Energizer’s 15-minute NiMH charger

2009-12-10 22:40:38 UTC

Some of you remember that a few years ago, Rayovac introduced their “IC³” NiMH batteries and chargers. The IC³ chargers could charge the IC³ batteries in 15 minutes, but only the IC³ batteries—they could charge regular NiMH batteries, but in the usual 6–8 hours. Naturally, the magic batteries were expensive: $20 for a four-pack of AA.

At some point (I bought mine earlier this year, if I remember correctly), Energizer introduced their own 15-minute NiMH charger. Unlike Rayovac’s, this one doesn’t require special batteries; it’ll charge any NiMH AA or AAA batteries. It can do up to four batteries at once, with the restriction that if you load both slots 1 and 2 or both 3 and 4, they must form a matched pair (no mixing ages or mAh ratings within a pair).

Besides requiring Rayovac’s special batteries, the IC³ charger had other problems: Copious RFI output, and a very loud fan to keep the batteries from overheating. Energizer’s charger has no RFI that I’ve been able to notice, and while it does also have a fan, its noise level is much more reasonable.

The Energizer charger has a car cigarette-lighter plug, so that you can charge batteries in your car. The IC³ charger plugged straight into the wall. I don’t use that, but maybe you could.

There is one catch to the Energizer charger’s “15-minute” claim: 15 minutes is its time for 2200 mAh batteries like the ones it comes with; higher-capacity batteries will take a few more minutes. That’s actually good, compared to the IC³ charger, which charged in either exactly 15 minutes (Rayovac’s own special batteries) or 6–8 hours (anything else). Energizer’s charger doesn’t have any special requirements, so it’ll finish in 15–20 minutes no matter what NiMH batteries you put in it; the charging time scales with the batteries’ capacity.

It’s hard to find online. Amazon.com has it twice, but doesn’t sell it themselves; the two listings are from independent sellers. Target.com doesn’t have it, even thought I bought mine at Target (physical store).

The prices on Amazon are a little over $30; a bit expensive compared to other chargers, but it’s helped me be much better about keeping my camera’s batteries charged, so I deem it worth it.

In order that this review should not end without a link, here’s the chargers section of Energizer’s website. Unfortunately, they don’t have a way to link to a specific charger; you’ll have to find it in the list and click on it. That will give you a photo so you can find it at a store. Alternatively, here’s Google Products.

One Response to “Energizer’s 15-minute NiMH charger”

  1. Steven Huey Says:

    I just got one of the Energizer 15 min charges (also had a hard time getting it through Amazon, first order through a partner was cancelled after it not actually being in stock) to replace an older Energizer charger that would take like 6 hours to charge. The 15 minute charger is great, and having the car adapter is nice for letting us use rechargeable batts with the kids electronics on road trips.

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