Bad USB-C cables are an ongoing problem that plague the new universal port specification. If a cable is drawing too much power, or is wired poorly, it can fry your laptop instantly, so getting this right is crucial. Unfortunately, the best way right now to tell if a cable is dangerous or not is to see if Google engineer Benson Leung has tested the cable to see if it meets the proper standards for the USB-C spec.
That could change with Satechi’s new USB-C Power Meter, which claims to be able to measure the voltage, current, and current over time that your cables are sending to and from your devices. If it works as promised (and that’s a big if without some third-party verification by someone who knows electrical standards) it could be a useful tool for consumers looking to have a little more peace of mind when it comes to their USB-C devices.
Obviously, the Satechi USB-C Power Meter is also a simple measurement, and still can’t compare to a the detailed breakdowns that Leung — a trained engineer who dives far deeper in his reviews than simple breakdowns of current and voltage — offers in his assessments. That said, if being more informed about the power that’s being supplied in your USB-C cables appeals to you, the Satechi Type-C Power Meter is available from Satechi’s website for $29.99.