back to article Nothing to sniff at: Dell Ultrabooks REEK OF CAT PEE, scream users

Buyers of Dell's Latitude 6430u Ultrabook have noticed a very unpleasant bug: a strong odour resembling cat urine. News of the 6430u's fragrant emissions appear in this thread in Dell's support forums. Complaints started in June 2013 when a user named “three west” wrote “So a few weeks ago I got a new Lattitude 6430u for work …


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  1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    El Reg Unit of Bad Smells?

    Days old Cat Pee?

    Ok, Mines the one with one of those air freshners you dangle from the mirror in your car. Although I'm not sure if they actually smell less repulsive?

  2. Baudwalk

    Well, that's just taking the ....


  3. wolfetone Silver badge

    I always thought Dell products were piss, I'm glad other people have started to notice it.

  4. Robert E A Harvey


    "Dell's Latitude 6430u Ultrabook Stink " ... and of cat pee

    Sorry to Dell, whose hardware actually looks pretty good.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Comes out well on the benchmark

    but also rates high on the stenchmark.

    So glad I didn't have to explain this to anyone, I can visualise the expressions even now.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Obvius explanashun

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Some plastics do stink

    I was once given a flowcharting template made of a plastic which smelled of vomit, so much so that it was completely unusable even after being thoroughly washed and left outside for weeks.

    1. TheVogon

      Re: Some plastics do stink

      "I was once given a flowcharting template made of a plastic which smelled of vomit"

      Like Hershey's 'chocolate' ?

    2. Dave 32

      Re: Some plastics do stink

      Butyric Acid?


      P.S. I'll get my coat; it's the one with the bottle of Mercaptans in the pocket.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We've got one

    We've got one of those that really does stink. It's been through two palm rests, and another is on its way.

    Bizarrely we also have one that is absolutely fine.

  9. CABVolunteer

    Reliable benchmarks?

    "We don't test for smell: there's no reliable benchmark for it."

    Since when did the lack of a reliable benchmark stop the IT press from passing judgement?

    1. MrDamage Silver badge

      Re: Reliable benchmarks?

      I propose a new El Reg standard unit of measurement to deal with stench.

      UAWU: Unwashed Amy Winehouse Units

  10. Paul Westerman

    Quick fix


    1. JW 1

      Re: Quick fix

      Surely Ctrl+Shift+P

  11. Arnold Lieberman

    Same problem with a table

    Got a new dining table recently, in a gloss white style. Was convinced that the cat had anointed it to indicate how pissed off he is with all the changes going on but even after washing it with soapy water the smell is still there. Must be something in the paint.

  12. K

    The stink is obviously

    coming from Windows 8...

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I had an Apple iBook (a laptop, not a digital novel) that smelt of pee when it warmed up -- it turned out there was something wrong with the glue they used and I managed to get mine replaced (now they no longer thought I was relieving myself on the thing)..

    1. Pookietoo

      Re: something wrong with the glue

      That seems a likely cause of the problem, there have been other smelly products where glue was found to be the culprit.

  14. Unicornpiss

    Piss software

    Must be all the bundled crapware that Dell thrusts down your throat when you buy a new laptop. Toolbars, ad-supported games, worthless music players, photo apps, annoying launchers that take up most of your desktop, McAfee AV... Finally it's all achieved critical mass and begun to actually stink in the real world.

    Seriously though, I remember about 7 years ago we had a batch of (Hitachi?) laptop hard drives that had a plastic layer that would smell very much like bad B.O. after they'd heated and cooled a few times.

  15. M0les
    Thumb Up

    FWIW 2012 XPS 15 is good to go

    I just gave it a good sniff - Nothing untoward coming out of there.

    I think you need to keep digging with this story! - Get a before/after loaner from DingDong so we can have an independent appraisal of the issue.

  16. MJA

    None affected here.

    We've been using the 6430u since they were released back in Feb and have over 100 of them now. I receive them all and deploy them and have never noticed the cat p**s smell.

    Perhaps it was a dodgy batch? Our new ones feel slightly different to the original ones. They have a slight powdery feel on the case now so I'm assuming their manufacturing process has changed slightly.

    Apart from the fact the screen is a bit pants, they are solid little notebooks. <Sniffs one> - they actually smell quite pleasant although I'd imagine after a few years of use, the textured rubbery case will get worn down and be covered in horrible shiny patches. They scuff very easy too.

  17. earl grey

    we don't test for smell

    Well, that's an obvious invitation to el Reg readers; to come up with an odor scale similar to buses, pools, bulgarian air bags, etc.

    1 cat pee

    2 pole cat

    3 ??

    1. cosymart

      Re: we don't test for smell

      3 Rats arse?

      PS I don't want to draw up the standard values. Sniffer dogs? or him?.......>>>>>>>>

    2. Frankee Llonnygog

      Re: we don't test for smell

      1 cat pee

      2 pole cat

      3 jaguar

      4 panther

      5 tiger

      6 leopard

      7 snow leopard

      8 lion

      9 mountain lion

      10 mavericks

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: we don't test for smell

        Where does "skunk" fit in on the scale?

    3. Nigel 11

      Re: we don't test for smell


      10 Scared skunk

      11 Thioacetone monomer [ ] (A must-read. Would you believe that less smells worse? )

      1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

        Re: we don't test for smell

        Thumbs up for In The Pipeline.

  18. Jabba

    I got one for our CEO ... it has a slight whiff...... (the laptop not the CEO)

    1. Peter Simpson 1

      "I got one for our CEO ... it has a slight whiff...... "

      Strange that every other unit in the shipment didn't smell at all, innit?

  19. smudge

    So it must smell like Sauvignon Blanc?

    What's not to like?

  20. Dave 32




  21. wollo

    tested under the horse pisses of El reg

    "We found that the Dell keyboard had more slash dots than any other vendor....."

  22. Hellcat

    the looks you get...

    ... tracking down and sniffing around a few deployed 6430s only to find they were odour free.

  23. Mitoo Bobsworth

    Well,I guess... gives "Tech Wizz' a whole new meaning.

  24. Christian Berger

    Ultrabook user?

    Still seems like an oxymoron. :)

  25. J 3


    E6430u, eh? So we now know what the "u" in the name stands for...

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