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AT810 vs. the AT830
on January 26, 2012
Bottom line: This model is very similar to the AT830, but comes in at a lower price. Unfortunately, it also comes in at a lower performance level. I think it's worth spending a bit more to get the AT830.
On the basis of actual specifications, the AT810 and the AT830 look pretty similar. They both have the same overall form factor, use the same HQ8 heads, and offer wet and dry shaves. However, the AT830 has a pivot head that allows the whole head assembly to pivot and adjust to your facial contours. I found that made a real difference in shave quality and comfort (as described in my review of the 830).
Both models are comfortable to hold, with nicely rounded areas and an easy-to-grip surface. Both have about the same build quality - generally OK, but I am concerned about the light-weight plastic retaining system for the combs and cutters. Both also come with just the basics (shaver, charger, head cap and cleaning brush). No stand or case.
As with the 830, I was not impressed with the dry shave quality of the 810. It was irritating in the neck area (even a bit more than the 830) and struggled to get all the hairs on the jaw line. Both models were much better on the cheek area, but still (in my opinion) a notch below what a good foil shaver can do.
Performance is much better as a wet shaver. I found the 830 equaled the performance of the SensoTouch 3D, a much more expensive model from Norelco. The 810 is not as good, which I assume is due to the lack of the pivoting head. I clearly felt the difference between the two in the jaw line and neck areas. To be clear, the 810 did a decent job as a wet shaver. It's just that the 830 is better.
I appreciate a good value product, and often find that spending more to get the "next model up" just gets you some so-so bells and whistles rather than better performance. However, there are also times when spending a bit more results in a better experience. This is one of those cases. Although I'd have to recommend a foil rather than either the 810 or 830 if you want to shave dry, if you're in the market for a rotary wet shaver you'll want to skip the 810 and go for the 830.