Hewlett-Packard’s (HP) brand new Chromebook 11 has a serious flaw: its charger overheats and can damage the computer or even start a fire.
HP and Google, the maker of the Chrome OS, asked retailers to pull the product from the shelves and remove it from online stores. Best Buy and Amazon appear to have complied; the product is no longer available through either retailer, nor can it be purchased on Google Play.
In a statement to the media, HP said:
“Google and HP are pausing sales of the HP Chromebook 11 after receiving a small number of user reports that some chargers included with the device have been damaged due to over-heating during use. We are working with the Consumer Product Safety Commission to identify the appropriate corrective action, and will provide additional information and instructions as soon as we can.”
If you purchased the $279 computer, you can still use it, HP says, just don’t use the original charger. The company recommends using any other “Underwriters Laboratories-listed micro-USB charger,” such as one that comes with a tablet or smartphone. Of course, you’ll have to determine if your phone charger fits that description or buy a new one.
So far, there has been no mention of a product recall, but the involvement of the safety commission, which has the authority to order one, suggests a recall is possible. Other members of the Chromebook family are still for sale and they don’t appear to suffer from the same overheating issue.
HP launched the Chromebook 11 last month. Like other Chromebooks, it runs Google Chrome, has a relatively small amount of storage, and is primarily designed for use with the Cloud. It weights just two pounds and runs Web applications.
San Francisco journalist Bill Snyder writes frequently about business and technology. His work appears regularly in CIO.com and the publications of Stanford's Graduate School of Business and the Haas School of Business at the University of California at Berkeley. He welcomes your comments and suggestions.