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    Tenergy Ready-To-Use AA NiMH

    Now you can buy NiMH batteries that have a low self-discharge rate. In fact, manufacturers will charge them before shipping them out, because even if they sit on a shelf for months or even a year, they will retain the majority of their charge. You can see these batteries marketed as precharged or ready-to-use rechargeables. The capacity is slightly lower than the highest capacity NiMH batteries available, but they make up for it by not losing that charge. Now you can use NiMH batteries for all your devices! Have a low-drain device (such as a remote) that only needs new batteries once a year? No problem! Need batteries for all your kids toys? No problem! Need batteries for your new digital camera? These work great there too. True, they will have a bit less raw power fresh off the charger, but you don't have to worry about how long they've been sitting dormant. Keep a set of low self-discharge NiMH batteries in your camera bag as a backup, and don't worry if they've been sitting there for months. When you need them just pop them in, and keep shooting!

    Ok, so what's the best deal on these pre-charged, ready-to-use, low self-discharge NiMH batteries? There's two main brands you can find in stores, that's Sanyo Eneloop and Duracell's pre-charged NiMH batteries. They'll generally set you back about $10 per 4-pack of AAs. Are there better deals? You bet! We searched the web for the best price on these low self-discharge batteries and found a brand called Tenergy being sold by All-battery.com. The direct link to these batteries is here. They're cheap, only $7.59 for a 4-pack, and are a whopping 2300mah (Eneloops are 2000mah, Duracells are 2100mah)! After doing some research, we discovered that Tenergy tended to overestimate their capacity. We ordered six sets (we wanted to get a good idea of how these would work, if there were wide variances in capacity, etc.) and tried them out.

    The results were pretty consistent. The batteries varied widely in their initial charge, some had nearly 1500mah, others had just over 900mah. We ran each set through two full discharge/charge cycles, and the actual capacity (as measured by the amount that could be discharged from a fully charged battery) varied between 2000mah to 2100mah. Basically, you're getting a battery that has a bit more capacity than an Eneloop, and a little less than a Duracell (the difference is less than 5%). For the price, these Tenergy ready-to-use NiMH batteries are a great deal. We also tested each battery to see how much it self-discharged, and so far they're living up to their name. We'll check them again after more time has passed, but so far after three weeks they still had over 97% of their capacity left.

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