Notebook Tingle Revisited

Let me be clear on this—your computer should never give you an electric shock. If you ever experience an electric shock from your computer — or even suspect you have — please disconnect your system and contact us or your utility company immediately. 

An electric shock is a far different than a tingling from touch currently associated with a two-wire notebook power adapter. That tingling has recently become the topic of conversation again.

Yesterday, CNET's Crave UK blog reported that some users felt a shock when using the XPS M1530. I posted a response to Slashdot yesterday evening and also submitted a comment before then to the Crave UK blog that has not yet shown on the site. Before posting, I checked with our engineering development teams and verified that this is the same situation I blogged about in April last year. There's a lot of information in that post, but here are the details I want to be clear on about this sensation:

  • It's not harmful to users or to any of the notebook's internal components.
  • This issue is not specific to Dell. A "tingle" sensation may be felt on any notebook computer that uses a 2-wire AC power source under specific environmental conditions.
  • The tingle sensation is different than static electricity. Given the colder, drier environment associated with winter, some people may also experience a static shock when touching things like appliances, lamps, a door knob, or possibly, a notebook computer-it is unrelated.

Take a look at the comment thread in Engadget's post for examples of other non-Dell customers weighing in. If you want to join the discussion about a Dell notebook product, feel free to visit this thread on the Dell Community Forum, or share your comments here.

About the Author: Lionel Menchaca