* Prices may differ from that shown
When I took a box of used batteries to the local recycling point, I realised just how many our household uses. For the sake of my wallet and the environment, I decided to buy a battery charger and some rechargable batteries. I owned one some time ago but I was not impressed with how long it took to actually charge the batteries. [Most of the day!] I also found the the batteries seemed to run out very quickly and didn't hold their charge well if you powered them up in advance. So I decided to do a bit more research into my purchase of my next charger. In the end I settled for the "Energizer 1 Hour Battery Charger Accu" - don't ask me what the name Accu comes from as I have no idea. There are several models of this charger around - mine is number CH1HR3/818029. The main difference between the difference versions seems to be what batteries, if any, you are supplied alongside the charger itself. Mine came with 4 x 2300mAh AA batteries, but other versions I have seen are supplied with just 2 x AA or with batteries with a different mAh rating. Some also come with a in car adaptor, but mine does not.
WHY I CHOSE THIS CHARGER
I wanted a battery charger that could cope with both AA and AAA batteries as these are the two sizes that I use the most. I considered buying a more expensive charger that would also charge 9v or C/D size batteries but I thought about the devices that I own and decided it wasn't worth the extra cost. I realised that cheaper chargers do not work out as such a bargain when you consider the fact that the rechargeable batteries are often not included. This may not matter if you already own some compatable ones, but as I no longer did, I decided a charger that came complete with the batteries would offer the best deal. I noticed that there was a great difference between the advertised charging times that the various models offered - anything from 15 minutes to 15 hours. I decided to opt for a 1 hour charger as I find that if a battery is going to run out on a device, it tends to be when I want to use it quite soon afterwards but I am seldom in such a hurry that a 15 minute charger would be worth paying more for. Lastly, I wanted a charger that would be capable of charging the higher powered batteries. A bit of research told me that the mAh rating given refers to the power of the battery and those that have a higher number eg 2300 or 2500 mAh will need charging less often. After all, I noticed that the rechargeable batteries have a limited number of times that they can actually be charged - up to 500 times in the case of those supplied with my Energizer charger. So the deciding factor for me when choosing the Energizer Accu was the fact the model came with 4 x AA 2300 mAh batteries, rather than 1300 or 2000 mAh as the cheaper options did. You can in fact use my charger with batteries of a different rating than the ones supplied, so the batteries mAh may not matter as much if you have your own to use already. [I have succesfully charged 2500mAh and 2000mAh ones.] I paid £24.99 in Argos, but the price is now £29.99.
Charges between 1-4 AA OR AAA batteries at a time
Automatically detects battery charge status, and checks for "bad battery" or incorrectly inserted ones.
Auto shut off of each charging cell when charging complete
Charges batteries within an hour
EASY TO USE
The charger comes in a plastic pack that is a bit tricky to cut open but that only has to be done once! In the catalogue picture the charger looks silver grey in colour but mine is black. It is a neat small size - it is about 12cm tall and 7.5cm wide, so it is no trouble finding somewhere to lay it down while it does it's work. It is ready to use straight from the box - bar removing a small piece of clear plastic which is protecting the battery terminals. The supplied batteries are sitting inside the charger already, but I had to remove them to get to the plastic. The brief instruction sheet doesn't actually mention this and I can imagine someone failing to notice that the plastic is there and wondering why their charger doesn't work. That aside, you just plug it in, insert the batteries and turn the power on. There is an big and easy to read LED display consisting of 4 battery symbols which flash to indicate the status of your batteries. A rapid blink by one of the lights suggests that you have a bad battery in the corresponding charging port. "Bad" in the sense of one that can't be charged either because it is faulty or worn out. I haven't had this happen to me, but I do think it is comforting to know that the function exists. Presuming the batteries are good, the display indicates how far from being fully charged the batteries are. The instructions say that this feature isn't intended as a instant battery tester and that the results will be most accurate when used with fully discharged batteries. In other words, if you just want to see what charge you have in a battery, popping it in the charger may not give you an accurate reading. I never want to do this anway - I only charge batteries when they have actually died on me. In that case the charge indicator LED will light up each battery symbol in progression and when all 4 are lit, the batteries are fully charged. As the charging each cell is completed it is switched off automatically, this means you can charge batteries with different capacities at the same time. They don't have to be Energizer brand by the way, we also have some Duracell AA's that work fine.
THE DOWN SIDE
While the charger is simple to use, there are two things which mildly irritate me about using it. One is the fact that it is quite noisy as it emits a periodic high pitched whine whilst in use. The sound is not continous or loud, but it is simply annoying. For that reason, I relegate it to charging in another room from me. The second down side is the fact that both the charger and batteries get very warm while they are charging. I would be careful of using this anywhere that children might accidently come across it. From my point of view, it means I prefer to wait for a few minutes before removing the batteries once they are charged. It doesn't get to a temperature that means I am worried about actually burning myself, it is just less comfortable to handle.
THE UP SIDE
The charger really does finish charging within the advertised hour. In fact, fully discharged AA 2300mAh take 55 minutes in my experience. A small chart in the instruction sheets suggest they would take 60 minutes, as would 2400mAh. Less powerful batteries may take even less than that - it is suggested that a AA 1300mAh would be ready in 50 minutes. The batteries do not come ready charged by the way, which I noticed was an advertised feature of some chargers. That didn't worry me, considering how fast they are ready. The supplied batteries last longer than standard alkaline batteries for me [such as Duracell Plus], I would say by about 50%. I do not find that they last quite as long as some alkaline batteries that are sold specifically for high drainage devices, such as Duracell Ultra Power, but the short charging time doesn't make this a problem for me. I tend to charge batteries as I want them so I can't tell if they would hold their full charge for a long time, but I have noted that they are still registering as fully charged after a week.
WOULD I RECOMMEND THE CHARGER?
I would as it works well and does what it says on the tin - the batteries are ready in an hour. I think it will save me money in the long term and I am happy with the price I paid. I wish it did not get so warm in use, and I certainly would like it to be silent in operation, but these are relatively minor concerns when I think of how efficiently it works otherwise. I would recommend it if you want a fast charger, and can put up with some noise while it works!
N.B Some of Dooyoo's special quick rating criteria do not apply in this case eg picture quality, so please ignore.
I purchased this unit (my second energizer charger) after my first became a bit slow and small for my needs (it only charged two batteries at a time and took over 10 hours) after thorough research online i came across this which charges 4 AAA or AA batteries at a time in a hour or 1.2 hours depending on the mah of the battery (the higher this number the higher the battery capacity), this is useful for me as i use my batteries a lot (wii remotes, mouse, keyboard, toys) and some of these can drain the batteries quite quickly so i needed a charger that could charge them just as quick and this completely fits the bill for me.
You can use any NIMH AA or AAA rechargeable batteries in this and it comes provided with 4 AA 2450mah batteries which have quite a high charge capacity and therefore last longer.
It has indicator lights on the front one for each battery which switch off to let you know when you batteries are charged or if there is a faulty battery in the charger unit and auto switch off function which when the batteries are at full capacity which switches of the charger so there is no damaged caused to the charger or batteries by over charging. Great unit for a family with lots of battery operated items.
The charging times are:
AAA 850mah 1 hour
AAA 1000mah 1.2 hours
AA 2000mah 1 hour
AA 2450mah 1.2 hours
Although not the cheapest battery and charger pack around, these certainly do the job for me. The unit itself is unobtusive and small, which allows it do be stored away neartly in a drawer when not in use. Batteries do genuinely charge in the hour advertised time or less, and give plenty of use - I use them in Wii/Xbox 360 controllers and they take a good week of pretty hard use before they're drained.
What makes this charger worth the little extra money is super fast charging and the good capacity of the batteries. The charger is also very simple do use, as you'd expect. A green light above each cell tells you when it's charging, and it goes out as soon as the cell is full - no overcharging! If there is a problem with the battery, the green light blinks until it's fixed - it can be either a dodgy contact or the battery itself needs replacing.