Thursday, October 31, 2013

Not hazardous: Dell Latitude 6430u laptops that 'smell like cat urine

Whether or not you think the deal that took Dell private smells fresh -- some are calling it the "nastiest tech buyout ever" -- some users of the Dell Latitude 6430u say that the laptop computer smells like cat urine, as the BBC reported on Wednesday.

One user with the handle Three West complained as follows on Dell's hardware support forum:
A few weeks ago I got a new Lattitude 6430u for work. The machine is great, but it smells as if it was assembled near a tomcat's litter box. It is truly awful!
Another user, Hoteca, added:
I thought for sure one of my cats sprayed it, but there was something faulty with it so I had it replaced. The next one had the same exact issue. It's embarrassing taking it to clients because it smells so bad.
Dell has admitted the issue exists for some units. However, the company said that its investigation determined that the odor was related to the manufacturing process, and has now been resolved. In addition, the company determined that the smell was neither biological in origin nor hazardous to health.

The somewhat vague "manufacturing issue" was also used by Apple, which also recently admitted that a manufacturing issue caused some iPhone 5s units to have poor battery life.

Dell support technician SteveB said:
The smell is not related to cat urine or any other type of biological contaminant, nor is it a health hazard.

If you order an E6430u now, it will not have the issue.
Dell said that users affected by the issue should send their laptop back for replacement parts. Those parts, according to the BBC report, would be a replacement palm rest.

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