Handheld power planer

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For the same thing as a hand plane: to smooth an edge using a reference surface. Depending on the length of the sole, it can be more like a smoother, jack, or jointer plane. Because they are also ridiculously useful for trimming doors, you'll often hear them denigrated to being only good for door hanging. Not sure why you don't see them more in magazines, though. Good point. At least in woodworking mags (they are there often in FineHomebuilding). That said, I think they are used by pros more often than photography shows.

Of the pros I know use them: Toshio Odate (recent issues of PWW have pics of him using a Makita on a slab), Seth Roland (FWW back-page laureate), Roger Savatteri (multiple features in Tauton Design Books).

I think they really shine when making large slab tables.

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