Acer Predator Triton 300 Review: A competent mid-ranger with a GTX 1650 GPU

In terms of web presence and product portfolio strength, it looks like Acer is now catching up to the competition. The prominent Taiwanese PC manufacturer debuted its ConceptD range of laptops for creators in December, including the ConceptD 7 Pro, ConceptD 7, and ConceptD 5.

ConceptD is an Acer sub-brand that debuted last year and focuses on items designed exclusively for professional artists and designers.

The newest ConceptD 7 Ezel Convertible series, which was shown at CES 2020, is powered by an Intel 10th Gen Core series CPU with Nvidia Quadro RTX graphics. More information may be found here.

To think about it, December 2019 was a crucial month for Acer in India. It not only represented the introduction of the ConceptD series in the nation, but it also marked the opening of the Acer online shop, giving buyers the choice to buy items directly from an official Acer portal rather than having to pick between models listed on Flipkart and Amazon.

The new online store, which can be found at store.acer.com, is presently stocked with discounts on popular laptops like the Nitro 5 and Aspire 3. Surprisingly, and maybe concerningly, there is no trace of the Predator Triton 300 on it. However, let’s take a closer look at Acer’s latest gaming laptop.

Performance

The Triton 300 is available on Flipkart for Rs 79,990, despite not being accessible through the Acer online store. For that price, you receive a laptop with an Intel 9th Generation Core i7 CPU and 8GB of RAM.

A 256GB solid-state drive works in tandem with a 1TB hard disc to manage storage. An Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 graphics card with 4GB of dedicated video RAM complements the CPU.

As we all know, the GTX 1650 is the entry-level model in Nvidia’s 2019 laptop GPU lineup. Our review machine, on the other hand, had the identical Intel 9th Gen Core i7 and GTX 1650 CPUs but a larger 16GB of RAM.

A WD 512GB PCIe NVMe solid-state drive served as storage, with no hard disc to accompany it. This Triton 300 model is likely to be available shortly on online retailers such as Flipkart.

When the base panel was opened, it revealed a rather neat arrangement of components with plenty of opportunity for expansion. The review unit’s CFL Auris motherboard has two DDR4 SDRAM slots, one of which was occupied by the Kingston 16GB chip.

The motherboard also had two M.2 storage slots, one of which was used by the Western Digital SN720 512GB chip. While the motherboard allowed for a 2.5-inch hard drive, our evaluation device lacked a caddy. This meant that if we wanted to increase storage, we’d have to buy another M.2 solid-state drive. A Killer 1650X Wi-Fi 6 card was located to the right of the M.2 slots.

On our simulated benchmark tests, the review unit performed admirably. The Triton 300 achieved 4001 points on PCMark 8’s Conventional Creative test, which is much higher than the FX505DY and FX705DT from Asus’ 2019 AMD Ryzen-powered TUF Gaming lineup.

The Triton 300 scored 8163 and 24350 points in 3DMark’s Fire Strike and Sky Diver tests, respectively. Again, these scores are significantly higher than those obtained by the FX505DY and FX705DT. You can read our reviews of the 15-inch FX505DY and the 17-inch FX705DT here and here, respectively.

The Triton 300’s everyday performance was more than enough. With considerable simplicity, I was able to run numerous instances of common software such as Word, Excel, Chrome, File Explorer, and WhatsApp for PC across many virtual desktops.

Even with games downloading in the background on Steam or Origin, I didn’t observe any discernible decline in speed. On one occasion, I was able to export 100 image files in around 5 minutes using Adobe Lightroom Classic CC. In summary, the Triton 300 performs admirably for common chores such as surfing, file transfers, and online picture editing.

Gaming

It was a pleasure to play on the Triton 300. The review unit outperformed the FX505DY and FX705DT in terms of frame rates. To evaluate frame rates, I ran a number of games on the laptop’s native Full HD screen resolution, first on Medium graphics settings and then on High (i.e., one notch above Medium). V-Sync was disabled in all titles.

Doom performed smoothly on Medium, with an average frame rate of 103 frames per second, but slowed to 95 on High. On Medium, Battlefield V managed 68 frames per second before dropping to 57 on High. On Medium, Apex Legends averaged 93 frames per second and 85 frames per second on High.

The internal testing function in Shadow of the Tomb Raider indicated an average frame rate of 55 frames per second on Medium settings and a noticeably lower 51 frames per second on High settings. Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, the most graphically demanding game on our list, managed 69 frames per second on Medium but dropped to 54 on High.

Finally, on Medium, Crysis 3 averaged 96 frames per second before dropping to 73 on High. All of these games operated with constant fluidity on the Triton 300. Because V-Sync was deactivated, several games—particularly Battlefield V—exhibited significant screen tearing.

The Triton 300 performed admirably at room temperatures of roughly 14 degrees Celsius. With strong CPU and GPU activity on the interior, the WASD keys averaged 36.2 degrees Celsius, while the heat vents on the sides averaged 42 degrees Celsius.

The Triton 300 was clearly loud in the workplace with both fans whirling at full power, although it wasn’t as loud as the thinner Asus Zephyrus G GA502.

Overall, gaming on the Triton 300 is a pleasurable experience. On one occasion, I played Metro Exodus at Ultra (the highest graphical settings available, not including Extreme) and observed fairly playable frame rates (between 40 and 60 frames per second).

All of this being said, I don’t see why Acer hasn’t expanded their Triton 300 lineup to include GPU alternatives other than the entry-level GTX 1650. A Triton 300 powered by an RTX 2060 would have been a nice fit for the Lenovo Legion Y540. You can read our review of that laptop by clicking here.

Battery

The Triton 300 is powered by a quad-cell 58.75Wh non-removable lithium-ion battery, which is not very trustworthy if you travel frequently. The review device performed a mediocre 2 hours, 22 minutes on our normal battery benchmark test.

On the same test with the identical parameters, the FX505DY and FX705DT managed 3 hours, 30 minutes and 4 hours, 45 minutes, respectively.

Unfortunately, the review device did not fare much better in our regular test sessions. With Wi-Fi and Bluetooth turned on, the laptop’s battery charge dropped from 100% to 19% after 2 hours, 32 minutes. During this period, the laptop was doing a lot of browsing and listening to music in the background.

Things improved significantly once I reduced the screen brightness from 75% to 55%. To summarise, don’t expect the Triton 300 to last more than four hours on a single charge.

Display, audio, and input/output (IO)

The Triton 300 has a 15.6-inch ‘ComfyView’ LED-backlit IPS LCD display with Full HD resolution and a refresh rate of 144Hz. Colors on the panel seem washed out (particularly when the screen brightness is set to maximum), but not to the point where it is evident while watching video.

On the plus side (pardon the pun), the screen brightness is adequate for most indoor and outdoor locations.

Furthermore, the matte coating on top of the display guarantees that overhead lighting (in conference rooms, for example) do not interfere with work. It’s an excellent panel for both work and pleasure.

On the bottom panel of the Triton 300, there are two down-firing speakers. They provide a fairly tinny sound for lengthy periods of music listening, but they should suffice for watching a small video clip on YouTube. While they have notable stereo separation, they lack loudness.

So, if you want to show your pals a new game trailer in, say, an empty classroom, you may need to use an extra Bluetooth speaker. You should absolutely invest in a nice set of headphones if you plan on doing a lot of gaming.

The audio system in the Triton 300 is powered by Waves MaxxAudio, which means there’s a bundled software with the same name to handle the equaliser and surround sound settings. The in-app sound options include ‘Revive’ and ‘Reduce Noise,’ both of which perform well. Furthermore, there is a sound technology that only functions when the headphones are connected in.

Waves Nx is a technique that uses the laptop’s camera to detect your head motions so that the music can “follow” you digitally, creating the impression that there are fixed speakers on the laptop. I must admit that this function works rather well, despite the fact that it requires the webcam to be turned on at all times.

The Triton 300 has a plethora of connectors for easy connecting to accessories. A LAN port (with a spring-loaded flap), a Mini DisplayPort, a full-size HDMI connector, USB-C 3.1, and a handful of USB-A 3.1 connections can be found on the left side of its body (one of which can juice up smartphones even during sleep). There’s also a Kensington Lock Slot for enhanced protection.

A proprietary round-pin power port, a USB-A 2.0 port, and a single 3.5mm audio jack for headsets are located on the right side. The introduction of an SD Card port would have made things easier for people who edit photographs and films on a regular basis.

The Triton 300 is outfitted with a Killer E2500 Ethernet Controller and a Killer AX1650 Wi-Fi 6 module, both of which feature Killer’s DoubleShot Pro technology to allow the user to switch between Ethernet and Wi-Fi for certain online tasks.

The user may, for example, save the faster Ethernet line for video streaming and utilise the slower Wi-Fi connection for game downloads. The laptop has a camera on top of the display but no fingerprint scanner for quicker log-ins.

Touchpad and Keyboard

The keyboard of the Triton 300 is a mixed bag, with some excellent and some unpleasant features. The wide, clearly indicated keys with several brightness settings are appealing. On the right side, there’s a numpad with dedicated Home, End, Page Up, and Page Down buttons.

There’s also a dedicated shortcut button for launching the included PredatorSense app. This programme now allows the user to create a custom speed for each fans separately, control GPU overclocking, and change the lighting profiles on the keyboard’s four-zone RGB illumination.

WASD and arrow keys, for example, enable more light to get through for quicker identification when gaming.

The roughness of the keys and the poorly coded dedicated Turbo button let the keyboard down. Let me explain: the keys have plenty of travel but are a tad stiff when pressed. In my perspective, Acer could have made the setup a little gentler.

The Turbo button, on the other hand, presents a unique set of challenges. Pressing it once causes the two internal fans to spool up to full speed, but pressing it twice has no effect. In other words, it can only enable but not disable the Turbo fan profile. Despite these drawbacks, it’s a wonderful keyboard for both work and enjoyment. It also looks great when the ambient light is dimmed.

The Triton 300 includes a wide precision touchpad that is excellent for pointing, tapping, scrolling, and dragging with several fingers. Because Windows 10 recognises it as a precision unit, no third-party driver or tool is required to take advantage of the touchpad’s gesture control.

Unlike the unit on Asus’ TUF Gaming models, this one shows no evidence of superfluous play when a finger is placed on the surface. The two click buttons beneath the touchpad surface are also simple to use. Overall, it’s a good input device for times you don’t want to use your typical gaming mouse.

Construct and Design

The Triton 300 has an all-metal exterior with a stylish blue-black finish that distinguishes the laptop in its own quiet, tranquil way. The general design of the laptop is modest, but not as subtle as that of the Lenovo Legion Y540.

The highly lighted Predator emblem on the top cover, as well as the sharp cuts on the rear heat vents, are dead giveaways that this is a gaming computer.

The laptop’s individuality is further enhanced by the clipped corners of the top cover and base panel. While the laptop has a good degree of grip, it is not kind to the user’s arm muscles. The Triton 300 is a large block to carry about, weighing 2.5 kilogrammes.

Opening the Triton 300’s lid requires only one hand, yet it displays how bendy the small panel is. When the keys are pressed forcefully, the keyboard exhibits a comparable degree of flex. The 15.6-inch matte-finish screen is bordered by fairly substantial bezels all around.

The camera and a dual-array microphone are located in the top bezel. Despite the lack of a fingerprint sensor, the keyboard island manages to appear exquisite owing to the four-zone RGB lighting on the keyboard and the sleek chrome finish surrounding the touchpad. Despite some obvious flex in some of its panels, the Triton 300 is one of the better-built mid-range gaming computers.

Verdict

The Acer Predator Triton 300 is without a doubt one of the greatest GTX 1650-powered gaming laptops we’ve seen since last year, particularly in terms of CPU and GPU performance, but it’s not without flaws. Its screen could use some more colour, its speakers could need a lot more loudness, and its 2.5-kilogram frame could use some slimming down.

Fortunately, if you only worry about steady performance from its well-stacked internals, you can overlook all of its shortcomings.

The GTX 1650 graphics card inside works nicely with the Intel 9th Gen Core i7 CPU to provide a satisfying gaming experience on most popular AAA games, as long as you’re not insistent about pushing the video settings slider to Ultra, let alone VR.

The Acer Predator Triton 300 outperforms the two Asus TUF Gaming models we saw last year—the FX505DY and FX705DT—in terms of raw stats. So, why do I have reservations about recommending the Acer above the two Asus models? It has anything to do with the fact that the configuration of this review unit differs from the market variations.

The Triton 300 offered on Flipkart and the local Acer Mall (at the time of writing this article) has half the RAM and dual-disk storage as the review unit, so I’m not sure how well it will compete with the TUF Gaming series, or even a GTX 1650-powered Legion Lenovo Y540.

If you want the Acer Predator Triton 300 with the same specifications as our review model, you’ll have to wait till it hits the market. It is scheduled to be on sale soon. Unfortunately, Acer has not disclosed the exact price of this unit.

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