USBCell Battery: A darned good idea, if it works

AA batteries that charge in a USB port!

USBCell

A few minutes ago, I was crawling through the oft-dull posts that turn up in my RSS reader on Saturday mornings while downing the day's first cup of coffee. Not particularly momentous. Then I saw this TreeHugger post, and I was all wow, you know, in the way that Microsoft was hoping I'd react to Windows Vista. (I didn't, for the record.)

So what are these? They're called USBCell, and they're AA batteries that you charge in a USB port. What a cool idea! Of course, there's always the quality issue, but TreeHugger seems to approve: "The batteries are sturdy, powerful, and take the annoying clutter of a charger completely out of the equation." Hey, if they're helping to get rid of toxic waste that comes from alkaline batteries, they really should get a thumbs up just for that.

And considering the hordes of stupid USB devices out there, it's good to see one that actually appears to accomplish something.

I'm still a bit cynical, because I remember being a kid and noticing that plain old alkaline batteries had about four times the battery life of their rechargeable brethren--and I was one of those kids who carried a portable CD player absolutely everywhere with me, so the rechargeables often just didn't cut it. As a result, I'm tempted to order a few of these USBCells and try them out myself to test out the battery life and power. Then again, I can't remember the last time I used a AA battery, since most of my gadgets rely on rechargeable battery packs these days--and the TV remote uses AAAs. Ah, the digital age.

About the author

Caroline McCarthy, a CNET News staff writer, is a downtown Manhattanite happily addicted to social-media tools and restaurant blogs. Her pre-CNET resume includes interning at an IT security firm and brewing cappuccinos.

 

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