MacMost Now 433: Apple Battery Charger

Check out the new Apple Battery Charger. Since Apple now has several peripherals that use AA batteries, they have come out with an energy-efficient wall charger and a set of NiMH batteries.

Video Transcript
Hi, this is Gary with MacMost Now. Today, let's look at the most incredible product to come out of Apple since the iPod Sock: the battery charger. So, during recent Apple announcements of new iMacs, Mac-Pros, Magic Track Pad, and the like, Apple snuck in this gem, the battery charger. Now, I kid of course, it's just a small peripheral that Apple's come out with, but I think it's interesting enough for us to take a look. Now, it's a pretty compact nickel metal hydride battery charger. It charges two AA batteries at a time, and it compares pretty well in size to this, which I was using previously, which is an Energizer brand battery charger, and, you can see, it's much larger. This does charge four at a time, and, of course, it costs less. In addition, it uses the little connectors that you can find on MacBook Pro adapters and also on the iPad's adapter, and this little thing slides out, and you can get the Apple World Travel Adapter Kit, which has more of these, and you can plug in the same device to various outlets as you travel. So, for instance, you can get one of them and plug in your MacBook, plug in your iPad charger, and plug this thing in using the connectors. Now, Apple's motivation for this product may be to get better environmental grades, this is a bunch of different things that should please those wanting to conserve energy. One thing it does is it recognizes when the batteries are fully charged, and then it reduces power usage to about ten percent. So, some other chargers, apparently, they continue to pull full power from the wall, even when the batteries are fully charged. The batteries that come with it, there are six of them, and they're kind of Apple-branded. They look very generic, but they actually do say they're made by Apple. These will last for up to ten years, according to the website. And, in addition to that, they'll have very little storage drain. So, if you put them away in a drawer, supposedly, they'll keep 80% of their power over the period of a year. Now the charger itself works with any nickel metal hydride battery, so you can buy some from another site, from, buy a major brand, to get more than the six that come in the package. So, the biggest drawback to the Apple battery charger is, of course, the price. It comes in at $29, which isn't completely unreasonable. Now, you can get some of these types of chargers for about half that price. So, if you're looking for a bargain, this isn't a bargain, but it does seem to have some advantages, and you may want to go and get it just for the Apple style and, maybe, the compact size. So, it's interesting to look at how Apple has been dealing with batteries recently. They got a lot of criticism for coming out with a phone that had a battery locked inside of it. There's no way to swap it. Then they went and continued that policy with the MacBooks, locking the battery inside. There's no way to swap or to replace it on your own. On the other hand, they started coming out with peripherals, like the keyboard, the Magic Track Pad, and the Magic Mouse that all use AA batteries and thus the battery charger, so, on the one hand, Apple seems to want to have their own proprietary batteries locked away inside the device with no way to swap or replace. On the other hand, Apple seems to want to have peripherals that use standard batteries and even provide you with a recharger. So only time will tell if this is worth it. We're going to have to see how long do these batteries really last, if they continue to hold their charge after several years, and, if they do, then the $29 price tag may, in fact, be worth it. Till next time, this is Gary Rosenzweig with MacMost Now.

Comments: 4 Responses to “MacMost Now 433: Apple Battery Charger”

    Brian
    8/4/10 @ 10:49 pm

    “…and of course it costs less.” Hehe :).

    Mr Anthony Cotton
    8/20/11 @ 4:39 am

    This topic was discussed on the Apple Forum, and most people wanted more batteries with the charger,and the price. I bought a Contour Battery Charger at half the price,and four batteries came with it. I bought another pack of batteries total to eight. It charged the batteries up very fast,and this bundle was far cheaper than the Apple one. They are still running. I bought them early this year and its August now. Also on the Apple forum people just bought them because they were Apple.

    jeg
    10/7/11 @ 6:26 pm

    what has the last year brought as to the durability and shelf life of the apple rechargeable batteries, do they really hold at 80% for a year? are they still charging full after a year?

      10/7/11 @ 6:53 pm

      I had forgotten that it had been a year. But I’m still using all of the batteries that came with the charger. The seem to be holding out just as well as they were at the start, but I’m sure it must be a little less. All-in-all, pretty pleased.

Comments Closed.