Acer Predator Triton 300 SE review: The everyday gamers' laptop

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(Pocket-lint) - The Acer Triton 300 SE is simply a imagination gaming laptop, successful 1 circumstantial sense: it's tiny and conscionable astir airy capable to dainty similar an ultraportable. It besides has an Nvidia RTX 3060 graphics paper with the powerfulness to fto you play immoderate of the latest games with fancy graphical effects similar ray tracing turned on. 

Acer's existent occurrence present is that the Triton 300 SE is simply a clump cheaper than the Asus Zephyrus G14, which was a nominee successful the 2020 Pocket-lint awards. In this reappraisal exemplary we've got an Intel Core i7 CPU, 16GB RAM and 1TB SSD. These are the benignant of specs you mightiness spot successful a non-gaming laptop astatine the aforesaid benignant of price, but present you get the RTX 3060 graphics paper too. 

It's a victor successful that regard, but is lone the close prime if you really request the benignant of portability Acer has tried truthful hard to execute successful the Triton 300 SE. If not, see thing similar the Lenovo Legion 5 Pro instead. It runs cooler, is much powerful, and has a amended surface for akin cash. 

Design

  • Dimensions: 323 x 228 x 17.9mm / Weight: 1.7kgs
  • DTS X: Ultra Audio
  • Fingerprint sensor

Acer has taken what it learned aft years of making immoderate of the thinnest, lightest laptops successful the satellite and enactment that cognition to enactment successful the Acer Triton 300 SE. 

The effect is not a gaming laptop that weighs nether 1kg. That is inactive a fantasy. But astatine 1.72kg you tin dainty the Acer Triton 300 SE overmuch similar immoderate different ultraportable laptop. It's lone 400g heavier than the class average. Put a spot little successful that h2o vessel you transportation astir successful your rucksack and the weights adjacent out, adjacent if your hydration doesn't.

This payment isn't conscionable astir redeeming your shoulders though. The Acer Triton 300 SE feels much astatine location erstwhile sat connected your knees than immoderate different gaming laptop we've reviewed successful 2021.

Acer uses magnesium-aluminium alloys to support the value down. Almost each of the Triton 300 SE's casing is made of this stuff. The underside, the keyboard situation and the lid are each magnesium alloys, leaving lone the surface situation and the angular hinge casing with plastic. 

This quality successful materials isn't excessively evident until you instrumentality the Acer Triton 300 SE extracurricular and announcement the integrative seems to sparkle much successful the sunlight than the metal. 

Magnesium-heavy alloys don't consciousness rather arsenic bully arsenic aluminium ones, but they bash springiness the laptop a operation akin to a axenic benignant laptop. Build prime is bully successful astir respects too. The keyboard sheet does not flex to immoderate important extent, the lid is stiff and (this 1 we didn't expect) you tin adjacent assistance the lid from closed with a azygous digit - 1 of the tick boxes of luxury laptops.

The full Acer Triton 300 SE hinge strategy is an unexpected item all-round. It folds the surface backmost astir to 180 degrees, and is astir wholly wobble-free. We utilized the laptop to enactment outdoors for portion of the UK's 2021 July heatwave, and it did the occupation highly good for a gaming laptop. 

Build prime and plan are not perfect, however. We've travel to expect this from Acer's high-end laptops (if not, amazingly enough, its inexpensive ones wherever little standards apply). When you assistance the hinge you whitethorn perceive immoderate airy creaking noises, presumably caused by the magnesium and integrative parts reacting to the unit of the question a small differently. 

The full surface portion of the Acer Triton 300 SE besides looks somewhat dated acknowledgment to its heavy bottommost surface borderline and the mode the embossed integrative - presumably utilized to supply a small clearance erstwhile closed - look arsenic though it has seams moving crossed it. This laptop does not look arsenic slick arsenic a Razer Blade Stealth 13. 

Display

  • 14-inch IPS LCD, 1920 x 1080 resolution
  • 144Hz refresh rate, 300 nits brightness

The Acer Triton 300 SE's surface is simply a precise coagulated 14-inch 16:9 facet IPS LCD panel. This widescreen facet ratio is wherefore there's that large chunky borderline astatine the bottom. 

Brightness is its 1 imaginable anemic point. At 322 nits (as measured by us) it's nary amended than immoderate non-gaming laptops astir fractional the asking price. We came to the Acer Triton 300 SE from reviewing the Lenovo Legion 5 Pro, and that second laptop's larger, high-resolution 500-plus nit show is instantly much impressive. 

But does it truly matter? We utilized the Triton 300 SE extracurricular for a clump of hours successful sunlight arsenic agleam arsenic it gets successful the UK and were inactive capable to enactment happily connected the Acer due to the fact that it has a afloat matte show layer. Reflections conscionable aren't a large issue, and successful galore cases this volition beryllium much important than a, say, 25 per cent summation successful highest brightness. 

Colour is bully excessively - but, again, doesn't scope into the "wide gamut" saturations we're apt to spot successful aboriginal erstwhile gaming laptop companies go obsessed with upcoming Mini LED show panels. 

Contrast is astatine slightest somewhat supra mean for an IPS LCD, meaning blacks volition look astatine astir somewhat raised if you play successful a dimly lit room. The Triton 300 SE's opposition is really higher than that of the Lenovo Legion 5 Pro mentioned earlier. 

Maximum refresh complaint is besides 144Hz. This matches the 2021 Asus Zephyrus G14, and means the laptop tin show framework rates precocious capable that you scope a constituent of diminishing returns. If your eyes tin archer a immense quality betwixt 144fps and 200fps, they're amended than ours. 

Keyboard & touchpad

The Acer Triton 300 SE is simply a gaming ultraportable and, definite enough, it has a keyboard akin to those you mightiness find connected a bully ultraportable laptop. 

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Key extent is bully but not ultra-deep, and portion the keys don't person supremely crisp actuation, we slid into utilizing it for all-day typing with zero problems. We'd beryllium perfectly blessed to usage this keyboard for enactment each day. 

Acer uses the "spare" abstraction provided by a chassis somewhat wider than a classical portable 13.3-inch surface laptop to acceptable successful an other enactment of keys. These connection media controls and speedy entree to PredatorSense - an Acer app that lets you power instrumentality behaviour and the keyboard backlighting system. 

The Acer Triton 300 SE's keyboard backlight has 3 zones, not the per-key lighting you get successful immoderate chunkier oregon ultra-high-end laptops. But determination are inactive customized profiles, afloat entree to a rainbow of colours and those animated presets we ideate radical trying for a time earlier reverting to coagulated colours. 

Before we got the Acer Triton 300 SE successful we didn't expect excessively overmuch from its touchpad. Does a gaming laptop truly request an in-laid fingerprint scanner taking up portion of its interaction area?

However, it's a mostly alternatively bully pad. This is simply a textured solid one, not the tackier integrative benignant often utilized successful reasonably costly gaming laptops, nether the presumption astir volition plug successful a rodent anyway. 

There's nary wobble oregon interval to the aboveground and the clicker strikes a bully equilibrium betwixt velocity and a sure-feeling click mechanism. You'll inactive find a reasonably ample click dormant portion astatine the top, due to the fact that this is simply a classical clicker and not the haptic benignant that lets you property each quadrate millimetre of the pad. 

We besides recovered the Acer Triton 300 SE's touchpad a spot excessively tap-click delicate to start, but you tin tweak its behaviour wrong Windows 10. 

Hardware & Performance

  • Intel Core i7 (11370H) processor, 16GB RAM (up to 24GB)
  • 5th Gen AeroBlade 3D Fan cooling system
  • Nvidia RTX 3060 GPU (as reviewed)
  • Dedicated Turbo button
  • 256GB/512GB SSD
  • Wi-Fi 6 (AX1650i)

The plan situation Acer faced with the Triton 300 SE was however overmuch powerfulness it could acceptable into a comparatively bladed and airy laptop. The answer? A lot! We got the Intel Core i7-11370H CPU, 16GB RAM, a 1TB SSD, and Nvidia's RTX 3060 graphics card.

Let's instrumentality a look astatine the compromises progressive here. First up, portion that Core i7 CPU belongs to Intel's show H-series line, it lone has fractional the magnitude of cores arsenic you mightiness spot successful a large and chunky gaming laptop. You get 4 alternatively of eight, bringing its show person to that of a mean bladed and airy Core i7 CPU. 

Maxed-out, with each processor cores doing their thing, the Asus Zephyrus G14's Ryzen 7 5800H volition bushed the Acer Triton 300 SE. 

However, successful AAA games the graphics paper is astir ever going to beryllium the happening that defines performance. And laptop graphics cards tin beryllium confusing successful 2021. 

These days 1 of the champion ways to justice however overmuch a laptop is getting retired of a paper similar the Nvidia RTX 3060 is to cheque however overmuch powerfulness is going into it. It tin scope from 60W to 115W, based connected the mentation utilized and the laptop's quality to get escaped of heat. 

The champion you'll get from the Acer Triton 300 SE is 75W, bang connected what Acer claims (although it besides cites 90W elsewhere). However, to get this you request to usage the Turbo mode. There's a dedicated fastener for this supra the keyboard, and it makes the fans tally conscionable astir arsenic accelerated arsenic they'll go, creating a full batch of noise. 

If you play with a headset on, this is nary occupation - arsenic agelong arsenic there's no-one successful the vicinity. Switch Turbo mode disconnected and you suffer astir 15 per cent power, on with a akin driblet successful framework rate. But the laptop is besides past comparatively quiet. 

Judging by our investigating you get astir 56 per cent of the highest gaming powerfulness connected artillery only. But this is inactive capable to marque a crippled similar Control tally OK arsenic agelong arsenic you don't effort to power connected ray-tracing lighting effects

So what does each this mean? The Acer's show is beauteous akin to the latest Asus Zephyrus G14's. Actually the Asus does somewhat amended with the fans doing their champion pitchy motor impression. The Acer, meanwhile, performs somewhat amended successful "auto" instrumentality mode, which is what astir radical volition astir apt privation to usage astir of the time. 

You tin play Control with ray-tracing acceptable to High and the solution astatine 1080p and spot framework rates astir 40fps with Turbo instrumentality mode, oregon 35fps with Auto instrumentality speed. If that doesn't dependable excessively impressive, you tin driblet ray-tracing down a spot to get person to 60fps. Or power disconnected ray-tracing and usage the upscaling DLSS diagnostic to get framework rates good implicit 60fps. 

Maxed-out the Acer Triton 300 SE generates capable vigor to marque the grille supra the keyboard excessively blistery to interaction for much than a 2nd oregon two. And successful Turbo mode the CPU runs astatine 100 degrees Centigrade, which is its implicit limit. 

Acer has done a beauteous bully occupation present successful maxing retired what the hardware tin bash successful this form. But it's a reminder of wherefore sometimes a bigger gaming laptop is simply a amended thought for many. 

Battery life

  • Ports: 2x USB-A, 1x USB-C, 1x HDMI, 3.5mm headphone jack
  • 4-cell battery, 180W charger, "up to 10 hour" life

The Acer Triton 300 SE has a artillery capableness akin to that of a bully non-gaming slim and airy laptop. We tried 3 types of usage to spot however agelong it lasted, and 1 of them got beauteous adjacent to Acer's 10-hour claim. 

Playing video streamed from YouTube astatine 50 per cent brightness the Acer Triton 300 SE lasts astir 9 hours 20 minutes. Not excessively atrocious astatine all, for an Intel CPU gaming machine.

Writing this reappraisal and different documents retired successful the blazing sun, with the surface brightness acceptable to max but the processor hardly taxed astatine all, and the artillery mislaid 24 per cent successful 2 hours. This suggests astir a maximum artillery beingness of 8 hours to 8 hours 20 minutes with the surface astatine its brightest. 

This each sounds beauteous promising. But Acer's determination to inactive provender the Nvidia RTX 3060 a decent magnitude of powerfulness adjacent erstwhile unplugged means aggravated gaming kills it successful nary time. We estimation its AAA gaming longevity astatine 62 minutes. 

The Acer Triton 300 SE uses a classical cylindrical jack strategy to charge, not USB-C. And portion the charger ceramic is bully for 180 watts of power, it's really comparatively small. It's bully to spot Acer see this constituent too, arsenic a airy laptop's entreaty wanes a spot if the charger weighs a tonne. 

Your array of connections seems to absorption connected what you mightiness request for portable use. There are 2 USB 3.2 ports, an HDMI and a headphone jack, but nary Ethernet socket. There's besides 1 USB-C with Thunderbolt 4 support. This offers the bandwidth for a port-laden dock if you privation to usage this laptop arsenic the brains of a afloat desktop setup. 

Verdict

The Acer Triton 300 SE is simply a large gaming laptop for idiosyncratic who besides needs thing portable they tin realistically transportation astir astir days. Battery beingness is coagulated for airy work. The 1.7kg value whitethorn not beryllium light arsenic such, but it's overmuch lighter than the gaming laptop norm.

The Acer is besides a spot cheaper than the Asus Zephyrus G14, which acceptable the modular for this genre of laptop backmost successful 2020. So present there's overmuch much contention to consider.

A mates of plan elements look ever-so-slightly dated, though, sticking retired successful an different precise '2021' benignant of laptop. The Triton 300 SE besides runs blistery and large erstwhile you max-out its gaming performance.

But you cognize what? At this terms constituent it's a spot of a badass, peculiarly erstwhile you tin wage a akin magnitude for a laptop with nary existent gaming skills, and extremity up with little SSD retention too.

Also consider

Asus Zephyrus G14

This laptop proved a laptop this almighty could beryllium made this portable successful 2020. You tin get it with a acold punchier Ryzen 9 CPU and the plan looks a small much cutting-edge. However, the results for gaming are comparable and the Acer is up to £200 cheaper, versus the Ryzen 7 Zephyrus G14.

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Lenovo Legion 5 Pro

If you don't request portability, we'd suggest a Lenovo Legion 5 Pro instead. It has a higher-power mentation of the RTX 3060 graphics card, a much almighty CPU and makes little sound erstwhile playing AAA games. The screen's amended too. But would we privation to usage 1 arsenic a portable laptop? Hell no. 

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Writing by Mike Lowe. Originally published connected 8 January 2021.

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