Choosing rechargeable batteries and chargers

The process of buying rechargeable batteries to replace the single-use versions that power your numerous gadgets generally begins with a starter kit that includes a charger and a minimum of two batteries. Shapes, sizes, capacities, and prices vary, as you see in the following sections.

Basic AA and AAA rechargeable-battery kits

The types of rechargeable-battery kits that I often spot at drugstore chains and larger grocery stores are typically made by Duracell, Energizer, Eveready, and Rayovac. The kits charge as many as four AA or AAA batteries or a combination of the two types. The approximate price of each type of kit is included in this list:

■ ✓ Value: This slow-to-charge type of kit, which comes with lower-capacity starter batteries, costs about $10.

✓ Fast and smart: This type of kit typically comes with higher-capacity starter batteries and a faster charger with features such as Energy Star sensors and On-Off buttons, costs about $25. An example is shown in Figure 3-6.

✓ Mobile: A mobile recharger kit, which costs about $30, has features similar to the type in the preceding bullet, and it can act as a portable charger for multiple USB-chargeable gadgets, such as smartphones, MP3 players, and Bluetooth headsets.

Figure 3-6:

Faster-charging battery kits cost about $25.

Recycling dead rechargeable batteries completes the recycle portion of "the three Rs" (reduce, reuse, recycle). Turn to the section "Properly Disposing of Dead Batteries," at the end of this chapter, to find out how to recycle yours.

Less common and wider-reaching chargers

Finding rechargeable batteries and chargers for sizes less common than AA and AAA — such as 9-volt, C, D, and hearing-aid and other flat, button cell batteries (see Figure 3-7) — may mean making a trip to your nearest superstore or Radio Shack. In these stores, you're most likely to find the larger-capacity chargers that hold and charge many batteries — and many sizes — at one time.

Visiting an electronics superstore or buying online offers the highest number of rechargeable-battery and -charger options, from solo 9-volt batteries and 4-cell kits to smart auto-shutoff and multicell decks that can charge a dozen or more rechargeables of different sizes and types at the same time (see Figure 3-8).

Figure 3-6:

Faster-charging battery kits cost about $25.

Figure 3-7:

Button-cell batteries.

Figure 3-8:

A monster-size recharger.

One of these sellers is sure to have what you're looking for:

www

amazon.com

www

batteriesandbutter.com

www

bestbuy.com

www

buy.com

www

greenbatteries.com

www

longlast-battery.com

www

megabatteries.com

www

microbattery.com

www

batteryspace.com

www

radioshack.com

www

staples.com

Figure 3-7:

Button-cell batteries.

Figure 3-8:

A monster-size recharger.

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