If you have a new MacBook, you have probably bought a USB-C cable. That’s the new connector that only the MacBook – at least for Apple’s products – uses. But Google’s Chromebook Pixel and Pixel C tablet also use this connector, and an engineer who works on these products has been reviewing cables on Amazon.com.
Benson Leung has so far reviewed 14 such cables, and he explains, for the bad ones, that:
This cable does not correctly follow the USB Type C specification Release 1.1. […]
Specifically, using this charging cable, the Chromebook Pixel and other USB Type-C devices will attempt to draw 3A of current over the cable, potentially damaging the USB hub or charger on the A side, which is not guaranteed to be rated at 3A.
He concludes his reviews of the bad cables by saying:
For consumers, I do not recommend buying this cable, as it may cause damage to your charger, hub, or PC USB ports.
Not all cables are bad. For example, a Belkin cable meets the requirements. Leung says:
Belkin’s USB Type-C to USB Type-A Charge and Data cable is excellent. This cable meets the USB Type C Specification, […]
This cable as as good as the ones that Apple and Google provide with and sell on their stores as accessories. The one downside is that the cable is $19.99, which is the same price as the Google one, for example. The advantage of Belkin, though, is that it is not perpetually sold out like the 1st party cables.
Buy this cable if you want a reliable cable that is practically the same as a 1st party cable from Google or Apple.
So if you do plan to buy a USB-C cable, check out these reviews first.