Acer, the world’s No. 2 maker of personal computers, initiated voluntary safety recall of its Acer Aspire Timeline thin notebooks that are based on Intel Corp.’s consumer ultra low-voltage (CULV) platform. Apparently, the company’s ultra-thin laptops may overheat in certain conditions.
The affected units are Acer Aspire Timeline models AS3410, AS3810T, AS3810TG, AS3810TZ and AS3810TZG manufactured prior to September 15, 2009. In the affected units the microphone cable may overheat when extreme pressure is applied repeatedly to the left palm rest. As a result, the unit’s case may become deformed and the system may malfunction.
“Acer has voluntarily instituted a safety recall program to proactively replace the microphone cable in the affected units to eliminate any risk of overheating,” an official statement by the company reads.
End-users who wish to check whether their units are affected and need to be serviced should visit a special page at Acer’s customer care web-site.
Earlier this year an analyst warned that the first generation of ultra-thin laptops for consumers may appear to be rather experimental. Traditionally ultra low-voltage platforms have been used for ultra-portable notebooks aimed at business users who need long battery life amid sufficient performance and functionality. Many of such ultra-portable computers are state-of-the-art pieces of engineering and employ the latest technologies to provide excellent reliability, stability, battery life, security and other qualities that have tremendous value for those on the road.
Ultra-thin notebooks aimed at consumers is a completely new trend and many manufacturers still have not figured the exact demands of average users when it comes to ultra-portables. Nevertheless, one thing is clear: since consumer-oriented platforms have to be affordable, system makers are not implementing their state-of-the-art technologies, such as active hard disk drive protection, powerful yet light batteries and, most importantly, high-quality materials and robust engineering to keep the costs down.
All-in-all, this is hardly surprising that Acer has found problems with some of its Timeline notebooks. It is very important, though, that Acer voluntarily notified its customers about the problems (without waiting till the story hits the press) and offered its service.