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HomeReviewsAcer Predator Triton 300 SE 16 hands-on review: Larger and in charge

Acer Predator Triton 300 SE 16 hands-on review: Larger and in charge

Acer’s Predator Triton 300 SE represents its lineup of mid-range gaming laptops with a focus on slim and portable gaming PCs. The current 14-inch model has been updated with Intel 12th-gen CPUs, Nvidia GeForce RTX 30 Series GPUs, and a 3K OLED panel that will show up in some (as yet undetermined) regions. More notably, Acer has added a brand-new 16-inch model to the lineup, and they sent me a pre-production version to look at. Note that it’s not a replacement for the current 16-inch Predator Triton 500 SE, even though the machines appear quite similar.

Contents

  • Design
  • Performance
  • Display and audio
  • Keyboard and touchpad
  • Battery life
  • Pricing and configurationsShow 1 more item

The sample unit I received doesn’t correlate directly with what’s shipping, and a pre-production machine can’t be benchmarked. So, I’ll provide my subjective opinion here, and check out the pricing and configurations section below for an idea of what the Predator Triton 300 SE 16-inch will cost. As a pre-production unit, everything covered here is subject to change in the final shipping product.

Design

Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

The Triton 300 SE 16 is a mashup of minimalist laptop design and gaming machine aesthetics. The color scheme is a simple silver throughout with minimal chrome accents, and other than the speaker grills above the keyboard, the insides are simple as well. The venting is aggressive, however, which is where the gamer look comes in. Overall, the laptop’s design is one you could take into a conference room without being embarrassed, while it won’t stand out like a sore thumb in a gaming setting.

In terms of its construction, the Triton 300 SE 16 is made of all aluminum. There’s a tiny bit of flexing in the keyboard deck and bending in the lid if you try hard enough, but the typical user likely won’t notice. The hinge opens with one hand and holds the display firmly in place while gaming. Overall, the Triton 300 SE 16 is a well-built laptop that feels solid and durable.

The plastic display bezels are relatively small on the top and sides, while the bottom chin is a bit larger. Given the 16:10 aspect ratio, the laptop is taller but less wide than old-school 16:9 16-inch machines. It’s thin for a gaming machine at 0.78 inches while coming in at 5.29 pounds.

Connectivity includes two USB-A 3.2 Gen 2 ports, a USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 port with Thunderbolt 4 support, a full-size HDMI 2.1 port, an Ethernet port, a 3.5mm audio jack, and a microSD card reader. Wireless connectivity includes Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1.

Performance

Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

Two configurations (see below) of the Triton 300 SE 16 will be available, both with Intel’s 12th-gen 14-core (six Performance, eight Efficient) 20-thread Core i7-12700H. CPU options will include the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 and RTX 3070 Ti. My review unit was equipped with the latter. Nvidia’s Advanced Optimus is on hand to ensure that the right GPU (either the Intel Iris Xe integrated graphics or the discrete chip) is used for the right tasks.

In addition, Acer touts its 5th-gen AeroBlade 3D Fan and Vortex Flow airflow technology, along with liquid metal thermal grease on the CPU. The cooling system is designed to maximize performance and minimize heat to keep throttling to a minimum.

I couldn’t run any benchmarks on the Triton 300 SE 16, and in any case, performance is subject to change from the pre-production machine I looked at. Overall, though, I found the laptop to be plenty quick at everything I threw at it from a productivity standpoint. The Core i7-12700H is a fast CPU, and the machine feels like it.

I ran several gaming titles, including Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and Cyberpunk 2077, to get a sense of its gaming performance. While I can’t report frame rates, each title I tried looked smooth enough at 1440p and medium-to-high settings.

Fan noise was typical for a gaming laptop, and I didn’t notice any exceptional heat emanating from any part of the chassis. I think Acer’s cooling system is doing its job. Acer ships its PredatorSense utility that lets users control the keyboard lighting, fan speed, and CPU clock, along with monitoring the machine’s performance and setting up custom settings for games and apps.

Display and audio

Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

There’s one display option for the Triton 300 SE 16: A 16:10 WQXGA (2560 x 1600) IPS panel with a 240Hz refresh rate and 3ms response time. The display supports Nvidia’s G-SYNC technology for tear-free gaming. Other specs include up to 500 nits of brightness and 100% coverage of the sRGB color gamut.

Of course, I wasn’t allowed to use my colorimeter to test the display. However, I found it bright and colorful without being oversaturated, and the G-SYNC support seemed to make a difference in gaming performance. The display will likely please both gamers and productivity users, and I’ll look forward to the opportunity to give it an objective test.

I’m not sure of the speaker configuration, although I assume there are two speakers above the keyboard and two on the bottom of the chassis. There’s plenty of volume no matter the speaker count, with clear mids and highs and a touch of bass. The audio system supports DTX X: Ultra audio for immersive gaming, and there’s enough sound output that you should be able to game without headphones — even with the fans blowing at full speed.

Keyboard and touchpad

Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

The Triton 300 SE 16’s keyboard supports 3-zone RGB lighting that’s controlled by the PredatorSense utility. It’s nicely sized with large keycaps and good key spacing, while the switches are extremely light with a soft bottoming action. The keyboard doesn’t provide the feedback that gamers might prefer, and they lack the precision that productivity users might prefer.

The touchpad is smaller than it might be, given the size of the speaker grills and some space above and below the palm rests. It’s a smooth touchpad, however, with quiet and confident clicks and support for Microsoft’s Precision Touchpad drivers. Ultimately, it’s a serviceable touchpad, but nothing special.

Taking up some space in the upper-left corner of the touchpad is a fingerprint reader for Windows 11 Hello passwordless login. It worked reliably and quickly during my testing, although that’s my least favorite location for a fingerprint reader. Embedded in the power button is optimal, and on the palm rest independent of the touchpad is a close second.

Battery life

There’s a 100-watt-hour battery inside the Triton 300 SE 16, the largest capacity that a laptop can equip and still be allowed on an airplane. Even with that much capacity, I don’t expect much in the way of battery life from a gaming laptop. Once again, that’s not something I could formally test, and so I can’t give any real indication of its longevity.

Pricing and configurations

So far, there are two known U.S. configurations of the Predator Triton 300 SE 16. There’s a $1,750 option with an Intel Core i7-12700H, Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060, 16GB of LPDDR5 RAM, and a PCIe Gen 4 512GB solid-state drive (SSD).

Then, there’s a $2,200 configuration with a Core i7-12700H, RTX 3070 Ti, 16GB of RAM, and a 1TB SSD. Other future configurations are possible, including more RAM and storage, and there’s no confirmed shipping date yet.

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