Apple’s Magical + Revolutionary, Uh, Battery Charger Unboxed
Hey! It’s the new $29 Apple Battery Charger! The one introduced last week alongside the Magic Trackpad, enabling AA cell users to stop buying disposable batteries for 10 years*—once every two or so months, if you’re a Magic Mouse user—in favor of swapping between these six silver rechargeable beauties.
Click on the title or the Read More link for more pictures and details.
The white cardboard box arrived a little dirty on one side—very unusual for an Apple product.
Three sets of AA batteries are included in the package, along with one white glossy plastic charger, two total instruction and warning packets, and a cardboard sleeve to hold all of the parts together. Apple’s Battery Charger instruction manual looks thicker than the one for the iPod shuffle… but that’s just because it’s multilingual.
“At least five hours of charging time” are requested for a full charge of either one or two of the nickel metal hydride (NiMH) batteries the Charger can handle at once. The company specifically disclaims use of the charger for batteries other than NiMH ones—not surprisingly, there’s a “risk of explosion” if you put the wrong type of battery inside, such as non-rechargeable alkaline, lithium, or NiCad cells.
The blades detach as in most of Apple’s wall chargers (save for the most recent iPhone USB Power Adapters sold in the U.S. and several other countries), enabling the use of alternate international blades.
On the top, there’s a two-color light: solid amber means it’s charging, flashing amber means there’s a problem with the batteries or their installation (positive up, negative down), green means it’s charged and ready, and no light means either that the batteries are “too deeply discharged to register immediately” or that the batteries are charged and that the green indicator light has shut off after six hours.
Those little interesting light changes indicate some of the engineering that went into the Battery Charger: it’s not just your typical off-the-shelf part. The light management system is one of several power-saving features that Apple is touting as reducing the Charger’s “vampire draw,” or continued leeching of current even when the batteries are fully charged and just sitting there waiting for you. It’ll be interesting to see whether that 10 year claim is even vaguely approached by the cells, which are specced as Made in Japan “AA Ni-MH Min. 1900 mAh 1.2V HR6” units, for battery fiends out there. In any case, we’ll be using them with the Wireless Keyboard, Magic Trackpad, and Magic Mouse from here on out.
If you have a comment, news tip, advertising inquiry, or coverage request, a question about iPods or accessories, or if you sell or market products, read iLounge's Comments + Questions policies before posting, and fully identify yourself if you do. We will delete comments containing advertising, astroturfing, trolling, personal attacks, offensive language, or other objectionable content, then ban and/or publicly identify violators. Wondering why we're talking about something other than iPods? Check the Archives: Backstage has been here and kicking it since 2004.
- Spotify penalizing artists who release Apple Music exclusives
- Apple releases new round of iOS 10 and tvOS 10 betas
- Report: 2017 iPhone to eliminate home button
- Apple to add payment technology to iPhone for transit passes, Apple Pay in Japan
- Apple releases iOS 9.3.5 ‘security update’
- Report: Apple developing its own Snapchat-style social video editing iOS app
- Apple announces Apple Music Festival lineup including Alicia Keys, Britney Spears + more
- Universal calls an end to exclusives amid criticisms that Apple Music is hurting the industry
- Apple reveals some of its upcoming AI advancements for the iPhone
- Apple Music’s royalty rates complicate Spotify’s contract negotiations
- Western Digital My Cloud (OS 3)
- Distil Union Stanley Stand
- Philips Sonicare FlexCare Platinum Connected Bluetooth Toothbrush
- Audeze EL-8 Titanium Over-Ear Headphones
- Defined Corp Dome Stand for Apple Watch and iPhone
- Speck StyleFolio Pencil for 9.7” iPad Pro
- Audeze Sine On-Ear Headphone
- First Alert Onelink Wi-Fi Smoke + Carbon Monoxide Alarm
- Logitech Create 9.7” iPad Pro Keyboard Case
- iDevices Outdoor Switch Power Outlet
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Photos gets Advanced Computer Vision
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Music app delivers ‘clarity and simplicity’
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Maps gets a major redesign
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 shakes up the user experience
- Inside the betas: watchOS 3 promises a real speed boost
- Inside the betas: A sneak peek at what’s new in tvOS 10
- Filling the Gap: A look at third-party HomeKit apps
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of tvOS 9.2
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 9.3
- Opinion: Why Apple needs a dedicated HomeKit app