Whether it’s a kid’s new toy, your Xbox One controller or even just the TV remote, you always need batteries. If you’re a parent, you always need a small mountain of batteries. As we enter the hectic post-holiday period and more battery-powered gifts are getting released from their containers, your stockpile of AA’s is due to take a hit. Instead of chucking drained batteries in the trash, consider a switch to rechargeable batteries. In the long run, you’ll end up spending a lot less, and the added bonus of taking the dead ones and bringing them back to life means you’ll never be caught without.
One of the best known and most respected brands in rechargeable batteries, Eneloop from Panasonic has a lot to offer. Panasonic claims a 2,100-charge cycle lifespan with a 70 percent charge retention and up to 10 years of use. There’s also the Eneloop Pro range, which cost a little more but is designed for high-drain devices. These have a 2,500mAh capacity and while their lifespan is less at 500 charge cycles, your powerful hardware will be better with them.
These 2,000mAh batteries come pre-charged, so you can pop them out of the packaging and straight into your device. These are also the world’s first rechargeable batteries to use a percentage of recycled batteries in their construction. Energizer claims up to five years use from each battery, with a 1,000-charge cycle lifespan and a charge that can be held without drain for 12 months. These are also available in AAA and D sizes and while they don’t come bundled with a charger, are a great value nonetheless.
Amazon Basics AA batteries have an impressive 2,400mAh capacity. Amazon will also price you up a bundle that includes a charger, or you can buy one separately. The lifespan isn’t as long as you’ll get from some other brands, with Amazon claiming a 65 percent charge retention after three years, but they’re priced low enough that you’ll still save plenty of money over buying regular batteries.
Want rechargeable batteries but don’t like the idea of the chargers? These batteries from Blackube charge over microUSB with a single cable capable of refilling four at a time. They still boast a 1,000-cycle lifespan, but you can top them up using your phone’s power brick or even a USB battery pack if you’re on the go.
If your batteries aren’t bundled with a charger, then these are the ones to get.
The companion charger to Energizer’s rechargeable batteries comes in a few different forms. The standout is the Pro model which can charge four AA or AAA batteries in 3-5 hours. The Pro version is more expensive, but in both cases, you’re getting a 4-pack of batteries thrown in. The Pro, though, has added bonus features like audio and visual updates on the charging process, as well as having an automatic shutoff to prevent against overcharging.
This charger is a remarkably good value and can charge four AA or AAA batteries at the same time. It’ll charge AA batteries in 3-5 hours depending on their capacity, but that’s not what’s most remarkable about this charger. It also supports power switching for international use, going between 100-240V AC. So wherever you go, you can always get charged. The other neat feature is that there’s a built-in USB port, so while your battery charger is taking up a wall outlet, you can still charge your phone.
Whether you’re going for the top of the line Eneloop batteries or the more affordable Amazon Basics, one thing is certain. Buying rechargeable batteries is not only cost-effective but massively convenient and since you’ll be tossing less away, much better on the environment.
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