Sanyo Eneloop batteries don’t have to live in the charger all the time, which is a bad idea anyway, unless you have a charger like this one with a trickle function.
AA and AAA batteries power much of the gadget-obsessed Western (and Eastern) world. I was an early adopter of rechargeable batteries, back in the nickel-cadmium days. NiCd batteries would go strong until they ran out of power, then abrubtly drop dead. They were a huge improvement over throwaway batteries, though, just as alkalines were a huge improvement over carbon batteries. At least alkaline batteries didn’t get thrown away quite so fast. Modern nickel metal hydride (NiMh) batteries are great, except they are dead when you buy them and they lose a charge fairly quickly on their own, so they’re good for toys and cameras, that get used a lot; and bad for things like remote controls and flashlights. Flashlights in particular are supposed to work when you need them, like when the power goes out during a storm. Who is going to remember to charge their flashlight batteries (until the power’s out, and it’s too late . . .)?
About five years ago, Sanyo (and others) introduced low self-discharge batteries that held their charge and therefore could be sold holding a charge and used right out of the package. The initial trade-off was that they were not as powerful as the ordinary kind, only about 2000 mAh compared to more like 2700 mAh for their competition. The Sanyo Eneloop XXs are now perfect. You can buy them, stick them right into something (although you should top off the charge first), and use them immediately … or do the opposite: charge them up and wait until you need them. They will hold a charge basically as long as you want. The manufacturer suggests that you store them in a cool place, a really cool place like the refrigerator or freezer.
They feel solid in your hand and they look great, too, with an edgy, extreme sports design.
The one drawback is that they are expensive, but don’t rechargeable batteries pay for themselves?
Affordability: 6 Luxury: 9