It has been reported that some of the newer Dell laptop systems, especially those with alumium case enclosures, have been giving users a tingling sensation when the unit is touched. This becomes apparent according to some when a device is connected to the unit. In a statement from Dell support they have confirmed that this tingling sensation is normal and make some recommendations on how to avoid it. On their site they state:

A tingling sensation may be noticed when connecting devices to Dell notebook computers or printers and touching exposed metal parts of the devices being connected or the parent device. This tingling sensation can occur any time the AC adapter is connected and the user touches any exposed metal surface on the computer, the printer, the PDA, etc. This may lead to the conclusion that the device is unsafe. The electric current on all Dell products have been measured and proven to be well within the safety limits per safety standards – IEC950, EN60950, UL1950, etc., even with an input voltage of 240 Volts. The voltage (tingling sensation) does NOT present any risk of injury to the user. It is recommended to unplug the AC adapter from the parent device before attaching any cables or accessories, as this reduces the possibility of experiencing the tingling sensation.

All electrical devices, including notebooks, printers, PDAs, etc., powered by AC Adapters with a two-pronged power cord (without a ground wire) may exhibit an electrical potential (voltage) between the exposed metal parts of the device and earth ground. The human body can be thought of as a wire which can conduct electric current. Depending on the conditions of a person’s skin — oily, dry, etc., and the surrounding environment (humidity level, flooring or desk material) — the body can be more or less conductive. If conditions are right for the human body to be less conductive, such as having dry hands or wearing rubber soled shoes on a carpeted floor, the probability of sensing the tingling (electric current) is reduced. If conditions are right for the human body to be more conductive, such as having wet hands or standing barefoot on a concrete floor, the probability of sensing the tingling (electric current) increases.

So there you have it. No need to worry.

But what do you think? Should users worry about these devices?

Comments welcome.

Dell site is here.

[tags] dell, tingle, computers, parts, metal, recommendations, ac adapter, 2 prong, ground, [/tags]