Google engineer takes on faulty USB-C cables on Amazon

A Google engineer showed that several USB-C cables on sale at Amazon failed to meet the standard specifications. Benson Leung started to post reviews on Amazon at the end of October, on cables that malfunctioned to the point of damaging the devices connected to them.

Benson Leung & USB-C

After working on several projects that included USB-C connectivity, Benson became fond of the technology and its capabilities. USB-C can carry more power to the point of being able to charge a laptop, not just a smartphone. The high speed of data transfers allows the elimination of other ports like HDMI. Last but not least, the standard allows for reversible plug-in eliminating the frustrating experience of hitting the right side of the older USB models.

Photo source: The Meta Picture.

New cables, defective cables

The great new capabilities of USB-C connectors are all for naught when you connect them with subpar cables. So Benson applied himself to test the cables found on the market and discovered that some failed to work and even endangered the devices connected to them. In order for his service to be of public use, he posted his results as reviews on Amazon.

The results painted a bleak picture. Out of 18 reviews posted at the time this article was written, only 4 products got full 5 stars reviews. The other 14 got only 2 stars because they failed to deliver anything that amounts to decent performance. One of the most common problems was the inability to charge devices. One of my biggest frustrations is to be unable to charge my dying smartphone battery because of a faulty charger or cable. I can therefore imagine the pain of getting such an experience from a brand new cable.

Where do you find the USB-C connector?

USB-C has been created through the collaboration of several companies in a project that was first recorded publicly in 2012. Nevertheless Apple is the company that launched the standard decisively on the market, launching this year a Macbook that had only one connector on it - a USB-C. Several months later, USB-C products mushroomed in the market, marking one of the fastest adoption rates for new technologies.

Although there is still some debate on the compatibility with Thunderbolt and with Apple’s hold of the standard (other manufacturers are known to avoid adopting Apple standards), USB-C is here to stay. When we get to buy a USB-C cable, we hope to benefit from improved products due to Benson Leung’s work. When purchasing USB-C cables, it is worthwhile to check out the reviews though as the label may be misleading about what you get in the package.

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