It's the battle of the elements here at Unplggd today. Like, literally. On the left, in the white trunks, we have Sanyo's Eneloop's NiMH. On the right, sporting the green casings, we have PowerGenix's NiZn rechargables. One boasts power and the other sustains through efficiency. Who shall win in this marvelous showdown and come out as the best rechargeable battery of them all? Click on through to find out!
PowerGenix has gotten many kudos as one of its kind - a 1.6v AA Nickel Zinc rechargeable with the juice to deliver performance for those who need it. From portable devices such has power tools to glue guns and even electric toothbrushes, the PowerGenix is all about doing it in the name of power. But we'll have to see about that.
The company is selling 1.6v AA Nickel Zinc rechargeables at a variety of outlets now, with the MRSP for a 4-pack sitting at $14.99; the special charger (needed for charging NiZn batteries) can be purchased along with four cells for $34.99 (again, that's MSRP).
As for the Eneloops, they run at a lower voltage (1.2v) compared to the PowerGenix, but that also means more applications. For instance, there were a few items we tested the PowerGenix in that simply would not work due to its higher voltage. Electronics such as keyboards, mice, and remote controllers - this is where the Eneloops excel.
The Eneloop batteries retail for $14.99 as well per 4-pack and $21.99 for the charger included.
While we tested both batteries in a variety of gizmos, the one test we found to be most reliable was the flashlight since it sat pretty much right in the middle between hardcore power-suckers and passive, low-consuming electronics. However, after reviewing the photos, we found there was no discernable difference between the power emitting from our Maglite flashlights.
Testing the longetivity of the flashlights with each battery set, we found both lasted a good 3 hours each, but the PowerGenixran out of juice about an hour before the Eneloops did. We repeated the test with a few other flashlights and after a few head nods around the office, we agreed there was not enough of a difference to justify using up more battery juice. Hence, the Eneloops get the crown for the flashlight test.
We had two other tests planned for the rest of our comparison, but our set of PowerGenix recharger mysteriously decided to stop functioning half-way through our final tests using a combination of camera flashes and portable DVD player. We're sure this may have just been a bad batch, but since the batteries tended up get used up faster than the Eneloops, we had already gone through the entire set of 4 we received before completely finishing up the tests.
So, we had a difficult decision to make. Do we publish our small set of data or toss them away completely due to the small number of tests conducted? And so, we've decided to continue publishing since we believe a bad consumer experience is still just as important to note as a good one.
For now, Eneloops 1. PowerGenix -1.