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If you're a professional repair technician, then you'll likely have one -- or many -- USB power meters in your toolkit. They're a must-have.
But if you're a hobbyist, then you don't really want to be dropping over $100 on an all-singing, all-dancing USB power meter that does it all. For most folks, a power meter that shows the basics is all that's needed.
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And this is what the ChargerLAB Power-Z AK001 offers.
For $30 you get a high-quality five-foot USB-C to USB-C cable capable of carrying 240W of power that comes complete with a built-in power meter with color display. It's perfect for diagnosing problems with chargers and power banks.
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I have a lot of different USB power meters that are jam-packed with features, but the one thing that I love about the Power-Z AK001 is the simplicity. You plug it in, the display lights up, and you get all the vital statistics about the power going across the cable.
There's even a handy arrow on the display that shows the direction in which the power is flowing. This is a great touch because it has caught me out using power meters where I've become confused as to what's charging what -- especially where power banks are concerned.
I also like the simplicity of the inputs.
There's a single button on the back of the display that controls both switching screens (a single press cycles through the power meter screen, protocol detection, a blank screen, and title screen) and rotating the display (this is done by pressing the button for three seconds).
I've tested the accuracy of the power meter against a calibrated meter, and it easily achieves the rated accuracy -- more than accurate enough for these types of measurements.
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It's hard to find fault with the ChargerLAB Power-Z AK001. For $30, it's an amazingly cheap and versatile power meter that doubles day-to-day as a 240W USB-C cable.
If you want a USB-C power meter with more functionality, I recommend the ChargerLAB Power-Z KM003C. It will tell you everything you need to know about what's happening over a USB-C cable.