I picked these up largely because Apple with their release of their own Battery Charger led me to realize that rechargeable battery technology has changed a little over the past few years, and it’s not that expensive. I remember using Energizer and Rayovac batteries and battery rechargers in the 1990s and the performance was abysmal. That mindset has stuck with me all this time, but now it looks like rechargeable batteries are worth taking a look at again.
It’s obvious that the Sanyo Eneloops got me in the end, and for once Apple didn’t automatically reel me in with another one of their new products. I opted for Sanyo’s MQN064 battery charger that comes with four AA batteries. I also picked up another set of four AA batteries and look forward to buying at least another four to eight to use as spares.
Now, I did mention Apple’s new Battery Charger… I was all set and ready to order this new product from Apple after they announced these new super-low self-discharging batteries. Then I began hearing everyone talk about how Apple’s branded batteries aren’t necessarily that much if a deal. While $30 for a set of six AA batteries and a charger isn’t bad, Sanyo’s highly praised Eneloop line is probably a much better deal. The thing about Apple’s batteries and Sanyo’s Eneloop line is that they can stand up to normal name-brand batteries (think Energizer, Duracell) that aren’t rechargeable as well as having very low discharge rates — known as LSD, or low self discharging.
Sanyo has a line of at least three chargers available at the moment. There’s the standard four battery charger (which is what I have pictured) which comes with four AAs. They sell a quick charger version (MDR02) which may or may not be more comparable to Apple’s charger. Finally, Sanyo also offers a USB charger, which simply has a USB-only powering option for charging from a desktop or notebook computer. Charging times for these ranges from an overnight wait time for the standard MQN064 charger and as little as three to four hours for the quick charger.
Going with Sanyo, I got two fewer batteries with a NiMH charger for less than $18 from Amazon — not including the extra four AAs I bought separately. Apple’s battery charger comes with the charger and six AA batteries out of the box. The Sanyo charger (MQN064) can charge two or four AA or AAA batteries at any time, while the Apple battery charger is limited to just two batteries at a time, while (I believe) only being compatible with AA batteries.
At the moment, I’m using these eight batteries in my Apple wireless products, and am testing them out in my Xbox 360’s Wireless controller. Two reside in my iMac’s Magic Mouse (soon to be Magic Trackpad) and two in the Wireless Keyboard, as well as two in my MacBook Pro’s Magic Mouse. I’m also trying out two AAs in my Xbox 360’s Wireless controller to compare their longevity to the Xbox 360’s normal rechargeable Li-Ion battery pack (Play & Charge Kit).