Consumer Watch: Lithium vs. alkaline batteries

FRESNO, Calif.

There are so many to choose from, with claims like "world's longest lasting" and "lasts up to nine times longer. There's a lot of misinformation and hype out there, and in the end it can cost you money if you make the wrong choice.

Consumer Reports evaluated 15 kinds of AA batteries, both lithium and alkaline. The Toys "R" Us Ultra alkalines delivered just four hours of flashlight time and 49 shots from a digital camera. Compare that with Energizer Ultimate Lithium, the top-rated battery that racked up more than seven hours of flashlight time and 609 shots.

Lithiums are more expensive, but the extra lithium boost is worth it for digital cameras and gaming controllers, devices that need more power.

But Consumer Reports says alkalines are the way to go for toys that are used less often. The Duracell Quantum proved the best alkalines and is half the price of the lithiums.

Once your AA batteries are dead, you can throw them out with your regular trash. But rechargeable batteries should be recycled. You can get information on recycling locations at

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