Nvidia recalls 88,000 Shield tablets over possible fire hazard

The 8-inch Shield tablets sold between July 2014 and July 2015 are at risk of overheating, the company says.

Don Reisinger
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Don Reisinger
2 min read

A look at what you'll find in the Status page if your Nvidia Shield is affected by the recall. Nvidia

If you have an Nvidia Shield tablet and it feels a little warm, you may want to turn it off and request a replacement.

Nvidia on Friday announced that 8-inch Shield tablets sold between July 2014 and July 2015 have a battery that is susceptible to overheating and could pose a fire hazard. The company said that no other Shield products, including the Shield Android TV set-top box and the Shield gaming portable, are part of the voluntary recall.

The US recall affects 83,000 Shield tablets sold in the States, according to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission. Another 5,000 recalled tablets were sold in Canada.

The company has received four reports of batteries overheating in the U.S. due to thermal runaway, including two reports of damage to flooring, a spokesman said. Thermal runaway is essentially when a temperature increase leads to a further temperature increase, often resulting in destruction. As such, Nvidia has cautioned owners to stop using the recalled slate, back up data, and use an online form to submit it for replacement.That form is available here.

To know whether a tablet owner is affected by the recall, Nvidia Shield owners should go to their Settings pane, click About tablet, and then choose Status. That field will show the codename for the battery. Those with B01 are not affected by the recall. Customers who own devices with Y01 are affected.

Nvidia, which is best known for its line of graphics processors that power graphical content on computers, pitches the Shield tablet as a slate built for gamers. The device comes in two configuration -- a 16GB, Wi-Fi-only model and a 32GB Wi-Fi-and-LTE version. The 16GB option costs $299, while the 32GB version goes for $399.

The Shield tablet doesn't have sizable market share in a space dominated by the likes of Apple's iPad and Samsung's tablets. But Nvidia sees the device more as a niche gamer-focused product and has boosted its internal components to improve on-device gaming. In addition, unlike most tablets, the device supports Nvidia's game controller, giving users a console-like feel when playing titles on the device.

Nvidia is not the only company to fall prey to overheating batteries. Others, ranging from Samsung to Dell to Sony, have all dealt with similar problems with the batteries built into their own devices.

Update, 8:45 a.m. PT: Added number of tablets affected.