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Peripheral Round-Up: Energizer Rechargeable Compact Charger (AA/AAA), Case Logic 16″ Laptop Sleeve

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Let’s look at rechargeable batteries and how to protect your laptop.

Energizer Rechargeable Compact Charger (AA/AAA)

Everybody wants to do their part to cut down on waste and conserving energy and money. Rechargeable batteries can be a good way to do this, provided the initial investment pays for itself over time. This unit comes with 2 AA and 2 AAA batteries to get you started. Its charging slots are adjustable to charge either 4 AAs, 4, AAAs, or two of each. I tested the batteries in a range of devices from the Wii Fit board to television remotes to Wii remote controllers. Obviously the more use, the faster the drain, and while the ones in the Wii Fit board and TV remotes seldom get changed (good value), the Wii remote batteries seemed to exhibit shorter life span than traditional single use batteries. The life of a rechargeable battery only gets shorter the more times you recharge them, so the usefulness of them will depend greatly on how you use them.  Heavy use = shorter life = less value. These batteries also seem to lose charge fairly quickly just sitting around not being used. Not sure if we got a bad batch or this is typical behavior, but be aware.  They can be worth the investment for some uses, but your mileage may vary.

Case Logic 16″ Laptop Sleeve

Throwing a laptop into a backpack or gym bag can introduce it to all sorts of dust and scratches.  To keep it nice and clean, a sleeve is a wise investment.  Case Logic has been in the business of protecting gadgets and media for quite a while, and it shows. The Nomex foam is soft and durable, and will protect your equipment from gouges and scratches without being bulky, and offers extra padding around the edges where a laptop might be left standing on end or upright inside a bigger carrying case. Its construction is strudy, padded, and durable, not to mention water resistant. There are smaller models for different laptop sizes, but using this with a smaller laptop or netbook offers room for a laptop cooler, mouse pad, or other things you want to stuff in there on the go. It doesn’t have any extra pouches or pockets built in, which might have been nice, but for simple reliable protection of your gear on the go, this is a great product.

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About Mark Buckingham