USB power meters are an essential tool for professional repair technicians, but they can be costly (and unnecessary) for hobbyists; so that’s when the ChargerLAB Power-Z AK001 becomes an interesting cost-effective solution, created for those who need a basic power meter to diagnose problems with chargers and power banks.

The product is a five-foot USB-C to USB-C cable with a built-in power meter that displays essential information such as voltage, current, power, temperature, current direction, energy, timer, and more on a 0.96-inch color display. It has a power rating of up to 240W and an accuracy of 0.002V and 0.002A. The E-Marker chip ensures that the cable is compliant with USB-C standards.

Image via Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

Image via Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

One of the highlights of the AK001 is its simplicity. Users can plug it in, and the display immediately shows all the vital statistics about the power going across the cable. The display even includes an arrow that shows the direction of the power flow, which is especially helpful for those using power banks. The AK001 also has a single button on the back of the display that controls switching screens and rotating the display. It is accurate enough for most measurements, and its simplicity makes it an excellent option for those who want a straightforward power meter.

For those users who need more functionality, ChargerLAB also offers the Power-Z KM003C for $109.99, which provides more detailed information about what’s happening over a USB-C cable. However, the AK001 is an affordable and versatile power meter that doubles as a 240W USB-C cable. For just $30, it’s hard to find fault with the ChargerLAB Power-Z AK001.

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