Thursday, February 4, 2016

Cheap USB cable destroys Chromebook Pixel

Trying to save a few bucks can quickly destroy thousands, as a Google engineer recently found out while testing USB cables.

Benson Leung is a Google engineer that has been testing USB Type-C cables (he's the one who called out OnePlus for not following the USB standards). Over the course of his tests he has found a few good USB cables, lots of bad ones, and now there's one that topped it all off and could be considered to be electronic terrorism, as it blew his USB test equipment and his Chromebook Pixel.

And once he dissected the cable in question (a Surjtech USB A-to-C cable, which has since been removed from Amazon) he couldn't believe what he found.

Not only there are cables missing (which wouldn't allow USB 3.1 connections at full speed, as stated) and there's a very bad soldering job, the worse part is that the cable is wired the wrong way, causing a short-circuit between the devices you connect it to.

In Portugal we have a saying that goes something like "what's cheap can sometimes become very expensive", and this is one case that confirms it. We all know people that have bought devices costing hundreds or thousands of dollars, and then try to save a few bucks on cables and power supplies... Next time, we better all think if it's really worth the risk over choosing a brand that we can rely upon.

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