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Google’s latest Chromebook update adds a feature that tells you if your USB-C cable has limited functionality, the company announced Friday. USB-C cables can have widely varying capabilities, offering things like different charging and data transfer speeds on a cable-by-cable basis, so this new Chromebook feature seems like it could be a useful tool to help troubleshoot issues.

“Eligible Chromebooks will notify you if the USB-C cable you’re using won’t support displays, or isn’t performing ideally for your laptop,” Google says in a blog post. “You’ll also get a notification if the cable you’re using doesn’t support the high performance USB4 / Thunderbolt 3 standards that your Chromebook does.” The new feature is coming first to Chromebooks with 11th or 12th Gen Intel Core CPUs that support USB4 or Thunderbolt, according to the blog, “with more devices to come.”

Here’s what one of the notifications will look like.
Image: Google

Google is acutely aware of some of the challenges of USB-C cables, with employee Benson Leung making waves with his tests and reviews of USB-C cables, including one that destroyed his Chromebook Pixel. The situation has improved since then, but it can still be hard to know exactly which USB-C cable does what, so this new notification from Google is a welcome addition to its Chromebooks, and unsurprisingly, we have Benson and the rest of the team to thank for that.

The new update also includes a few more features. Google is updating the split-screen magnifier feature so that you can resize the magnified portion of the screen, letting you choose if you want to see more or less of the zoomed-in area. Here’s a GIF from Google showing how that works:


The company is also rolling out its Cursive handwriting app to all Chromebooks that support styluses.

Update May 27th, 3PM ET: Added tweet from Benson Leung.



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