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Dell laptop buyers make a stink over cat smell

NEW YORK — A noxious feline odor has some Dell customers caterwauling.

People who own Dell Latitude 6430u laptops are complaining that their pricey new computers emit a smell similar to cat urine’s. Some said on online customer forums that the odor seems to come from the keyboard or palm rest.

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Dell advised buyers to try cleaning keyboards with a soft cloth or compressed air, but the smell persisted.

Dell said Thursday that the smell is related to a manufacturing process that has been fixed. It recommends contacting the company’s technical support team to have a laptop’s palm rest assembly replaced.

A spokesman said the odor is not related to ‘‘biological contamination’’ and does not present a health hazard.

The laptops in question are ultrabooks for business use. The base model starts at $900 on Dell’s website, but Dell charges close to $1,300 for higher-end versions.

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