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Cheap, Untested USB Cords Can Ruin Your Laptop

usb type a

“Take a look at the cable in the picture below. If you find a deal online for a cable that looks anything like this on Amazon, Ebay, or a site like Alibaba, don’t buy it. AVOID IT AT ALL COSTS” – this was the warning posted yesterday night by an engineer on Google’s Pixel team, after a USB cable crashed his Chromebook Pixel 2.

Benson Leung started verifying different USB Type C and Type A  cords on his computer only to ruin it with SurjTech 3M USB 3.1 Type C to Standard Type A. Apparently, the cord was extremely poor made, with some wires joined incorrectly and others, completely missing. While this particular cable was taken off the website after the eye-opening review, there are dozens of USB cables in the world that could fry your computer or smartphone.

In general, avoid any one of them that looks like this:

cheap usb cable

Benson Leung


You should look for Type C to Type C input, the new model, that carefully draws exact amounts of power. A Type C input to Type A is going to fail majestically since it doesn’t regulate power as it should. That’s when your electronics suddenly die – either they’re pulling too much power or too little.

Leung, a brave fellow that I can’t help admiring and feeling sorry for, has listed different variants of cables from the same common manufacturer that you have to watch out for:

* SurjTech

These unlikely enemies now pose a real threat to your gadgets so beware of these culprits one Reddit user featured in a spreadsheet. 

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