The Panasonic Arc 3 line of electric shavers has been around since 2008.
During this time, there have been some incremental updates to this series, consisting mainly in some visual updates and a few other improvements.
In 2015 at the International CES Panasonic unveiled the new LT-series Arc 3 electric shavers. This time around, the update was a significant one, a complete departure from the older models.
Let’s see exactly what Panasonic’s new budget-oriented line of electric shavers has to offer.
Here’s a quick list of the most important features:
Multi-flex pivoting head.
Until now this was only limited to the more expensive Arc 4 and Arc 5 shavers. The new Arc 3 line now features a shaving head that moves up and down, sideways and back and forth.
Beard density sensor.
Again, a feature normally found on the range-topping Arc 5 line is also present here. This sensor detects the differences in beard density and adjusts the power output accordingly.
Multi-function LED display.
You can easily check the remaining battery or travel lock status.
Other noteworthy features that aren’t exactly novelties to the Arc3 line include:
- 3 individual cutting elements (2 finishing foils and one long hair slit foil)
- Wet / dry operation
- 13 000 CPM linear motor
- 30 degrees nanoblades
- Pop-up trimmer
- Sonic cleaning mode
- Travel lock
- Cleaning and charging station (not all models)
- Charging stand (not all models)
There are currently 3 variations of the Arc 3 LT line available on the North American market: ES-LT7N-S, ES-LT5N-H, and ES-LT3N-K.
Here are the main differences:
|Cleaning & Charging Station
As you can see, the differences are only related to the included accessories (a cleaning & charging station or a simple charging stand) and the color scheme.
Also, the ES-LT3N-K features an all-plastic body, while the other two use metal for the silver front panel.
The shaving performance of all these three models is identical.
How do the new LT shavers compare to the old Arc 3?
As previously mentioned, Panasonic redesigned the Arc 3 line completely from the ground up.
The first major difference compared to the older generation is the design. Subjectively, I think the new shavers look significantly better and have a much more premium feel, resembling the new Arc 5 razors.
They are also larger and the shaving head is bulkier. We’ll find out in our review how this will impact the ergonomics of the shaver.
What constitutes a definite improvement in terms of ergonomics is the new thumb-rest on the front of the shaver, the generous rubber grip and the locking mechanism of the shaving head.
We also have to give props to Panasonic for including some of the technologies found on their superior shavers, like the multi-flex pivoting head and the beard density sensor, even though their effectiveness is debatable.
The new cleaning station is very compact and uses a detergent-based solution. I don’t consider cleaning stations to be a must-have with any Panasonic shaver, but they are quite nice and more economical compared to the ones from Braun, at least when using OEM refills.
Performance-wise, I expect the new Arc3 LT shavers to be at least as good as the older generation. How much better? That’s something we will be finding out pretty soon.
This is where things go a bit sour for the Arc 3 shavers. The premium look and feel of the LT razors also come with a rather premium price tag.
The basic ES-LT3N-K is the more affordable options, while the other two are considerably more expensive. The price will likely go down in time, but at this moment they aren’t exactly for the budget-oriented buyer.
The direct competitor of the Arc 3 in the entry-level segment is the Series 3 ProSkin from Braun. Models like the Series 3 3040s can usually be bought for less money and the replacement cutter&foil is cheaper.
To be perfectly honest, the older Arc 3 had the edge over the Series 3 in terms of closeness and speed and I expect the same with the new ones. But again, it remains to be seen exactly how much better and if the difference in performance justifies the significant price gap.
The Arc 3 also includes the new RT and SL models, but their MSRP is still pretty high considering that they are fitted with a significantly less powerful 8500 cpm motor and a basic shaving head.
I have used them and are not worth buying, their performance is mediocre at best.
The new Panasonic Arc 3 LT electric shavers are definitely a step up from the old generation.
They look like a high-end product and, at least on paper, their specs match the premium feel.
The price is unfortunately quite high at this moment but that’s not unusual for a recently launched product.
Stay tuned for our review of the new Arc 3 LT line to find out if their performance meets our high expectations. You can also read Panasonic’s press release here.