There’s a fine line between giving regular batteries as a gift and giving rechargeable batteries as a gift. Giving someone regular batteries is a dumb gift. Might as well give them a sheet cake. Either way, the gift is a consumable and doesn’t last long. Rechargeable batteries, on the other hand, last quite a bit longer.
The problem with most rechargeable batteries, though, is that they don’t last as long on a single charge as standard batteries. Most AA NiCad rechargeables, for instance, are rated at 1.2 volts, compared to most standard AA batteries which are rated at 1.5 volts.
There’s a new crop of nickel-zinc (NiZn) rechargeable batteries emerging now that operate at 1.6 volts – a tad higher than most standard batteries. I took some of PowerGenix’s AA rechargeable NiZn batteries for a spin and came away impressed.
Using two AA NiZn batteries in the Flip UltraHD camcorder, I was able to record for over three hours. The rated life for the rechargeable battery pack that’s included with the UltraHD (1.2-volt NiCad) is 2.5 hours. I hit about ten minutes short of that mark with the included pack, just barely under 3 hours with regular Duracell 1.5-volt AA batteries, and 3 hours and 15 minutes with the PowerGenix batteries. Not too shabby.
There not all that wildly expensive, either. You can get four AAs for around $13, or eight AAs for around $20. There’s also a kit with a wall charger and four AAs for around $25.
Product Page: PowerGenix Rechargeable Battery System