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Consumer Reports: Batteries put to the test

Most of us burn through a staggering amount of batteries – several million a year. Double-A batteries are the most popular. That’s why Consumer Reports tested them to see which batteries last the longest.
(Consumer Reports) -- Most of us burn through a staggering amount of batteries – several million a year. Double-A batteries are the most popular. That’s why Consumer Reports tested them to see which batteries last the longest.

Consumer Reports tested a dozen, including big names like Energizer, and store brands like Walgreens and CVS.

Testers evaluated battery performance using a rack programmed to mimic a digital camera and a flashlight. The tests turned up big differences.

The Eveready Gold - the worst batteries - took only 52 shots before dying. The Energizer Ultimate lithium - the best - took 682 shots. But they're expensive - more than $2.50 per battery.

"Lithium batteries do cost more, but they can be worth it for digital cameras and other high-drain devices,” said Consumer Reports’ Sarah Goralski.

Among alkaline batteries, top ratings went to the Duracell Ultra Power for about $1 per battery.

"Alkaline batteries don't tend to last as long, so they're better for low-drain devices like flashlights or remotes," Goralski continued.

Consumer Reports says rechargeable batteries are best. Lithium batteries and rechargeable batteries should be recycled, and while many places allow you to throw out alkaline batteries, Consumer Reports says it’s a good idea to recycle those, too.

Find a recycling center near you at http://earth911.com/.

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