Rayovac Hybrid Rechargeable
Charger and 2 AA batteries – $10
4 AA batteries – $12
+ Low upfront costs
+ Reasonable battery life
- Batteries come out hot
- Too big for some uses
- Charger doesn’t indicate when done
- Long recharge times
If price counted for everything, Rayovac’s Hybrid Rechargeable batteries would be an instant winner. The batteries are based on hybrid NiMH technology and offer slow charge times. The batteries just can’t hold a candle to the competition.
At $10 for a two-pack of AA batteries and a small and light charger, the Rayovac Hybrid’s are a bargain. Another four batteries without the charger costs $12. They come pre-charged.
With a rated capacity of 2,500 milli amp hour, the Rayovac Hybrids tie with the PowerGenix NiZn cells for total energy available. As is the case with the Energizer cells, Rayovac says they can be recharged hundreds of times, short of the 1,000 recharge cycles promised by Sanyo and PowerGenix.
Like the NiZn cells, the Rayovac Hybrid’s are just a little thicker than standard AA batteries, which could cause a problem in tight situations. Fully charged cells deliver 1.46 volts, the same as the Energizer Rechargeable cells but much less than the PowerGenix or disposable Duracell batteries.
When fully charged the Rayovac batteries powered the CD player for 9 hours 21 minutes and the flashlight for 3 hours 41 minutes. That’s about double the life of the Energizer batteries but 30 percent shorter than off-the-shelf Duracell batteries, and well shorter than the Eneloop and NiZn cells.
The charger is as small as the others and you can’t put the batteries in backwards, but it weighs 4.8 ounces, more than all but the Energizer’s quick charger. It has a fold down power plug and red LED lights that blink during charging. Unfortunately, the charger fails to indicate when it’s done charging.
It took 7 hours and 40 minutes to completely charge a pair of AAs, the longest of the bunch--it might be best to just let them charge overnight.
The charger comes with a 1-year warranty and uses 2 watts to juice up a pair of AA batteries, but they were hot when they came out of the charger. This power use translates into 13 cents per year for a weekly charging of a set of AA batteries.
With the economy the way it is, price is the object of most purchases and the Rayovac Hybrid batteries are a bargain.