Extreme batteries last twice as long

Panasonic has come up with a consumer electronics battery that it says lasts twice as long as traditional alkaline batteries, which date back to 1959, probably long before PCs were even a glint in little Steve Jobs' eye.

The Oxyride Extreme Power Batteries--designed for "high-drain" devices such as digital cameras and MP3 players--use newly developed technology that releases a high voltage to the material typically used in alkaline batteries. The added power affords faster shooting for photos, faster flash recovery, faster battery-powered toys and brighter flashlights, Panasonic said.

"Digital electronic devices have generated a strong demand for small, lightweight and high-performance batteries," explained Brian Kimberlin, director of marketing for the Panasonic Battery Group. "In response, Panasonic developed the next-generation battery to keep pace with the needs of these portable, high-drain electronics."

The batteries, which are not rechargeable, have already launched in Japan and Panasonic plans to have them available in AA and AAA-size power cells in all major markets shortly. A four-pack will sell for around $4.

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