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Dell Mini 9 Explodes, Burns Hole in Floor

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 8 comments

Netbooks are small, affordable, basic computers. They don't run hot enough to warrant cooling solutions like the ones found in full size laptops. Or do they?

One Consumerist reader says her netbook nearly burnt her house down. Hannah said she unplugged her Dell Mini 9, brought it downstairs and laid it on the floor. Hannah says she head a popping noise as the laptop began to hiss and sizzle while and the room started to fill up with smoke.

"Hi, last night I unplugged my laptop from its charger, carried it downstairs, and placed it on the wood floor of my living room.

I heard a loud popping sound and the room immediately filled with smoke while the laptop hissed and sizzled. It died down, I pushed it with my foot, and it stared hissing again. There is a large scorch mark on my floor.

It goes without saying, I am glad the laptop was not on my couch ...or in an airplane."

Hannah contacted the Consumerist who put her in touch with Dell. Dell paid to have the netbook FedExed to them and sent her a replacement, upgraded laptop for free. Dell said its Forensic Electrical Engineers had received the laptop but added that the company said it had no other information as to what may have called the malfunction. The company promised it would sort things out, though.

"We take any report like this very seriously, and, as a matter of policy, our safety teams investigate thoroughly following any issue like this," said Dell. "We will get to the bottom of this."

The burn area seems to indicate an exploding battery. Hopefully this is just an isolated incident and not the start of a massive Dell battery recall.

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  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , 23 December 2009 00:40
    Don't you mean another massive Dell battery recall?
  • 0 Hide
    Hellboy , 23 December 2009 01:14
    What a load of poop.

    And another reason not to buy a Dell again.

    Buy Samsung, theyre far better...
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , 23 December 2009 01:27
    Looking at the burn position on the floor, and the photograph with the smoke, forensically they do not match in realtion to the laptop position. I smell a rat here... possibly set up..
  • Display all 8 comments.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , 23 December 2009 02:34
    SpooksLooking at the burn position on the floor, and the photograph with the smoke, forensically they do not match in realtion to the laptop position. I smell a rat here... possibly set up..


    No kidding. Who leaves their laptop on a wood floor when it's not in use? Wouldn't a table or something make more sense? And the smoke looks rather fake. And for god's sake who nudges it with their foot instead of running for a fire extinguisher of something?
  • 0 Hide
    papalarge123 , 24 December 2009 04:28
    also why did they run for the camera and not the extinguisher.

    oh look my house is gonna burn down, "poleroid moment" yeh
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , 25 December 2009 01:45
    i agree theres definitly more to the story than we're being told...most likely if this was a scam, we wont hear anything about it....only because dell forensics allready released them saying they are clueless...which indicates there are either forensically imcompentent or hiding something..
  • 0 Hide
    flagz , 29 December 2009 07:28
    AnonymousLooking at the burn position on the floor, and the photograph with the smoke, forensically they do not match in realtion to the laptop position. I smell a rat here... possibly set up..


    Lenovo are proving to have some really reliable laptops
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , 5 January 2010 10:12
    I think you will find the laptoop was moved to show the burn mark on the floor. Use some common sense.