We've been pleased with the performance of our battery charger -- even if we were dismayed that it came with three disposable faceplates. In fact, we've come around to using rechargeable batteries in all of our gizmos. But that means we're in the market for a charger that can handle more batteries and more sizes. (The one we have only does AA.) Here's what we've found so far...
High-tech, but ugly.
The La Crosse Technology BC-900 AlphaPower Battery Charger can handle AA or AAA batteries, will do a fast charge without damaging the battery, and comes with 4 AA and 4 AAA batteries along with C- and D-size battery adapters. But it's ugly as sin: it's probably not something you'd want to leave out. $39.99 at Amazon.
More attractive and practical.
The Sanyo Eneloop Battery Charger is white with a flip-out plug -- evidence that more thought went into design. We like the batteries, too: they hold up to 85% of their charge, whereas other rechargeables lose power over time. This one comes with 8 AA and 4 AAA batteries, plus C- and D-size adapters. Our pick. $36.99 at Amazon.
Basic and versatile.
The Rayovac Universal Battery Charger handles AA, AAA, C, D, and 9-Volt batteries, but the technology is basic: charging is slow, and you can't mix types. The design is inoffensive, if not good. If you've got a bunch of rechargeable batteries already, or you use a lot of 9-Volt batteries, consider this charger. No batteries are included, but you'll be able to pick some up given the relatively low price of $19.27.
Do you have a favorite battery charger that can be left in view?