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Dell: Crazy exploding laptop wasn't our fault

Commentary: After a laptop explodes again and again and again, Dell examines it.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


There wasn't much left of the laptop.

NBC4 screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

It was quite the video.

A Dell Inspiron laptop was charging on a sofa when it burst into flames. Its owner, 18-year-old Devon Johnson of Thousand Oaks, California, tried to douse the flames.

Then he took the laptop outside. It burst into flames again. And again. And again. Luckily, he didn't suffer injury.

Can it be that a Dell computer could do this? On Tuesday, Dell told me that it would examine the laptop.

The company has now done so and offered this statement: "The battery involved was not manufactured by Dell and was not an authentic Dell battery. Dell batteries contain Dell intellectual property that helps ensure safety."

Dell added that it's important for people to understand that "incompatible, counterfeit or third-party batteries" could compromise the safety of its computers and raise the risk of an incident.

Johnson didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

It's always worth ensuring that the accessories you use with your gadgets are legitimate. Manufacturers are becoming even more aggressive about pursuing those who peddle inferior and dangerous products.

Apple, for example, is suing makers of allegedly counterfeit products, a suit partially motivated because of safety concerns.

Amazon has filed two lawsuits against those who allegedly try to hoodwink consumers with knockoffs.