Even though it may still only be at the Kickstarter level, this Practical Meter is quickly gaining buzz and momentum. This nifty little gadget helps troubleshoot and solve one of the most annoying issues with charging via USB: seemingly random charge times. While it is easy to understand why this happens, it still is very frustrating as until you use a USB port you will not know how it will react. This is because not all USB ports are built to the same standard and not every one of them can push the same amount of power to a connected device.
The Practical Meter solves this ‘gremlin by taking a two-step solution. The first part consists of a small 4.3cm, 8.5 gram USB dongle. Much like Centech Power Meter, you first plug this into a USB port and then plug your device to the other end of the dongle. As the USB peripheral draws power, the meter’s built in 5 ‘power bar’ LED will show you in real time how much power is being used with one bar equalling 1 watt of power. This will tell you if you have a problem but will do nothing to solve it.
This is where Power Practical’s 3 in one power cable enters the equation. On one end is a standard full sized USB 2.0 port which splits into three cables: a mini-USB, micro-USB, and an Apple 30-pin plug. Each cable’s header has built-in optimized charging circuits, which will ensure maximum power draw and remove slow charge time issues. This kit sounds like the answer to many people’s problems, though we do wish the ’3 in 1′ cable was a ’4 in 1′ as it is missing Apple’s latest Lightning port. Either way, this sounds like a great idea and we suggest you head on over to the Kickstarter page and get in on the ground floor.