Dell Latitude 6430u Ultrabook owners have been causing a stink on message boards and support forums over the past several months due to an unusual smell emanating from the machine’s palm rest. Users claim it smells like cat urine with one user going as far as to blame his new kitten on the smell while another said they were embarrassed to pull the machine out in front of clients.
Customers up to this point were left with returning the notebook for a replacement although that didn’t exactly work out either. One user complained that they recently received their fifth replacement which arrived with the same offending smell as the four before it.
Dell finally addressed the issue on Wednesday, narrowing down the odor to a manufacturing process related to the computer’s palm rest. The company reassured customers that the odor was not related to biological contamination nor did it present any health hazards. Dell said the manufacturing process has since been amended and newly purchased machines are not affected by the issue.
It’s unclear exactly what went wrong but if we had to guess, perhaps it was a bad batch of polymer that found its way into the manufacturing line.
Dell initially recommended that users spray their notebooks with compressed air although that didn’t seem to help according to multiple users. The company is now encouraging affected users to contact Dell to have the notebook’s palm rest replaced.