It’s funny how many laptops I’ve reviewed over the last three years and the Acer Predator Triton 500 has never been one of them; until now. Its call to fame is making 300 Hz 1080p panels on a laptop mainstream. However, in many ways, the Triton 500 has fallen behind the competition thanks to it’s dated gamer aesthetic irrespective of how thin it is.
Our review unit costs a whopping $4,999 and yet has last Gen Intel processor and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 20-series graphics. This immediately begs the question, “Who would buy this?” The competition, after all, have far more impressive designs, newer CPU’s and GPU’s for less.
So how does the Acer Predator Triton 500 compare?
Acer Predator X38 Review
Let’s start with specs. The Triton 500 comes with a 10th Gen Intel Core i7-10875H octa-core processor which isn’t the latest but is certainly more than capable for current gaming and productivity tasks. It’s paired with 16GB of DDR4 system memory and a rather tiny 512GB SSD that won’t last long when faced with Call of Duty: WarZone. That said, you can get up to 2 TB’s albeit at a significantly higher cost.
Graphics come courtesy of an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Super which has been thoroughly trumped by the newer RTX 30-series chips. Still, the 2080 Super is nothing to scoff at, especially when mated to a high refresh, 1080p display. And by high refresh, I’m talking about the insane 300 Hz refresh rate and 3ms GTG response time.
Sure this was a mighty impressive combination a year ago but compared to the recent onslaught of QHD, 165 Hz displays, I’m kinda underwhelmed. I’d much rather have the higher resolution and lower refresh for both games and work. Besides, not many AAA games can run at 300 Hz without severely compromising graphics settings.
The nearest I got was in Doom Eternal which scored 248 fps but we all know id Software have a deal with the devil for that engine. Nevertheless, everything else runs superbly at close to or above 100fps with highest settings. I even managed a very comfortable 60fps in Metro Exodus Enhanced Edition with all it’s fancy new Ray-tracing.
It also helps that Acer wisely included G-SYNC support so games run beautifully. It also explains the high price of the Triton 500. Putting the Full HD resolution aside, the IPS panel used here looks lovely with great color vibrance and accuracy. There’s no HDR here which is a shame.
This fast panel and all the other components are housed in a surprisingly thin 17.9mm chassis that is unfortunately rather stale looking. I wouldn’t call the Triton 500 a good looking machine – more like a utilitarian feel. The materials are solid and there’s no sign of cutting corners anywhere.
And that shows with the thermal performance. I recorded temp highs of 85C on the GPU and 75C on the CPU during extensive gaming sessions. That’s pretty darn good for a laptop this thin. Noise isn’t too bad either except if you turn on Turbo; then it’s like being in a beauty salon getting your hair blow dried.
Powering the Triton 500 is a 4-Cell lithium ion battery that barely managed to keep the lights on for two hours on PCMark10 battery drain. This wasn’t surprising as very few laptops can score above 5 hours but still very disappointing to see in 2021. Most people don’t buy gaming laptops just for gaming – that would be ridiculous right?
People do actual work, study and media consumption and while the Triton 500 does all those things very well, a shoddy battery will kill the fun all too quickly.
Additionally, the productivity gurus will appreciate the keyboard that has soft touch keys that are responsive and comfortable to type on. The WASD keys stand out with see-through caps and a concave-curved shape for better tactility for us gamers although I honestly didn’t feel the benefit. The keys are individually backlit and you can change them up to your heart’s content in the PredatorSense app.
The app is a relatively straightforward affair and gives you a great deal of control for overclocking, fan profiles, monitoring, lighting and more. You have a lot of control and if you are that kind of person, you can squeeze quite the bit of performance out of this machine. I also like that you don’t have to use it.
If you aren’t comfortable fiddling with fan curves and power limits, Acer placed a blatantly obvious Turbo button on the top of the keyboard that instantly overclocks the Triton 500. Surprisingly, it actually works and depending on the game, I saw an extra 5-8% improvement. Modest, yes but it makes that slight difference when you want 60 fps for smooth gameplay
Lastly, is connectivity. The Triton 500 has everything the modern gamer needs including WiFi 6 and a Gigabit Ethernet port for lag free wired internet. I appreciated having USB Type-C, Thunderbolt 3 and DisplayPort over USB. Audio lovers will also appreciate the inclusion of a DAC with DTS:X support for some clean, precise game audio via the headphone jack. The laptops speakers aren’t too shabby either but won’t do better than most headphones.
The Acer Predator Triton 500 is a powerful gaming laptop that seems somewhat out of place and time in the current laptop meta. It’s design isn’t as unique as the Alienware’s nor is it as classy as the Razer Blade 15. And in spite of its great performance, the poor battery and outdated components at such a asking high price isn’t worth it.
Acer really needs to refresh the Triton 500 for the new year to keep in step with the exceptional competition from Razer, MSI and Alienware. Throw in a QHD 240 Hz panel, newer RTX-30-series cards and maybe even an AMD processor in a more aesthetic chassis and we’re off to the races.
Acer Australia loaned the Predator Triton 500 to PowerUp for the purpose of this review.