By - 27,859 Followers - 181 Posts - Public


Benson Leung

Shared publicly  - 
Review inbound. Aukey 5000mAh power bank and bundled cables and adapters.

It's not looking good for Aukey so far... Expect a more detailed analysis of what they did wrong.

#USBC   #USB   #TypeC  
Benson Leung's profile photoKeith I Myers's profile photo
+Benson Leung yeh... I can imagine someone getting their hands on 2 of those (+ a C to C cable) and making an A to A cable. It may fry some electronics if not cause a fire. 
Add a comment...

Benson Leung

Shared publicly  - 
A quick update about the issue that +Nathan K. brought to light regarding one of +Anker's high end Type-C to Type-C cables.

See here for background:

It looks like Anker has issued a product recall for this cable (A8185011) from Amazon.

Here's the email I got :
We've heard that some units of our Anker PowerLine USB-C A8185011 may present slight technical issues, which could prevent the cable from performing at its full capacity or even cause damage to devices when used. Therefore, to ensure that all of our customers are getting only the best quality products from Anker, we have decided to recall all units of our Anker PowerLine USB-C A8185011 immediately.

We are offering all of our PowerLine USB-C A8185011 users a full refund. In addition, we would like to offer a free Anker PowerLine USB-C cable to affected customers once we have improved Anker PowerLine USB-C A8185011.

Please reply to this email with your choice and we'll process it as soon as possible. We will contact you regarding a free unit once the model has been released.

As we do not need to get the cable returned, please dispose of it accordingly and do not continue using it.

We want to assure you that we've taken all necessary measures to prevent this from happening again. We appreciate your preference and apologize for any inconveniences this has caused you.

Check your inboxes if you purchased one of these cables.

Ermes Mossenta's profile photoBenson Leung's profile photo
+Ermes Mossenta Yes, if you get a 5A cable, and you use it with your Nexus 6P, it can support up to 5V 3A.

If you use it with your Pixel, it can support up to 5V 3A or 9V 2A depending on which charger you use.

5A cable just means the cable supports the stricter 5A level. It should still work well at 3A.

5A is only really necessary for applications that require > 60W. In particular, bigger laptops such as the MacBook Pro 15" require 5A cables to hit their max power over the cable.
Add a comment...

Benson Leung

Shared publicly  - 
+AUKEY Official provided me a PA-Y6 multiport Type-C and QC charger for evaluation, and I lent it to +Nathan K. to do his detailed analysis. What he found was not promising.

The charger has a laundry list of bad behaviors.
1. QC + Type-C, violates 4.8.2
2. Vbus hot
3. CC pins tied together.
4. Really poor efficiency when idle.

Don't buy it. Aukey, you need to fix this product... It could massively misbehave when used with certain classes of totally allowed cables, specifically e-marked cables.

My eighth #USB #TypeC analysis is a charger on loan from Benson, and highly noncompliant: the AUKEY 60W with QC 3.0. [Model PA-Y6]
tl;dr: Illegal many times over. Vbus HOT. Bridged CCs. Burns energy at idle. I got this for free -- and I want my money back!!

[PDF of Compliance Checklist for AUKEY PA-Y6]

This is my second review, first failure, in the new format: less data, more to the point. This charger is 110% illegal. There's no way I'd recommend this (And I'm not just talking about the QC-on-USB-C part.)

I actually had to create a stamp to show the individual errors they did. (And highlight exactly what +AUKEY Official needs to do so they can potentially fix it.) In order of severity:

* First and most deadly, this charger is Vbus HOT. That means it cranks out amps with no regard for what's down the line. See the photo. I'm drawing 6 amps of current without ANY notice that a device is connected. If the receptacle gets shorted out, or you plug an A-to-C cable into it, kiss your motherboard goodbye.
[ USB-based Chargers with USB Type-C Captive Cables]

* Second, AUKEY bridged the CC pins. With Vbus HOT the CC pins were already not useful, only used to signal 3A current with a pullup. But AUKEY also bridged them internally. This means ANY active or eMarked cable (read: good ones, USB3.1Gen2, Thunderbolt 3) will cause major problems!
[ Detecting a Valid Source-to-Sink Connection]

For example, Benson's Pixel Chromebook interprets the cascade of electrical failures that occurs with eMarked cable+bridged CC pins as a "device being plugged in". So the Pixel starts trying to deliver current out. Combine this with a Vbus HOT charger fighting it backwards with 6A over Type-C, and you might just fry your laptop!

See my post here explaining why Vbus HOT is so darn dangerous (using Thevenin Equivalent Circuits):

* Third, it has QC on USB-C connectors. This is illegal because the only way you should change voltage on Type-C is over USB-PD. So it was an automatic fail -- but the rest was icing on top.
[4.8.2 Non-USB Charging Methods]

* Finally, even with a 60W charger with QC circuitry, AUKEY somehow messed up sleep settings in the microcontroller so it draws around .5W at idle. That may not seem like much, but given that whole "Energy Star" thing, and the fact the vast majority of other chargers nowadays consume 0 watts at idle, this is again indicative of major design oversights. (Also, 80% efficiency when most other chargers get 90%+.)

Data is attached as a PDF this time. Look if you want to see some pretty red ink.

Avoid this charger at all costs. It gets a rating of 1 star for the combination of failures. The only thing it has going for it is the internal circuitry seems capable of 6A output (at least), so with a MAJOR redesign to be compliant it might be fixable.

BONUS: This is the EXACT combination of failures that can cause the situation described here: plug in a LeEco or Moto Z with a USB-C headphone jack, and use an active cable, and you're driving straight into bat country.

13 comments on original post
Eric Cocozza's profile photoNathan K.'s profile photo
+Eric Cocozza Benson's Amazon review history, BMcClure's spreadsheet of A-to-C cables, and my own spreadsheet of "suggested" peripherals for the Google Pixel are all good resources.

I've linked my spreadsheet below:
Add a comment...

Benson Leung

Shared publicly  - 
+Nathan K.​ has done another charger review. This one checks off more boxes for good Type-C behavior but it's a tad bulky and only supplies 2.4A shared out of the other two ports.

Nice work with the analysis Nathan!

My fourth (and possibly final) #USB #TypeC analysis finally found a "decent" charger: Monoprice Obsidian Series 3-Port USB Wall Charger with USB-C.
tl;dr: Safe USB-C 3A charger. Well engineered. However, both Type-A ports SHARE 2.4A.

(Please see this post for what has had chilling effects on my testing for USB-C compliance and safety:)

I finally found a charger that has proper USB-C detection and current supply. I was able to charge my N6P at a full 3A. I was even able to pull the full 27W it is rated for at 80% efficiency. That's pretty good!

One weird note, unfortunately. This charger appears to be a USB-C 3A charger and USB-A 2.4A charger (with two outlets) smushed into a single housing. If you are charging two Apple devices, they will charge at half speed if at all. Thankfully, I only needed a USB-C charger with "a" USB-A backup port, so I can simply use this to charge one USB-C device and one USB-A.

Another interesting thing about this charger I'd like to mention is rather silly: its size. This thing is beefy. Some of that space might be being used for thermal dissipation or proper circuit designs. The 80% efficiency lends support to that supposition.

If you ever see a charger that claims more wattage than a first-party charger, but it is smaller, and cheaper, RUN AWAY! They usually don't support either (a) the thermal design characteristics or (b) they use simplified, cheaper, smaller power circuits. Those types of designs lack safety, and when they overload they can take out your device.

However, larger doesn't necessarily mean better! (There is a minimum size for a certain safe circuit, but no maximum.)

 Do you remember back when people weighed PSUs to guess the quality/quantity of electrical components, and in turn to determine PSU quality? Let's hope USB-C charger manufacturers don't start putting lead weights in them, or making them big like 80's insertable shoulderpads.

.... wait, too late. Darnit.
Anyone want to review that crazy thing for me? I'll get my hammer pants.

12 comments on original post
Shan Dissanayake's profile photoNathan K.'s profile photo
+Shan Dissanayake​​ I'm afraid not. I would like to focus on the good, consistent brands as opposed to the "value" ones.

If a good brand has an issue, they'll try to fix it. (Like +Tron Smart​​ . They made a mistake with their chargers, but are trying to correct it.) Shady brands will just change the silk-screening on the charger, move on, and keep selling it. So reviewing them is like playing whack a mole, meaningless.
Add a comment...

Benson Leung

Shared publicly  - 
Updated #USB   #TypeC  legacy cable review! I'd previously identified Singbel's USB Type-A to Type-C cable to be defective. They contacted me and worked with me to fix the problem. Let's see how they did.
tl;dr: Good cable. Much improved. Good Superspeed.

Thanks to Singbel for following my advice and using the right resistor this time!

Benson Leung's profile photoTony Muka's profile photo
Thanks +Benson Leung You are amazingly helpful! I'm very excited to see these standards being adopted!
Add a comment...

Benson Leung

Shared publicly  - 
+Nathan K. posted this review of a +RAVPower power supply. It's not good... this charger is a very real risk of damage, and NO ONE should buy this.

In fact, this is the 2nd RAVPower wall charger that Nathan and I have discovered that exhibit this serious fault.

I've contacted RAVPower and am persuading them to recall this product.

30th #USB #TypeC analysis: the +RAVPower 36W [Model RP-PC017B].
tl;dr: DANGER. PELIGRO. DO NOT USE THIS CHARGER. Especially not with a MacBook Pro 2016, or other high power devices.

[PDF of Compliance Checklist for RavPower RP-PC017B]

[Video appendix showing failure in action]

This unit was provided to me by +Benson Leung after he noted serious issues with it, and nearly damaged his Lenovo.

This charger is dangerous. This 30w charger misrepresents its capabilities as 45w electronically over USB-PD. On the side of the charger (and tech sheets) it claims to support: 5v/3a 9v/2a 15v/2a 20v/1.5a. However, when probed electronically with the Twnkie power-delivery sniffer, it reports 5v/3a 9v/3a 15v/3a (20v/2.25a "Split PDO"/missing). This overstates its capacity by 50%.

This is terrible because if any high-power USB-C device actually takes up the RavPower on its offer -- such as a Macbook Pro 2016, Google Pixel Chromebook, Dell laptop, or Surface Book 2/Pro 5 -- it will overload the internal circuitry of the charger causing it to "thermally fail" (to put it mildly) as well as sag voltage at high current to unsafe levels outside of USB-PD specifications. This brownout behavior can damage or destroy connected devices.

This could also be interpreted as having "improper or no overcurrent protection". Please see the Energy Graphs attached for the 5v, 9v, and 15v rails. This is concrete proof. Observe how the Watt_loss (orange line) increases exponentially and shoots up like a rocket when the charger is loaded. This means the charger is being operated past its design capacity (due to the faulty advertisements), and energy is being burned off internally as heat.

Essentially, the charger is being turned into a 10-15W soldering iron. Please see this video on YouTube I made of a test run [of the 15v rail!] that went awry: in the end, I actually "broke" the charger because the overcurrent did not function.

Oddly, only the 5v level has proper "shutoff" overcurrent protection -- like the Apple 29W charger. I can only assume RavPower made a fundamental design error on the 9v/15v/(20v) rails that broke overcurrent protection at higher levels.

+RAVPower needs to SERIOUSLY consider pulling these from shelves. This is the worst kind of failure in my opinion: a Silent one. Users have no way of knowing of this design failure since, on paper, this charger looks fine. If it weren't for the lack of overvoltage protection and the USB-PD errors (Split PDO, levels) it might actually be.

This charger is still available for sale on Amazon despite Benson and my prior warnings. In fact, it is even on "fire sale"! :(

Worse still, it has a 4.75* star rating! It's a verifiable bad product that people are leaving "perfect' reviews for. This couldn't be farther from the truth. (Screenshot attached in case Amazon pulls it.)

Please, please, please do not use this charger. If you have purchased it, please exchange it for a refund or properly recycle it. Use a safe charger with proper overcurrent and technical specifications. Even if you may not "use it" at he higher levels, it is still defective and should not be used. You may know about the "one weird trick" that causes it to "Halt and Catch Fire" -- other people in your household may not.

Please don't risk your $2500 Macbook Pro 2016 on a $16 charger. :(


Important note about data:
Due to the severity of my claim, I want to point out I'm not even loading the 12W USB-A port in these tests. The data could have been much worse, if anything. I ran tests in a way that would favor the charger as much as possible.
(JUCX01 5a cord [lowest IR drop I possess], slaving primary load tester to capacity, tested rails with least conversion inefficiency [5,9,15, no 20].)
15 comments on original post
Nathan K.'s profile photoJavier del Olmo's profile photo
+Benson Leung +Nathan K. Thanks a lot for the analysis of the RAVPower charger. I have that charger ( ) for the Xiaomi Air 13.3 laptop, till now it worked well (it fits the specs) but after reading your post I stopped using it for now... Could you recommend another charger for this laptop? Or maybe a way to resolve the RAVPower problem i.e. using a current limitator? Thanks in advance - Cargador Tipo C y USB 36W RAVPower Cargador USB C, Cargador Type C y USB para LG G5, Huawei P9/Nexus/Matebook, HTC M10, ZUK Z1, Xiaomi 4C, New Macbook 12 y más-Blanco: Electrónica
Add a comment...

Benson Leung

Shared publicly  - 
I've done a #USB   #TypeC  charger review. Tenswall's PD Charger :
tl;dr: Bad charger. Incorrect Source Capability message means many laptops will draw more power than the charger can supply.

Don't buy this if you have any other USB Type-C laptop other than MacBook. Even if you have a MacBook, you should avoid this because the next laptop or tablet you own (from Apple or whoever else) may also get tripped up by this charger's design flaw.

I've already contacted the manufacturer, Tenswall, and they confirmed they only tested their product with a single laptop, the MacBook. That is extremely disappointing, and clearly not the intent of the 'Universal' Serial Bus.

Ketan Jivrajani's profile photo
L shaped? 
Add a comment...

Benson Leung

Shared publicly  - 
UPDATE: Anker has issued a product recall. All affected customers on Amazon should have received an email with instructions :

+Nathan K. has published a new warning video. If you have purchased this cable from +Anker (, model A8185011) be warned...

Stop using the cable immediately, especially if your household has Type-C laptops like Chromebooks with 15V or 20V power supplies as well as 5V only ones like Nexus phones.

The cable is not just theoretically dangerous. I have independently verified this myself.

If you have one of these more advanced power supplies to charge your laptop that supports 5V 9V 15V and 20V : and then do the following steps, you will seriously risk your device safety.

1. Plug in your Anker cable to the 5V 9V 15V 20V Anker charger.
2. Plug the cable into Chromebook Pixel 2015
3. Pixel starts charging at 15V or 20V.
4. Unplug the cable from Pixel, but leave it plugged into the charger
5. Plug it into some other device, like Nexus 5X...

After steps 4 and 5, the cable still has Vbus hot at 15V or 20V, where it's supposed to be at 0V.

Anything you plug it into after that point may blow up.

Be warned. Anker, listen up. This is product recall time.
This is a fast-publish. Do not buy any +Anker #USB #TypeC   Powerline 3.1Gen2 cables from There are major errors with many of them as independently verified by +Benson Leung. I originally described this failure in my Plus post below. Linked is a video showing how you can use it to DESTROY your device.

Anker has only partially responded to inquiries for clarification. Please get a properly USB-IF certified cable instead, such as the J5Create JUCX01 (5a/100w version ONLY) or Scosche Strikeline CC3G23 (5a/100w "clear plastic wrap" version ONLY) or Plugable/Belkin USB-IF certified 3a/60w cables (slower).

Cease using the Anker cable immediately if you did purchase it! Anker needs to address this and very seriously needs to consider issuing a recall for this product.

(BAD) Anker Powerline 3.1Gen2 cable analysis:

(GOOD) j5create JUCX01 cable analysis:
(get the USB-IF certified JUCX01 -- NOT JUCX03)

(IFFY) Scosche CC3G23 cable analysis:
(get the version in plastic wrap --  NOT twist ties)

22 comments on original post
Lorenzo Lolo's profile photo
As you can see above, the charger port was burned by the USB cord. In this picture right here, you can see the USB side of the cord was not burned.
Add a comment...

Benson Leung

Shared publicly  - 
A few people have asked me how +Monoprice's new Palette Series holds up. If you recall, I reviewed two of Monoprice's other cables and found them to be good.

I'm preparing my reviews, but the sneak preview is that Monoprice's cables are not flawless, and some of the adapters on this list are flat out banned by the spec, yet Monoprice produced them anyway (see if you can guess which one).

Should have something ready to post in a few days.

Ariel Bianca Moreno's profile photoSean Graham (Telek)'s profile photo
+Nathan K. I'd be happy to chip in, however since +Benson Leung was doing reviews already (he teased in this post that they were complete but just needed to be formatted) perhaps you could borrow them from him? If not I'll gladly donate some to you for review :)

I'm curious because in the past, out of most reasonable options, Monoprice cables seem to be the cheapest serviceable cables.
Add a comment...

Benson Leung

Shared publicly  - 
+Nathan K. has done a great job doing some analysis of a +Tronsmart USB Type-C charger. What he found was not promising.

This charger is out of spec, according to Nathan. Don't buy it.

My second #USB   #TypeC analysis is a product I had high hopes for, that were dashed: the Tronsmart 33W Dual USB Wall Charger with Quick Charge 3.0 [Model W2PTU].
tl;dr: Bad charger. Vbus hot, single Rp bridged CC. Do not buy.
(Reposted due to album error.)

Note: I lack advanced LCR equipment or QC 3.0 devices compared to professionals, so I can only examine the basics of this adapter. However as evidenced in the above Amazon review, this shows examples of "bad behavior".

This charger is the third iteration by Tronsmart. Previous models place QC 3.0 on the USB-C port, which is a violation of USB-C specs. Other models supply 2.4A, when the standards call for 1.5A or 3.0A. (2.4A would only be possible through Apple-esque D+/D- manipulation in addition to a 1.5A CC Rp resistor... legal, but silly.)

I had hoped this was the One Charger To Rule Them All (N6P/N5X) and In the Darkness Bind Them (G5/HTC10, at least via a "legal" A-to-C cable.) 2 out of 3 isn't bad, right? Charger legal, Cable legal, Phone... not so much. Sadly, this is not the "Goldilocks" charger you are looking for.

17 comments on original post
Nathan K.'s profile photoTanner Suttie's profile photo
+Nathan K. Nice :) Well I will keep an eye on your G+ profile for your findings
Add a comment...