Batteries are still a necessity, or at least in my household anyway, as I have two young daughters, with many toys requiring batteries. We usually have a healthy supply of batteries, sometimes cheap brands, sometimes top tier and it’s ever so easy to see the performance difference between a good quality battery and one not so good. Panasonic got in touch, saying they had a number of new batteries on the market and I was more than happy to take a look and power up some toys.

They have two new ranges available, the Eneloop and Evolta.

The Eneloop is a range of rechargeable batteries and it’s all about the environment and sustainability with these. Although the initial price for purchasing rechargeable batteries are high, if you recharge them several times, that cost can be recouped quite quickly and guess what, you’re helping the environment by reducing manufacturing, transportation and packaging etc. The range is split between three different categories, standard, pro and lite and are available in AA/AAA formats. The difference between them is their capacities, with the Lite version offering up to 550mAh, standard 1900mAh (750mAh for DECT phones) and 2500mAh for the pro version. With the higher output, comes a very much reduced lifecycle, with the Pro offering 500 cycles and the standard offering 2100. The pro also has a much higher self-discharge, at 85% after 1 year, while the standard is 70% after 10 years.

I got sent one of the official Eneloop chargers, with some standard and pro batteries. I got the BQ-CC87 charger but they have a variety on offer. The charger holds upto 4 AA batteries and gets its power via USB, from a power outlet. Charging the high output pro batteries about 3 hours for two, 6 hours if all four are being charged. Times are reduced slightly for the standard, at 2.5hrs and 4.5hrs. The charger was very easy to use, thanks to the included power level indicator lights, it’s also compact and very portable.

A packet of four AA batteries will set you back a cool £9 for the lite or standard set, £12 for the pro and that USB charging combo will set you back £30.

Eneloop had the rechargeable front covered, but what about the disposable batteries? That’s where the Evolta comes in. There are two ranges in the Evolta line up, the standard range and the Neo range. The standard range comes in AA/AAA/C/D & 9V versions, while the Neo is just AA/AAA. Panasonic are claiming the Neo products are their best alkaline batteries yet, offering upto 10 years of battery storage. Similar to Eneloop, the Neo range has higher storage capacity and is aimed at the more draining products such as digital cameras etc. You can pick up a 8 pack of Evolta AA for about £6.

I’ve been using the batteries on a variety of things, from toys, to cameras and even the kitchen scales. They’re still going strong, even after leaving things on for prolonged times at a go. I’ve read some reviews on Amazon and thousands of people say the Eneloop range is the best available and I’m starting to agree with them.

For more info, head over to the official Panasonic website.