Buying off-brand USB Type-C cables to save money could have disastrous results, as one man learned when a cheap cable ended up destroying his brand-new £800 laptop.
The Type-C connector represents the latest generation of USB technology, and it's beginning to appear on a number of big devices, like Google's recent Nexus phones and their Chromebook Pixel laptop, as well as the new Macbook.
However, a number of cheaper Type-C cables have serious wiring problems that could ruin users' expensive laptops at a moment's notice.
The issue has been brought to attention by Benson Leung, a Google engineer, who has been helping out consumers by testing a number of cheap Type-C cables bought from sellers via Amazon.
Leung claims that one cable, the Surjtech 3M, ended up seriously damaging his Chromebook Pixel laptop and destroying two USB-testing devices.
Writing in an Amazon review, Leung claimed he found that that Surjtech had "completely miswired the cable," by using the wrong resistor and joining the ground connector on one end of the cable to the power connector on the other.
You don't need to know much about electronics to see the danger of faulty products - Leung said the cable had completely stopped both USB ports on his Chromebook from working, and claimed his computer was forced to restart in 'Recovery Mode' due to the damage. The cable has since been removed from Amazon.
A Chromebook Pixel costs around £800, and the new MacBook will run you much more - Leung's tests show that it's worth spending a few pounds extra on a proper cable if you want to avoid buying what is effectively a USB Killer.
The Independent has contacted Amazon for a comment.Reuse content