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HolidayBuyer's Guide

Behold the 'future of shaving'

In today's climate of ever-advancing gadgets, it stands to reason that even the simple little razor would keep striving to outdo itself. On Wednesday, the Gillette Company announced the launch of Gillette Fusion and Gillette Fusion Power, five-blade men's shaving systems that feature advanced technology on the front and the back of the blade cartridge. The company says the razors represent "the future of shaving."

Gillette Fusion
Credit: Gillette
Gillette hopes Fusion will become
the company's leading seller.

The products may not have as many blades as an HP ProLiant BL20p G3 server, but five blades per razor ought to keep the average hirsute male plenty shaved. Gillette says that more blades and a narrowed inter-blade span distribute the shaving force across the blades, resulting in less irritation and more comfort. A single blade on the back of the cartridge helps men reach hard-to-access areas to trim sideburns, shave under the nose and shape facial hair.

Razors have come a long way since the days of the single-blade razor and shaving brush. Gillette was the first company to sell a three-bladed razor, the Mach3, in 1998. Five years later, Schick followed with the four-bladed Quattro.

Gillette says its Fusion Power product is the first razor to bring advanced electronics to wet shaving. Its patented on-board microchip optimizes the performance of the razor by regulating the voltage and frequency. A low-battery indicator light goes on when the AAA battery needs to be changed, and the automatic shut-off feature turns off the razor after approximately eight minutes of continuous operation in case of accidental activation.

Gillette's new razors will be available in North America during the first quarter in 2006. The Gillette Fusion razor with two cartridges will retail for approximately $9.99, and the Fusion Power razor with one cartridge and a AAA battery will retail for approximately $11.99.