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Legion Meter review: Check up on your USB chargers

Michael Simon | Jan. 27, 2015
Legion Meter will provide everything you could possible want to know about your chargers, all while helping you maximise their potential.

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Charging is an integral part of life. No matter where I go I'm forever scouting outlets and lugging around expansion packs to make sure I have enough juice to get through the day. My battery percentage is constantly on my mind, and at any given moment I'm acutely aware of how much is left and how long it'll take to get back to a safe level. But for all my voltage vigilance, I don't know a whole lot about what makes one power adapter better than another.

PLX Devices knows charging. Its original Legion external battery redefined charging with its built-in OLED display that provides live feedback for a variety of useful stats. It quickly became my favorite way to charge, even when there was an outlet within reach.

With Legion Meter, PLX is bringing that kind of battery know-how to the rest of our chargers. Small, light, and smart, the Legion Meter works with any USB charger in your arsenal, delivering accurate readings of both the port's output and your battery's milliwatt hours, and helping you pinpoint the fastest, safest ways to charge your devices.

Measuring the juice
The miniature device doesn't feel cheap, exactly, but the plastic assembly isn't exactly up to the rugged standards set by Legion. A small button at the top acts as the wake and advance control, and you can long-press it to switch the orientation. At 2.5 inches in length, the Legion Meter won't work so well in tight spaces, as it needs to attach to the end of your charger.

After you insert the Legion Meter into your charger's USB port, you'll plug your cable into the USB port on the back of the meter. The Legion Meter instantly begins collecting data from each end, providing something of a diagnostic check of both the charger and the device being charged. It won't actually alert you to anything that may be wrong, but a wealth of information is available on its tiny screen, including a reading of the USB port's voltage, current, and power, as well as a running tally of the milliwatt-hour capacity of the device's battery.

But while Legion Meter is quite useful for testing the strength of your various chargers (as you might have guessed, Apple's are among the best), the device's premier feature is its promise to speed up your charging by as much as 92 percent. A recessed switch on the side toggles between accelerated charging (A) and data passthrough (D) modes. The switch is a pain to use, requiring a paper clip and a bit of force to move it, but it lets Legion Meter dynamically open and close the stream of data heading to your USB port, thus maximizing your charge speed.

 

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