Nvidia recalls all Shield tablets due to battery fire fears

31 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Nvidia Is Recalling Shield Tablets Because the Batteries May Catch Fire.

Nvidia is one of a handful of companies that is trying to make a play for the gaming system space, but a defect in one of its marquee consumer products could damage its reputation before it truly gets started.

The firm has announced that some of the Shield hardware, which it launched to the UK market last year, came with an extra and unwanted feature: a battery with the possibility of extreme overheating.Nvidia Corp. has recalled about 88,000 of its Shield tablets sold in the U.S. and Canada because the lithium-ion battery can overheat and become a fire hazard.The tablets in question were purchased between July 2014 and July 2015, and Nvidia has published a dedicated page for owners to find out if they’re tablets are subject to the recall. The firm is quite open about the recall that is not a recall and is, as we understand it, shutting off suspect machines using the Android remote control feature.

The tablet is part of a three-product line that includes a dedicated handheld controller with an attached screen as well as its recently released $200 Android TV box, which is also simply called Shield. Because by coating the speakers entirely in a white or black matte finish (grill included), Sonos has vastly changed the look and feel of its Play:1 into a neutral, sculptural object that can fit into almost any interior space—a smart marketing strategy for Sonos, whose mission is to install a speaker in every room, whether it be furnished in midcentury modern or American colonial. All of these products are centered around Nvidia’s growing cloud service that streams games over the Internet similar to the way Netflix works with video. But gamers are already skeptical of streaming and the cloud due to concerns about bandwidth and latency, and — while unrelated — this battery problem will only give customers another reason to avoid using Nvidia products. Nvidia has provided a website address to visit and the suggestion that people stop using the tablet as soon as they have finished using it to register for the recall. “Nvidia is also asking consumers to stop using the recalled tablet, except as needed to participate in the recall and back up data,” the firm said. “Consumers will receive a replacement tablet after registering to participate in the recall.” Our tablet is deemed fit for execution, and a replacement has been requested.

Dipped in all-white or -black, the Play:1’s grill look more like a textile than metal, and the soft-touch coating feels like a matte glaze on porcelain. “It’s a little less consumer electronic,” says Tad Toulis, Sonos’ VP of product development. “It begins to feel a little more like a vase or a piece of ceramica.” In keeping with the design’s lower profile, even the logo has been toned down to be, according to Toulis, “subtle enough that it can be seen but not so subtle that’s invisible.” As with any Play:1, the limited editions have two custom drivers with dedicated amplifiers, but you’ll pay a slight premium for the new design—$250. Gizmodo’s own Eric Limer said “it should probably be your next Android tablet no matter how much button-mashing you do.” Still, the review noted that the tablet’s battery drained surprisingly quickly—and a cursory Twitter search shows that consumers had plenty of problems with battery drain and heat: Inside a normal lithium ion there are several cells—each containing an anode and cathode, with a liquid electrolyte between them. Nvidia advised users to back up their content before going too far on stepping away from their devices, and said that it is working with the relevant agencies and acting in the correct manner as far as industry guidance goes. µ You can spend a couple hundred dollars on a Shield product, but — at this point — why would you take that risk (even if it is only a perceived risk) when you could get an Xbox One or PlayStation 4 for just a little bit more or a gaming PC with Windows 10 or Steam Machine for a little bit more than that.

This is a problem that affects a huge portion of lithium batteries, from the compact batteries in tiny smartphones to the massive units that power the electrical systems in the Boeing Dreamliner. Update: We’ve updated our post and reached out to Nvidia to clarify if all tablets are involved or just a specific subset, and we’ll update when we hear back.

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