Fortunately, if you’ve ever needed to test the voltage on your USB-C devices, there is a tool for you. There are quite a few USB-C voltage meters on the market, including one from one of my favourite computer accessory companies: Plugable.
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
Our Plugable USB-C Voltage and Amperage Meter review looks at a compact bidirectional USB-C meter with power pass-through, a screen orientation button, and an OLED screen. Read on for our full review!
The Plugable USB-C Voltage and Amperage Meter we reviewed has the following features and specifications:
- Meter is bidirectional and can be connected in any direction
- Supports 4-20V, 50mA-10A operating range
- Supports all USB data (1.1 through 3.1 Gen 2)
- Bright and easy to read OLED screen
- Strenghtened USB-C connectors
- Screen orientation button rotates screen 180 degrees
- Transient voltage suppression prevents inrush current spikes
- Port: USB-C 3.2 Gen2 (10Gbps)
- Input Voltage: 4-20V
- Current Measurement: 50mA-10A)
- Amperage: 5000mA
- Wattage: 100W
- 2-year limited parts and labor warranty
- Dimensions: 2.5 x 0.875 x 0.375″
- Weight: 0.704 ounces
What’s in the box
- Plugable USB-C Voltage and Amperage Meter (USBC-VAMETER)
As far as USB-C voltage and amperage meters are concerned, the design is pretty standard. The meter from Plugable is about 2 1/2″ in length, 7/8″ in width, and about 3/8″ thick. On one end is a male USB-C plug, while the other has a female USB-C receptacle. The casing is black plastic, but it feels pretty sturdy. Still, given Plugable’s track record, it would have been nice to see a higher quality shell.
The top of the meter has a small one-inch diagonal OLED screen. The screen has two rows of text when it’s plugged in. The text displays the current voltage and amps on the top row with the current wattage and a directional arrow to indicate the flow of electricity. Unfortunately, the meter doesn’t show a running total of how much electricity has been used, as some other meters do. On one edge of the meter is a small button. Pressing this rotates the display 180-degrees, which is a fantastic little feature.
Overall, there’s not much to the Plugable USB-C Voltage and Amperage Meter. It is simple in design and just as simple to use.
Ease of Use
As with most USB voltage meters, the Plugable USB-C Voltage and Amperage Meter is super simple to use. Plug a USB-C cable into one end of the meter and your USB-C device (smartphone, laptop, headphones, power bank, or other devices) into the other end. Once both ends are connected, the display will turn on, and the current voltage, amperage, and wattage will show up. On that note, if you are using a USB-C meter that turns on with only one end connected, the attached device is “VBUS hot,” which is against USB-C specifications.
As mentioned above, the display shows the current voltage and amps on the top row with the current wattage and a directional arrow to indicate the flow of electricity. Unfortunately, the meter doesn’t show a running total of how much electricity has been used, as some other meters do.
During our testing, the Plugable USB-C Voltage and Amperage Meter showed what we would expect it to. Depending on the smartphone we had plugged in, we saw between 10 and 24 watts. When used with a laptop, we saw close to 65W, which was what the USB-C power supply for the laptop was rated at.
With an MSRP of US$29.95, the Plugable USB-C Voltage and Amperage Meter is pretty reasonably priced. Sure, there are cheaper alternatives, but you do want to stick with a reputable company to ensure your devices are safe while using them when it comes to USB-C meters and cables.
If you’re looking for a USB-C meter, the Plugable USB-C Voltage and Amperage Meter does the trick. It’s accurate from our tests, comes with transient voltage suppression to prevent inrush current spikes, and the display orientation toggle button is a nice bonus feature.
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Last Updated on July 22, 2021.
Plugable USB-C Voltage and Amperage MeterUS$29.95
- Easy to use
- Accurate readings
- Transient voltage suppression to prevent inrush current spikes
- Easy to read rotatable display
- Power and data pass-through
- Plastic shell
- Doesn't show a running total of power used
- Pricier than other options