Stay powered up with the best rechargeable batteries

antmatveev/123RF
If you’re a gadget geek, you know how frustrating it is to rely on disposable AA batteries. It’s like you’re stuck in a perpetual replacement loop — and you’re spending boatloads of money. Sure, you’ve considered rechargeable AAs, but you’ve never really gone down the path.

Today’s the day, Bucko. The upfront cost of rechargeable batteries is a bit steep, yes, but the charger and any batteries you purchase will pay for themselves in the long run. Instead of opting for a new battery pack every time a gadget dies, why not throw the dead batteries in a charger for a few hours?

The batteries below feature impressive recharge capacity and the ability to retain the bulk of their energy during prolonged storage. What’s more, depending on the brand you choose, you typically won’t need another set for an upwards of five years. And if you use gadgets on the go, consider picking up a portable battery charger as well.

AA options

Panasonic Eneloop Pro ($17)

panasonic-eneloop-pro-thumb

Sanyo’s Eneloop was one of the top picks in our original 2014 list, and remains one of our favorites even though Panasonic now manufacturers the batteries. The Eneloop Pro is the newest version, and it sports a capacity of 2,500mAh. The Pros can only be charged 500 times or so, but their performance is what makes them so good. Eneloops simply work better than ordinary batteries, and perform flawlessly both in everyday conditions and extreme temperatures. Plus the batteries don’t exhibit any sort of memory effect, meaning you can recharge them when they’re fully or partially drained.

Buy now from:

Amazon

Powerex Imedion ($12)

Powerex Imedion

You’ve never heard of Powerex, but the company’s Imedion batteries get high marks for being a great mix of performance and value. They have nearly the same capacity as the Eneloop Pros (2,600mAh), although they won’t perform as well over time. If you need to store these batteries long-term — i.e. over a year — they should retain about 85 percent of their original charge, and you should see about 1,000 charge cycles before the batteries need to be replaced. Performance in high temperatures is also impressive.

Buy now from:

Amazon

Energizer Recharge Universal ($11)

energizer-recharge-universal-thumb

Energizer is a household name, and the company’s Recharge Universal brand is widely available. While they offer only 2,000mAh capacity, they remain one of the cheaper options among top-tier rechargeable batteries. Tests have shown these batteries to keep up with more expensive options when it comes to performance, and unless you need the larger capacity, they make a good option for your wireless keyboard or mouse.

Buy now from:

Amazon

Duracell Rechargeable ($11)

duracell-rechargeable-thumb

Another widely available option is the Duracell Rechargeable. They sport a larger capacity (2,400mAh) than the competing model from Energizer, though they may not perform as well in some electronic devices. Nonetheless, we have a pair in our wireless keyboard, and they’ve not let us down over the past 18 months. Duracell stands by its product, too, and guarantees they’ll last up to five years under normal use. Not a bad deal.

Buy now from:

Jet

EBL High Capacity ($16)

best rechargeable batteries ebl recharge

If you’re willing to take a risk with an off-brand alternative, try EBL’s rechargeables. Each battery sports 2,800mAh capacity, and you get eight in a pack instead of the typical four. The company also claims its batteries will retain most of their charge even after three years of storage. While we don’t have any experience with these batteries ourselves, reviews on Amazon are overwhelmingly positive. Again, we did say it was a risk.

Buy now from:

Amazon

AAA alternatives

Amazon Basics AAA rechargeable batteries ($8)

best rechargeable batteries amazon basics aaa battery

While AAs are generally the standard, many smaller devices use AAA batteries, so it is nice to have some on hand. These batteries offer up to 800mAh, and Amazon claims they can last for years on a single charge, thanks to their low self-discharge technology. The company claims that the batteries will retain 80 percent of their charge even after a year of non-use. Moreover, the batteries come pre-charged — using solar energy no less — so you can feel good about doing your part for the environment.

Buy now from:

Amazon

This article was originally published on November 2 and updated on April 28 by Will Nicol to include a AAA option.

Smart Home

Hands-on with the Glas, the most beautiful thermostat you’ve ever seen

Johnson Controls today opened the doors for consumers to buy Glas, the company's answer to Nest and Ecobee, the Honeywell Lyric, and basically every other company that thought it would turn that simple round dial on the wall on its ear.
Emerging Tech

Buying on a budget? Here’s all the best tech you can snag for $25 or less

We live in a world where you can get a cheeseburger for $1, a functioning computer for $5, and thousands of HD movies for $10 -- so it stands to reason that you should be able to pick up some pretty sweet gear for $25.
Photography

These are the best camera straps you can get your hands on

Choosing the right camera strap for your needs can be a tough decision. To help sort through the junk, we've rounded up the best camera straps on the market for you to choose from.
Deals

Smartphone out of juice? Get this Anker power bank for half its normal price

Smartphones are great -- right up until they run out of battery. If you're in need of a little extra juice on the go, you can pick up an Anker PowerCore 1300mAH for almost 50 percent off.
Smart Home

Get the support you deserve at work in one of the best office chairs

Sitting at the office all day can be tough on more than just your back. Check out our picks for the best office chairs, whether you're in the market for something basic or a bit more luxurious.
Smart Home

The Glas thermostat is now available and works with Cortana, Alexa, and Google

Microsoft just debuted its very own smart thermostat (the first that it's created), and of course, it can be controlled via voice with Microsoft's virtual assistant Cortana. It also works with Alexa and Google Assistant.
Smart Home

Fraudulent sales of home alarm systems are on the rise nationwide

According to a new consumer survey from the Consumer Federation of America, there are increasing reports of bad actors using scare tactics and manipulation to sell fraudulent alarm systems.
Smart Home

How to set up your Lenovo Smart Display

Here's how to set up your Lenovo Smart Display, including what information you need to provide to the Home app and how to choose the right Google Assistant settings for your new smart screen.
Smart Home

A school district subsidizes a tiny home community for teachers

The lack of affordable housing in Arizona's Vail school district prompted the plan for a community of tiny homes reserved for educators. Other cities in the U.S. use the tiny abodes for homeless and economically disadvantaged people.
Smart Home

Kroger supermarket chain tests driverless grocery deliveries in Arizona

Kroger and autonomous delivery innovator Nuro began a pilot program in Scottdale, Arizona, for grocery home deliveries with Prius cars to test the self-driving concept. The first tests do not use the purpose-built Nuro vehicle.
Smart Home

Vitamix recalls 100,000 blender containers after multiple ‘lacerations’

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a recall of about 105,000 Vitamix blending containers after 11 customers reported accidents, including lacerations due to a design flaw in the product.
Smart Home

Brew it fast, hot, and flavorful with our favorite coffee makers

Whether you're looking for a simple coffee maker to get you through the morning or a high-end brewer that will impress your taste buds and your friends, you'll find some of the best coffee makers around on this list.
Smart Home

Google may release a digital display smart speaker in time for the holidays

The new speaker will join Google's existing range of smart speakers, utilizing the voice assistant Google Assistant. The lineup currently includes the Google Home, the Home Mini, and the Home Max.
Smart Home

Alexa can play smart home camera video recaps on Echo, Fire devices

Now you can ask Alexa to show the last recorded video from smart home security cameras on Echo Show, Echo Spot, Fire TV, and Fire Tablets. Video replay is enabled for Ring, August, Arlo, Cloud Cam, and Logitech cameras.