Dell laptop explodes again and again and again

Tech Culture

by Chris Matyszczyk February 7, 2017 12:04 PM PST @ChrisMatyszczyk

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.

After last year's explosive merry-go-round with the Samsung Galaxy Note 7, it's tempting to hope that it's just phones that blow up.

This isn't the case, as 18-year-old Devon Johnson of Thousand Oaks, California, discovered last month.

Johnson's Dell Inspiron laptop was charging on the couch when there was a bang and the laptop burst into flames, reported NBC4 Los Angeles.

Johnson told NB4 the explosion was loud. He got up and blew the flames out.

Next, he unplugged the laptop and put it on a table outside. It exploded again. Johnson again put out the flames, this time with a fire extinguisher. But this didn't deter the laptop from combusting yet again.

The fiery sequence was caught on home security cameras.

A Dell spokesman told me the company is working with Johnson to examine the laptop, but he had no update to share "until we complete our full investigation to verify the product's origin and understand its full history."

Johnson told NBC4 the laptop is four years old.

The investigation will likely focus on the laptop's lithium-ion battery. The batteries have been linked to explosions in phones -- including the Note 7 -- as well as hoverboards and other gadgets. It's no secret that lithium-ion batteries pose a risk, but the electronics industry continues to use the flammable formula because they're so much smaller and lighter than less-destructive chemistries.

"Had he gone to the movies, our house would have been gone," Johnson's mom Tori told NBC4. Had he inspected his laptop a little more closely, his face might have sustained some damage too.

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