Most PC gamers may find upgrading their aged-old desktop computer a hassle, in order to meet the system requirements of the latest 3D games. Not to mention, it can also be very costly to do so, especially if the entire system has to be replaced. But instead of getting a brand new gaming desktop computer, one option is to go for the latest gaming laptop that not only lets you run the latest games, but is also portable enough to bring along with wherever you go. And like the name of its line of gaming-focused computer hardware, Taiwanese hardware and electronics company Acer has its eyes fixed on this market segment, like a Predator.
The Acer Predator Triton 300 SE that was sent to us incorporates the latest 12th Gen Intel Core i7-12700H processor, 16GB LPDDR5 memory, Nvidia GeForce RTX3060 graphics with 6GB GDDR6 VRAM and 1TB SSD storage. Unlike most of the laptops we reviewed that comes in a standard box, our review unit was packed in a black, water-resistant Predator Classic Backpack, with the power adapter and power cord. At first glance, the gaming laptop sports a stylish silver magnesium-aluminium alloy chassis, and the back of the display looks almost spotless, if not for the small Predator logo. It measures 313.5 x 227 x 19.9mm and weighs 1.7kg which is portable enough to carry to a friend’s house for a LAN party.
The Predator Triton 300 SE features a 14-inch screen that supports WQXGA (2560×1600) resolution, 165Hz refresh rate and has an aspect ratio of 16:10 that offers more viewing real estate than the conventional 16:9 ratio. Situated above the screen is a built-in 1080p webcam and built-in microphone for video communication, while below it is the full-sized keyboard with neatly spaced backlit keys and rectangular touchpad. The TURBO button atop of the keyboard allows you to switch the speed of overclocking the CPU and GPU and speed of the internal fans if you require more performance to run games or intensive applications.
We also noted a unique PreatorSense key which is just below the power button that launches the proprietary PredatorSense software. The PredatorSense software is designed to let you switch between various operating modes, control ventilation fan behaviour, monitor system performance as well as adjust the keyboard backlight. In the Pulsar Lighting tab, the keyboard backlight is divided into three zones and there is an option to change each zone to whatever colour that you want. On top of that, the backlight also has five brightness levels if you find the backlight too glaring when you type.
The rectangular touchpad provides easy navigation of the cursor and it supports various gestures including two-finger press to perform a right click, two finger slide (up, bottom, left right) to scroll through web pages and documents and two finger pinch to zoom in and out of photos and documents. A fingerprint reader is at the top left of the touchpad for convenience of setting up Windows Hello and security.
For connectivity options, the Predator Triton 300 SE offers standard USB 3.2 and USB Type-C ports on the left, and on the right are a 3.5mm headphone/speaker jack, USB 3.2 and a HDMI 2.1 connector with HDCP support. The built-in stereo speakers are at the base and on either sides from the touchpad and audio quality is above average, sounding a little muffled and bass was lacking when we streamed some YouTube music videos. However, the audio sounded better when we used Bluetooth connected earphones. Preinstalled with the laptop is DTS:X Ultra software that features customised content modes such as music, voice, movies and role-playing games that you can choose accordingly to optimise your audio experience.
In the performance department, the Predator Triton 300 SE scored a decent 7053 points on maximum threads test for the 3DMark CPU profile benchmark (the longer the green bar, the closer the score is to the best result for the CPU model). It also did well for 3DMark Firestrike Extreme with a score of 8910, and 3657 for 3DMark Time Spy Extreme. This means the gaming laptop is capable of running most games at 65fps on high graphics settings.
We also pit the Acer to the in-game benchmark utility of Borderlands 3, a role-playing first-person shooter game. Running the benchmark test at 1920 x 1080 resolution and maximum settings, the Predator Triton 300 SE has no issues reaching 131.73fps, which is sufficient for a lag-free gaming experience. After activating the TURBO button and running the same in-game benchmark utility, we noted that the Acer achieved an even higher 140.14fps. While the performance is shown to be slightly better, do note that the cooling fans do spin faster and loudly and the warm air blows out from the ventilation vents at the sides and rear of the gaming laptop. The Predator Triton 300 SE also lasted an hour and 18min on the PCMark Battery test on gaming applications before you need to plug in the power cord.
When the gaming laptop is powered on, the Acer Predator logo appears on screen accompanied by a screeching audio effect that may annoy some users. If you do not like the audio effect, you can turn it off in the BIOS setup; simply press F2 a few times after you press the power button and it should bring you into the BIOS configuration screen.
As a gaming laptop, the Acer Predator Triton 300 SE proves it can handle the latest games without any issue. It is currently retailing at Acer’s official e-store at $3,298 and comes with a three-year on-site warranty.
GEEK REVIEW SCORE
Built with the latest hardware, the Acer Predator Triton 300 SE not only run games seamlessly, but also comes with a reasonable price tag.
Aesthetics - 8.5/10
Build Quality - 9/10
Performance - 8.5/10
Value - 8.5/10
Geek Satisfaction - 8.5/10