The eneloop Pro follows the long-standing eneloop tradition of NiMH batteries that run circles around most of the competition. This eneloop Pro battery is NOT designed for general usage, but rather high-drain applications. When paired with these high-drain applications, the Pro excels in a fashion that few other batteries can, giving you performance that other NiMH rechargeable and disposable alkaline AA batteries cannot provide.
BACKGROUND & WHAT USAGE THE ENELOOP PRO IS INTENDED FOR
Eneloop is considered by many to be the tour-de-force of rechargeable NiMH cells (much like Panasonic is with lithium ion cells.) Gone are the days where NiMH cells did not give performance that came even close to alkaline. Things like memory, low service lives, rapidly fading capacity, etc. are over. Today we have NiMH cells that can dramatically outperform the finest of disposable alkaline batteries and can be charged thousands of times. Over a 10+ year period, you can save thousands of dollars with a good NiMH setup.
The eneloop Pro is eneloop’s (formally Sanyo and now Panasonic) follow-up to their highly successful eneloop XX series. Like the XX, the eneloop Pro is a SPECIALTY battery. It is NOT intended for usage with lower drain applications, and performs poorly when used for this purpose. However, when used in high-drain applications that tend to be brutal on the battery, the eneloop Pro gives unparalleled runtime that no alkaline can come even close to.
THE STANDARD ENELOOP 2100 VS THE ENELOOP PRO: Which is right for you?
Eneloop’s newest innovation is 4th generation NiMH cells. Like previous generations, eneloop is offering a standard-use and a high-drain model. These eneloop Pros use 4th gen technology, as do the standard eneloop “2100”. This fourth gen technology gives both batteries a very wide operating temp range, improved stability in output, slower self-discharge, and increases in durability.
Eneloop Pro SPECS:
-Capacity: 2550 mAh
-Service Life: up to 500 recharge cycles
-Rate of self-discharge: about 85% capacity remaining at 1 year of storage
Eneloop 2100 SPECS:
-Capacity: 2000 mAh
-Service Life: up to 2100 recharge cycles
-Rate of self-discharge: Over 70% capacity remaining at 5 years of storage
-A substantial performance improvement with high-drain devices vs. the third gen
THE 2100 --- The standard eneloop 2100 is designed to be a high-capacity battery that is capable of handling all but the worst of high drain devices. This battery makes substantial improvements over the third generation when it comes to handling higher-drain devices. It is ultra-low discharge (literally now it discharges SLOWER than many disposable batteries!) and high capacity at about 2000 mAh. This battery works great in both low drain and high drain apps. Additionally, with a cycle life of 2,100, this battery has serious longevity (literally the service life is four times that of the XX or Pro.) Because of this, most household devices should use this standard eneloop 2100. While it has a lower capacity than the eneloop Pro, the slower self-discharge and the ability to work better with low-drain devices will give better performance than the Pro with most devices. So if you are not using a device in which you constantly have to switch batteries out, the 2100 is what you want. The picture I uploaded shows a basic remote and Logitech wireless mouse; those devices get the best performance from the 2100s because they are not high-drain devices and so I use them exclusively in those devices.
THE PRO --- However, there are some devices that are just plain brutal on batteries. These will benefit greatly from the Pro (or XX) design. For example, in my picture you can see a Fenix LED flashlight and a wireless gaming mouse. These devices put a world of hurt on batteries and run times are measured in hours. The eneloop Pro makes substantial improvements over the already outstanding 2100 in this sort of application. Cameras, audio players, high-output flashlights, medical devices, lasers, etc. will benefit here.
So which battery you need completely depends on your application. I own 4 XXs and 4 Pros to go along with about 20+ 2100s. I use my 2100s for standard applications, and the XX or Pro for high-drain devices.
WHAT I LIKE
Like eneloops of the past, one thing that makes the brand unique is their advertising. Many battery makers advertise their batteries as having a MUCH higher capacity than they actually do. For example, I purchased 2500 mAh Tenergy batteries and brand new they only had a capacity of about 1700 mAh, and then rapidly shrank from there. I have had similar experiences with both Duracell and Energizer rechargeable cells. Eneloop guarantees each and every battery will meet their minimum mAh rating, and as a general rule all batteries exceed these ratings by a substantial margin. With these Pros, I purchased a 2550 mAh battery and I got a 2550 mAh battery. Additionally, eneloops do not rapidly shrink in capacity like other brands. Fives years or ten years down the line, these batteries will still work great if cared for. This longevity makes eneloop a much better value than inferior NiMH cells: spend a few extra bucks on eneloop today and enjoy their superior performance for years to come while simultaneously saving money.
Eneloop also sends their batteries pre-charged (and they were charged by solar energy.) With the low self-discharge of the Pro, and the extremely low self-discharge of the 2100, you can use these batteries immediately after purchasing them.
While the third generation batteries did a great job with colder temperatures, these 4th generation 2100s and Pros are outstanding. If you want to keep a flashlight in your car, these batteries are hard to beat given they work well in both hot-hot and cold-cold, and temperature extremes will not wreck your service life.
CONCLUSION: WHAT I LIKE THE MOST
Ultimately, there are two things I like about this battery the most. One, I save a ton of money over disposable batteries. I am talking thousands of dollars while simultaneously supporting environmentally friendly technology. Two, I get better performance from these eneloops and can use my devices longer. As of mid-2015, this is really THE battery to have for your high-drain devices (and the eneloop 2100 is really THE battery to have for your general-use devices.) So I highly recommend the eneloop Pro, as do I recommend the eneloop 2100 and eneloop as a company.
If you are looking for a battery that gives you optimal performance with your high-drain devices, but would prefer an alternative to expensive lithium disposables, the eneloop Pro is the balanced choice of outstanding performance, outstanding value, and outstanding longevity. There really is no substitute.
on December 26, 2014
I purchased 8 of these batteries to use on my Nikon SB-600 Flash. Previously I had been using both Duracell and Energizer brand rechargeable Ni-MH batteries. The differences are night and day. The envelop pro batteries allow me to shoot 3 fps with my flash for 2-3 seconds before they can't keep up. In the past, I was lucky to get my flash to cycle in time to go off for every other shot.
I also use the current generation of standard eneloop rechargeable batteries on various gadgets and toys around my house. I would not recommend the :envelop pro" batteries for everyday use, not because they would not work, but because there is no need for a battery of this caliber for most things.
I will never go back to using any other type of rechargeable battery.
I use a La Crosse Technology BC-700 to charge the batteries and have never had an issue with heat dissipation.
on May 26, 2014
This review is only for the AA "Eneloop Pro" batteries, as I did not purchase the charger combo. For starters, these batteries are rated 2450-2550mAh. I charged them up at 800mA (and I do not recommend this charge rate as it heated up the batteries too much, possibly due to peak detection problem), let them cool, popped them into my flash, and used it for one day. Their remaining capacity was about ~1400mAh, after a discharge to ~.89V per cell. I then discharged them again to the same ~.89V at a 400mA discharge rate, as I didn't monitor the first discharge and wanted to make sure the task was completed. I then charged them at a 400mA rate for 6:50-7:02 (hours:minutes) in an individual cell charger. Their capacities were a remarkable 2818, 2719, 2762, 2770 mAh. There seems to be a bit of variance, but the capacity is rather high. I will try to include a picture.
Updated: 2015-02-03 Discharge capacity was determined while using the discharge feature. Actual capacity after 8 months of usage ranged between 2380-2429mAh. A picture will be added.
on June 10, 2014
I now have 28 of the Eneloop XX AA batteries. I use them in every thing from remote controls to a digital camera. I use them in a Nitecore EA8 900 lumen searchlight, a game camera and other flashlights and cameras. I have never had a single complaint or problem with them. Some I have had for 3 years and are still holding 2600 mAh and some as high as 2700 mAh. Panasonic now owns Sanyo and the newest AA batteries look a little different, but have more capacity (it says). The package states they're minimum capacity is 2450mAh and the old ones 2400mAh, however I have never had one with a capacity below 2600mAh.
I bought a La Crosse BC-500 to use in a car with solar cells as it is the only La Crosse that can be used this way, with a 12 v plug included. This one tells me the capacity of each battery. I recently bought a Titanium Innovations MD-1600L charger that can also has a car 12v plug and has 2 usb plugs so I can charge phones, tablets, iPods and such at he same time I'm charging 1 to 16 batteries.
If your going to be using rechargeable batteries, get a smart charger so they will last a very long time. Chargers that use a timer, such as those that come in a package with the batteries, will eventually damage them and/or the batteries will not last very long at all. Heat is what kills these batteries.
on January 30, 2015
Right off the bat these batteries excelled in reaching their capacity in one shot, here are the stats for the cells (tested them in both the La Crosse and Maha C9000)
Discharge 300mAh: Maha C9000
Batt 5 - 872mAh / 3:12
Batt 6 - 875mAh / 3:14
Batt 7 - 875mAh / 3:13
Batt 8 - 865mAh / 3:10
Discharge - 250mAh: La Crosse BC-1000
Batt 1 - 896mAh / 3:36
Batt 2 - 904mAh / 3:38
Batt 3 - 913mAh / 3:40
Batt 4 - 907mAh / 3:39
Both sets seem to do well, though the Maha seemed to be pushing the cells in the 1.1 volt range instead of the 1.2 range. I have yet to determine whether 300mA discharge was too much or they were not completely charged, though they should have been charged (see my review on the Maha charger for more details). I often hear people are not getting fully charged (or drained cells) and i wanted to clarify a few reasons why that might be. EIther you are using it in a device that does not work well with NiMH rechargeables or the cells are over a year old and may need a refresh before using.
Which brings me to my next point, these cells were manufactured in January of 2014 and (well you can see when i wrote this) it's now 2015. So naturally i am guessing the reason the extra 50mA current pushed the cells voltage further down with the Maha charger (since the La Crosse was fixed at 250mA discharge from choosing 500mA as the charging rate on both chargers). So while these cells are precharged, they are generally only charged to about 70% and after being a year or so in storage they start to lose their vibrancy and often times a simple charge, discharge and recharge is in order. Certainly you can use these cells out of the package and they should work fine, however the older the cells are the less charge they will have in them during obtaining them.
I am also glad to see that the package these cells came in was in good condition. There's been a few folks out there (including me) who has got Eneloops that has escaped out of the package either during shipping or they were shipped in that condition. It's not good for cells to be out of the package and can cause the batteries to short circuit depleting their life. There are other factors that could reduce the charge levels by environmental factors during the production to when they get to your home and with a few folks that have done tests, these batteries can be low as 40%. My particular cells seemed to be around 65% capacity. So even though these cells have been labeled as precharged, the capacity is not generally at 100% capacity and functioning 100% right from the package. These batteries do hold their charge for a long time and i wouldn't expect them to die at 3 years in storage. They may not have as much capacity as those HSD cells but often times you are sacrificing cycles for extra capacity.
These cells (both AA/AAA's) offer the best of both worlds. I use these for emergencies when my regular Eneloops are discharged and i got no alkalines available. One thing i will note if you use these cells 3x out of the week (that's discharging and recharging) you can probably get 4-5 years out of them. You can get more cycles out of them if you recharge them at 1.26 volts instead of 1.20 volts. So if you use these in regular applications you may want to think about recharging them on a regular basis (depending on how much you use them) and for low drain devices, regular Eneloops would be a far better idea. I use my older cells for low drain devices so my newer regular Eneloops gets used in the high drain devices. But if you are light with these you should get 5+ years out of them. As i stated earlier, i prefer using regular Eneloops for daily usage as those cells will outlast these, but for high drain critical applications these cells (both the AA/AAA) are excellent.
Also if you see rechargeable AA Duracells with the mAh capacity of 2400, those are similar (or the same) as the AA Eneloop Pros.
on January 29, 2015
I purchased the previous generation of the Eneloop rechargeable batteries, in 2013, after doing much research into the best rechargeable batteries. I have not been disappointed. Since I needed more batteries, I did some additional research, and found out they had a newer version, which is supposed to be even better. So far, so good.
on December 8, 2011
The measurably higher capacity and shelf life of these batteries is well documented, and commented about, elsewhere, so I will simply confirm that they are great performers. The main thing I would like to mention here is their size. I first tried the white AA Eneloops, and found (as did many other reviewers) that the diameter was slightly larger than standard AA batteries, to the point where they were actually unusable in one device I have. These black XX Eneloops seem to have come back within the AA size spec., and fit nicely into the device where the white ones would not.
Addendum/clarification: While I haven't taken a set of calipers to these batteries, I can tell you this ... I own a device (a wireless guitar transmitter made by "Line 6") where the battery compartment is simply two holes bored straight into billet aluminum. A brand new set of AA alkaline Duracells will slide into those holes easily, as will any of the four black XX Eneloops purchased here, but with no room to spare. I have 8 of the white Eneloops, that I purchased at Fry's electronics, and I believe to be genuine based on comparison checks of features provided by other reviewers. Not one of the those 8 white AA Eneloops will slide into the hole where the black XXs and standard alkaline AAs will. Also, dozens of reviewers of the white Eneloops complain of the same problem, "the white AA Eneloops are thicker than standard AAs" ... these black XXs are not.