Arik Hesseldahl

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Best Buy and Amazon Give HP Chromebook 11 the Hook as Chargers Overheat

best-buy-hook-chromebookHewlett-Packard and Google have cited overheating battery chargers as the reason why Best Buy and Amazon have stopped selling the Chromebook 11 notebook.

HP and Google have just issued a joint statement saying that the notebook’s charger had been overheating. They said that anyone who has already bought a Chromebook 11 can use another Micro-USB charger and continue using it.

Here’s the statement:

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 over-heating 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.

Chromebook 11 notebooks had been unceremoniously pulled from the shelves of Best Buy stores; sales were also stopped at Amazon. According to the Verge, which first reported the story, Best Buy stores were ordered to “stop selling the HP Chromebook 11 effective immediately” and to move existing inventory to a “secure location.”

Meanwhile, Amazon had done the same thing with its stock. A page that used to display the Chromebook 11 is now unavailable, and searches for the notebook now only return the Chromebook 14 in the results.

HP added Chromebooks to its personal computer lineup earlier this year in partial response to the Microsoft Surface tablet, and as a way of shaking up its PC business amid declining sales. Chromebooks run Google’s ChromeOS operating system, and HP has generally been an all-Windows shop.

This discontinuation of sales doesn’t appear to extend to HP’s other model, the Chromebook 14, which Best Buy and Amazon both continue to sell.

HP shares rose by 27 cents, or more than one percent, to $26.49 a share. Google shares rose $21.07, or two percent, to $1,032.58 a share.

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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus