Power your Newton with rechargeables.

Sanyo Eneloops for your Newton.

Original Newton MessagePad rechargeable battery packs don’t last long. This is a fact of life. No battery can last 15 or more years.

And try as I have to breathe new life into my old Newton rechargeable battery pack, it’s just not working (though there are ways to refurbish them). After going through a few sets of plain old AA batteries, I’ve finally landed on a workable solution: Sanyo Eneloop NiMH rechargeables.

Eneloops are rechargeable batteries that come pre-charged. You can pop them into your Newton or digital camera or whatever right when you free them from their recycled packaging. It’s great.

The benefits of rechargeable batteries are obvious: they cut down on waste, they’re cost effective, and – if properly maintained – they can last for years.

The properly-maintained part is important, because not all battery rechargers are created equal. Fast “15-minute” or cheap rechargers actually kill your batteries over time. By getting a quality recharger, you’ll pay for the device as time goes on by not throwing out rechargeables after a few uses.

I learned this lesson in college by buying a cheap-o Energizer rechargeable all-in-one pack (batteries and recharger). By the fifth or sixth recharge session, my batteries didn’t hold a charge and started leaking all over the recharger. Lesson learned.

The Maha MH-C124S recharger I found on eBay was relatively cheap, and Maha offers many more varieties that will fit your needs. I’ve also heard good things about LaCrosse smart chargers.

The Newton’s battery life is one of the benefits of owning and using one. I can go longer than a month on a set of plain AA batteries, and just about as long on a set of rechargeables. Get yourself a set of Eneloops and a good quality recharger and you’ll be in battery heaven.

How do you keep your Newton powered?


  1. I have a newton messagepad 2000, and I am lucky enough to have got it with the rare battery tray. after several sets of AAs, I decided to invest in some rechargeable ones. I went and got a 4 pack of energizer NiMH 2500mah rechargeable AAs. I set them in the tray, plugged in the charger I got with me eMate, and they won’t recharge. the battery meter on the messagepad goes from saying “battery” to “adapter”. I have an external charger I can use, but this would be much more convenient.

    Any ideas?

  2. Yes, because I tried something similar. The Newton will only charge the original batteries that came with it – it’s actually a battery pack of sorts. You’ll have to charge the Energizers in a separate recharging station. I suggest any kind of MAHA recharger, like I mention above. It stinks you can’t plug the batteries into the eMate and plug in the adapter to charge them, but that’s the way it goes. Good luck!

  3. yeah I have the energizer charger. It is the cheapest one that does the AA and AAAs. It is not a 15 minute fast charger. It has 2 indicator lights on it, one for the left set and one for the right. They glow green when there are 2 batteries present. Unfortunately, it does not give you an ETA on how long it takes and there is not any charging/full indicator I can see, just those green lights that glow green whether they are charged or not. I put the 4 2500mah batteries in there for 6 hours, popped them in the tray, and the messagepad still reported they were not full. Oh well, as much energy as they pack, I should be set for a few months, even with a wifi card.

    I actually heard sonnyhung is working on modifying the try to charge the batteries. I looked at it but I am clueless as to how to make it.


  4. That would be really cool – a modified Messagepad charging station. My philosophy is, the longer the battery charger takes to charge the batteries, the better it is for the batteries. Those quick chargers do some damage, from what I’ve read.

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