BATTERIES NOT INCLUDED
Electronic gadgets seldom come with the required batteries, leaving the consumer the choice of which brand of battery to purchase. Regardless of the claims printed on the packaging, not every battery can be the “longest lasting,” so choosing the best bang for the buck can be frustrating. In order to sort out which one truly is better, we put them in a head-to-head test to find out which one did, indeed, last the longest. All batteries tested were purchased brand new and were as fresh as could be found. To keep it fair, all tests were performed in the same device during a long stretch of consistent weather: Daytime temperatures reached the mid-90s, and the temperature dropped into the 70s overnight. Each brand was tested three times, and the results were averaged. The “test bed” for this admittedly nonscientific test was a Garmin etrex Venture HC handheld GPS unit. This device was chosen because— • The Venture HC is a power-hungry device, able to slay even the best alkaline battery in a day of continuous use. • It keeps precise time to record exactly how long a set of AA batteries can satisfy its power need. Batteries from several manufacturers were purchased at various retail outlets and installed in the Garmin GPS unit. The Venture HC runs on two AA batteries. Cost per battery and cost per hour of operation (based on the cost of two batteries) are rounded to the nearest whole cent. Costs are based on the purchase price of small-quantity packages. Purchasing in larger quantities can save a considerable amount of money.