You've read about laptops overheating and catching on fire. You've even heard about iPhone electrocutions. But mobile
devices that stink like cat pee?
Yes, Dell admits it.
It seems the Dell Latitude E6430u Ultrabook smells like your favorite kitty's litter box. Although the odor is reportedly strong, Dell said it's not a health hazard.
"So a few weeks ago I got a new Latitude 6430u for work. The machine is great, but it smells as if it was assembled near a tomcat's litter box. It is truly awful! It seems to be coming from the keyboard. Anybody got any advice on removing the smell?" wrote a poster called "Three West" in the company's support forum.
A Client Embarrassment
A poster who calls himself "Hotecha" had the same problem. "I thought for sure one of my cats sprayed it, but there was something faulty with it so I had it replaced. The next one had the same exact issue. It's embarrassing taking it to clients because it smells so bad."
On at least two occasions, Dell technicians suggested the customers clean the machine. "I am sorry about this, you can clean the laptop air vents using the can of compressed air, if the issue still persists, I would suggest you to contact the local technician and they will help you further," Senthil S, who works for Dell, wrote. Three West replied, "No amount of compressed air is going to help the awful stench coming from the keyboard."
Finally, SteveB, a senior technical consultant for Dell, posted an update in the company's customer support forums. He said the issue was fully investigated and Dell has determined that the smell is not at all related to cat urine or any biological contaminate.
"Further testing revealed that there is no health hazard related to the smell. The issue has been corrected on new units currently being ordered," he wrote. "We are currently finalizing plans for a full resolution for those who still have a unit that exhibits the issue. I am hoping to post a root cause..."
New Precision a Hit with Engineers
No complaints so far on Dell's latest laptop. The Precision M3800 offers an ultra-thin form factor aimed at digital content creators and engineers looking for portability. The new machine is less than three-quarters of an inch thin and weighs 4.15 pounds.
The M3800 totes Windows 8.1 Pro and is loaded with 16GB of memory and a fourth-generation Intel Core i7 processor. It also comes equipped with Nvidia Optimus technology to maximize battery life.
"The M3800 from Dell is elegant and incredibly powerful for its size. My work looks amazing in the DirectX 11 capable viewport inside Maya at a whopping 3200x1800 screen res, and working with Mudbox using the touch screen controls is really nice," said Mathew Doyle who works in Autodesk's Media & Entertainment Technical Marketing group. "It's fast, ultra-quiet, and has more than enough horsepower for my needs."