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[Update Aug 28, 2011]
- The name of this product has been changed to Duracell Rechargeables StayCharged AA Batteries. As far as I can tell, those are the same batteries previously marketed as 'Pre-Charged'. In other parts of the world, those are also marketed as 'Active Charge'. They are stlll available in either 'white top' (made in Japan) and 'black top' (made in China) versions.

- Amazon has combined the AA and AAA versions of those Duracell batteries into the same product page. So now I look like a fool who says the same things twice. Oh well...

[Previous update on Dec 24, 2008]
I was only half-right when I boldly proclaimed that "Duracell Pre Charged AA are rebranded Sanyo eneloop cells" in my original review. It turns out that the first batch of Duracell AA cells I bought from Amazon are made in Japan, and those are identical to eneloop (both mechanically and electrically). But lately I bought some more Duracell AA from a warehouse club. Those are made in China, and they are identical to the Rayovac Hybrid.

[Original review follows]

Judging from similarity of technical specifications and physical shapes of (+) and (-) terminals, I am convinced that the Duracell Pre Charged AA is actually SANYO eneloop AA underneath a different wrapper. Therefore all the good things you heard about eneloop apply to Duracell 'Pre Charged', too.

My own testing has shown that the capacity of eneloop AA cell is slightly above the claimed 2000mAh, and it is able to retain at least 85% of its charge after 5 months in storage. The Rayovac Hybrid AA starts with slightly higher capacity at 2100mAh, but it 'only' retains 80% capacity after 5 months. For all practical applications, both are equally good. Just pick whichever brand (Sanyo, Rayovac, or Duracell) is on-sale, and you can't go wrong.

One small problem with the Duracell 'Pre Charged' cell is that: it looked too similar to the well-known 'Copper Top' alkaline cell. So there is a good chance that people may mistaken it for a disposable cell. Personally, I prefer the distinctive-looking white case of the eneloop cell.
review image review image
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on January 20, 2011
First, the disclaimer: There is no political motivation in this review. It is purely based on the findings of my measurement and facts. I hope no one should be offended.

I purchased three packs of these batteries. I found that one pack says "Made in Japan" and the other two "Made in China" in the back of package. Otherwise, the packaging is almost identical. There is, however, a very clear distinction on the battery itself. The Japanese made batteries have a white top while the Chinese made have a black top as shown in one of the photos I uploaded.

I was curious to see if there is a performance difference between the same line of batteries from different manufacturing plants. I have a La Crosse BC-700. So I put all three set into test mode, straight out of the package without any prior use. After 24 hours of measurements, the results are shown in the photos I uploaded.

The 8 batteries made in the Chinese factory averaged 790 mah. That is within 1.25% of the stated capacity. However, I found the variation among the samples is somewhat large, from 774 to 825.

The 4 batteries made in the Japanese factory averaged 834 mah. But more impressively, all samples were within the 832-838 range. This is an important characteristic because when you use multiple batteries in a device, the total capacity available is limited by the lowest one in the group.

I conclude that no matter where where these batteries are made, they at least meet expectation. With that said, I would prefer the "white top" batteries that are made in the Japanese factory. They are extremely consistent and offer higher capacity.
12/29/14 Update:
After 4 years of use (mostly light use such as in remote controls or mice), all Duracell batteries I purchased remains similar to their original capacities. None of them experience significant loss as a group, no matter where they were made. In contrast, the 1/3 of Radio Shack brand I bought either died or lost more than 20% of their original capacity. This is a confirmation of my original rating.
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Pros:
-For a rechargeable battery, these batteries do not need to be charged before you use it for the first time; right from the packaging into your gadgets.
-They last a long time.
-Does not need special charger. You can use your existing NiMh charger.

Cons:
-You can confuse them with regular Duracells and mistakenly thrown away after losing charge.
-This later technology is still expensive.

I also like Eneloops by Sanyo. But they are not easily available at your local stores.
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[Update Aug 28, 2011]
- The name of this product has been changed to Duracell Rechargeables StayCharged AAA Batteries. As far as I can tell, those are the same batteries previously marketed as 'Pre-Charged'. In other parts of the world, those are also marketed as 'Active Charge'. They are stlll available in either 'white top' (made in Japan) and 'black top' (made in China) versions.

- Amazon has combined the AA and AAA versions of those Duracell batteries into the same product page. So now I look like a fool who says the same things twice. Oh well...

[Previous update on Dec 21, 2008]
I was only half-right when I boldly proclaimed that "Duracell Pre Charged AAA are rebranded Sanyo eneloop cells" in my original review. It turns out that the first batch of Duracell AAA cells I bought from Amazon are made in Japan, and those are identical to eneloop (both mechanically and electrically). But lately I bought some more Duracell AAA from a warehouse club. Those are made in China, and they are identical to the Rayovac Hybrid (see my scan in the Customer Images section). Note that the Rayovac Hybrid AAA has an average capacity of about 780mAh (compared to about 830mAh for eneloop AAA), so is not as good a value.

[Original review follows]

Judging from similarity of technical specifications and physical shapes of (+) and (-) terminals, I am convinced that the Duracell Pre Charged NiMH cell is actually Sanyo Eneloop underneath a different wrapper. Therefore all the good things you heard about eneloop apply to Duracell 'Pre Charged', too.

My own testing has shown that the capacity of eneloop AAA cell is slightly above the claimed 800mAh. The Rayovac Hybrid AAA is usually cheaper, but its capacity is slightly below 800mAh. Both brands are able to retain at least 85% of their charge after three months of storage. Just pick whichever brand is on-sale, and you can't go wrong.

One small problem with the Duracell 'Pre Charged' cell is that: it looked too similar to the well-known 'Copper Top' alkaline cell. So there is a good chance that people may mistaken it for a disposable cell. Personally, I prefer the distinctive-looking white case of the eneloop cell.
review image
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on January 17, 2009
I have been using these for a few months in my camera, Logitech Harmony remote, and in my Wii remotes and they have been great.

However, I was looking at batteries at Walmart today and noticed their new stock of Duracell Precharged batteries are being made in China and no longer have a white cap. They shoved the Japan made white cap batteries to the back of the shelf. This makes me think they are no longer Eneloops. I am a little nervous to buy another set of these as the only reason to make that switch in my opinion is to save money yet charge the consumer the same. This usually leads to an inferior product. The originals I have are made in Japan.

Anyway, maybe the battery review guru of Amazon will do a little comparison test of these new China made precharged batteries vs the Japan made batteries that seemed awfully similar to the Eneloops. I really hope the new version stands up to the old.
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on March 20, 2012
I've used these batteries for several months, and their capacity has degraded. I have a computerized charger can charge and discharge gently, and also refresh the batteries by draining and recharging until there's no further improvement. These batteries are rated at 2000mAh of capacity, but several have dropped their max capacity to 1000-1200 mAh. I haven't seen this behavior from other major-brand rechargeables.
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on May 28, 2009
Anyone that uses a wireless controller with their console of choice will certainly tell you that rechargeable batteries are a must. They simply eat up disposable batteries at a rate that would quickly put anyone in the poor house. While some gamers may opt for console branded chargers, it seems smart to invest in a system like Duracell's that you can use in other devices as well.

I have been using Duracell's rechargeable NiMH AA batteries with my wireless controllers for well over a year and have been delighted with them. They recharge quickly and hold enough power to operate both of my controllers for well over 20 hours of actual gaming. Once a pair discharges, I swap them out with another. Using this method, I have never run into an instance where I didn't have a fully charged set at the ready.

These batteries work so well that I decided to also use them in all my remote controls. Despite heavy daily usage, I haven't had one run out of power in over a year. These are certainly rechargeable batteries that any gamer can trust.
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on July 6, 2009
Amazon ran a special on these in late June so I grabbed two 8 packs for 16 batteries altogether. Using my LaCrosse BC-900 charger to test all 16 of these batteries, every single battery has come out below the stated spec of 2000mAh. Low was 1850mAh, high was 1988mAh, average was just above 1900mAh.

I do not think it is acceptable to advertise 2000mAh, but supply 1900mAh. Had I payed full price, I would have rated these even lower. I understand that if I were to do several discharge/recharge cycles, that it would increase - but this seems pretty low for a first round. Perhaps it is normal for this type of battery - but if it is, the package should state that several rounds of conditioning are needed to attain 2000mAh.

EDIT: Thanks to some comments, I've learned that more than one round of discharge/recharge is necessary to attain 2000mAh. I'll post back details in a few weeks after I've done all 16 batteries, but here's initial results from an extra round of discharge/recharge with 4 batteries: average storage capacity increased by 40mAh, with the largest increases in the batteries with the lowest initial capacity.

My initial 3 star rating was overly negative, so I changed the rating to 4 stars.

FOLLOW UP: After several weeks of slow discharge/recharge cycles using my LaCrosse BC-900 charger, I have the following to report:

All batteries were above 1975 mAh
Most required 3 discharge/recharge cycles to get there, though some went through 2 or 4 cycles.
Half were above 2010
Half were 2010 or below
The maximum was 2070

For those few batteries I did a 4th round of discharge/recharge, the gain was small. So three rounds of discharge/recharge get you (close) to stated specs, and beyond that the gains are likely to be small.

It's a bit of work, but here's a good way to do it. Just buy a whole bunch of batteries at once - say 16 or more. Do all the discharges/recharges as part of your daily routine for a few weeks. Then don't worry about it for a few years.

One last comment: I also own 8 Eneloops I purchased a few weeks earlier. I got very similar results with 4 batteries. The other 4 are in use on my kid's Kidizoom Camera - and after two months of light use the batteries show full! With the traditional rechargeable batteries, two months of light use uses up at least a quarter of the battery, as they lose charge fast even with no activity.
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on January 17, 2008
These batteries are great. The new 'precharged' technology is great where it can sit unused for a year and still have most of its charge unlike the older rechargeable technologies. These 800 mAh actually last longer in my noise canceling headphones then the 1000 mAh (non-precharged) of the same brand.

I had previously purchased Energizer rechargeable batteries and found that after only a couple of weeks of non-use they would be dead.. so every time you went to use them they would be useless. After getting these Duracells and also some PowerEx batteries, I realize that the Energizer batteries are cheap Chinese junk. oh, the duracells are made in Japan and are very nice quality.

Anyway I definatly would recommend the precharged Duracells to anyone.
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on September 17, 2014
Totally not what I ordered, what I got was last years model and not what was shown on the picture. make sure you use the correct picture that matches the product you are selling instead of grabbing a photo off the web.
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