Google and Hewlett-Packard are halting sales of the Chromebook 11 laptop after some users reported overheating power supplies, a setback for the devices that have been gaining momentum with consumers.
The companies said in a statement on Wednesday in the US that they were suspending sales of the laptop at Best Buy stores, the Google Play store, Amazon.com and other outlets, and cautioned customers who have bought the laptop to avoid using the charger and get another one instead. The decision followed eight reports of overheating, some of which mentioned the charger melted, according to people with knowledge of the matter, who asked not to be identified because the details aren't public. There were no reports of fires, the people said.
Google, which didn't sell the Chromebook 11 on its Australian Play store, but did sell it on the US one for $US279, doesn't mention the overheating problems on the store store, instead telling users that the device is "not currently available" without specifying why. "Please check back soon," it states.
"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 companies said in a blog post, without elaborating on when they would begin selling the device again. "We apologise for the inconvenience."
Chromebooks, often priced at less than $US500, run Google's Chrome operating system, which is software that emphasises web browsing, video and the company's online software for word processing and other tasks. Google has been adding new manufacturing partners as demand rises for the laptops. The devices snagged 3.3 per cent of the market for back-to-school shoppers in the US between June 30 and September 7, up from zero a year earlier, according to the NPD Group.
Apart from Hewlett-Packard, hardware makers that have announced Chromebook devices include Toshiba, Asustek Computer, Acer and Lenovo.
Overheating in laptops has caused problems for personal computer makers in the past. In 2006, Dell and Apple recalled laptop batteries made by Sony because of overheating. The issue also affected computers made by Toshiba, International Business Machines Corp., Lenovo and Fujitsu.