Top AA Batteries

This time of year you need plenty of batteries on hand to power up new toys and other devices. Consumer Reports just tested 15 of the most popular size, double-A’s, and found big differences.

Batteries supercharge your holidays! Without them, that stuffed dog … lacks his bite.

That UFO won’t fly.

And this doll ...loses her laugh.

Taka Andrews of Miller's Toys says, “A toy without batteries stinks. That would be like giving your wife a new car without giving her the keys.”

We count on batteries for lots of tasks, but which ones should you buy? There are so many to choose from, with claims like “world’s longest lasting” and “lasts up to nine times longer.”

“There’s a lot of misinformation and hype out there, and in the end it can cost you money if you make the wrong choice.” said Dan DiClerico of Consumer Reports.

Consumer Reports evaluated 15 kinds of double-A batteries, both lithium and alkaline.

This test rack measures how long batteries last. It mimics the use of devices like flashlights or digital cameras.

The Toys “R” Us Ultra alkalines delivered just four hours of flashlight time and 49 shots from a digital camera.

Compare that to Energizer Ultimate Lithium, the top-rated battery that racked up more than seven hours of flashlight time and 609 shots.

“Although they’re more expensive, lithiums can provide up to five times the power of an alkaline under certain circumstances.” said DiClerico.

The extra lithium boost is worth it for digital cameras and gaming controllers — devices that need more power.

But Consumer Reports says alkalines are the way to go for toys that are used less often.

The Duracell Quantum proved the best alkalines and are half the price of the lithiums.

And that’s nothing to cry about.

Once your double-A batteries are dead, you can throw them out with your regular trash. But rechargeable batteries should be recycled. You can get information on recycling locations at call2recyle.org.


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