Mixed in amongst all of the other Apple product updates this morning was an unassuming little battery charger. At a cost of $29 and including six reusable AA batteries, this little white charger offers you the chance to power all your wireless desktop accessories with a clean conscience and the knowledge that you’re doing your part to help the environment.
According to Apple, the charger sets a new industry standard for lowering standby power usage by sensing when its batteries have achieved a full charge and then automatically reducing its power consumption. Each charger comes with six high-performance AA NiMH batteries each with an estimated lifespan of up to 10 years. With six batteries you should be able to fill up your wireless keyboard and new Magic Trackpad, with two replacements left at full charge. Though it’s worth noting that the first generation of the aluminum wireless keyboard actually requires three AA batteries.
Apple’s sales pitch here offers us the chance to “..finally break the cycle of buying and disposing of those toxic, single-use alkaline batteries.” I can’t help but think this is the natural continuation of Apple’s ongoing effort to improve its image as an environmentally responsible company. Energy efficiency has been one of the company’s primary avenues for reducing the impact its products have on the environment.
While scoring relatively well in the most recent Greenpeace Guide to Greener Electronics for efforts to reduce the amount of toxic chemicals in its products Apple still took some knocks for waste and energy. Whenever it builds in a battery to a product Apple goes to great length to ensure it’s the most efficient it possibly can be in the space available. I suppose it’s only natural that it has also now extended that design philosophy to batteries that are removable as well.
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