RRRRR, I Don't Want Another Device I Have to Remember to Charge -- In Praise of the Removable Double A Battery

After years and years of happy service, my Logitech MX Anywhere mouse finally gave up the ghost.  So I bought a new one, though I purchased the new MX 2 thinking it would be new and improved.

Wrong!  At least for me.  The old mouse used a single AA battery that lasted months and months.  By keeping 1 extra AA battery in my backpack, I was able to make sure my mouse would always work.  Now, though, the new MX 2 mouse has a built in battery that has to be charged with a charging cable.  And if it runs down (which is always possible since there is no charge indicator)?  Then you have to plug it in with a cable to recharge, and the mouse does not work while charging.  Basically, if you were planning to work in your hotel room that night, you are out of luck.

Already, I have to remember to plug in my cell phone, my iPod, my iPad, my TV remote, my Jabra earphone, etc.  I don't want to have to charge something else!!

A plug-in rechargeable battery is NOT necesarily better than using a couple of double A's.  I have the same problem with my home theater remote (also Logitech).  My old versions used to use replaceable batteries, so I could just leave it on the coffee table.  The new remote require a charger.  But I have no outlets within 10 feet of my coffee table, so now I have to keep the remote in the kitchen, one room over.  Stupid, stupid, stupid.


  1. CB CB:


    Technology is soooo needy. Next, you'll need to remember to plug in your car-- and don't forget to plug in all the "internet of things" you'll soon have. IoT!!! Think of all the needy unseen devices that will require MAINTENANCE of some kind....

    Oops, I forgot--- technology gets *better* with time-- no maintenance will be needed-- it'll be maintenance-free!!!


  2. mesocyclone:

    I used to have a number of radios - ham radios and scanners - that had rechargeable batteries. Now, they all are set up to use alkaline batteries. Then I don't have to worry about their state of charge, and have slightly less parasitic load on my power system.

    But... other devices keep creeping into my life - namely, computers: cell phone, tablet and Kindle all need to be charged. Sigh.

    At least, for my new Samsung Galaxy S6, I have Qi wireless chargers. They are really nice.

  3. jon49:

    Can't you use your phone as a remote? On some devices.

  4. Brad Warbiany:

    Being a bit of a techie, a number of my friends seemed perplexed by the fact that I don't want a "smartwatch".

    Simple. If I have to charge my damn watch every night, I'll stop wearing a watch. Half the time I pull my phone out of my pocket to check the time anyway, completely having forgotten that I have a watch on...

  5. FelineCannonball:

    Wired mice and plugin shavers for me. Corded drills. And I don't need two devices instermediate in size between my laptop and smartphone.

  6. Halcyon:

    Just bought a Logitech cordless mouse (M185) at the local Woolworths supermarket and it works a treat, and all that with a single AA battery. I'm with you, they can have their rechargeable junk.

  7. Jason Azze:

    I've got three or four version1 Logitech Anywhere MX mice (mouses?). I note that my Ubuntu Linux 14.04 machine tells me the the amount of charge left in the mouse's AA battery. Or, I should say: Ubuntu asks the mouse, the mouse tells Ubuntu, and Ubuntu tells me. I suspect the MX 2 has this information available; you just need some software to query it. With this in place you will be able to better predict when you'll be annoyed rather than having it sprung on you as a surprise.

  8. tmitsss:

    Hitachi has had some success with corded devices

  9. slocum:

    I'm with you on the cordless mice -- the battery life is so long that rechargeable doesn't make sense. But I disliked digital cameras that took AAs. There, the extra bulk and much shorter battery life vs lithium batteries made those cameras with AAs lousy to use.

  10. HenryBowman419:

    AA and AAA batteries are cheap and can be obtained almost anywhere in the developed world. In most modern electronic devices, they last a really, really long time, and they typically take 20-30 sec to replace. The use of rechargeable batteries for devices such as remote controls and computer mice is absurd. I agree 100% with this post!

  11. ee:

    Great observation. The interesting take-away here is that markets are awful at generating unified standards. AA/AAA batteries are no longer used in many devices due to size and weigth constraints. We're missing the sd card equivalent of accumulators. If only there was a DIN for that...

  12. obloodyhell:

    Have you looked into using your phone as a remote? Many of them support this. They often don't support a lot of fancy features (which the logitech no doubt does), but for a lot of the basic functionality, you may only need an app for that.

  13. obloodyhell:

    AA/AAA rechargeables solve that issue, anyway. You have the benefits of both.

  14. obloodyhell:

    Big Lots. They have $10 cordless mice that work fine, too.

    And there's ALWAYS Amazon...

  15. obloodyhell:

    LOL, thinking alike. Though if he's got a logitech remote, he's using some advanced feature set more than likely... but it may reduce his need to get the remote....

  16. obloodyhell:

    It DOES get better with time. You're probably not old enough to remember when, on a long-drive family vacation, you took like 6 SPARE tires with you, because the life of the tires was crap, and the delivery network crappy enough that you couldn't rely on getting the SIZE you needed on demand.

    Then there's LUGGABLE computers... YES, modern tech isn't perfect. But yes, it's an improvement. A MASSIVE improvement.

    But this is like this Louis C routine...

    Everything's Amazing and Nobody's Happy
    "...A generation of spoiled idiots..."

  17. ColoComment:

    No solution for traveling, but the limited-outlet problem can be solved by (i) a charging station* (I have mine in an attractive basket** on a table big enough to also handle my stacked iPad, iPod, Kindle, & iPhone. E.g., a 30-pin plug, a mini-USB plug, and 2 Fire plugs, each cord held in place by running it through binder clips clipped to the basket edge with its prongs in the opening position***); and/or (ii) a 10-foot long Fire plug & cord for my iPhone use from a convenient chair at home. Before I go to bed each night, I plug the devices into their respective plugs & then retrieve them each morning before leaving for work.

    **something like the image, but mine lay alongside the basket with the cords running up and over the side.

    ***binder clips

  18. ColoComment:

    I guess those are "Lightning" plugs, aren't they? Not Fire. Whatever....

  19. ErikTheRed:

    Yeah, I had one of those "rechargeable" Logitech laser mice for awhile and absolutely hated it. I've gone Mac since and appreciate the ability to just use AA batteries...

  20. ErikTheRed:

    Sorta kinda but not really. AA/AAA "spec" batteries are 1.5 volts. Virtually all rechargeables only deliver 1.2 volts max - so many devices that aren't explicitly designed for rechargeables have issues with the lower power levels. I tried going the rechargeable route for awhile, with some great batteries and two high-end charging stations and... screw it, I went back to disposeables. I wound up swapping batteries far too often to make it worthwhile.

  21. bigmaq1980:

    Interesting. Three beers and it is time for bed? (bottle caps)

    Nice contrast...DIY recharger station and granite counter top. ;)

  22. ColoComment:

    The image is pulled from the web. My kitchen doesn't have granite countertops. :-)

  23. obloodyhell:

    Cameras are the only high-drain devices I can recall ever amounting to much widespread usage. Which device
    were you having issues with?

    PLUS there is the question of NiCad vs. Lithiums.

  24. markm:

    I used a Logitech wireless mouse and keyboard set for over a decade and three computers, with two rechargeable AA batteries in each one. When an item dies, I swap batteries for the ones in the charger. When the batteries no longer take a charge, I go to Harbor Freight and buy more. But the mouse has taken to freezing up for seconds at a time, so I just bought a $15 corded mouse (not even the cheapest one in the store, but I figure it's worth $5 more for a longer time until I have to go shopping again.)

    With built-in rechargeable batteries, the practical life of electronics is limited to the life of the battery, say 2-5 years depending on how you use it and how often you recharge. (Deep discharge/charge cycles cut the lifetime. Leaving a battery at a low level for long times cuts it even more.) When the battery goes, you probably won't be able to buy a replacement, or it will cost more than the device is worth. Also, most of the devices I see now don't even give the user access to the battery; I'm an electronics tech and EE, so I can crack the case and even solder parts if it's worthwhile, but it usually isn't worth my time, and it isn't even conceivable for > 90% of Americans.

    But look at it from the manufacturer's point of view: they could sell a device that I might use for 10 or 15 years, or one that I'll be forced to replace every 5 years...