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Buyers Guide: AA Battery Chargers

Buyers Guide: AA Battery Chargers - With many digital cameras taking AA batteries, having the ability to recharge them quickly and easily is a must. In this Buyer's Guide, Rebecca Bradley looks at the latest battery chargers on the market.

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Category : Digital Cameras
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Digital cameras are one of the most power-hungry devices you can slip in a pocket. Gone are the days of film, when the camera only needed a modicum of power to fire the shutter, and, for more sophisticated cameras, activate the focus and metering. The digital camera does all that, but provides a large colour LCD screen to view and preview images on and also, and most crucially, it develops the image itself and saves it to memory. It's like a pocket developing lab, all done electronically. It's no wonder that a standard AA battery is nothing but a light snack to the energy-hungry digital camera. To feed the little monster you need power and lots of it. It's also handy to have back up supplies of batteries when out and about. As far as power itself goes, the batteries are rated on mAh, which is the current the battery produces, multiplied by the number of hours that it will give it for. The bigger the number, the more shots and reviewing you can do before it packs up. Typically, a 1200mAh battery can now be seen as lightweight, only good for powering compact cameras. A 1600mAh output is an average power for a battery while a 1800mAh battery is useful to have. However, for using in high performance cameras, like digital SLRs (though most use proprietary batteries), then more is better so look for 2000mAh+.

Buyers Guide: AA Battery Chargers
Hama Prima Plug-In Charger
£14.99

The Hama Prima Plug-in has four battery slots, two at the front and two at the back of the charger, making it more compact than many of the other
chargers, and so is ideal when travelling.

With a charge time of 14 hours it is the slowest charger of all the chargers tested. Plugs directly into wall
without the need for a separate
adapter, and includes 4 X AA batteries (2600mAh). Also charges AAAs.

Average charge time: 14 hours.

Buyers Guide: AA Battery Chargers

Buyers Guide: AA Battery Chargers
Energizer Ultra Compact Charger
£19.99

The most compact of all the chargers, the Energizer Ultra-Compact is a plug-in charger with a useful slide-away battery tray for when the charger is not in use. With a charge time of 8.5 hours it's of average speed in comparison with some of the others on the market. Other benefits include a built in safety timer to prevent over-charging, and an LED indicator to suggest when charging is complete. Charges two or four
batteries at one time and includes 4 x AA batteries (2500mAh). Also compatible with AAAs.

Average charge time: 8.5 hours

Buyers Guide: AA Battery Chargers

Buyers Guide: AA Battery Chargers

Sanyo Eneloop EN60 Travel Charger
£27.99
Lightweight and compact, the Sanyo
EN60 Travel Charger comes with
interchangeable plug adaptors
for worldwide use, has four battery charging compartments and will charge either two or four batteries at once. With an average charging time of three hours, it is among the fastest chargest of the test. Other features include automatic cut-off to prevent over-charging, negative delta V cut-off function and bad cell detection. Comes with four 2000 mAh batteries
Also compatible with AAAs.
Average charge time: 3 hoursBuyers Guide: AA Battery Chargers

 

 

 

Buyers Guide: AA Battery Chargers
Lindy Battery Charger/Discharger
£20.65

The Lindy Charger/Discharger has the added advantage of discharging batteries as well as being able to charge them. Discharging batteries before charging, as opposed to charging them half-full prolongs the life of the battery and helps it to give a better performance once charged. At 90mins charging time it is one of the quickest chargest of the test. Another thing that makes this charger stand out among the rest is that it plays a musical tune when the batteries are ready for use, meaning you don't have to keep checking their progress. It has two LED indicators which flash in various colours according to the operating mode, i.e charging/discharging. Will charge either two or four batteries at once and is compatable with both AA, AAA and 9V batteries. Product does not include batteries.

Average charge time with 2700mAh batteries: 90 mins.

Buyers Guide: AA Battery Chargers

Buyers Guide: AA Battery Chargers
Fameart 30-90 Min Ultra-Fast
Charger £20.99

The Fameart Ultra-Fast charger has a charge time of 30-90 mins, making it one of the fastest chargers of the test. Alongside this it has a built in safety timer to prevent over-charging and a temperature sensor to prevent the device from over-heating. Capable of charging either two or four batteries at once, it has an LED indicator to suggest when batteries are being charging and when charged and also includes car adapter for charging on the move. Includes four AA batteries (2700mAh) and also charges AAAs

Average charge time: 30 - 90 mins.

Buyers Guide: AA Battery Chargers

Buyers Guide: AA Battery Chargers
Ansmann Energy MaxE
£22.95
The MaxE has a fast charging time of between 30mins and one hour, and includes handy adapters so the charger can be used in any country. There are four battery slots, which can be used either two or four at a time, and an indicator to suggest when the batteries are fully charged. Also includes a car adapter and four AA (2100mAh) batteries. Also compatible with AAAs.

Average charge time: 30 - 60 mins.

Buyers Guide: AA Battery Chargers

Buyers Guide: AA Battery ChargersFameart Travel Charger
£24.99
Compact and lighweight, the Fameart Travel Charger has a charge time of 8 hours, which is an average speed compared with the other chargers in the test. It is suitable for use in any country and comes with various slide on adapters for use anywhere outside the UK, as well as a car adapter lead for charging on the go. With 4 battery slots, it will charge either two or four batteries at one time. It has two LED indicators, one for either side of the charger, to suggest when the batteries are in the process of being charged and when they are ready for use. Includes four AA (2700mAh) batteries and is also compatible with AAAs.
Average charge time: 8 hours.

Buyers Guide: AA Battery Chargers

Buyers Guide: AA Battery Chargers
Hama Delta Solid 2/4 Fast Charger £29.99
The Hama Delta Solid is up there with the fastest charges at the test with a charger time of between 1 and 4.5 hours, but is also at the higher price range of the selection. Will charge two or four batteries at one time, via a selection switch on the top of the charger and has two different LED indicators to suggest when charging and when fully charged. Mains adapter can be swtiched between 100 and 240 volts making it suitable for use worldwide.

Includes car adapter and four AA (2700mAh). Will also charge AAAs.

Average charge time: 1 - 4.5 hours.

Buyers Guide: AA Battery Chargers

Buyers Guide: AA Battery Chargers
Ansmann Powerline 4 World Charger
£33.99
A unique point of the Ansmann Powerline 4 is that it has independent charging channels, whereby any number of the batteries can be charged at one time. The charger includes a car adapter and various country adapters for use worldwide, and also has a built in temperature control and safety timer to prevent over-charged or over-heated batteries. Having said that, I would expect a faster charge time than four hours for one of the highest price chargers of the test. Comes with four AA (2700mAh). Other compatible batteries include AAAs.

Average charge time: 4 hours

Buyers Guide: AA Battery Chargers

Buyers Guide: AA Battery Chargers
Ansmann Digi Charger Plus
£39.95

The digi charger plus comes with two different adapters plates for different kinds of batteries (useful of you use a variety of different formats and want an all-in-one charger) and has an average charge speed of eight hours. As well as charging AA's and AAA's the DigiCharger is also compatible with digital camera and camcorder batteries, but you probably wouldn't want to pay this more for a charger if you weren't intending to make use of both plates. The AA/AAA charger holds four batteries and will charge either two or four at one time. It has LED indicator, car adapter and a handy audible tone to let you know when your batteries are fully charged. No batteries are included
with this product.

Average charge time: 8 hours

Buyers Guide: AA Battery Chargers

Buyers Guide: AA Battery Chargers
Sanyo Eneloop EN15-20 Plug-in Battery Charger £22.99
The EN15-20 is a plug in charger with four battery compartments and will charge either two or four batteries at once. With a charge time of six hours for 2000mAh batteries, it is of average-slow speed. There are two LED indicators - one for each side of the charger, and an automatic safety switch-off after nine hours of charging, which is the maximum time required to charge any capacity of battery.

Comes with four AA (2000mAh) batteries. Also compatible with AAA's.Average charge time: 6 hours. Buyers Guide: AA Battery Chargers

Buyers Guide: AA Battery Chargers
WINNER
Energizer 15 Min Charger
£19.99

The Energizer 15 Min Charger has four battery slots, and LED indicator and will charge between one or four batteries at one time, while many chargers on the market will only charge two or four at any one time. Includes a car adapter, four AA batteries (2200mAh), and is also compatable with AAAs.

At 15 mins, the charger has an extremely quick charge time and, at £19.99, has a considerably lower price than many of them. It is this performance/price ratio that made it our winner.

Average charge time: 15 mins.

Buyers Guide: AA Battery Chargers

 


Model

Slots

Price

Capacity

Batts included

Charge time

LED AA

AAA

Car Adapter

Voltage

Energizer 15 Min Charger

4

£19.99

2200 mAh

4 AA

15 min

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

UK

Ansmann Energy MaxE

4

£22.95

2100 mAh

4 AA

30 - 60 min

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Worldwide

FameArt 30-90 Min Charger

4

£20.99

2700 mAh

4 AA

30 - 90 min

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

UK

Lindy Charger/
Discharger

4

£20.65

N/A

None
supplied

90 min

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

UK

Ansmann Powerline 4 World Charger

4

£33.99

2700 mAh

4 AA

4 hours

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Worldwide

Hama Delta Solid 2/4

4

£29.99

2700 mAh

4 AA

8 hours

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

UK

FameArt Travel Charger

4

£24.99

2700 mAh

4 AA

8 hours

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Worldwide

Ansmann Digi Charger Plus

4

£39.95

N/A

None
supplied

8 hours

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

UK

Energizer Ultra Compact

4

£19.99

2500 mAh

4 AA

8.5 hours

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

UK

Prima Plug-in

4

£14.99

2600 mAh

4 AA

14 hours

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

UK

Sanyo Eneloop EN15 4 £22.99 2000 mAh 4 AA 6 hours Yes Yes Yes No UK
Sanyo Eneloop EN16 4 £27.99 2000 mAh 4 AA 3 hours Yes Yes Yes No Worldwide

Please note: Charge times vary according to brand, capacity and condition of the batteries being used.

Terms explained:

mAh
The capacity of rechargeable batteries is referred to in milli-Ampere hours (mAH). This signifies  the amount of current the battery will give multiplied by the number of hours that it will give it for. The larger the number of mAH, the quicker the batteries will charge and the longer the battery power will last for.

Ni-MH/Ni-CD
Rechargeable batteries usually come in either  Ni- MH (Nickel-Metal Hydride) or Ni-CD (Nickel Cadmium) - both of which use a nickel cathode.

Where to buy:

All products featured in this article are available from the following suppliers:

Ansmann
Fameart
Hama
Energizer
Warehouse Express
 

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Comments


19 Oct 2010 8:13PM
I found this 1 hour AA & AAA NiMH battery charger from Digimax with an LCD display and have been very happy with it so far

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