USB Battery Charger

Stop and think for a minute. Try to picture how many devices in your home take AA or AAA batteries. Still thinking? That’s the problem – so many devices use batteries, from remote controls to cameras to small appliances to game controllers and music players. In fact, Americans purchase nearly 3 billion dry-cell batteries every year to power radios, toys, cellular phones, watches, laptop computers, and portable power tools. And not only are batteries prohibitively expensive, they are hard to recycle and can be a real hardship on Mother Nature when it comes time to throw them out. If not properly recycled, the heavy metal contained in batteries can seep into the earth and pollute the air. But how do you save money and help Mother Nature when batteries are such a necessary and ubiquitous part of life?

One simple solution to go green while saving money on batteries, is to buy rechargeable batteries and a small, handy device known as a USB battery charger. USB battery chargers plug into a standard computer USB slot and charge your batteries while you wait. Their small size makes them handy for travel, too, so you’ll never be stuck in the middle of Nairobi cradling a dead GPS ever again.

When the first USB battery chargers were introduced in the United States at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in 2006, the were a hit. Their only downside was that they were prohibitively slow. The early models took up to 16 hours to charge two AAA batteries. While the technology was still undoubtedly handy, it still had the potential to turn off us impatient Americans who are used to being able to get another set of AAs at the corner store when our remote control runs out of batteries.

Luckily, battery giants like Energizer saw the potential for the technology and worked doggedly to improve it. Their Energizer Duo USB battery charger can charge 2 AAA 900mAh batteries in two hours. In a pinch (let’s say your laptop has run out of battery power, too), the Energizer DUO can also get the juice to charge your rechargeable batteries up from a regular old wall socket. For technology lovers, the Engergize DUO even offers a computer application that allows you to watch your batteries as they power up in your USB battery charger.

There is no question that the handy, eco-friendly and travel ready USB battery charger filled a niche in today’s increasing wired society. The devices are inexpensive, too. But, if you are extremely frugal or just like to make your own gadgets, with a quick internet search you can find some enterprising do-it-yourselfers have even come up with a USB battery charger that can housed in an Altoid’s tin.

One drawback to USB battery chargers is that you need special, rechargeable batteries for use in the device. While these batteries are a little more expensive than normal batteries, they pay for themselves many times over as you recharge them in your USB battery charger. Invest in a few packs of rechargeable batteries and a USB battery charger, and soon enough you will be strolling by the battery aisle without a second glance. And you can feel good about your contribution to environmental awareness while doing it.

For all your USB battery charger needs, check out Energizer’s DUO or visit websites such as ThinkGeek.com that offer a variety of interesting gadgets for the discerning tech head. Be sure to look around for models that charge four batteries at a time or small, travel ready models when purchasing. Then pat yourself on the back because you just did the right thing when it comes to energy consumption.

This USB Battery Charger Review is Written/Updated on Aug 30th, 2009 and filed under Consumer Electronics. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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