With conventional batteries nearly ousted, first by NiCad and now Li-ion rechargeables, you'd think the question of which battery to use would be pretty sewn up. Not so: now comes nickel-zinc technology to shake it all up again.
The new Quantaray Super Z rechargeable AA batteries from PowerGenix ditch lithium technology for nickel-zinc chemistry, a couple of sweet advantages. For one, they offer about 30% more voltage in the same package size--overcoming the problem previous rechargeables had of only delivering 1.2V versus the 1.5V of single-use cells. This makes them handy for a whole range of high-drain devices, such as camera flashes--which will also recharge more quickly using NiZn batteries.
Also, the battery contents of NiZn are non-toxic, which makes them even safer in case of accidents. And most importantly, NiZn is reportedly the "most recyclable rechargeable chemistry on the market" and the batteries meet all the requirements of the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation's requirements for recyclability.
As good as conventional single-use cells, but more recyclable and eco-friendly than both those and more recently released rechargeable batteries? Pretty amazing. The cells will debut in Ritz Camera shops, but a price hasn't been quoted for them yet.