Reports are filtering in that some Google Nexus 7 tablets slow to a crawl once the memory starts filling up, and require a hard reset to bring them back to the admirable speed expected of Google's flagship hardware.
Most of the reports, on various forums, relate to the 16GB model, and claim that once the remaining capacity is down to around 2GB performance starts to suffer badly. Benchmarking software shows memory responding incredibly slowly, but most users just report applications slowing down or hanging, and all agree that the only solution is a hard reset as clearing the storage isn't good enough.
It's always difficult to judge how widespread a problem like this is: the numerous posting across message boards sometimes just indicates a vocal minority, but in this case the sources are particularly broad and the messages unusually conciliatory – calling on Google and/or Asus (who manufactures the Nexus 7) to fix the problem, rather than just laying into the company.
It also seems safe to say that few Nexus 7 users will ever max out their devices' capacity. For most users a handful of albums and selection of films is all they'd want on a tablet, and that be slipped in with ease. Anyone with a decent collection of music has gotten used to leaving most of it at home since the classic iPod disappeared, and no one is trying to carry their DVD collection around with them yet, so most users won't be packing their Nexus 7 to the gunnels with content.
But if they do then they might hit this problem, as one user describes it: "So here I am, stuck with a device that is labeled for 16GB storage, that in reality only has just over 13GB of storage ... but due to performance issues, REALLY only has 9-10 GB of storage available for content and software."
Google hasn't responded to our queries on the matter. We'll let you know when/if it does, but in the meantime you might want to ensure your Nexus 7 has a little breathing space. ®