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A Google Engineer Is on a USB Cable-Reviewing Spree

Has he lost his damn mind?

by Jordan Pearson
Nov 4 2015, 10:30pm

FRiEQ Hi-speed USB 3.1 Type C Cable. Screengrab: Amazon

Why would anyone in their right mind spend time—any amount of time, really—reviewing USB cables on Amazon? Not as some half-assed jokey one-off, either. I'm talking numerous, dead serious reviews of off-brand charging cables.

If you're Benson Leung, a Google engineer working on the Pixel team, you do it because you care. A lot.

Leung, who ironically goes by "LaughingMan" on Amazon, has left seven very detailed, very technical reviews in the last week of USB cords and adapters using the Type-C standard that charges the new Google tablets, Chromebooks, and phones.

According to a review for the FRieQ Hi-speed USB 3.1 Type-C cable (five stars, currently out of stock), Leung is doing this because he's "reviewing USB cables and adapters for compatibility" with the new Google devices and really doesn't want a crummy cable to fry your shiny new phone.

Screengrab: Amazon

In fact, the majority of USB cords that Leung has reviewed don't comply with the proper Type-C specs and could, Leung warns, "cause damage to your hub, PC, or charger." Basically, in many of these cases, your device may attempt to draw more power from the cable than it can possibly deliver, even though it advertises itself as such.

The last Amazon review Leung made before starting his USB spree was in 2007, when he gave the soundtrack to Valve's Orange Box five stars and called it a "nuanced and varied listen," praising Half Life 2's "pumping industrial rock" and Portal's "wonderfully playful yet sinister" theme.

In other words, this isn't his first time killing the Amazon review game, so you can probably trust his strong opinions on USB cables for your Google device. Also, you know, he works for Google.

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