Panasonic ES-RF41 4-blade Wet and Dry shaver hands-on
Currently there seems to be an ever-growing trend to persuade men that they need to spend more time, and indeed hard cash, grooming themselves.
Now more than ever men are being exposed to the same marketing that women have had to endure - it is now common to see adverts for male moisturisers. It's been rumoured that some men have been persuaded to don makeup - especially up that London way; and certain manufacturers have started importing something called "deodorant" from Japan, the whiff of which now drifts up and down the land.
Pocket-lint would suggest that if you have to groom yourself, it should start and finish with shaving, and in a bid to find the most efficient and effective way to do so we've gone hands-on with the Panasonic ES-RF41 Wet and Dry shaver.
Out of the box and the ES-RF41 feels like a quality product, and although mostly plastic it's of a type that feels weighty - a rubberised backing adds to the finish as well as making the product practical.
Everything is laid out in the fashion you'd expect, with an on-button front and centre encircled by a lock bezel. Beneath this you'll find the charge meter.
We received the Panasonic shaver with it on its last 20 per cent of charge, but thought we'd give it a whirl before setting it in its charging dock. We were pleasantly surprised that despite the low charge the shaver performed admirably hacking through hair follicles and leaving us silky smooth - well, slightly less grizzled anyway.
The charging dock worked, but unfortunately was rather light-weight, relying on the weight of the shaver to hold it flat on our desk. Sans shaver and the dock leapt up awkwardly under the tortion of the power cable - a minor detail, but one that detracted from the overall quality feel. It is, after all a product that'll set you back best part of £100.
In use, on full charge and the Panasonic ES-RF41 really did excel, we're not ones to dish out praise lightly here on Pocket-lint but its performance was superb. In its dry form - which you'll use when you're short of time - it was good, but slap a bit of water and shaving foam/gel into the mix and we found it performed even better. Incidentally, you can submerge it completely without ill effects.
The pop-up trimmer also performed well. Although it was the most plasticy element of the device, the fact that it popped up past the main shaver head and not flush - as with some of its rivals - meant that we could actually see where we were trimming.
Other features that add to the package are the swivel head and, especially, the way the head pops off for easy cleaning.
It's pricey and, obviously, isn't as close as a wet-razor shave, but if you're looking for an electric alternative that is practical, efficient and most importantly works, then you need look no further.