Apple’s New Battery Charger

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 of your wireless desktop accessories with a clean conscience knowing that you’re doing your part to help the environment.

According to Apple (s aapl), 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 with an estimated lifespan of up to 10 years per battery. With six batteries,  you should be able to power your wireless keyboard, new Magic Trackpad, and still have two replacements left at full charge. It’s worth noting, though, that the first generation of the aluminum wireless keyboard actually requires three AA batteries.

Apple’s sales pitch offers us the chance to “..finally break the cycle of buying and disposing of those toxic, single-use alkaline batteries.” This is undoubtedly 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 a product with an internal battery, 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, then, that it has now extended that design philosophy to batteries that are removable as well.