At about $280, the Philips Norelco SensoTouch 3D 1280XCC is one of the most expensive shavers we evaluated; it's also one of the best rotary models.
Multiple expert tests found that the SensoTouch 3D 1280XCC gives a smooth shave in just a few passes. Panelists say it's very easy to shave with and handles tough contours well, and they like that you can use it for a wet or dry shave.
Users are (mostly) just as positive about the 1280XCC's performance; "If you have a hard time getting a comfortable close shave, this is the razor for you," writes one Amazon.com user. On the other hand, a smattering of negative comments from Amazon.com users run the gamut from "Works well on short stubble, not as well on longer hair" to complaints that the shaver sometimes causes irritation or that it can't be made to shave closely.
Although most users and experts agree that the Philips Norelco SensoTouch 3D 1280XCC's shaving performance is outstanding, a number few design flaws -- or perhaps misplaced features -- draw the occasional potshot from users.
"The reservoir that holds the shavings really didn't hold any shavings due to the design," writes one, who says the shavings spill down the front of his shirt instead. A number of users also comment that because you can't plug this shaver directly into a wall socket, you have to bring the charging stand -- which they characterize as both flimsy and bulky -- along with you. But the charger doesn't fit in the 1280XCC's carry pouch, so you have to pack it separately.
Another user points out that you're supposed to remove the shaver from the charger immediately, once the battery is charged, to avoid possible damage. Although you can use this shaver in the shower, it doesn't lay flat and doesn't have a handle you can hang it from; one user complains that this makes putting the shaver down once you're done with it difficult. His solution is to store it in a cup beside the shower.
The 1280XCC takes about an hour to charge, and in return you get about 60 minutes of shave time. If the battery is fully depleted, a quick three- to five-minute charge gives you enough juice for a three-minute shave. You have the choice of three hands-off cleaning modes with the Jet Clean stand, but the stand doesn't detect which kind of cleaning is necessary; you have to make that decision yourself. Light cleanings take four to six minutes, and an intensive cleaning takes about 35 minutes, during which time the razor will turn on and off automatically to aid the cleaning process. But experts and users find the cleaning station is too "fiddly," and they say giving the shaver a quick wash under the tap after each use is more convenient and just as effective.
Opinions about the SensoTouch 3D 1280XCC's noise level are fairly evenly split; one expert review says it's noisy, but not a deal-breaker. Most users, however, say this shaver is quiet, or at least not loud; "It does not sound like a weed whacker," writes one individual.
The Philips SensoTouch 3D 1280XCC comes with an industry-standard two-year warranty, plus a 45-day money-back guarantee. The manufacturer wants you to replace the razor heads (*Est. $50) about once a year. Replacement Jet Clean cleaning/lubricating cartridges cost about $45 for a pack of six, each of which should last for about 15 daily cleanings.
Although experts and users alike agree that the Philips SensoTouch 3D 1280XCC generally provides a great shave, a bevy of minor design complaints, plus a high price and cost of ownership, keep it from topping the charts. For those who enjoy a rotary shave, the Remington SR9130 (*Est. $80) provides a good shave, and fewer design quirks, at a more affordable price.
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1. Which? magazine
The editors at this British consumer magazine ask a panel of men to try several rotary and foil electric shavers, rating each for a number of factors. One of the models they test is the Philips RQ1280, which is sold in the United States as the SensoTouch 3D 1280XCC.
Review: Electric Shaver Reviews, Editors of Which? magazine, As of June 2012
2. Choice magazine
In this Australian consumer magazine, editors ask four men to test 12 electric shavers on one- and two-days' worth of beard growth. One of the models tested, the Philips SensoTouch 3D RQ1280CC, retails as the Philips SensoTouch 3D 1280XCC in the United States.
Review: Men's Shavers Review, Martha Psiroukis, Aug. 2011
3. Consumer magazine
Consumer is the New Zealand version of ConsumerReports.org. The editors asked four men who regularly use electric shavers to test six models. Not all testers agree on which shaver is best, but the SensoTouch 3D RQ1280CC (or 1280XCC in the United States) is the top pick for shaving coarse hair and for normal skin.
Review: Electric Shavers: Our Picks, Editors of Consumer, Aug. 26, 2011
More than 180 Amazon.com users give this version of the SensoTouch 3D an overall score of 4.4 stars. Most users report a clean, close shave with the 1280X/42, but a smattering of complaints run the gamut from poor durability to design and an uncomfortable shave experience.
Review: Philips Norelco 1280X/42 SensoTouch 3d Electric Shaver with Jet Clean System, Black, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of June 2012