Wednesday, November 13, 2013

HP's Chromebook 11 flies off store shelves after charger overheating reported

HP's Chromebook 11 has flown off of store shelves, but not because of hot sales. Instead, the laptop "replacement," which runs Chrome OS rather than Android, Windows RT, Linux, or Windows 8, has been pulled after reports that its charger overheats. The Verge was among many media outlets that reported the issue on Wednesday.

A Best Buy source said that urgent instructions had been sent to store managers to remove existing stock of HP's new notebook. The internal memo told store managers:
Stores should stop selling the HP Chromebook 11 effective immediately. Partner with Sales Support to pull the product off the sales floor to a secure location in the warehouse.
An HP spokesperson 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.

In the meantime, customers who have purchased an HP Chromebook 11 should not use the original charger provided with the product. In the interim they may continue using their HP Chromebook 11 with any other Underwriters Laboratories-listed micro-USB charger, for example one provided with a tablet or smartphone. We apologize for the inconvenience.
Fortunately, the ability to use a different microUSB charger is a nice property of the device. Of course, HP failed to do the same with its Android-based SlateBook x2. That device had other failings, such as no GPS (which shut down access to Instagram and other apps that require GPS) and no data cable. A number of important apps also crashed when the device launched, such as the Kindle e-book reading app.

Google has partnered with Amazon and Best Buy to sell HP’s Chromebook 11 in the U.S., and both companies have also removed the device from their websites. HP has as well. Google and HP had announced the $279 Chromebook 11 at a launch event last month.

With the device's failings, as with the SlateBook x2, HP is no 0-for-2 for its recent notebook launches.

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