The good folk at ChubbyCable have sent me a trio of gorgeous USB-C cables to review.
If, like me, your work colleagues always "borrow" your cables never to be seen again - these are a godsend. They're available in a range of colours - you can even design your own. You'll never have to say "where's my boring black cable? Janice? Do you still have it?" No, you'll see the dayglow colours from miles off!
So, let's put them to the test.
They feel great in the hand. They're weighty and solid. The silicone texture feels smooth, and the woven cable has a pleasing texture to it.
The heads of the cable have decent sized grips which make them each to grasp and manipulate.
They come with a fake-leather clasp. Wrap the cable round your hand, wrap the clasp over, boom - secured. No more cable tangle.
One of them has a Smart Light which cycles through a rainbow of colours while your device is charging. I'm not sure that it is particularly "smart" but it does look nice.
I shoved one in my laptop and another in my ridiculous USB-C hub and my laptop started charging using Power Delivery.
All my gadgets were instantly connected.
These cables don't support HDMI over USB-C. So no matter what hub you attach, you can't get video out over them.
I ran a speed test via the USB-C hub's Ethernet - and these cables got up to 330Mbps. Which is pretty good. But when using a better cable, I was able to max out my broadband at 540Mbps.
Now, to be fair, ChubbyCable do say that they're only designed for 480Mbps - so they're not doing anything wrong. You just need to be aware that USB-C features are hellishly complicated!
I think these are USB-C 3.1 cables. Here's how I made that determination.
Linux lets you see the version of USB your computer is using for each device by running:
sudo lsusb -vvv |grep -i -B5 bcdUSB
With my regular USB-C lead, my hub showed up as
bcdUSB 3.20. But with the ChubbyCable, the hub was
They are gorgeous.
The worked in every device I had. Whether it was an Android phone, Windows laptop, printer, Nintendo Switch, or just charging my headphones - power flowed without an issue. Transfer speeds were also fine. The cables didn't get torn or scuffed in daily use. The tying mechanism held fast, and the grips on the ends were useful. The flashy light on the black cable is fine - if you like that sort of thing.
If all you want is data and power, they're perfect. If you need faster speeds and video, you'll need a 3.2 compatible cable from somewhere else.
If you like the look of these cables - or any of the other weird gadgets sold by ChubbyCable - you can get 10% off their products using the discount code