Monthly Archives: January 2013

Reviews of the Philips Norelco AT830 PowerTouch with Aquatec Electric Razor

By Rayy Zar

Philips Norelco AT830 PowerTouchThe AT830 is part of Philips Norelco’s popular mid-price PowerTouch range. The “AT” (Aquatec) designates it as a wet/dry model. It is similar to the AT810 model, though with what the company calls a Smart Pivot, for hard-to-reach areas, in place of the flexing heads of the AT810.

According to an official company description:

The first blade raises each hair while the second blade comfortably cuts it below skin level, for a really smooth result. The grip’s unique, ergonomic design and anti-slip materials make it easy to shave with precision and comfort.

The AquaTec seal on the Philips electric shaver makes it 100% waterproof. Use it in the shower with your favorite shaving gel or foam for extra skin comfort. Naturally you can also shave dry for convenience.

An efficient, powerful lithium-ion battery gives you more shaves per charge. Charge it for an hour and you’ll have up to 50 minutes of shaving time – that’s around 17 shaves. Charge it for 3 minutes and you’ll have enough power for one shave.

DualPrecision heads comfortably shave both long hairs and short stubble. 1. Slots cut long hairs. 2. Holes cut stubble. Rounded low-friction heads adjust to the contours of your face to limit skin irritation. The low-friction SkinGlide shaving surface slides smoothly along your skin for a close, easy shave.

Flexing heads stay in close contact with your skin, while the pivoting neck adds an extra dimension of movement – all giving you a close, fast, and comfortable shave. Complete your look by using the Pop-up trimmer. Perfect for maintaining a moustache and trimming sideburns.

The AT830 has received generally good reviews at various websites. At the Philips Norelco site it has attracted more than 80 reviews, with an average rating of 4.4 stars. At Amazon it has received more than 220 customer reviews, with an average rating of 4.1 stars.

Here’s part of a four-star review:

Personally, I prefer regular razors over electric razors, but this one is pretty decent. Anyway, this one shaves well, is shaped well to the hand, and runs for about 45 minutes until you have to charge it again. Charging takes only about an hour, which I don’t think is too bad. There is a blinking light that tells you when the thing needs charged. It seems to be constructed well also.

There isn’t a stand for the thing, as other people have mentioned, but I don’t care, since I just toss it in a drawer when I am done anyway. There really isn’t anything fancy about this razor. You get a razor that works well and a charger. To me, that is perfect. I don’t want to pay for extra stuff I don’t really need or won’t use. I don’t need a charge meter, a stand, a charger with multiple settings, or backup singers. I just want a razor at a reasonable cost that works well.

And here is an excerpt from a three-star review:

I shaved with a blade for many years, but have tried several different electrics over the past year because I like the convenience of not having to stand in front of a bathroom mirror to shave. In my quest to find the right razor for me I tried a Norelco SensoTouch 3D, a Braun, and now this Norelco AT830.

The AT830 actually gave me a better shave than the fancier and more expensive SensoTouch. The closeness and time shaving were about the same, but I got less irritation with the AT830, particularly in the sensitive area below my chin. One big thing I like about the Norelco rotary razors is the fact that they are really quiet. They’re also comfortable to hold and lightweight. Thumbs up for ergonomics.

What I didn’t like about the AT830 were the lack of features. There is no battery meter, only a light that flashes when the battery is about to run out. A big detractor is the fact that you cannot use this razor plugged in; you have to wait until there is a charge and unplug it before you can use it. If you need to shave and the battery’s run out, you’re out of luck.

* Get the latest price on the Philips Norelco AT830 Powertouch with Aquatec Electric Razor.

Review – Philips Norelco AT810 PowerTouch with Aquatec Electric Razor

By Rayy Zar

Philips Norelco AT810 PowerTouchThe Philips Norelco AT810 PowerTouch with Aquatec Electric Razor is part of the popular PowerTouch range, and is a wet/dry model.

According to an official description:

The first blade raises each hair while the second blade comfortably cuts it below skin level, for a really smooth result. The grip’s unique, ergonomic design and anti-slip materials make it easy to shave with precision and comfort.

The AquaTec seal on the Philips electric shaver makes it 100% waterproof. Use it in the shower with your favorite shaving gel or foam for extra skin comfort. Naturally you can also shave dry for convenience

An efficient, powerful lithium-ion battery gives you more shaves per charge. Charge it for an hour and you’ll have up to 50 minutes of shaving time – that’s around 17 shaves. Charge it for 3 minutes and you’ll have enough power for one shave.

DualPrecision heads comfortably shave both long hairs and short stubble. 1. Slots cut long hairs. 2. Holes cut stubble. The flexing heads of your Philips shaver keep the shaving surface in close contact with your skin for a fast and efficient shave. Rounded low-friction heads adjust to the contours of your face to limit skin irritation. The low-friction SkinGlide shaving surface slides smoothly along your skin for a close, easy shave.

Complete your look by using the Pop-up trimmer. Perfect for maintaining a moustache and trimming sideburns.

At the Philips website the shaver has attracted more than 130 reviews, with an average rating of 4.2 stars. At Walmart it has more than 80 reviews. At Amazon it has more than 190 reviews with an average rating of 4.3 stars.

Users are generally happy with the shaver, believing it represents good value for the price. There are some complaints about a weak performance from the trimmer, along with comments that it is not as good as a razor shave.

Here is a useful summary from a four-star review titled “Good, cheap shaver:”

Pros:
-cheaper than buying cartridge razors like the Fusion, especially if you shave twice a day
-less irritating, once your skin gets used to it
-waterproof
-light, long-lasting battery pack (I charge it once a week)
-easy to clean

Cons:
-not as close of a shave as disposable blade razors
-hard to get a close shave on angle of jaw and neck
-big and bulky and traps water in its nooks and crannies, not the best travel shaver
-planned obsolescence: Battery pack is not user serviceable, once it stops holding a charge, it’s scrap. Also with the high cost of replacement heads at half of the cost of a new shaver, it’s almost a foregone conclusion you’ll be upgrading to a new one in a year or two. 

* Get the latest price on the Philips Norelco AT810 Powertouch with Aquatec Electric Razor.

PT730 Powertouch Electric Razor – Another Popular Philips Norelco Shaver

By Rayy Zar

Philips Norelco PT730 PowertouchThe PT730 is part of Philips Norelco’s popular PowerTouch range. It is a more expensive version of the PT720 PowerTouch, with the addition of a pop-up trimmer and with what the company calls “DualPrecision” and “Super Lift and Cut” shaving systems.

Here is a product description from the company:

Patented Super Lift & Cut blades raise hairs to cut closer. The first blade raises each hair while the second blade comfortably cuts it below skin level, for a really smooth result.

An efficient, powerful lithium-ion battery gives you more shaves per charge. You’ll have up to 40 minutes of shaving time – that’s around 14 shaves, after 8 hours of charging. Plug it in for 3 minutes and you’ll have enough power for one shave.

DualPrecision heads comfortably shave both long hairs and short stubble. 1. Slots cut long hairs. 2. Holes cut stubble. The flexing heads of your Philips shaver keep the shaving surface in close contact with your skin for a fast and efficient shave. Simply pop the heads open, and thoroughly rinse under the tap.

The shaver is very popular, judging from the number of customer reviews at various websites. At the Philips Norelco site it has around 100 reviews, with an average rating of 4.5 stars. At Amazon it has around 340 reviews, with an average 4.3 stars. These suggest high levels of customer satisfaction.

Here is a useful summary from an Amazon four-star review:

PROs:
– Lithium-Ion Battery lasts 40 minutes
– Quiet
– Pop-up trimmer – very useful
– Washable head
– Lightweight
– Trouble free
– 2 year warranty
– 45 day trial period

CONs:
– Slower than some other Norelco models I’ve had in the past
– No battery level indicator
– no travel case
– no switch lock to prevent suitcase-on

And here’s part of a five-star review titled “First electric razor and very impressed:”

PROS:
Only had to charge once in over a month (used 4-6 times a week)
Easy cleaning by simply running it under hot water
Close shave that’s quick and easy
Battery indicator
Light and quiet
Fits well in my hand

CONS:
Expected a little more from the pop-up trimmer

Overall, this was a steal for $49.99. Haven’t had any issues so far and would definitely recommend this razor! 

* Get the latest price on the Philips Norelco PT730 Powertouch Electric Razor.

Philips Norelco PT720 Powertouch – Basic Shaver At A Basic Price

By Rayy Zar

Philips PT720The Philips Norelco PT720 is one of two electric razors in the company’s basic PowerTouch range. The other is the more expensive PT730. They are for dry shaving only. In addition, Philips offers the AT range – PowerTouch with Aquatec – which provide wet/dry shaving.

According to an official company description:

ComfortCut heads have rounded edges that glide smoothly on your skin, so you always get a close, yet comfortable shave. An efficient, powerful lithium-ion battery gives you more shaves per charge. You’ll have up to 40 minutes of shaving time – that’s around 14 shaves, after 8 hours of charging. Plug it in for 3 minutes and you’ll have enough power for one shave.

The flexing heads of your Philips shaver keep the shaving surface in close contact with your skin for a fast and efficient shave. Simply pop the heads open, and thoroughly rinse under the tap.

It has attracted many favorable reviews, though is not as well regarded as the company’s more expensive models, with complaints about the lack of a trimmer and with some users saying the shave is not as close as they desire.

At the Philips Norelco website it has more than 75 reviews, with an average rating of 3.9 stars. At Walmart it has more than 230 reviews. One user provides what seems to be the view of many, in a four-star review:

This razor is pretty basic, but will get the job done. It will take 8 hours to get a full charge, but you can, after 3 minutes, have enough for a one-time shave. I like that the head is waterproof and you can just run it under the sink to clean it. Unlike the model 730, this razor does not have the pop-up side-burns trimmer. Overall, I’d rate the shave as good, but I think I would still give the edge (pun intended) to a “normal” razor shave. However, for an entry-level electric, it’s a good value.

Pros: Inexpensive, long lasting battery, decent shave, easy to clean.
Cons: Lacking some features of the more expensive models, can’t use with shaving cream.

At Amazon more than 200 reviews give the shaver an average rating of 4.1 stars. Here’s the summary from a four-star review titled “You get what you pay for:”

Pros:
Lightweight – says it all
Ergonomic – easy to grip
Efficient Power – recharges fast
Friendly – easy to use and clean

Cons:
No pop trimmer
Miss my old coiled cord
Don’t care for the shave

* Get the latest price on the Philips Norelco PT720 Powertouch Electric Razor.

Philips Norelco 1150X SensoTouch 2D Electric Razor

By Rayy Zar

Philips Norelco 1150X:40 SensoTouch 2DThe 1150X SensoTouch 2D is one of Philips Norelco’s most popular shavers, offering most users a quality shave, and priced at under $100.

According to an official company description:

GyroFlex 2D contour-following system adjusts easily to the curves of your face, minimizing pressure and irritation for a close shave. DualPrecision shaving heads have slots to shave the normal hairs and holes to shave even the shortest stubble. The dual blade system built into the Philips electric shaver lifts hairs to cut comfortably below skin level for a closer shave.

The Aquatec wet & dry seal lets you choose how you prefer to shave. You can get a comfortable dry shave or a refreshing wet shave using a shaving gel or foam for extra skin comfort. The low-friction SkinGlide shaving surface slides smoothly along your skin for a close easy shave. Precision trimmer for perfect moustache and sideburn trimming.

The shaver has attracted more than 960 customer reviews at Amazon, with an average rating of 3.9 stars. At the Philips Norelco website it has more than 640 reviews, with an average rating of 4 stars. At Walmart it has more than 100 reviews, also generally favorable.

Negative reviews tend to complain that the shaver misses some hairs. There were also gripes about the Philips Norelco rebate policy.

Here is part of an Amazon three-star review:

1. Feels awkward and insecure in my hand, especially if I’m using it wet.
2. Misses a lot of hairs unless I go over and over and over each spot.
3. Blade assembly hard to grip in order to pull off for cleaning.

Here’s a useful summary from a four-star review:

PROS:
++ Good performance for an electric shaver
++ Best for daily shaving of shorter facial hair
++ The attachment trimmer works better than the 1250’s pop-up trimmer
++ Smooth and quiet operation compared to most electric razors
++ Charging is quick
++ Can be used wet or dry, and with or without shaving cream or gel
++ The shaving heads can be cleaned under water
++ The included soft case makes it easy to transport
++ The charging base is compact and has suction cups for mounting
++ The device is attractive and sleek
++ Comprehensive manual covers a lot, including usage, maintenance and parts replacement

CONS:
— Leaves longer hairs behind when shaving
— Alternatives like the 7310 still offer a better value for most of the same features
— The trimmer requires manual attachment, though it’s worth it since it functions better than the pop-up on the 1250
— The battery lasts less time than all other SensoTouch models
— Recommended annual blade replacements add significant cost
— There is no indicator for blade replacement or cleaning
— The battery indicator includes 2 stages instead of the 5 on the 1250
— The battery is not user-replaceable and will limit the unit’s life
— Does not include the jet cleaning system
— The soft pouch is not as nice as the carrying case included with other models

* Get the latest price on the Philips Norelco 1150X SensoTouch 2D Electric Razor.

Panasonic’s Popular Electric Razor – The ES8243A 4-Blade (Arc 4) Wet/Dry Shaver

By Rayy Zar

Panasonic ES8243A 4-Blade ShaverPanasonic’s most advanced model is the pricey ES-LV61-A 5-blade. But the 4-blade ES8243A (picture) would appear to be far more popular.

According to an official description:

Nanotechnology was used to polish the industry’s sharpest 30-degree blades to achieve even better cutting performance. The…expanded cutting surface not only provides an efficient shave, but it also spreads the pressure, which naturally occurs when applying the razor to the skin, so users have found it to perform without the irritation found on lesser models.

The fourth finishing blade provides an additional cutting opportunity not found on triple-blade shavers. In addition, the foils and blades on this razor are “arced” so they nestle gently into the skin for our closest shave ever. The foil glides evenly for uniform shaving on all surfaces of the face.

At the heart of the ES8243A lies Panasonic’s patented Linear Motor. It operates at an amazingly fast 13,000 rpm to cut through the thickest of beards. Standard razors operate at a pedestrian 8,000 to 10,000 rpm. To top it all off, this razor also features wet/dry operation, so you can use it in the convenience of your shower or for dry shaving when you have less time. A liquid crystal display indicates battery charge level by 10 steps and a cleaning reminder.

Gizmodo was impressed, during tests of four shavers in January 2013. It rated the Panasonic second (to the Philips Norelco SensoTouch 3D), and commented:

The Arc 4 is a linear shave, like the [Braun] Series 7, but it incorporates a fourth blade and cycles 14,000 times a minute—that’s 4,000 cycles more than the Braun. The difference is noticeable. In addition, the Arc 4 can be used wet or dry, with or without shaving foam. It provides a close, quick shave, including around the neck and jawline. So on the most basic requirement of the test, the Arc 4 delivers.

At Amazon the shaver has attracted more than 940 customer reviews, with a very high average rating of 4.4 stars. Here’s the summary from an effusive five-star review:

Pros:
+ Excellent, close shave (face and neck), like an excellent razor
+ Very little effort required; easy and convenient to use and carry (comes with a travel case)
+ No shaving cream required; also does a very good job dry
+ Does a phenomenal job with an electric pre-shave lotion
+ No irritation, no cuts
+ Not messy – most of the cut hair stays inside
+ Very quick – usually takes about 2.5 minutes for me; it has a timer
+ Very easy to clean – just remove foil, and rinse both foil and blades in running water (an expensive, elaborate and cumbersome cleaning system is not required)
+ Enough charge – I can get at least 15 to 20 shaves on 1 charge (no need to take your charger with you on most trips); charges very quickly
+ Money saved on expensive regular razor blades – I believe you need to seldom replace this electric shaver’s foil and blades (at a reasonable price)
+ Excellent value for money

Cons:
– requires at least 30 days to start showing good results, especially on the neck (in my case)

Overall, an excellent product (as you would come to expect from Panasonic), however I had to be very patient for a little more than 30 days, and had to resist the urge to return it. Worth every dollar – I thoroughly enjoy using it! Much more convenient and quicker shave than a regular razor, without the mess, cuts or irritation!

And here’s a three-star review:

Purchased about a month ago and have been using it daily for about four weeks. I have used every brand of electric razor under the sun. This one is nice because it isn’t too loud and is very easy to clean. The charge is fast and lasts for over a week before needing to be recharged. The readout display is simple and easy to use at a glance. I especially like the fact that it can be used wet or dry.

On the downside it takes longer than most shavers to get a true close shave. Several passes though and it achieves a nice smooth shave. This shaver does not do too well on the neck area. My neck has been irritated consistently since using the razor, I’m hoping this will cease as I use the razor more. I have relatively thick growth, I have a true five o clock shadow by dinner time so most razors have to work hard on my face. I would say it is probably worth the money if you find a great deal on Amazon.

* Get the latest price on the Panasonic ES8243A 4-Blade (Arc 4) Wet/Dry Shaver.

The Best Shavers – Really?

By Rayy Zar

Philips Norelco 1250X:40 SensoTouchGizmodo has named what it says is “The Best Electric Razor.” However, it only tested four, so its verdict may be a little dubious.

According to the website, testing was done over two months, with each shaver subjected to one, two and three days of stubble.

We rated the gadgets on their comfort in use and their shaving efficiency—the closeness and thoroughness of the shave, how long a shave took, and how often I had to re-shave areas. The rate at which their heads wore out, the associated cost of replacement heads, and other operating costs were also taken into ranking consideration as well.

And the winner is NOT the Braun Series 7 790cc Pulsonic, which Shaverama would rate as probably the best. In fact, the Braun was rated fourth out of the four shavers tested, with the following comment:

While the Series 7 worked especially well on the upper lip and cheeks, shaving the neck was a nightmare. It was like the last three hairs remaining somehow always fell outside the realm of the shaver’s ability—needing five or six passes to finally capture. It’s also pricey…Don’t get me wrong, the Series 7 is a capable razor. But given the price and upkeep costs, you can find more cut for your buck elsewhere.

In fact, the winner was the Braun’s big rival, the Philips Norelco SensoTouch 3D (picture). The reviewer could find almost nothing wrong with it:

Shaving with the Sensotouch 3D feels like removing facial hair with robot kisses. There is virtually zero hair tugging, even through three-day long stubble. The SensoTouch did require more passes as the stubble length increased, but for daily use, its performance was unmatched. I often found myself using it to clean up after testing the other units—using it wet or with shaving foam, the SensoTouch consistently shaved trouble spots that the others missed.

In second place was the Panasonic Arc 4 and in third place was the Wahl Lithium Triple Play.

Reviews – Philips Norelco 6945 Electric Razor

By Rayy Zar

Philips Norelco 6945 Electric RazorThe Philips Norelco 6945 – also branded the 6945XL – is one of the company’s most popular shavers, thanks to its low cost – a $39.99 list price, but substantially cheaper at places like Amazon and Walmart – and decent performance. It seems to sell especially well at Christmas, as a gift for teenagers and young men.

According to an official product description:

The Philips Norelco 6945 Cordless Razor features the CloseCut shaving system for a precise, close shave. The flexing heads adjust automatically to every curve of your face for a smooth shave with less skin irritation.

[It] offers the convenience of dual operation, so you can take it with you wherever you go. A full eight-hour charge will last for up to 10 days (or 30 minutes) of cordless shaving. A battery low/full indicator lets you know when it’s time to recharge. Great for travel, [it] features a protective cap for safe portability. It has a worldwide voltage function that adjusts from 100 to 240 volts AC, making it ideal for international trips.

It has attracted around 150 customer reviews at Amazon, with an average rating of 3.9 stars, which is below the rating for some of the more advanced shavers. Some users complain that the motor is weak and performance is mediocre, though most accept that for the price it gives a good shave. There are also complaints that it cannot be washed under water, unlike some other Norelco models.

Here’s a four-star review, titled “Decent No-Frills Starter Razor:”

I’ve been a razor guy for years – with a beard and stash an electric can be a pain – literally. Snagging a stray hair, etc. But I thought it was time to give an electric another chance. For daily stubble – up to about four days worth – this razor works great. Anything longer and it tends to get painful – hair snags instead of cuts. The cutting heads move independently out – but not inwards. Push one head inwards and all three move. I suppose this is a feature, but I find it annoying.

It does cut and trim closely, and for a quick, non-messy shave, it’s nice. It does feel cheap – but it’s also very light. Flying with this would add almost no weight. If you have a beard, stash or prefer some longer facial hair, I’d skip this razor and pick one with a trimmer and more flexibility. When I got too close to my beard it snagged – not a good feeling. But it’s not designed for beards, so my bad.

Here’s a summary from the three-star review:

If you are looking for an adequate, fast, and convenient shave then this model will work for you. If you need a very close shave then this is not the electric razor for you. Also, remember that your face will need an adjustment period to get used to the razor so you may have some reddening at first. Overall, not bad but not great.

* Get the latest price on the Philips Norelco 6945 Electric Razor.