This charger seems to bring Nickel Metal Hydride batteries up to a full charge in the time it claims.
When I bought a new camera this spring, I knew that the batteries were going to be a serious issue because I take a lot of pictures between web site work, blogs, and personal documentation. This charger seemed pretty expensive, but the feature that won me over in an instant was the dual power options. This came with both an AC plug in cord, and a DC cord to plug into an automotive power socket (we used to call it a cigarette lighter).
It also came with two AA and two AAA batteries (Energizer brand of course, haha). You can charge one to four of either size battery at any one time. It really isn’t clear about whether you should mix the sizes in any one charging episode. I think it’s ok, but the wording in the instructions is a little ambiguous.
The batteries fit snugly into their slots. They are actually spring loaded, so you must use a bit of force to get the batteries in. Nothing difficult, but it means paying attention to putting the positive end in and pushing it up toward the body of the charger.
When you plug it in it begins to charge immediately. There is a fairly loud fan - don’t try to sneak a charge during church! Because of the speed of the charge there is quite a lot of heat produced, and that must be dissipated by the fan. The entire unit gets quite warm and there is a smell of hot plastic. A red light will come on, and that continues to glow until the batteries are fully charged, at which time it turns green.
This takes about 20 minutes for my 2650mAh batteries. Despite their 15-minute claim, that is really an average, because the charge time depends upon the mAh (Milliamp hour) rating of the batteries. On the back there is a chart which shows AAA 850mAh taking 15 minutes, AA 1700mAh at 13 minutes, and AA 2450mAh taking 18 minutes.
Since mine are even higher than that, I think the charger is doing a good job. When it is done the light turns green and then turns off. They say for maximum performance it is good to leave the batteries in for another 10 minutes after the light goes off.
I have also used the car power option. This one is a little bit slower, but the batteries were fully charged in something under 30 minutes.
This is ONLY for use with NiMH batteries! You are supposed to unplug the transformer after the batteries are charged. They also say it will work best between 59 and 77 degrees. That may get tested as I take it hiking next month to be used mostly in the car. Staying under 77 degrees in August might be a joke.
However, despite the hefty price tag, I have been very happy so far. I’ve charged batteries once or twice a week since February when I bought it, and it seems to be charging the batteries well. It says it works best with Energizer batteries (what would you expect them to say), but I’ve been charging Duracell with no problems.
dual power options
slight odor during charging