An ex-coworker asked me if I could look at her nephews Nexus 7 (First Gen) and find out whats wrong with it – offer $20 to fix. She said it was completely dead and would not even charge.
Her nephew is 10 years old so of course I had to ask the usual stuff like if he did something to it or if it got wet and the like. Seems it just one day wouldn’t charge and that appears to actually be an issue with the first gen Nexus 7 tablets.
Well I looked it over and it had all the signs of a dead battery so I looked around the net for battery prices and found a few sites selling OEM batteries. I gave her mom the URLs to check out and described what I thought was the issue, letting her decide on whether to purchase a new battery and she did. I did try to sell her on getting her grandson an iPad or iPad mini which, to me, is a bit more useful scholastically. Dont get me wrong, I own a Nexus 7 First Gen myself but also an iPad where my kids sometimes use iTunesU or download books to read.
After replacing the battery I also found that the charging port was bad. If I held the charging cable a certain way I could get it to charge but that is not a solution. I wager what happened is that the charging cable was in the unit as someone was walking around with it and the cable pulled, damaging the port. I let my ex-coworker know about the port issue and she asked me how long it would take to fix it because the little boy was flying back home the next day.
I cant have a sad boy on my hands so I took the audio/charging ribbon from my Nexus 7 and put it in his. Perfect match since both are first gen units and the battery charged up nicely. I ordered a replacement cable on Amazon. His mom wanted to pay me for it but I just told her the only requirement I have is that her grandson perform a random act of kindness someday. I dont plan on taking her up for repayment for the part or whatnot.
The process of replacement for both battery and charging port should be the envy of iPad owners as well as other tablet owners where the OEMs almost liquid nails their products shut. In a nutshell, most tablets are not made to repair but made to be replaced as the technology changes. Anyway, here are my steps for replacing the Nexus 7 parts which is by far the easiest and quickest hardware repair I have ever done.