Report: Dell Notebook Goes Up in Smoke

The PC maker confirms an "incident" with one of its laptops.

Dell says its investigating an incident in which one of its laptops is said to have caught fire.

The event, detailed in a report by the, saw the Dell laptop produce smoke and then catch fire during a business conference in Japan.

The Web publication is hosting several pictures of the event on its site.

A spokesperson for Dell, in Round Rock, Texas, confirmed that the company is aware of the occurrence and that it involved a Dell notebook.

"Were investigating the incident," she said.

However, she declined to provide details on the exact model of the notebook or to speculate on the cause of the problem.

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Dell offers two basic notebook lines, including the Inspiron and the Latitude, which are geared toward consumers and businesses, respectively.

Although the cause of that particular notebooks problem is unclear and Dell declined to speculate pending the investigation, the battery and charging systems of notebook PCs have historically been sensitive areas.

Batteries, for example, can overheat and present fire hazards when being charged if they are not manufactured properly. Brand-name computer makers have issued several battery recalls in recent years, citing fire risks.

The most recent to be reported by the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission was Hewlett-Packards recall of about 15,700 batteries on April 20, 2006.

Dell recalled about 35,000 battery packs in December 2005.

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