Thursday, June 28, 2012

Shaving and the autistic adolescent: gadgetry wins

My 15 yo is a hair guy. With a wedding to attend, he knew he needed to shave.

He didn't like the idea at all. He may have poor impulse control, but he knows he doesn't want sharp things near his face.

So I decided to go for something he'd like -- a shiny gadget. I turned to the Geek Consumer Report, Wirecutter, for the right gadget ...

The Best Electric Shaver | The Wirecutter

... The sweet spot of value in Panasonic's line is the ES8109S. It can be had for about $120, has nearly all the tricks the Braun does and then some, but it is not as good: It has a water-based cleaning system, offers a shave that is slightly less close, and it's noisier with a weaker design, to boot. The Panasonic blades hum at 13,000 RPM and it's wet/dry so you can use it in the shower (which you can't do with the Braun) and Panasonic claims to refine its blades with the same techniques that were used by sword makers in old Japan. It might be marketing, but it's pretty good marketing, built around a solid gadget. Consumer Reports gave it a 78/100, two points less than the Braun 7 series. But it's also ranked higher than a sibling Panasonic shaver costing $300, so you know you're getting a steal. And Amazon's users give it a 4.5 out of 5 star rating, averaged from 481 reviews...

It was $100 from Amazon. He was thrilled. Tore open the package, studied the complex cleaning ritual, and put it to work as soon as it charged. Did his face and decided to try his legs too (that will itch). His reward was to run the ultrasonic cleaning cycle (crazy gadgetry -- Panasonic's evil desire to tie a recurring revenue stream to the device).

Worked for us.