Apple has just released a new Battery Charger, which comes replete with 6 AA nickel-metal hybrid (NiMH) rechargeable batteries. Not only does using rechargeable batteries save you from buying and throwing out dozens of toxin-leaking standard batteries, but Apple has added another eco-friendly feature to their charger. The charger cuts off the power once the batteries are fully charged, reducing its “vampire draw” from the usual 315 milliwatts to a mere 30.
The charger also has a removable AC plug which can be replaced with other plugs for international travel, and it works with other brands of AA NiMH rechargeable batteries. Naturally, Apple is saying that their batteries are the best: they last hundreds of charges and up to 10 years, and will retain 80% of their charge after sitting in a drawer for a year. The kit is available for US$29 at the Apple Store.
The charger itself is not necessarily a great invention, but just another step toward better design. It has features that you would expect any product to have. There is no reason to replace the charger you have, given that you unplug it when not in use. Only issue with this chrarger: It charges only AA batteries, not AAA or anything else.