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The best rechargeable batteries

If you’re a gadget geek, you know how frustrating it is to rely on disposable AA batteries. It’s as if you’re stuck in a perpetual replacement loop — not to mention you’re also spending boatloads of money.

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. The batteries below feature impressive recharge capacities and the ability to retain the bulk of their energy during prolonged storage, starting with the highly affordable Panasonic Eneloop Pro batteries.

If you use gadgets on the go, consider picking up a portable battery charger as well.

AA options

Panasonic Eneloop Pro

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Sanyo’s Eneloop was one of the top picks in our original 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.

AmazonBasics AA Rechargeable Batteries

AmazonBasic’s 2000mAh rechargeable batteries are particularly dependable. They’re designed to maintain 80% of their battery capacity for two years, even when not in use, thanks to the very slow self-discharge feature built in. Amazon rates the batteries as usable for up to 1,000 charges, an excellent feature for making sure they last as long as possible. Our link takes you to an eight-pack, but other sizes are available, and the whole line of AmazonBasic rechargeable batteries is very good if you want to pick up some other types, too. The batteries are recyclable at the end of their lives.

Powerex Imedion

Powerex Imedion

You’ve probably 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.

Energizer Recharge Universal

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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.

EBL High Capacity

If you’re willing to take a risk with an off-brand alternative, try EBL’s rechargeable batteries. Each battery sports 2,800mAh, 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.

AAA option

Panasonic Eneloop Pro High Capacity AAA Batteries

Panasonic is back with a revamped version of its Eneloop AAA batteries: The Pro batteries are high-capacity, 950mAh units that are rated to last for 500 charge cycles without developing any issues. You can store them for up to a year when not in use, and they’ll maintain 85% of their charge. They’re also quite versatile and able to weather extreme temperatures and be recharged from any capacity as needed. That makes these AAAs an easy recommendation for someone who wants reliable recharging in a battery size that doesn’t always have a lot of good options.

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