From : RST_ (USA)
First, it’s a great value for what it is– let me get that out of the way.
I’ve been a rechargeable battery user for many years– maybe even earlier than the Rayovac Renewals and even the NiCad batteries. I have never been one to spend a lot of money on the sophisticated chargers that give a digital readout on each cell, but I also don’t buy the cheapest chargers. I’ve typically spent a bit more on the rapid 15 minute chargers and have been generally pleased with those. My last two were Energizer brand.
What this has that a good quality rapid charger doesn’t have is that it charges each cell independently. If you have bad one, the others charge anyway. With my rapid charger, if one cell is bad you have to remove it, and it doesn’t tell you which one. Often you can just put the hand across and see which one is cold, remove it, and try again. If charging continues more than a second, you’ve removed it.
This one also has the drain & recharge feature that the rapid charger doesn’t have.
I really like this charger, though it is not a rapid charger, because it has some additional functionality that my rapid charger doesn’t. It can step in when I have a battery that won’t charge (charging from 0v) and to drain and recharge. That being said there are a couple design features that could use improvement on this model.
The LCD is very hard to see unless you are looking at it head-on. I do my charging on the kitchen counter and the wall outlet is between waist and stomach level. At that angle I have to get directly down over in front of it to see the status. The good news is that the light stays blue until it’s done, so I don’t *have* to investigate every time. The second design thing I had was how the AAA battery fits in the unit. While the unit has instructions written in very clear English, it doesn’t describe that the AAA battery fits in at an angle where the + side tilts out from the body of the charger. Once you learn & discover how this works, it is not an issue, but that needs explained. All of my previous chargers let the AAA fit body-flat against the charging base just like the AA, so this was completely unexpected. I’m surprised I didn’t break the charger during this discovery/trial stage.
Overall, I was really pleased with the charger. If it were a rapid charger as well, it would really elate me, but short of that it has some functionality that my rapid charger doesn’t have, I can live with the LCD angle issue and after learning that the AAA tilts out, it’s a pretty solid and functional kit. I’d have no concerns buying this charger for my dad as a gift.