Following complaints that the Latitude 6430u smelled like cat pee, Dell has said the odor is actually the result of a now former manufacturing process.
Dell has responded to complaints from users regarding a weird smell coming from a specific model of notebooks it manufactures. Engadget points to the Dell Support forums where numerous users have posted about their Latitude 6430u notebook smelling like cat pee. One post claimed his laptop smelled like it had been assembled near a tomcat's litter box, while another wrote that they thought that one of their cats had sprayed the laptop. Folks were complaining that it was embarrassing to have their computer out at work, in front of clients, at class, and the smell was lingering on hands and fingers. Gross.
Reports said the smell was emanating from the keyboard of the computer, and though Dell initially advised customers clean keyboard and fans with compressed air, the company has since said the smell originates from the palm rest. So, of course, compressed air didn't do much to fix the smell, which several users described as a 'stench' and said it was so bad, they couldn't use their laptop. Dell updated the thread at the end of August to say "biological contamination was not suspected" and updated again earlier this month to say it definitely wasn't pee. Of any kind.
"What we do know at this time is that this smell is absolutely not urine or any other type of biological material," a Dell representative said. "The parts have been tested and we have confirmed this 100%. The smell is caused by a manufacturing process which has now been changed and we are confident that the issue is resolved for all new E6430u currently shipping."
Dell hasn't yet offered details on what it plans to do for those who currently have smelly laptops, but a rep said today that it is currently finalizing plans for a 'full resolution' for people with an affected unit.