On December 17, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a recall on the HP Chromebook 11 power supply/charger due to concerns with the unit overheating and possibly even melting while in use. The CPSC report states that, "Google has received nine reports of chargers overheating and melting during use. There is one report of a small burn to a consumer and one report of minor property damage to a pillow from an overheating charger."
The recall affects approximately 145,000 units that were sold at Best Buy retail stores and on its web site bestbuy.com, Amazon's web site, the Google Play store at play.google.com, and Hp Shopping at shopping.hp.com between October and November 2013. The model number is MU15-N1052-A00S and it was included with the Chromebook 11. Google has posted some frequently asked questions regarding the recall.
Other models of the Chromebook have not been affected. This particular affected model uses a micro-USB charger, which makes it compatible with the same kind of cords that are used for charging phones and tablets. Unfortunately, this is not the first time HP has had to recall laptops.An array of HP notebooks sold between August 2007 and July 2008 were recalled due to a fire hazard stemming from the notebook batteries.
The Chromebook has actually been very well received since its launch. In July, Bloomberg reported that in just eight months, it had already captured between 20 and 25% of the US market for laptops that are sold for less than $300. Stephen Baker, an analyst at NPD said, "While we were skeptical initially, I think Chromebooks definitely have found a niche in the marketplace. The entire computing ecosystem is undergoing some radical change, and I think Google has its part in that change."
Part of the allure of the Chromebook has been its size and low cost. It operates on the Google Chrome operating system and utilizes tools provided by Google on the cloud. Some of those tools include word processing and a spreadsheet program available via Google Docs, plus email. Such services are a bonus for Google, as the services also can drive advertising right back into the company.
To report an affected computer or to obtain contact information regarding the recall, please visit the Consumer Product Safety Commission web site.