Category: Electronic Product Reviews

2019 Acura RDX First Drive Review: Third-gen’s a charm – Roadshow

It’s taken some getting used to, but the 2019 Acura RDX’s Precision Concept design language has grown on me. All-new for the third-generation, this Ohio-built compact SUV is wider and longer, and rides atop a longer wheelbase. All of this makes the RDX look lower and more planted, despite its overall height being unchanged. The model’s front end balances large, seven-element “Jewel LED” headlamps with what must be the largest Acura badge in the brand’s history. It’s huge, but it works somehow.

The larger body and all-new platform open up a more spacious cabin, which Acura has trimmed with improved materials and a design that’s as attractive as the new exterior. I’m also pleased to see a new True Touchpad infotainment system interface replacing the brand’s very dated old tech.

Perhaps most importantly, I was most impressed with how much smaller and more nimble this SUV felt on the twisty and scenic Canadian mountain roads around Whistler, British Columbia. Thanks to its performance-oriented all-wheel drive system and well-sorted chassis, this bigger, more comfortable RDX still managed to be a very fun romp when chucked at fast sweeper or two.

Ooh-wee, that’s a big ‘ol badge!

Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow Turbo power and SH-AWD

Behind that massive “A” badge spins a standard 2.0-liter turbocharged VTEC four-cylinder engine. Output is stated at 273 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. That’s a pretty big torque bump over the old 3.5-liter V6, particularly at low engine speeds, where the RDX sees a 40-percent increase, helping it to feel significantly more responsive.

The engine and its 10-speed automatic transmission make a great pair with smooth and quiet operation around town and fuel economy that’s up a single combined mile per gallon over the V6. Base front-drive RDX models net 22 mpg city, 28 highway and 24 combined, standard AWD models take a single mpg hit in each category, and the new A-Spec styling package drops a further single mpg on the highway due to its more aggressive aerodynamics.

In Sport mode, the gearbox is not shy about downshifting when passing and cornering, which makes for really strong, responsive acceleration. The shift logic is so good, I found that I didn’t really need to use the paddle shifters in most situations.

Front-wheel drive is standard, but you definitely want Acura’s fourth-generation Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) upgrade. SH-AWD can send up to 70 percent of the engine’s available torque to the rear wheels on demand (the old system could only manage a 50/50 split) and now features 100-percent torque vectoring on the rear axle to aid in cornering stability. This new generation can shuffle power around 30-percent quicker, which I noticed also makes the torque transfer feel more seamless on the road.

Normally, I only really recommend all-wheel drive for areas that get a lot of rain or snow, but SH-AWD is also a performance upgrade that makes it useful and fun even when the roads are dry most of the year. However, all-wheel drive is $500 more expensive this year, adding $2,000 to the

HP Omen 15 for 2018 is a smaller, snazzier mainstream gaming laptop – CNET

Compared to last year’s model (left), the Omen 15 looks notably smaller.

HP

HP gives its mainstream Omen 15 laptop — the one for people who like gaming but can’t afford the more craveworthy gear — a slimmed-down design by adopting the newest gaming-laptop trend,  thinner display bezels and Nvidia Max-Q. Of course, it also receives the essential 2018 updates for its class, including:

a bump up to a GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q as the top graphics option, plus G-Sync compatibility on models with the 1060 and 1070
new quad- or hexacore options with Core i5-8300H or i7-8750H processors
a maximum of 32GB 2,666Hz memory, up from 16GB
an option for Intel Optane storage acceleration
new 144Hz 1080p and 60Hz 4K display configuration choices
updated Command Center software with HP’s Game Stream built in
a 1Gb Wi-Fi option

The design has changed a bit, too, such as some of the connectors moving to the back and beefed-up thermals to support the hotter-running processors. You can also more easily access storage and memory for upgrades via a single panel that opens with a Phillips-head screwdriver. 

The updated model will ship at the end of July starting at $980 (directly converted, about £740 and AU$1,300).

The Mindframe headset has cooling technology for when you turn into a hothead.

HP

More interesting than the laptop, perhaps, is the new Mindframe headset, designed for those of us with sweaty heads. It incorporates a device in the earcups that conducts heat outward.

It also incorporates a suspension headband for a more comfortable fit, a mic that flips up to mute with a volume control on the earcup and RGB lighting. The headset supports DTS Headphone:X and 7.1 virtual surround as well, and has a USB 2.0 connector.

We won’t see the Mindframe until the second half of the year, though, and we don’t have pricing.

The Omen Sequencer Keyboard

HP

HP doesn’t have a lot of gaming keyboard options — the Omen Keyboard 1100 seems to be the only one — and this one goes a bit upscale from that. Plus, it has a much better name: Omen Sequencer. 

It incorporates Blue optomechanical switches that HP claims are faster than traditional mechanical switches (a 0.2ms response time, per the company). In one of the touches that makes the mainstream Omen accessories more like their steroidal Omen X counterparts, HP seems to be adding RGB lighting here and there (rather than fixed colors) in its line.

The keyboard also incorporates one of my favorite features, a volume roller.

We can expect to see it in July for $180 (directly converted, about £135 and AU$240).

The Omen Reactor Mouse

HP

HP has also updated its mice with the Omen Reactor Mouse — also better named than the the HP Mouse 600 and its ilk. Like the keyboard it uses optomechanical switches and a high 16,000 dpi sensor. It also boasts programmable RGB LEDs and you can adjust the height of the palm rest.

It will ship in July for $80 (directly converted, roughly £60 and