When HP launched Chromebooks running Google Chrome operating system, it had high hopes for offering consumers and businesses an alternative to Windows-based PCs.
Now, it’s suffering a minor setback as it pulls Chromebook 11 models from circulation because over overheating power supplies. HP began pulling Chromebook 11 — the 11-inch version — of the Google-based PC from retail outlets and channel distribution because it had received a handful of reports that its micro-USB power supplies were overheating and creating a fire hazard.
“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,” wrote Caesar Sengupta, vice president of product management at Google in a blog post.
HP and Google say Chromebook 11 owners shouldn’t use the original power supply and cord that came with their devices. Instead, they recommend using alternative micro-USB charger approved by Underwriters Laboratories. Many chargers that come with common tablets and smartphones will suffice.
There’s no telling when Chromebook 11 will return to market. HP Chromebook 14, the larger version of the Chrome-based PCs, are unaffected by the power supply issue.
While a setback, Chromebook 11’s power supply problem is likely just a minor incident. HP seems committed to the notion of carrying PCs that operate on different platforms and lessening its dependence on Microsoft Corp. for operating systems.
The HP Chromebooks are a direct response to Microsoft continuing to push its Windows-based tablets, Surface, to market in competition with similar tablets produced by PC vendors. HP CEO Meg Whitman recently cited Microsoft as a competitor because of the Surface tablet.
HP isn’t the only PC vendor offering Chrome-based machines. Lenovo, Samsung and Acer all offer Chrome-based PCs. However, HP is the only vendor making a major push in the retail and business-to-business channels with the Microsoft alternative. By many indications, the Chromebook 11 was selling well prior to the suspension.
Chances are it will return to distribution once the power supply problem is diagnosed and corrected. There’s little chance this incident will slow the growing list of Microsoft alternatives.
As part of our special editorial relationship, CRN is republishing this article from Channelnomics
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