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on March 5, 2010
Starting with the headline-spectacular.

The unit comes as a black model with cleaning base (ESLA93K) and a silver standalone model (ESLA63S). Both function the same.

This shaver incorporates some firsts for Panasonic: 14,000 rpm motor; a 2'nd motor in the head that copies the Braun foil-pulsing concept and a head that pivots up and down like Braun's have for years (plus the usual Panasonic side to side). And the whole head arrangment is a little more elegant.

Brought forward from the past models are the 4-system head, the ARC foil and nano-sharpened blades.

The black version is a thing of beauty. First class manufacturing with solid, gleaming surfaces and perfect fit and finish. Thick sections of body and foil cap plastics. A premium product through and through.

The shaver is not as HUGE as it looks in pictures. But, it is a larger form factor than usual for a Panasonic. While it "looks" unwieldy, once in hand it melts in like a custom glove and is a natural to handle. It is heavier than other Pansonics out of neccessity as there is literally a second motor in the head. But it is not burdonsome.

The motor note to me is not as jarring or intrusive as other Pansonics. I think the thicker materials and more casing account for this. But it does not approach a rotary for being a quiet shaving experience.

Closeness: The best I have ever experienced, hands down. I've had great, close shaves with other shavers that feel "dry." Not bad-but a close, dry. On a good day with the ESLA93K my skin gets a "baby bottom soft" feel. I have never, ever experienced it until this unit.

Comfort: It was impossible for me to experience discomfort with this unit. I was unable to shave in any direction against any grain with any amount of pressure that was not completely comfortable. In fact, after a couple days my shaves were not as close-I figured out I was not pressing hard enough. You just don't feel pressure.

Speed: I am a 7-9 minute shaver. Always have been. An over-shaver, never feel done. It's hard for me to go past 5 minutes with this unit. I start feeling "done" about 3 minutes. It's fast.

Trimmer: Due to the nature of the head the trimmer looks small-I compared it is exactly the same size as the trimmer on the Arc Retro. Works fine, it is in a somewhat unusual location but I got used to it right away.

Cleaning module: The module works well and is the standard vortex dry cake of soap plus water system with a different design to accomodate the shape of the shaver. The manual mentioned active-drying, which I do not think was the case with my ES8228S cleaning base. Still not as good as the Braun module in my opinion.

It carries over my one pet peeve from past Panasonic modules which is no sleep mode. When you come back for lunch, the shaver blinks once every 2 seconds. Blink. Blink. Blink. Gives you the urge to take out the shaver-so what's the point of leaving it in until tomorrow? But this is a perhaps a personal quirk and the unit does the job well.

The module is a nice convenience that costs under 15 cents per day and the unit is easily cleaned by rinsing and/or cleaning with liquid soap per the instructions so either way it's fast and easy.

Other: Unit has a bright, pleasant blue LED display that shows shave time, battery remaining, I think it indicates when cleaning is needed and it flashes a replace foil symbol after one year. Oddly, the LED goes OFF while you are shaving-but as stated above blinks constantly when done charging. I don't know who thinks of this stuff for Panasonic but it's odd.

Summary/perspectives: The Panasonic ESLA93K is the best foil shaver I have ever used, without question.

*Should I try it if I am primarily a rotary user? IMO-if you have always preferred the rotary experience you will probably still prefer a rotary to this unit. It is a fantastic shaver but it is a foil experience 100%.

*Should I upgrade if I just bought a recent Panasonic? IMO-if maximum speed, comfort and the sensation of soft closeness is something you are willing to pay for, yes. If ultra Panasonic close is all you need, all the other recent models are great.

*Should I try it if I love my Pulsonic? IMO-yes. To me the ESLA93K is everything the Pulsonic has been to others that it never gave me. It's a step above, it is the ultimate foil shaver on the market today.
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on December 12, 2009
Its almost 2 years since i bought this razor and its still working well. I replaced the blades and screen once. This was well worth the the high initial cost. It still does a better job than any of its competitors.I just purchased this new razor from Panasonic. I got tired of hair left on my face that neither the Braun Pulsonic 7 or the Norelco Arcitec couldn't get. My family always tell me about the long hairs that were missed and the constant strokes over the same spot to get a reasonably close shave from the competition.
The new Panasonic worked well out of the box. It took 60 minutes to charge it. All I had to do was fill a little water tank with water and slide in the cleaning pack. It couldn't be any easier. My Panasonic was now ready to give me the closest shave I have ever had. I bought some Edge shave gel for sensitive skin, put some warm water on my face and applied the gel. The shaver did the rest. The trimmer worked perfectly and had no problem cutting my sideburns evenly and straight. I haven't used a shaving gel for a long time but the results were remarkable. It zipped through my beard and didn't leave any uncut hairs.. Clean up was simple too. I just rinsed off the shaving creme from the heads and placed in the hydroclean system. I had to set the clener for clean, dry and charge and my razor is now ready for my next visit.
This razor might be pricey but well worth the price. Panasonic makes tremendous products and this one lives up to it's reputation. While the Braun and Norelco were ok, this was super!!! Don't hesitate to buy this unit with Hydraclean...it works and it will save you time cleaning your new razor.

After 5 shaves, this is still the best shaver I have ever had. I have tried quite a few electric razors and this one tops the list.It,s 15 months later

It's 3 weeks since I started using this razor. I still think it is terrific. I opened the razor last night and found that it was perfectly clean. I have no problem with the hydra clean system so far. By this time I had problems with the norelco arctic and the Braun top of the line razors but none so far with this panasonic unit. I didn't pay $400 for this. I had a coupon for 20% off at a different internet retailer. I know it's alot of money but so far its worth it. I bought my son-in=law a top of the line Panasonic about 6 years ago. He replaced the blades and the screen and the shaver just died a couple of weeks ago. If this lasts that long, it will be worth the money.
It is now more than a month since I purchased this shaver and the shaves are getting even better. You don't have to press hard and the closeness of the shave is incredible. As for the cleaner, it does a very effective job, just rinse the shaving creme off the top which takes seconds and put it in the auto cleaner. The razor comes out like brand new. I have opened the razor after cleaning to see that it is spotless. I was really suprised. I haven't changed the cleaning solution yet because I am waiting for the indicator light to go on. The auto cleaner is definitely worth the money. It saves alot of time.
UP-Date
It is now Feb 20th 2010 and this shaver is still the best ever. You don"t have to press down to get a close shave. And the hydra clean system still produces an imacculate razor after the cleaning/drying process. You just have to rinse the shaving cream off the outside of the blades and let the collected water drain off( you're talking about seconds to do this). Then it is ready for the hydra clean system. Your beard has finally met its match!!!!
It is now more than a year later and I have tried the new 3d from Norelco and the new Braun 7 razor and I have to say that the Panasonic is still the top shaver. It works remarkably well and all I had to do was change the screen and blades and it works like I just took it out of the box. Panasonic makes a terrific product and this is no exception.
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on January 23, 2010
Upgraded from my Panasonic ES8249 (previously reviewed: Panasonic ES8249K Arc IV Nano Vortex Wet/Dry Rechargeable Shaving System, Black), and it was worth the upgrade. I paid about half the retail at one of Amazon's partners, so I encourage shopping around; I'm not sure it's $200+ better than the 8249 if you pay full freight, but it's a definite improvement and certainly worth it if you can get it for substantially less than retail. Basically the same function as the 8249 - water-based cleaner, cleaning unit buttons function the same, same cleaning cartridges (a nice touch), wet-dry shave. The head is very large, but is easy to manipulate when you get used to it. Shaver seems to be slightly less noisy than the 8249 when in use; the cleaning unit is definitely noisier in the first few minutes of its cycle, but essentially the same when the blower comes on. It takes longer for the clean/dry cycle than the 8249 - haven't timed it but I would guess maybe 20% longer (well over an hour). The lock button on the back is a little more difficult to operate than other Panasonic shavers I have owned and is somewhat stiff, but looks fairly sturdy. One complaint about the Panasonics is that you can't use them as a corded shaver (maybe the result of fear of lawsuits for shaving in the shower with a cord attached!), but operationally to me this doesn't matter, and it charges within an hour. The batteries in this model last longer than the 8249 - guessing maybe 20% longer on a full charge. The bottom line - this shaver gives me the closest shave I have had from an electric shaver - very close to a blade, and the wet shave is definitely the most comfortable.

Postscript: Just returned from a recent detour into the Norelco world (rotary); I used Norelcos years ago, and like their quiet operation and battery life. Norelco also now has wet/dry shavers, and automatic cleaning stations. Worth a try again, HOWEVER, have gone back to Panasonic (wet shave) for two reasons: 1) Closer shave, and 2) Comfort. Which, I suppose, is the reason for shaving in the first place, if you choose not to grow facial hair. After a long history with many, many shavers, electric and otherwise, this Panasonic is the best of the lot for wet-shave electric shavers.
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VINE VOICEon December 4, 2010
After 30 years of blade-shaving, I finally decided to try this Panasonic, which is my first electric shaver ever. Why switch now? Well, with a dozen of Gillette's latest Fusion blades costing nearly $50, the idea of dropping $195 for what many describe as the best electric shaver on the market actually made good economic sense. And since Panasonic backs it with a 30-day money back guarantee, I figured I had nothing to lose.

Now, since it's my first electric, I can't compare it to Braun, Norelco, etc. But with me, the comparison was the holy grail for electric shavers: it had to be at least as good as, or better than, the shave I get with a blade. And by that standard, this Panasonic has proven itself a clear winner.

I've only had it for a week, but from the first shave, it was faster, easier, and (yes) closer than my Fusion blades. I shave "wet," using the Billy Jealousy Hydroplane gel and I've had no discomfort or irritation. In about 3 minutes, I'm done and as smooth as the proverbial baby's butt, with none of the missed spots that I would often find and need to do over again with blades. My beard is tough to shave because it grows in several different directions, but the Panasonic handles that challenge with ease. As others have noted, this shaver is smaller than it appears in photographs and it handles incredibly well.

A few minor niggles, but nothing for which I'd detract a star: the cleaning cycle is a little noisy, though quiet when it's drying; the insanely bright blue LED which flashes whenever the shaver is in the cleaner/charger unit could light up a harbor in dense fog; the shaving head is a bit large--I have a close-cropped goatee, and shaving along the edges of it can be a little tricky because the shaving head somewhat blocks my view.

To sum up: The King is dead! Long live the King! The Panasonic LA93-K. Thanks for taking the time to read my review and I hope that you found it helpful!
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on August 20, 2010
PROS:
-Very smooth close shave
-No razor burn
-No rough patches
-Works well on a beard that grows in different directions or is a mix of coarse and fine or curly and straight.
-Somehow manages to navigate my acne scarring and still give a smooth shave.
-Face feels great afterwards
-Can use in the shower and with shaving cream.
-Shaves better than a traditional razor- at least for me!
-Easy to clean.

CONS:
- Cleaning Unit may not be necessary if you want to save a few dollars.
- First day with the shaver. Will check back to let you know how it holds up after continued use.

REVIEW

I just got the best shave of my life-- from an electric razor. I can't believe how wonderful this Panasonic is! I used it today in the shower with some JASON shaving cream and was absolutely blown away by the results. My face feels smoother than it's ever been after shaving-- with any razor regular or electric. But best of all, I have no pain, no razor burn, and no rough patches. My face feels great!

And that's a big thing to say, because up until now absolutely nothing has worked for me. My beard grows in all different directions-- I have extremely coarse hair in some places, and extremely fine hair in others. I've got a little bit of scarring from cystic acne I had as a teenager. And I'm prone to ingrown hairs. I'm like the perfect storm for a painful shave.

I've tried just about every regular razor-- from Gillette Fusion to Bump Fighter-- and every kind of expensive shaving cream and have had no luck. Shaving for me has always meant cuts, nicks, bumps, razor burn, and all kinds of other unpleasantness.

Electric razors have been even worse. Most of them leave a bumpy stubble from my coarser hairs, while leaving the finer ones nearly untouched. And until now none of them have been able to navigate the acne scarring without leaving big rough patches.

Unlike other electric razors I've tried, the Panasonic shaved my whole face in just over two minutes, without a lot of back and forth over the same spots and with no irritation at all. There's not a rough spot anywhere-- even around the the areas of acne scarring that I've always struggled with. Because it's water proof, you can clean it right under your faucet with a little bit of soap and water. It even has a high speed vibration mode to make cleaning easier. It takes about 40 seconds to get the razor completely clean in this way.

Because of this self contained cleaning feature, if you want to save a few dollars, it may not be necessary to invest in the top of the line model with the cleaning unit. However this razor is so good, it's certainly worth the cost.
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on July 3, 2010
Panasonic Vortex Shaver, the best shave you can get. After being a loyal Braun customer for over twenty-five years I made the switch to Panasonic. Why. Some history. I had owned three Braun Pulsonic shavers in the last 1 1/2 years. I had the same corroding issues with all three shavers, pitting under the foil head, cracking and pealing, flaking of the finish and fading of the engraving. I cleaned my shaver daily using only the Braun cleaner following the Braun instructions. From all the postings and threads on the internet this is not an isolated case. Before Braun was acquired from Proctor & Gamble I was very happy with products from Braun. Its either that they are avoiding correction the design problems that are reported on the internet or they look at the cost benefit analysis and do not see the need to correct what appears to be a common problems with their braun shaver design. Customer service says the same thing over and over....we have not heard that before please send the razor in for evaluation. These issues should have been addressed in the poduct development and testing phase or corrected when brought to light. THE BRAUN PULSONIC SHAVER IS MY LAST BRAUN PRODUCT AND I HAD BEEN A LOYAL BRAUN CUSTOMER FOR OVER TWENTY- FIVE YEARS. With that being said, I researched and liked what I found on the internet regarding the new generation Panasonic Voetex Shavers. Its form meets function. Its the closest shave to a blade shave you will ever get. Cleanup is a breeze and eliminates the corroding related issues of alcohol based cleaning systems. The Panasonic system uses a water based cleaner refill (you can find these priced very low if you do a quick search on Amazon.com) that filters the cleaning solution. The Panasonic Vortex Shaver fits well in the hand and feels very natural to use. The onboard trimmer is easy to use, trim sideburns well and is hidden when not needed. As a plus the Panasonic Vortex can be used in the shower or with shave cream for a barber shop shave. The fit and finish of the Panasonic Vortex Shaver is outstanding. And as a added benefit the shaver is made in Japan, no outsourcing to outside vendors that can effect the quality of the product. I have been very impressed with the Panasonic Vortex Shaver and would highly recommend this shaver. And this comes from someone who judged Braun shavers as the industry benchmark for many years!
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on February 23, 2010
As another reviewer mentioned, it seems to be the same thing as the Panasonic la63, except with the cleaning base and it's black in color. When I last checked, the LA63 was going for $190 and this one was going for $399, so it's up to you if you want to spend that much more money.

As for the razor itself, it works great. I've tried numerous electric razors over the past few years and all of them have been disappointing. I'd try to use them for a few weeks, and I just couldn't get them to shave anything smoothly. These were all sub-$100 razors. I'm not sure why I decided to go from $80 razors to a $400 razor, but I'm happy I did. I shave both my face and my head, and my Mach 3 razor would really irritate my scalp and neck. This razor, right of the box with no charge shaved my head, face, and neck very well with no irritation.

It's not perfect around the ears due to the large head, so I still need to pull out the razor to get that smooth. It shaves the neck surprisingly well, although I need to drag it across my neck parallel to the jaw to really get it smooth, but even with the Mach 3, I couldn't get that very smooth. If anything, this shaver does it even better. And without the always present razor burn that the razor would cause.

The cleaning base seems to do the job well. It's fairly loud, but it cleans it, dries it, and charges it. The cartridges seem cheap enough to avoid the hassle of cleaning it by hand. I just shave and drop it in the base and it takes care of everything.

Is it worth nearly $400? That's up to you. But it works better than any other shaver I've tried and I'm happy with my purchase. I wouldn't blame you if you went with the la63 instead, though.
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on April 21, 2010
This shaver gets as close as a blade without the irritation that inevitably follows a close blade shave. I was amazed that the unit felt as comfortable to handle as it did. It is a huge shaver but has great ergonomics. I am unable to create the sensation of discomfort no matter how hard I press or how many times I go over the same area. Also, no more ingrowns. If you can justify the cost, go for it.
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on February 21, 2010
I used the Braun Pulsonic (9595) for just shy of two years. I never got a close shave, the trimmer broke off and had to be fixed, and finally the battery died (in less than two years). Although the Panasonic ES-LA93 is somewhat more expensive, it is an outstanding shaver. I shave in half the time I did with the Braun, the shave is as close as with a blade, and the shaver is lighter to hold than the Braun. In short, it is well worth the extra expense. The cleaning system is also easy to use. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
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on May 31, 2013
I purchased this razor two years ago, after purchasing Panasonic's women's razor and finding it woefully lacking.
The ES-LA93-K was the top of the line Panasonic shaver for men and is leagues ahead.
It's held up well and has a long enough battery life to shave legs and armpits (10+ minutes) - which couldn't be said for the women's model.

I have pale sensitive skin and dark hair that grows fast. Regular shaving doesn't work well for me, because the next day I need to shave again, but can't without seriously injuring/irritating my skin. However, with this electric shaver the problem is solved. It is very gentle on my skin and I've experienced very few irritations. Something that used to be a constant source of stress and distress for me has become something I rarely think about - this device makes it easy and painless to shave.

I am also very nearsighted, so I used to have trouble shaving since I couldn't see what I was doing in the shower. I picked this Panasonic shaver since it was wet/dry, and I use it about half the time wet and half dry. It's much safer than a regular razor, so even in the shower I don't have to worry about injuring myself.

If I were purchasing again, I might skip the cleaning module. I rarely use it. It works well but is noisy and takes forever and can't come on trips with you.

The latest model sounds even better, though I have no excuse to upgrade since my current (and costly) shaver is still going strong! The main issue I have with it is it can't handle longer hairs well, but luckily it has a tiny trimmer on the back which can cut the long hairs down to a length the shaver can handle. The latest model has "lift" technology which might help with this. Another option might be to have 2 devices - one trimmer and this shaver.

Hopefully this helps any women who are wondering if this device would work well for them. I strongly recommend purchasing a men's model over the pink cheap women's model. The men's model(s) are better in every way for any use a woman could have for it. It is too bad Panasonic only markets this to men and sells a piece of junk for women, but I'm glad that the women's model attracted my attention to electric shaving as I have become a huge fan.

A great shaving cream that works well with this is Dr. Bronner's Shikakai Shaving gel Organic Shaving Gel Naked Unscented Dr. Bronner's 7 oz Gel - it comes in unscented and several natural scents.
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