Rechargeable technology has gotten to the point where you can get almost as much power out of reusable batteries as disposables. Most battery chargers, however, are dumb circuits that simply jam a current through the battery no matter its current state of charge, which can ruin a perfectly good battery. With La Crosse’s BC-900, you can not only monitor the charge on the battery at any given time, you can do a discharge + recharge cycle, or even a full refresh where the battery is discharged and recharged several times in a row. I’ve found the BC-900 can actually revive a battery that was rendered unusable via a less effective charger.
Previously, I owned a Panasonic that worked OK. Though I haven’t done a completely exhaustive search of this space, after reading a lot of reviews and then using it, I really would rate the BC-900 as being one of, if not the best little charger for the money. With mine, I find I can get anywhere between 50 to 100 percent more cycles.
Plus, this unit has selectable charge rates, which allows you to charge batteries quicker if you need them ASAP, like within 15-30 minutes. Doing this does require a lot of current to be jammed through the batteries in a shorter period of time, which stresses them and shortens their lifespan. But it’s helpful to at least have the option of optimizing for speed over longevity.The charger comes with eight batteries (4 AA and 4 AAA) and 4 C and D cell adapters, too, so you get a nice start all in one package.
[If you have "null" batteries several commenters pointed out that there is a way to revive batteries using the LaCrosse charger and a paperclip. ...The BC-900 has been replaced with the BC-1000. --OH]