Things we know: People like to use their laptops to look at photos,
videos and GIFs of cats. They don't, however, like it when their
computers smell like cat urine or a cat litter box.
Or at least that's what we now know from a series of posts on Dell's
site. A number of people who bought Dell's latest Latitude 6430u
ultrabook opened the box to find that the laptop, and primarily the
keyboard, had an odd odor that resembled cat pee.
“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,” one user posted in June.
More recently, on Oct. 23, Kate M wrote, “I received the Latitude 6430u
for work about two months ago, and I had the same horrendous smell! This
forum was very helpful in convincing my IT department that it wasn't
just me being crazy, the computer legitimately smelled horrible.” The
thread, which is absolutely worth a read, can be found here.
And, no, this isn't Dell's way of celebrating National Cat Day,
which was earlier this week. In a statement released on Wednesday, the
company assured the public that “the odor was not related to biological
contamination nor did it present a health hazard.” It added that the
“manufacturing process has subsequently been amended and newly purchased
Latitude 6430us are not affected by the issue.”
The company doesn't say specifically what causes the odor, but in the
past, electronic odors have been related to adhesives. Dell, which
became a private company on Wednesday,
also said that it has been replacing laptops with the cat-pee smell
since the problem was first reported a few months ago. Within the
thread, Dell support has responded to user complaints.
One very witty commenter thanks Dell for its “purrfect attentiveness” and suggested it rename the model the “Catitude 6430u.”