Sony Power Charger (BCG-34HLD)
- Cheap price tag, universal voltage support, portable size, 'green' friendly, comes with two premium Ni-MH AA batteries
- No 'battery de-charge' option
Not only is the Sony Power Charger (BCG-34HLD) great value for money, it will also provide substantial savings over the long run (when compared to buying disposable batteries). For $27.95, what have you got to lose?
Price$ 27.95 (AUD)
When it comes to cool gear, the Sony Power Charger (BCG-34HLD) isn't exactly what you would call an 'exciting' piece of hardware – not by a long chalk. With its rather drab purpose and even drabber appearance, it certainly isn't something you'd rush out madly into the street for. However, with an RRP of just $27.95, it can save you a fair swag of money in the long run and is also ultra-friendly on the environment; which makes it pretty cool in our books.
The Power Charger is compatible with all types of rechargeable AA and AAA batteries. It will therefore suit the majority of digital products, such as compact cameras, portable radios and TV remote controls. As a sweet bonus, the charger also comes packaged with a pair of ready-to-use CycleEnergy AA batteries, which promise to remain 85 per cent charged after a year in storage (as opposed to standard Ni-MH batteries which become 100 per cent depleted over the same time frame). This will help ensure that your batteries remain fully operational between charges.
The Power Charger comes equipped with a quartet of identical slots, allowing you to charge four batteries at a time. We found this to be a fairly sluggish process; charging four batteries at once took a little over six hours. On the plus side, the device will automatically switch itself off after seven hours to prevent overheating; thus saving you the trouble of having to continually check up on it (in any event, a simple LED indicator lets you know when the batteries are fully charged).
The Power Charger (BCG-34HLD) accepts voltage ratings from 100V to 240V, making it compatible with all wall sockets, worldwide. This makes the device very handy for frequent travellers; a fact bolstered by its ultra-compact size. With lightweight dimensions of 65x105x29mm and weighing just over 100g (sans batteries), it is an extremely portable device that can be easily thrown into a bag or suitcase. While the grey, rectangular casing is a bit on the boring side, it remains perfectly functional, which is all that you should be worried about (it's a battery charger! It's not supposed to be trendy!).
Our only criticism of the Sony Power Charger (BCG-34HLD) is its inability to charge down partially charged batteries. In other words, if you stick in a battery that still has some 'juice' in it, the Power Charger may overcharge the cell, causing it to loose some of its battery life. However, this is a common issue with battery chargers in this price range that can't really be avoided. As long as you ensure your batteries are fully depleted, it won't be an issue.
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