The iPad mini, Nexus 7, Kindle Fire HD and Barnes & Noble Nook HD are the top 7-inch tablets on the market, but for all they do well consumers aren’t completely satisfied. Tech Q&A site FixYA shares the top complaints and fixes for the most popular 7-inch tablets to help users pick the right tablet and to fix complaints.
The Kindle Fire HD, Nexus 7 and iPad mini are among the top searched holiday gifts at Gotta Be Mobile, making an appearance on our Top Tablets to Gift for 2012 list, but they all have issues shoppers should be aware of.
FixYa outlines the top complaints about each tablet, rounded up from actual users, 30 million to be exact. The complaints and tablet fixes come via the FixYa website and the iPhone and iPad app. This report gives us a look into the issues that get in the way of the average tablet user on a day-to-day basis.
You can’t expect a perfect tablet for $199 to $329, but with a little research it’s possible to find the one that’s perfect for you.
iPad Mini Flaws & Fixes
The iPad mini is Apple’s smaller iPad, launched along the iPad 4 in October. With a starting price of $329 it’s a tempting choice for users turned off by the $499 iPad with Retina Display price.
iPad Mini Flaws
- 4:3 Aspect Ratio – 25%
- Easily Scratched Back Plate – 20%
- Screen Quality – 20%
- Storage Space– 20%
- Other – 15%
iPad Mini Fixes
Unfortunately there aren’t many fixes available for these iPad mini flaws. There’s no way to change the iPad mini to widescreen like the iPhone 5’s display. Apple left a Retina Display off the iPad which is a turn off to some users, but not a deal breaker to most of the Gotta Be Mobile team. There is no way to add more storage space to the iPad mini, so it’s a good idea to buy as large a size as possible.
Read: Best iPad Mini Cases
The only real fix is to put a skin on the back of the iPad mini or use an iPad mini case to protect the back from scratches.
Even with these issues, the iPad mini is one of our favorite tablets, offering a good value even at $129 more than the competition.
Kindle Fire HD Flaws & Fixes
The Kindle Fire HD is another top tablet pick thanks to the size, access to Amazon instant movies, the Kindle Owner’s lending library and the $199 price.
Users aren’t completely satisfied with the Kindle Fire HD, but more of the complaints can be fixed. Unlike the iPad mini, the Kindle Fire HD features a widescreen suited for watching movies and HDTV shows.
Kindle Fire HD Flaws
- Ads on Locks Screen – 30%
- Slow Multitasking – 25%
- Typing Difficulty – 15%
- Apps Slow to Release – 15%
- Other –15%
Kindle Fire HD Fixes
Two of the biggest Kindle Fire flaws are easy to fix with a bit of cash. Amazon will remove ads from the lock screen for $15. This is a one-time deal, and is something owners can do even after buying the “Special Offers” Kindle Fire HD.
We can’t fix the slow multitasking or the slow app releases but users looking to type faster on the Kindle Fire HD should check out the ZAGGKeys FLEX keyboard. This Bluetooth Kindle Fire HD keyboard connects to the Kindle Fire HD for faster typing and includes a stand.
The Kindle Fire HD is one of the top holiday gifts, taking the top gift spot on Amazon for several weeks running. Even with flaws, it’s a popular starter tablet for many users.
Nexus 7 Flaws & Fixes
The nexus 7 was this year’s summer surprise, a Nexus tablet with good build-quality, speedy performance and a size that fits in most pockets. It doesn’t hurt that it’s one of the top Android tablets so users can pick a good Nexus 7 case and expect support from Google for the future.
Nexus 7 Flaws
- System Update Issues – 30%
- Screen Issues – 30%
- Storage Space – 20%
- Microphone Quality – 10%
- Other – 10%
Read: Nexus 7 Review
Nexus 7 Fixes
Google promises fast updates to the latest version of Android, which is a major plus considering many tablet owners must wait months for a new version of Android to arrive. The downside is that the updates aren’t always perfect. When The Android 4.2 update arrived on the Nexus 7 it brought performance issues along with it. FixYa outlines how to fix some of these problems.
Read: Nexus 7 Flaws
There are also some screen issues reported by users. Most of these occur while under warranty, so users can request a new unit without issues. Users can add storage to the Nexus 7 through a convoluted process that requires a cheap USB adapter and rooting the device, but it’s not for the average user.
Read: Best Nexus 7 Cases
The Nexus 7 is the best Android tablet we’ve used to date. Even with the issues reported by FixYa users it is a full-fledged Android tablet with more access to apps than the Kindle Fire HD and Nook HD.
Nook HD Flaws & Fixes
The Barnes & Noble Nook HD is a sleeper in the 7-inch tablet race, delivering a great looking screen and multi-user support with a focus on reading, playing games and watching movies. The Nook HD needs better speakers and users should know that there are sometimes issues with the touchscreen, a common tablet complaint.
Nook HD Flaws
- Poor Touchscreen Response – 30%
- Poor Multitasking – 20%
- Slow Overall Performance – 20%
- Speaker Quality – 20%
- Other – 10%
Nook HD Fixes
The majority of Nook HD performance fixes are similar to what users of Android phones had to do two years ago to keep phones running smoothly. Exit apps, skip multitasking, clear browser cache and history regularly, only open three tabs at a time and turn off the Nook HD occasionally.
Another recommendation is to use a task manager to kill apps that aren’t needed. These are steps not needed on competing tablets.
Despite these limitations the Nook HD is a popular tablet choice thanks to the display and $199 price.