USB Type-C cable blows up a Google engineer’s computer


I was looking forward to USB Type-C becoming the standard since it’s reversible, but now I am not too sure. A Google engineer has been testing USB Type-C cables from Amazon to determine which ones were safe and which weren’t, but now is forced to stop as one of them destroyed his computer.

The computer Benson Leung was using at the time was a Chromebook Pixel, which costs around $1,500, when all of the sudden one of the USB cables he was testing was bad and destroyed itself. Unfortunately, also destroying his computer.

However, he was testing potentially dangerous USB Type-C cables, which he knew could be dangerous. Most of the cheap cables he tested were not the best, but this one was by far the worst. He has said that he won’t be able to test many others as his testing computer has been destroyed.

This doesn’t mean you should fear USB Type-C cables, however. Only the cheap ones from manufactures who refuse to follow the USB Type-C standards are dangerous. The horrible part is cable manufactures don’t really have to follow the standard if they don’t want to and won’t have to pay to repair your device if something does go wrong.

It will be much slower now, but if you are interested in following Leung and his journey to find the best and worst USB Type-C cables, you can follow along on Amazon.

Source: Benson Leung (Google+)

About the Author: Brent D'Alessandro

Brent is a graphic designer based in Toronto. Recently, he moved into designing more with Android. You may have seen some of Brent's themes in the popular Android launcher, "Themer." He has also made themes for Samsung's theme store. Aside from using Android devices all day, Brent spends a lot of his free time talking about Android on various forums. Brent was already writing about Android on the internet and figured it was finally time to make the move to a professional writer. When not writing with Talk Android, you can find him on

  • ZBlade

    FYI, this does not just apply to USB type C as well. I have been a IT Tech for over 15 years and in my career, I have seen 4 computer motherboards literally fried by simply plugging in a cheap/faulty USB cable.

    • Faslane

      Absolutely possible. I’ve fried a motherboard and power supply when I plugged in a USB-Sata adapter to mount an old hard drive and the adapter had a bad USB end.

    • Brent

      I have heard reports of that before, but I think it’s extremely rare. I have never known anyone in real life that it has happened to. However, I am always worried it will happen to me as I usually buy cheap cables.

  • niav

    The cable is reversible, not reservable.

  • Bardo

    “The horrible part is cable manufactures don’t really have to follow the standard if they don’t want to.”
    So is there any way for consumers to tell if a product complies with the standard?