Acer Predator Triton 300 SE review: more prey than Predator

Acer’s Predator Triton 300 SE is chasing the hype that Asus made with last year’s superior Zephyrus G14. It is similar in several key aspects. A sleek and relatively thin design, this is a sleek gaming laptop that touches the ultrabook realm. It has a 14-inch 1080p display with fast refresh rates and great graphics features. Even the price reached a similar price of $1,399.

Asus’ latest G14 hasn’t yet been presented to us for review, so we don’t know exactly how it compares to this one in all important respects. In the meantime, however, Acer’s new model has some obvious advantages, such as a built-in webcam and a Thunderbolt 4 port. It also achieves praiseworthy gaming performance with the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 graphics card, but the similarities (or a few perks) don’t fool you. Calling the new Triton 300 SE the Predator is a bit of a misnomer.

Last year, the G14 ignored the expectations of a colleague Monica Chin about what a gaming laptop can achieve when it comes to battery life. Relatively, Acer’s new laptops don’t last long, but they’re not terrible. The Triton 300 SE has a 60Wh 4-cell battery that lasts an average of about 6 hours with relatively low usage. We’ll go into more detail on this later, but I can say it’s a lot shorter than the 10-hour battery life Acer claims. You can take the Triton 300 SE to the cafe and do the work for hours. But if you’re going out all day or want to use it for gaming, you’ll need to bring a charger.

Acer Predator Triton 300 SE

All metal chassis meet a rather thin plastic lid.

Acer Predator Triton 300 SE

The Triton 300 SE looks very sharp on a gaming laptop.

Whether limited battery life bothers you or not, there are other issues I haven’t been able to help with. The interaction of all the plastic on the lid and the all-metal chassis looks fine, but the lid feels clunky in a way that’s a concern for life. Putting a few pounds of pressure on the Predator logo beneath the display will warp more than expected. On the device Acer sent us, there is a small gap in the soft plastic built into the screen bezel that cushions the lid when the screen is closed, which doesn’t fit smoothly. And the “Turbo” key that boosts the fan near the keyboard has some flaws. Finally, Acer far Too much annoying bloatware for Triton. Every hour, you’ll see a pop-up asking you to install or subscribe.

All of this makes a laptop not as luxurious as the cost indicates.

Currently, this model only has one configuration with a 4-core Intel Core i7-11375H processor, 16GB DDR4 RAM, 512GB NVMe SSD storage, and the aforementioned RTX 3060 graphics card. The performance of that GPU will vary greatly depending on the amount of power each manufacturer wants to allow it to use. In this case, the maximum power consumption is 75W, which can be increased up to 1382MHz. After spending time with gaming laptops with multiple RTX 3070s with more headroom than that, I didn’t expect much here. However, I was happy to see the game performance on multiple titles at around 60 frames per second without compromising the settings.

Acer Predator Triton 300 SE

This photo highlights the color shifting hinges as well as the poor viewing angle of the display.

Acer Predator Triton 300 SE

Looking straight ahead, the 14-inch 1080p 144Hz display looks fantastic.

Horizon Zero The system-intensive, open-world game, ran at an average of 60 fps with the Ultra setting turned on. Triton 300 SE’s RTX-ready ray-traced cutting test, Shadow of the Tomb Raider On an ultra setting with the ray traced shadow set to medium, I got 61 frames per second. When I set the ray tracing setting to ultra, it dropped to 48 fps. With ray tracing set to Ultra and Nvidia’s Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) technology turned on to lower the rendering resolution and upscaling the texture using AI, Acer’s laptop split the difference by achieving 55 frames per second. Red Dead Redemption 2Another tricky open world game, it ran at 53 frames per second on an ultra setting.

It’s no surprise that the latest components make Acer’s laptop a more lucrative number than the 2020 G14 with the RTX 2060. It can perform well on some of Asus’ 2021 models. slightly It uses the RTX 3060 similarly, but it’s better in terms of 1080p performance. This is because the graphics chip has a slightly higher 80W power ceiling compared to the 75W of the Triton 300 SE. The AMD Ryzen 9 5900HS processor has 8 cores. Compared to the 4 cores of this 11th generation Intel processor,

The metal chassis of the Triton 300 SE effectively turns into a heat sink to dissipate heat in case of overuse. Unlike most laptops, the heat extends to the palm rest, but it’s not annoying. Thanks for the idea of ​​a cooling system that draws air through the rear and then pushes it to the side of the laptop. Some laptops work the other way around, and even for tasks that aren’t related to gaming, it can actually make using the laptop on your lap too hard.

There is a “Turbo” button above the main key layout that overclocks the CPU and GPU, sending the fan out loud to the overdrive. I didn’t have to use this mode to achieve the previously mentioned frame rate, and turning it on during testing doesn’t seem to make a big difference. Also, I didn’t notice a big difference when I used it with Adobe Premiere Pro to export 5min 33sec 4K video. It took 5 minutes and 40 seconds to run the test. Given the price and size of this computer, these results rank high among other laptops we tested recently.

Acer uses a 14-inch 1080p IPS 16:9 aspect ratio panel that supports a 144Hz refresh rate of up to 300 nits of brightness. There are noticeable ghosts due to the higher response times that add latency during normal use and gameplay, but I have no complaints about color accuracy or brightness. As a result, the mouse pointer does not move smoothly across the screen as seen on other high refresh rate screens, and expands into gameplay that sometimes looks slightly blurry, making the technical achievement of recording 60 frames per second trivial. Initially, it has a 144Hz refresh rate. Despite multiple requests for comments on response times, Acer did not provide any specifications.

Acer Predator Triton 300 SE

It felt like I was at home from Acer’s keyboard layout.

Acer Predator Triton 300 SE

This fingerprint sensor worked half way for me.

Also, the viewing angle of this screen is much more limited than you would expect from an IPS panel. It’s easy to see straight, but you won’t be able to see it from other angles unless you increase the brightness. With less battery life than a star, it’s a big mistake for Acer, which is unforgivable for gamers.

But I was using Acer’s keyboard for both the layout and feel of the keys here. This keyboard has 3 area backlit keys (each area can be customized with a different color in Predator software). Many functions require you to hit the “Fn” key, but the layout is intuitive and doesn’t feel overly cramped. .

The glass trackpad supports all the gestures you would expect from a Windows Precision driver, but it doesn’t respond to touch. I think it’s more of a screen response time issue than a trackpad issue. A fingerprint scanner that can be used as an alternative to a PIN is built into the top left corner of the trackpad, but only half has been found to work. Due to that failure rate, I would like to have more trackpad space.

Acer included the essentials in terms of ports. There are two USB Type-A 3.2 Gen 2 ports. One on each side, the right-facing port can charge some devices. The star of the show is a Thunderbolt 4 USB-C port that can be used to transfer data or connect displays. I’m also happy to see the HDMI 2.1 port, which offers up to 4K resolution at 120 frames per second. There’s also a headphone combo jack and a DC input port for a relatively compact 180W power brick. I’d like to allow Acer to recharge this laptop via USB-C, but it’s all handled through a proprietary DC charging port.

Acer Predator Triton 300 SE

On the left is the fan outlet, charging port, USB Type-A port, and Thunderbolt 4 port.

Acer Predator Triton 300 SE

On the right is another fan outlet, an HDMI 2.1 port, a USB Type-A and a headphone jack.

Back in battery life, it’s not the biggest flaw that this laptop only has 5-6 hours of battery life per charge while using apps like Microsoft Edge, Spotify and Slack. The problem here is that Acer claims it will last up to 10 hours, but I don’t mention externally that you can only get that kind of life if you do something very simple like watching HD videos without running other apps. . It’s okay to fly for a few hours, but most people rely on laptops for more than that, so it’s far from the best way to judge battery performance. According to my tests, the best results you can expect with light usage are up to about 6 hours. It’s not bad for a gaming laptop, but it doesn’t let the Triton 300 SE cling to the battery performance you’ll get on other ultrabooks or even the Zephyrus G14.

It was Acer’s daring to fight against Asus’ Zephyrus G14, a gaming laptop that ticks a lot of boxes for price. This is a machine that looks more elegant than the G14, and it’s hard to appreciate the Thunderbolt 4 ports and webcams by direct comparison. It is also a competent player who can play the game. But Asus has proven that gaming laptops can be more than just a powerful machine. It can also have good battery life for portable use and a competent build quality without much bloatware. Although competition is fierce, the Triton 300 SE is closer to prey than the Bonafeed Predator.

Photo from Cameron Faulkner / The Verge

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