A Google engineer by the name of Benson Leung is one of the many proponents of USB Type-C at the Mountain View company, and he’s now doing us the kind service of reviewing dozens of third-party Type-C cables on Amazon. Why? Because some of the cables coming from a variety of manufacturers could be “dangerous,” according to Leung, and are likely less-than-functional…

As USB Type-C devices are getting more and more popular, some reckless cable makers seem to be throwing products out into the market without making sure they’re properly up to spec. This can cause any amount of weird behavior (such as not working on some of Google’s devices, for instance), and could just be plainly dangerous, Leung notes in a very passionate post on Google+.

“I have started reviewing USB cables on Amazon because I have gotten fed up with the early cables from 3rd party vendors,” Leung said (via Android Police). “You may not just get weird behavior from your devices with these bad cables… What some these vendors are doing is downright dangerous.”

Here’s a quick roundup of some of his positive reviews:

Belkin 2.0 USB-C to USB-A Charge Cable:

Belkin’s USB Type-C to USB Type-A Charge and Data cable is excellent. This cable meets the USB Type C Specification, meaning it correctly identifies as “Default USB Power” as per the USB Type C Specification Section 4.11. Other cables (see my reviews) use incorrect CC termination to identify the cable incorrectly to the device it charges. This cable is safe to use with all of your USB Type C devices and legacy Type-A ports.

Type C, iOrange-E™ 6.6 Ft (2M) Braided Cable:

The iOrange-E USB Type-A to Type-C cable has really exceeded my expectations for USB accessories made by 3rd parties (IE, cables not provided by Google, Apple, etc).

The connector quality is very good (the type-c end is not quite as solid as the ones from Google, for example, but it still has good insertion/detatch feel), and the aluminum housing meshes well with both the aluminum body MacBook and Chromebook Pixel. Definitely meant to be aesthetically close to both of those products. The braided cable is a very nice touch too.

And here are some of the not-so positive:

Kupx high speed new micro usb 5 pin female:

This is Benson again, Engineer at Google on the Chromebook Pixel and Pixel C teams.

I bought the Kupx Micro-B receptacle to Type-C plug for testing with Pixel and Nexus devices. I found that this adapter does not correctly charge the Chromebook Pixel and other Type-C devices.

Juiced Systems USB-C (USB Type-C) to USB 3.0 6.6 ft Braided Cable (2M):

I’m a Software Engineer on the Chrome OS team at Google on the Chromebook Pixel and Pixel C teams. I recently purchased this USB 3.0 to Type-C Cable for testing.

I just wanted to follow up with you and let you know that these USB cables do not work properly with the Chromebook Pixel.

It looks like he’s going to keep posting reviews as he gets his hands on more cables, so head over to his Amazon profile to stay in the loop. Also, it’s worth noting that the above snippets are just snippets, and that he goes in-depth on many of these reviews outlining the various problems with each of the poorly-reviewed products. Some of them are fascinating reads if you’re interested in the technicalities of how these cables fall short.


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Stephen Hall

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