Peripherals

Hands-on with the iShaver

We take a hands-on look at the wacky USB iShaver -- with photo evidence!

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iShaver

Here at CNET.com.au, dozens of weird and wacky USB-based products pass across our desks each month. We've seen everything from USB aquariums to USB Christmas trees, but we often can't justify actually writing about them, given the ever-replenishing mountain of other gear that clogs our labs. Until today, that is.

The iShaver was just too good an offer to pass up. Could it be; a novelty USB product that actually has a practical use? Unfortunately not, and here's why.

It plugs into a spare USB port, but that's only to charge the battery -- you're not forced to sit in front of your PC throughout the entire shaving process. Like most electric shavers, there are two vibrating heads that take care of the cutting, and hair is collected in the head of the device which can be removed for easy cleaning.

Disregarding the main question in our minds -- why would you want to charge your shaver by USB when, at last count, AC power adaptors are fairly efficient anyway? -- we set out to give the iShaver a whirl.

Being the most heavily bearded bloke in the office on the day (I hadn't shaved in upwards of four days), I drew the short straw as guinea pig. We also had a bushy-legged female test out the device for good measure.

In short, the iShaver is best seen as a whacky novelty gift, rather than a serious piece of shaving equipment. It's on sale at Anyware Computers for AU$29, but we wouldn't recommend a purchase if you intend to use it for your daily shaving ritual.

It's most effective when used in a straight, circular motion, but even then it struggles to remove much hair at all -- particularly around the neck. For women with thicker leg hair, you'd be more efficient plucking each individual strand out with a pair of tweezers.

We'll let the images do the talking. Note that all of the images can be clicked for an enlarged version.


Before: Asher's gangly beard.


Five minutes into it: Very patchy. Note the red rash developing on Asher's neck.


After 20 minutes: The closest shave we could get.


A word from our female tester: Steer clear!