed that it was lifting up a little then i did a lil research and i also found this on xda ^ works perfect !!!!!

    • fixxmyhead

      yup i can confirm this. i thought it was only me. it creaks a little too but only one side seems to be lifting. damn asus why u gotta crap out on the quality control. still a badass tablet

  • Jayneo74

    Mine came with a corrupted OS. When you powered it NFC would crash, then Launcher would crash and gapps would crash over and over to the point you couldn’t enter anything on a keyboard. I had to unlock, root, and then reflash the factory image to use the thing. Now I have to look for these two issues.

    • William Warwick II

      I got the craptacular nfc fail message too. I also have the lifted screen. I reflashed the factory image and the dang message keeps coming back. Oh well, maybe when my replacement gets here in another two weeks from the Play store it will be from a better production run.

  • OfTheDamned

    Well that just sucks.