Google, HP yank Chromebook 11 from sale over reports of chargers overheating

Google, HP yank Chromebook 11 from sale over reports of chargers overheating

Summary: HP's latest Chromebook is pulled from Best Buy and Amazon.com stores in the U.S. after reports emerged of chargers overheating during use.

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HP's Chromebook 11 (Image: CNET)

Google and HP have requested U.S. stores selling the computer maker's latest Chromebook 11 — including Amazon.com and Best Buy — withdraw their products from use, following a "small number" of reports of chargers overheating 

The mysterious disappearance from U.S. retail outlets was first noted by The Verge, citing sources at the U.S. retail giant. Best Buy reportedly ordered its employees to remove the Chromebook from store shelves, citing an internal memo that said: "Stores should stop selling the HP Chromebook 11 effective immediately."

Best Buy also removed the device from its online store, with a message stating the "item is no longer available."

HP and Google, which partnered to bring the latest Chromebook to market, also pulled the low-cost laptop from their stores. HP's listing now redirects to its home office store. Google's Play Store, where the device is also being sold, simply states the company is "out of inventory."

Google and HP launched the ARM-powered $279 laptop just last month.

A HP spokesperson told ZDNet via email Google and HP are "pausing sales... 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," the spokesperson said.

HP is also warning users who have purchased a HP Chromebook 11 to not use the original charger that was provided with the device.

Apologizing for the inconvenience, HP is advising that customers can in the interim "continue using their HP Chromebook 11 with any other Underwriters Laboratories-listed micro-USB charger, for example one provided with a tablet or smartphone."

Topics: Laptops, Cloud, Google, Hewlett-Packard

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32 comments
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  • Re: ChromeBook Chargers Over Heating....

    Could this be a result of going too budget ?
    5735guy
    • Under budget?

      Don't think so. It's a result of contract manufactures not building to spec. We are talking about a universal part, 5V 1 to 2 amps.
      danilko1
      • Budget, testing

        I guess it could be a budget issue, but more specifically its sloppy design/testing, and that falls on HP's lap. If subcontractors screw up, it's still on HP.
        Pretty expensive fix; would have been a lot cheaper to fix the process.
        Oh, well...
        kallingham@...
      • Maybe maybe not. Would they have pulled them over the charger alone?

        Or would they have stuck a different charger in the box and kept selling them?
        Johnny Vegas
        • Sure...

          ... but now HP has to scramble to source however-many thousands of chargers. That's going to take some time!
          LS650
  • SJVN always said

    that Chromebooks were the hot item...
    William.Farrel
    • Out of stock yes, but there may be a puddle of goo on the shelf they could

      sell. Anyone willing to buy a chrome book is obviously not tech savvy and will probably buy anything.
      Johnny Vegas
    • LOL.

      n/t
      Ram U
  • They are vanishing from the shelves

    ... like hot cakes.
    :-)
    AleMartin
  • Re: Chromebooks were the hot item....

    A rather opportunistic swipe but an amusing one all the same. But on a more serious note I am convinced things are going a little too low budget. And with cheap corners are cut to minimize costs.

    As I have always said you get what you pay for and given the very low budget of these Chrome Books you are probably not getting the quality control on production that would otherwise exist.
    5735guy
  • mmm....

    After seing how well HP is doing in the CB market, I guess that is a stunt to save the face.

    http://www.zdnet.com/latest-idc-figures-show-chromebooks-continue-to-struggle-7000023000/
    teralgoe
    • Negative Publicity Seldom Reaps a Positive Outcome....

      A Prime example of which being Windows Surface RT.

      So no I do not believe this to be a publicity stunt.
      5735guy
      • I choose the wrong word

        What I mean is that is less embarrassing say that they pulled out the CB because a faulty charger than because nobody is buying them.
        teralgoe
        • It is?

          I think it would be a lot simpler (and less embarrassing) to simply stop production and sell off their stock cheap.

          Having to admit there is a faulty power supply looks sloppy, as though they didn't test these out well before shipping them. I would think that's a much bigger PR problem.
          LS650
  • Yet another way...

    It's also safe, though slower, to use a computer to charge your HP Chromebook.

    If the reports are accurate, it's a case of a failed subcontract buy. Chargers are commodity items; HP bought them from one or more outside manufacturers. I know, HP also contracts out building the actual computers. But it's probable that the charger isn't built by the same company as the laptop; there are companies that specialize in making those things.

    At worst, HP did a careless job of supplier choice. The test units they tried out were probably fine. This will cause a week or two of selling delay at an unfortunate time of year - Staples was planning a Black Friday sale on those Chromebooks and HP will have to scramble to provide them with replacement chargers in time - but aside from that it will be soon forgotten.
    mark@...
    • Yes and they should market these as being able to run windows apps

      on the windows laptop you have to buy to charge the chromebook up with...
      Johnny Vegas
      • They could

        It might be possible to use a Chromebook to run your corporate Windows desktop off AWS's Desktop Spaces. Or, from Asuze, when Microsoft manage to offer the service, one day.
        danbi
    • Sometimes you just mess up

      I would guess someone just spec'd out a little too close on the max output for them. Maybe did not figure in max hardware draw plus battery charge in their equation. Or the end product did not meet spec. Go figure coming from low quality China factories. Hey, what do you expect for the price of these next gen netbooks?
      JohnnyES
  • My Acer 5534 overheats and shuts down all the time

    I have cleaned everything inside but it has done it ever since it was new. Very aggravating.
    gswank54@...