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Google Halts Sales of HP's USB-Charging Chromebook 11 Over Overheating 57

Posted by timothy
from the but-usb-charging-durnit dept.
sfcrazy writes "In a surprising and unexpected move, Google and its partners have removed the recently launched HP Chromebook 11 from shelves. Users were complaining about the issues with the trackpad and performance of the laptop." Specifically (as also reported by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer), some of the laptops have been reported to overheat.
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Google Halts Sales of HP's USB-Charging Chromebook 11 Over Overheating

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  • Ahaha, not really. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 14, 2013 @09:30AM (#45422301)

    In a surprising and unexpected move, Google and its partners have removed the recently launched HP Chromebook 11 from shelves.

    There are still people in this day an age that are surprised by HP incompetence?

    • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Thursday November 14, 2013 @09:39AM (#45422377) Journal

      In a surprising and unexpected move, Google and its partners have removed the recently launched HP Chromebook 11 from shelves.

      There are still people in this day an age that are surprised by HP incompetence?

      It's a bit surprising because the 'charger' that caused the overheating reports is just an off-the-shelf 'nominally micro USB; but provides more than 500ma' device, as used by virtually any small consumer electronics device, and the Chromebook 11 itself is virtually identical Samsung silicon (also used in Samsung's ARM Chromebook the Series 3), with Google doing much of the driving on software and design; because HP is a load of fuckups.

      So, am I surprised by HP incompetence? No. Am I surprised that they failed to get some pacific-rim OEM slave factory to pair a USB power supply that doesn't catch fire with a board design that is virtually identical to a year-old Exynos platform, and a plastics kit derived from the actually-not-awful design of the Chromebook Pixel? Yeah, a bit.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Somehow Carly Fiorina is to blame.

        • by BoRegardless (721219) on Thursday November 14, 2013 @10:27AM (#45422731)

          A friend who used to work there before Carly, had friends laid off or sold off as Carly got rid of the "old engineering and development."

          These guys were the types you needed when you developed new technologies and products. It takes time to build up these teams. A laptop is arguably a complicated device these days, though well set with examples. If you do cookie cutter laptop with junior engineers, they may not realize why things on competitive units were done the way they were or worse, they don't see the subtleties and miss understanding a key design feature as it is hidden away in materials, coating, processes or control logic.

          • 'And then they make the Sales Manager the CEO!'

          • by rickb928 (945187)

            And, by your examples, they neglect testing.

            Which is always a management failure. Test. Test methodically. Test thoroughly. Test past production. Test past release.

            • by rsborg (111459)

              And, by your examples, they neglect testing.

              Which is always a management failure. Test. Test methodically. Test thoroughly. Test past production. Test past release.

              You forget management's mantra: cut costs at all opportunities. Testing costs time and money, which management is loathe to spend. There numerous examples of well-tested well designed products whose companies are no longer, and on the flip side, of companies pushing shoddy products today that are making billions/quarter.

              I don't blame management one bit - customers obviously want shiny and cheap over safe and durable.

          • It is more profitable in the short and medium terms to put DRM on ink cartridges than to maintain a world-beating engineering company.

            Do you find anything wrong with this? You should find something wrong with this.

          • by plover (150551)

            An engineering division or company led by a non-engineer MBA is guaranteed to fail. Engineering is a complex discipline that takes years to learn. The interactions and dependencies of systems are built on deep understandings of the components involved. We all know of examples where a non-engineer looks at a seemingly simple system with an eye towards cost savings, fails to appreciate the decision making and testing that went into creating it, and offers a naive, previously-proven-unworkable, or untestable c

            • by yuhong (1378501)

              What about a MBA without the cost-cutting part? I think Meg Whitman right now is trying to fix HP.

          • by edremy (36408)
            Feel free to keep doing this HP: we picked up an awesome employee when he bailed from there. We'll be happy to hire more of those expensive experienced people- you don't really need them to sell printer ink...
        • by Anonymous Coward

          yes, somehow Carly Fiorina is to blame, Larry Ellison wants to close the source, Barbra Streisand is going to make a big stink about keeping it quiet, drawing even more attention to it, and 1/2 of slashdot's users will point out that this only happens to linux derivatives, and they need reliability and support contracts because they work in high availability.

      • by mtippett (110279) on Thursday November 14, 2013 @02:05PM (#45424784) Homepage

        Not quite a normal off-the-shelf. It is a high power adapter - 40W (~8A at 5.25V). Most high-end phone chargers max out at 10W (2A at 5V).

        The difference in higher power is probably taken by the higher draw that the screen would have vs a phone. Likewise the larger battery would need a higher draw to charge within reasonable times.

        I also note that the comment is "plugged in while in use". This hits the higher draw for the battery charging + higher run-time draw. Most likely the current limiting is not working properly on the power supply which is causing too much heat.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          I've never even seen a Micro-USB connector rated for 8A. What the hell were they thinking?

        • Holy shit.

          8 amps through the microUSB port is just stupid. I'm guessing the power supply circuit isn't overheating, it's the microUSB connectors that are overheating.

          Telling people it's okay to use any charger but the one it comes with only works because the Chromebook won't try to suck 8 amps over a connector typically rated for 1.8 amps.

          No fucking wonder why Apple launched Lightning instead.

          http://www.molex.com/webdocs/datasheets/pdf/en-us/0475901001_IO_CONNECTORS.pdf [molex.com]

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Haven't had any issues with my own HP Chromebook 11. Although if you use it to stream videos for several hours (4+), I've noticed that the spot on the chromebook where the battery is located gets warm. You can say that about any device, though.

    • Haven't had any issues with my own HP Chromebook 11. Although if you use it to stream videos for several hours (4+), I've noticed that the spot on the chromebook where the battery is located gets warm. You can say that about any device, though.

      Out of curiosity, is the micro-USB charge port power-only, or does it do anything as a USB slave device?

  • by WoodburyMan (1288090) on Thursday November 14, 2013 @09:40AM (#45422393)
    I work at a local small computer workbench. Not surprised by this at all. It seems most of HP's designs recently all overheat, or are designed to very easily. We see so many HP/Compaq's with damaged motherboards from overheating. Sometimes you can see why, hairballs in the heatsinks. Other times the heat sinks and fans look brand new. Sometimes reflowing the motherboard works, other times a new motherboard is needed, and we've even had time were new motherboards fail from the same thing a year or so later. They're junk and don't design their heatsinks and fans to the correct thermal design power of the CPU and videochipsets they're designed for. Thank god Google won't put up with their lousy designs and pulled it.
    • Apparently the overheating is done by the charger, not the laptop. Given that the laptop is build around an ARM SoC with a TDP in the 4watt range [anandtech.com], I'd hope that HP could find a way to keep that part cool...
      • If it's HP, they could make a block of ice in the antarctic overheat... (Symbolicly of course.. as reality is.. touching it would melt it...and it would actually be very easy...)
        • by cusco (717999)

          It's probably the difference between a $0.47 heat sink and one that cost $0.49. Shit like that is the reason that the US car companies no longer dominate the world market.

          • Hey, the difference between a $0.47 heatsink and a $0.49 one is what put "Realized exemplary savings through aggressive supply-chain management' on the resume I used to score a job somewhere else before the consequence hit! Don't underestimate that.
          • That. And everything else.

            American cars are ugly, spend too much fuel, can't withstand bad roads, are too slow and steer too badly to be driven fast as well, and their quality sucks in general. That's why GM has a whole design/engineering team in Germany, to sell cars to the rest of the world.

            Too bad that when the japanese started taking over the american market, their cars started to suffer from the same effects: too big, too shabby, too slow, too soft.

  • 3 Sentences (Score:5, Informative)

    by clinko (232501) on Thursday November 14, 2013 @09:46AM (#45422429) Homepage Journal

    This blog spam quotes The Verge's Report [theverge.com] from a Blog post from Google [blogspot.com] which is summaried in this post on slashdot...

    How much info is summarized from google? 3 sentences:

    1) 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.
    2) 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.
    3) In the meantime, customers who have purchased an HP Chromebook 11 should not use the original charger provided with the product.

  • No, I'm not talking about the overheating problem, I'm talking about the fact that using a 3rd party charger is allowed. If my HP laptop is anything to go by, I would have expected it to just detect you are using a non HP approved charger then fail to charge.
  • HP Chromebook 11 is selling like hotcakes!
  • by Rambo Tribble (1273454) on Thursday November 14, 2013 @09:50AM (#45422467) Homepage
    ... the recommended work-around means significantly longer charging times: http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2013/11/reports-of-overheating-chargers-halt-hp-chromebook-11-sales/ [arstechnica.com]
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Roger Murdock: Flight 2-0-9'er, you are cleared for take-off.
    Captain Oveur: Roger!
    Roger Murdock: Huh?
    Tower voice: L.A. departure frequency, 123 point 9'er.
    Captain Oveur: Roger!
    Roger Murdock: Huh?
    Victor Basta: Request vector, over.
    Captain Oveur: What?
    Tower voice: Flight 2-0-9'er cleared for vector 324.
    Roger Murdock: We have clearance, Clarence.
    Captain Oveur: Roger, Roger. What's our vector, Victor?
    Tower voice: Tower's radio clearance, over!
    Captain Oveur: That's Clarence Oveur. Over.
    Tower voice: Over.
    Captain

  • They let HP build it? WHAT THE HELL WERE THEY THINKING?! They've been dead last in laptop quality, support quality, and hardware reliability initially and over time for over a decade. Acer beat them! Lenovo beat them! Dell beat them! Shocker, it has a defect out of the box. All HP builds is complete garbage. I found a Hitachi HDD with 8MB cache inside a $1500 elitebook from HP. They DO NOT build good laptops under any circumstances.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      They've been dead last in laptop quality, support quality, and hardware reliability initially and over time for over a decade.

      Nope, they're movin' on up. They're now tied for second-to-last [pcmag.com] with Acer. Gateway is now dead last, which isn't surprising in the least.

      • It's extra not surprising when you know that Acer bought Gateway and emachines so they're all the same product, lol. I noticed Acer released some REALLY nice laptops that are insanely well built for a higher price tag a while ago so at least with them you can buy your way out of crap-ville. Unfortunately, crap-ville laptops are usually what they sell the most of ($450 on down).
  • The article summary is a bit off...

    It claims performance and trackpad issues, but the reason for the halted sales according the article it claims to be a summary of was the 500ma microUSB charger, which has thermal issues in the charger itself. This is kind of expected for a first attempt at an Apple-style higher amperage charger that attempts to negotiate a quicker charge rate, the same way Apple chargers do a similar thing for faster iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch device charging.

    It's likely that the suggested w

  • thanks for reply http://www.varto.net/ [varto.net]
  • by vivek7006 (585218) on Thursday November 14, 2013 @01:26PM (#45424376) Homepage
    I own both ARM based Samsung Chromebook and the newer Haswell Chromebook. Based on my experience, ARM Chromebooks are now dead on arrival thanks to Haswell. Haswell powered chromebooks are offering better battery life, superior performance and same price point ($249). My Samsung Chromebook struggles while playing 1080p youtube videos, Netflix HD videos and amazon prime videos. If you have more than 4 tabs open, things get excruciatingly slow. Contrast this with Acer Haswell Chromebook, its super fast, even with a dozen tabs open. I have thrown everything at it including 1080p youtube videos, CPU intensive flash based games (for e.g. cricket), it never struggled. Haswell and very soon Baytrail powered Chromebooks make ARM chips DOA as far as chromebooks are concerned.
  • about the trackpad complaints, at least. Looks like the same one as my HeaP windows laptop and it's always registering single taps as a right click or pointer movement as scrolling.

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