I’ve reached a point in my setup where most of the devices that I use are based around the coveted USB-C port. This meant that I had a valid reason to get a few extra because I didn’t yet have a stockpile of good USB-C cables.

That’s when I found out that there exist cables that have little screens on them that show the power consumption of the connected device. This is a great little addition to my power consumption monitoring addiction. It’s also a simple way to understand if your device is charging at the speed that you expect it to.

The cable I ordered cost 6.72 EUR. It is a bit stiff and hard to work with, probably due to its supposed USB 4 support requiring actually good cabling and shielding. It works well enough for an USB-C dock with a DisplayPort connection that’s running a 3440x1440 display at 60 Hz.

It’s too early to give a definitive answer about the longevity of the cable.

You should be able to find these types of cables with a search query like “USB 4 Cable with LED Display”.

The paranoid side of me suspects that a cable like this one would be an ideal place to hide a malicious chip. That’s the only downside that I can think of.

If you’re interested in going more in depth with measuring the power consumption over USB, then you might want to look at other options. This GitHub repository lists a few examples of these types of measuring devices.