Acer Predator Triton 300 SE OLED Review

The updated Acer Predator Triton 300 SE OLED joins an ever-growing list of powerful and capable 14-inch gaming laptops. We’ve reviewed some greats like the Razer Blade 14 and the Asus Zephyrus G14 which are truly best-in-class. Those machines all share some common traits; they are ultraportable, well built, absurdly powerful and can play AAA games at smooth framerates.

The Triton 300 SE OLED shares those same traits but one-ups the competition by adding a stunning 3K OLED 2880 x 1800 display powered by Nvidia RTX 30-series graphics. Concordantly, gaming, media consumption and content creation are a delight on your corneas. Add on the latest 12th Gen Intel processors, DDR5 memory and an insanely fast SSD, this little machine kicks serious pixel arse. But, we know by now that great parts don’t necessarily mean a great laptop.

Additionally, the Predator Triton 300 SE OLED doesn’t officially go on sale in Australia until August 2022 and Acer hasn’t yet priced it. So, it’s hard to compare it to the competition in terms of value for money. Whatever the price turns out to be, Acer has created something really compelling and there’s a lot to talk about.  

Acer Predator Triton 300 SE OLED Review

The updated Triton 300 SE OLED has been refined from the outgoing model with new internals, a fancy OLED display and better thermals than last year’s model. Acer exercised incredible restraint in designing a laptop that looks sleek and means business without screaming gamer. Only the lone Predator logo on the lid gives away what would otherwise be mistaken for a business notebook. 

The silver-grey metal chassis is slim at just about 0.7-inches thick and weighs 1.7kg putting it about on par with the Razer Blade 14. The overall build is solid and rigid with no flexing in the chassis and should withstand scratches and dents but maybe just don’t drop this high-end piece of equipment?

Despite its small frame, the Triton has all the ports an ultraportable gaming laptop needs. On the left is a USB Type-C Thunderbolt 4, USB 3.2 Gen2 and a boring DC-in connector. The Triton can charge via the Thunderbolt port but only when it’s not trying to push 60fps in Doom. On the other side are a 3.5mm audio combo port, a USB 3.2 Gen2 with Power-off charging and an HDMI 2.1 port for outputting that glorious 4K 120Hz to a compatible TV or monitor.

Opening the lid reveals a spacious keyboard whose keys have nice depth in their travel. I found them a little bit spongey but typing was comfortable and playing games was responsive. The keys aren’t individually backlit like the competition — instead using a three-zone lighting system. That really limits what you can do with lighting customisation but the lighting is still bright and vibrant.

The touchpad is smooth and responsive and has an embedded fingerprint reader which works flawlessly with Windows Hello sign-in. However, due to the small size of the touchpad, I kept running into the fingerprint sensor when swiping and scrolling which interrupted what I was doing. Not a deal-breaker but perhaps integrating it into the power button like on the Zephyrus G14 would be better?

Above the keyboard deck is the speaker grill through which the Triton 300 SE OLED outputs some impressively spacious audio. The only problem is that they are quite tinny due to the lack of bass. It’s definitely usable in a pinch but not great for any serious media or gaming use.

Embedded in the speaker grill is the impossible-to-miss Turbo button which, as the name implies, puts the laptop into its highest performance mode. You can also activate this through the Acer PredatorSense software but it’s handy to have it immediately accessible. Be warned though, activating Turbo mode turns the Triton into a screaming banshee that will be sure to annoy anyone in proximity. It should come with a warning label that says “Don’t try this at the office” because everyone will know you aren’t working on that Powerpoint presentation for your boss. 

The pièce de résistance is the gorgeous 14-inch, 3K OLED display. 3K isn’t really an accepted nomenclature but what it means is a resolution of 2880 x 1800 in a 16:10 aspect ratio. It’s higher than standard QHD resolution so games will look a tad taller but not in a detrimental way. This display is pin-sharp and given the smaller 14-inch size, the higher pixel density shows with everything looking crisp and clean.

OLED, which stands for Organic Light Emitting Diode, is universally accepted as the holy grail of displays. It’s so nice to see one in this size and it rocks a 90Hz refresh rate with a 1ms response time. Sure, some laptops have even 240Hz panels but you wouldn’t buy a 14-inch laptop to do that. Hook the Triton to an external monitor for that pleasure. 

More than the refresh rate, this Triton OLED display will appeal to content creators as well as gamers who want accurate colour and excellent HDR performance. The Triton 300 SE OLED boasts 100% DCI-P3 colour coverage and is certified DispalyHDR True Black 500. This certification is only for OLED’s which can produce true blacks and the 500 refers to the peak brightness it can achieve. 

HDR content really pops on this panel with its excellent contrast and clear, bright highlights. Games like Red Dead Redemption 2 and Destiny 2 The Witch Queen look utterly gorgeous on this panel. It’s also perfect for binging Stranger Things 4 with all its moody scenes and vibrant yesteryear sets. 

Speaking of games, like it’s competitors, the Triton 300 SE OLED runs pretty well thanks to a powerful combo of 12th Gen Intel i7-12700H, RTX 3060 and 16GB of DDR5 memory. In my tests, I was averaging 35-50 fps in the native 3K resolution with ultra settings; including ray-tracing. Switching to 2560 x 1440p resolution got me closer to a consistent 60fps while 1080p basically assured it. 

The RTX 3060 isn’t the best laptop GPU out there and I think the new 3070Ti would have been a much better choice. That said, you don’t need ultra settings, especially at this size of display. Some variation of medium-to-high settings worked best to achieve a smooth 60fps while still looking great. And don’t forget the wizardry of Nvidia DLSS that is increasingly a staple in AAA games.

But it’s not just gaming that the Triton excels at. That new i7 processor packs an incredible punch posting scores in several of my benchmarks that were miles ahead of previous-gen laptops. The Tritons scores in Cinebench R25 and Geekbench 5 of 15066 and 11782 respectively are the highest I’ve ever recorded on any laptop. That includes those with the monstrous i9-11900 processors from last year.

It helps that the Triton 300 SE OLED has one of the fastest SSD drives you can get. My unit recorded an incredible 6517MB/s read and 4678 MB/s write speed in Crystal DiskMark. That’s some seriously impressive speed and explains why my games were loading so fast. Combined with that shiny new DDR5 memory, everything works wonderfully together to produce this impressive performance.

Now, all of this performance doesn’t come free. Not only do you have to keep the Triton connected to its thankfully tiny power brick, but you also have to deal with an immense amount of fan noise. I work late into the night testing hardware and I never wanted to do any gaming tests for fear of irritating the whole household from the noise. Additionally, even at idle I could still hear the fans, something I can’t say for other ultraportable laptops. 

The only upside to that noise is how cool the Triton remains under load. After extensive benchmarking and gaming sessions, the Triton would maintain about 56C on the CPU and 73 on the GPU which is a fantastic result. You can thank Acer for using liquid metal thermal grease on the CPU that’s cooled by 5th Gen Aeroblade fan tech. Marketing jargon aside, it works very well. Heat is nicely vented out the back and sides leaving the main chassis and keyboard deck cool to the touch.

Now, all this sounds wonderful but I bet you’re wondering about the battery life? Well, the Triton 300 SE OLED managed about 5.5 hours of productivity use which dropped to about 1:10m of gaming. I’ve seen worse but there’s definitely better out there. The Zephyrus G14 for instance easily manages 8-9 hours which is enough to get through an entire workday.

The Triton does have a MUX switch that can turn off the RTX 3060 and use the less power-hungry integrated Intel graphics. However, the results I’ve shared are from that very scenario. Admittedly, a 76WHr battery isn’t the biggest thing but given how small the power brick is, I don’t think anyone will mind carrying it around. 

Verdict

After my time with the Acer Predator Triton 300 SE OLED, I came away very pleased with the total package. It certainly earns its place in the best 14-inch gaming club. I love how it looks, feels and performs. With its OLED display, it is in a league of its own, although I wish there was a more powerful GPU available. An RTX 3070 would be great and ensure much better QHD gaming performance. However, at the time of writing this, this is the only configuration for the Triton 300 SE OLED and with no pricing available, I can’t say if it’s a better buy than the competition. Either way, the Triton 300 SE is a wonderful laptop that I’ve enjoyed having and can see a lot of gamers liking as well.  

Acer Predator Triton 300 SE OLED Review
Reader Rating0 Votes
0
LIKES
Great metallic build
Gorgeous OLED 3K display
Truly portable
Games run and look great
Good Fingerprint reader
DISLIKES
Fans are too noisy
No alternate GPU choices
Battery is just average
8.5
Smart looks, plenty of power

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Kizito Katawongahttp://www.medium.com/@katawonga
Kizzy is our Tech Editor. He's a total nerd with design sensibilities who's always on the hunt for the latest, greatest and sexiest tech that enhances our work and play. When he's not testing the latest gadgets or trying to listen to his three whirlwind daughters, Kizzy likes to sink deep into a good story-driven single player game.

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