Ominous rumblings rumbled this morning, as The Verge reported that Best Buy had yanked all of its supply of the HP Chromebook 11 from store shelves and stored them in secure warehouse locations, “effective immediately.” The laptop disappeared from Amazon’s online shelves, too, as well as from HP and Google’s own web stores.
Something was afoot, and we now know what that something is: The micro-USB charger that shipped with the HP Chromebook 11 is faulty, and some have been damaged after over-heating during use.
Here’s the full text of what Google PR passed along when PCWorld asked for a comment from Caesar Sengupta, VP of Product Management:
”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 overheating 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.”
That defect’s a whole lot worse than Dell’s cat-pee fiasco, and definitely puts a damper on HP’s first year in as part of the ChromeOS family. HP’s other Chromebook, the aptly named HP Chromebook 14, is still being sold.