Acer Predator Triton 500 Review: The king of values
“Acer’s Predator Triton 500 is a value leader, but its gaming performance is top notch.”
Excellent 300 Hz display
Strong gaming performance
Pleasant keyboard and touchpad
Slim and light form factor
Great value for money
Processor is just ok (for the price)
Modest battery life
Acer has not always been a real competitor in the gaming laptop world. But in recent years, it has pushed into the arena and at times has asserted itself against Razer, Alienware and other well-known brands. The Predator Triton 500 plays a major role in the story of Acer’s rise.
The formula of this laptop is simple. It emulates the Razer Blade 15 with a focus on thin and light design that makes minimal performance concessions, and then increases the value. The Acer Predator Triton 500 review device I received had all the tricks. An 10th generation Intel Core i7 processor, Nvidia RTX 2080 super graphics, 32 GB RAM, a 1 TB hard drive and a 300 Hz 1080p display. This is a serious kit, and the price, as tested, is $ 2,600.
Nobody will call $ 2,600 “affordable”, but it’s $ 400 less than a Razer Blade 15 with almost identical hardware (but half the RAM). The RTX 2080 Super or Intel hardware of the 10th generation has not yet offered any other alternatives, such as the Alienware m15 R2.
Everything looks good at first glance, but does it stand up to the test?
Like the laptops it emulates, the Acer Predator Triton 500 is a reserved, if not subtle, laptop. This box-shaped laptop wouldn’t look out of place on a laptop designed for workstation users, but a colorful chrome Predator logo that glows blue when the laptop is on reveals the purpose of the laptop. It reminds me of gaming laptops that were sold in the late 2000s – except that they’re much thinner.
So there is not much to see. However, the Triton 500 does not neglect the basics. The laptop is only 0.7 inches thick and weighs 4.6 pounds. Both numbers hardly exceed an Apple MacBook Pro 16. Razers Blade 15 is also 0.7 inches thick and about the same weight, although Razer gives slightly different numbers for different variants.
The Predator Triton 500 has a slight disadvantage in the footprint. It’s 10 inches deep, while the Razer Blade 15 is only 9.25 inches deep. The blade is also a hair narrower. I don’t think these differences are significant. Both feel slim for a 15-inch laptop, but you still want a 15-inch bag to carry comfortably.
Matthew S Smith / Digital Trends
There is plenty of space for the keyboard, and Acer makes good use of it. The Predator Triton 500 lacks a number pad, but the layout offered is spacious. I immediately felt comfortable. My only criticism is the position of the power switch on the keyboard, where I would normally reach for the Delete key. I accidentally put the laptop to sleep more than once.
I also enjoyed the tactile feel of the keyboard. The key travel is abundant, and the keys have a fixed but forgiving action that offers just the right amount of “click”. It is comparable to the Razer Blade 15 and the Alienware m15 R2, none of which have a lackluster keyboard.
The key stroke is abundant, and the keys are achieved with a firm but forgiving act.
The RGB backlighting per key is standard on all current Predator Triton 500 models. The buttons let out a lot of light at the edges, which can be annoying in a very dark room. Fortunately, Acer’s Predator Sense software lets you customize the lighting color, brightness, and pattern to your liking.
There’s not much to talk about on the touchpad. It’s a decent size and feels smooth, but it’s not like laptops built for more general use, like the Dell XPS 15 and Apple MacBook Pro 16. It just does the job.
The Acer Predator Triton 500 doesn’t push the design forward, but it’s basically a solid foundation to build on. What kind of monster did Acer put in this thin and light chassis?
My test device had none other than Nvidia’s RTX 2080 Super Max-Q. This relatively new GPU is (on paper) the king of mobile gaming performance. This is paired with an Intel Core i7-10750H six-core processor and 32 GB RAM. It all looks good at a glance, but specifications don’t mean as much as they used to. The performance between laptops with the same CPU and GPU can vary considerably depending on the firmware and thermal solution of the system.
I started my round by launching 3DMark, a trusted benchmark that we’ve been using for over eight years. The results were promising. The Triton 500 spit out a score of 7,955 in 3DMark’s demanding Time Spy benchmark. This surpasses the Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 15, another RTX 2080 Super Max-Q notebook that we recently tested. This score also surpasses the RTX 2080 Max-Q laptops. The MSI GS75 Stealth, Razer Blade 15 (2019) and HP Omen X 2S, all tested with RTX 2080, achieved 6,825, 6,285 and 6,478 points, respectively.
Matthew S Smith / Digital Trends
Next I started Civilization VI. The Acer Predator Triton 500 delivered 138 frames per second with a native 1080p resolution, the details being set to Ultra and the MSAA to 2x. This is an excellent score. It beats the Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 with 121 FPS and the HP Omen X 2S with 125 FPS.
This brought me to Battlefield V, an attractive but well-optimized shooter. Here the Acer Predator Triton brought 80 FPS at 1080p and ultra detail. Asus’ Rog Zephyrus Duo 15 (who also has Nvidia’s RTX 2080 Super Max-Q) is the winner and delivers an average of 90 FPS. In this game, the Triton 500 even came a little behind the Alienware M15 (2019), which has an RTX 2080 Max-Q.
Now it’s time for the most challenging game we’re testing – Assassins Creed Odyssey. Here, the Acer Predator Triton 500 achieves a remarkable result by achieving an average of 59 FPS at 1080p and ultra-high details. The Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 achieved 55 FPS, as did the Alienware M15 (2019) and the Razer Blade 15 56 FPS. It’s just a small win, but the Triton 500 pushes them all aside.
Taken together, the benchmarks are good news for the Acer Predator Triton 500.
Taken together, the benchmarks are good news for the Acer Predator Triton 500. It delivered strong results in a variety of tests and only lost in Battlefield V. My gameplay impressions matched the benchmarks. The Triton 500 always felt supple and responsive and only hesitated briefly in the most demanding sections of the Assassins Creed Odyssey benchmarks. You will find it hard to find a laptop with better performance at a lower price.
Processor and hard drive performance
As already mentioned, the Acer Predator Triton 500 that I tested has the Intel Core i7-10750H CPU. This is a 12-thread processor with six cores, a base clock of 2.6 GHz and a maximum turbo boost speed of 5 GHz. Although this processor looks impressive in and of itself, it won’t be remarkable in 2020. The Core i7-10750H was filtered down on laptops that sell half as much as the Triton 500.
The Triton 500 achieved a score of 1,190 in the Geekbench 5 single-core test and 5,805 in the multi-core test. Neither of the two reviews is impressive compared to the alternatives. The Dell G5 SE Gaming, a much cheaper notebook with a Ryzen 7 4800H processor, beats the Triton 500 in both tests. And as expected, the Triton 500 loses against laptops that we tested with better Intel chips like the Core i7-10875H and the Core i9-10980HK. You can find these processors in inexpensive laptops like the Dell XPS 15.
Matthew S Smith / Digital Trends
Matthew S Smith / Digital Trends
I’ve seen similar results from Handbrake that I used to transcode a 4K movie trailer from h.264 to h.265. This task took 121 seconds for the Triton 500. That’s not a bad thing, but the Dell G5 SE with Ryzen 7 drive only took 104 seconds. The Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 with a Core i9-10980HK also completed the task in 104 seconds.
Do not get me wrong. The Core i7-10750H is a fantastically fast processor in every respect and, above all, fast enough to handle games easily. Most users have no reason to complain. The processor is not a problem – but given the price of the Triton 500, it is disappointing to see that it loses against mid-range gaming laptops.
The Triton 500 I tested showed more impressive hard drive performance. Read speeds of 1,773 MB / s and write speeds of 1283 MB / s were provided in CrystalDiskMark. These are not record-breaking numbers, but they distinguish the Triton 500 from cheaper laptops, which often achieve read and write values below 1,000 MB / s in this benchmark. The terabyte of capacity of the Triton 500 also offers good value for money.
Display and audio
Instead of opting for a 4K or 1440p display, as you will see with some competitors, the Acer Predator Triton 500 has a 1080p display with an insanely high refresh rate of 300 Hz. The display also supports G-Sync.
I love that decision. It may seem absurd to increase the refresh rate to 300 Hz, but this allows gamers to take advantage of the RTX 2080 Super for a variety of content.
You can play Control with activated RTX ray tracing function and all settings to the maximum and enjoy the maximum visual quality. Or you can play League of Legends at an absurd frame rate while enjoying the movement details and responsiveness that the 300 Hz display can offer.
Matthew S Smith / Digital Trends
The only players who may feel left out are those who play strategy games or some open world RPGs where an extremely sharp 4K image is preferable to more fluid gameplay. Still, I think Acer made the right choice.
It helps that the display provides excellent picture quality. I measured a contrast ratio of 1,060: 1 that surpasses the Alienware M15 R2 and non-OLED versions of the Razer Blade 15. The Triton 500 also has a slightly wider range of colors than these competitors and its color accuracy when it is solid. The brightness is only 272 nits, but with one caveat: this is a matte screen. Although the display is weaker than the competition, it is comfortable with everything except full, direct sunlight.
As I said, I love the choices made here and I enjoy the ad. It’s not the best in every category, but the combination of strong 1080p picture quality and a refresh rate of 300 Hz gives it an angle that most players will appreciate.
However, you should know that the Triton 500’s display is ambiguous. Razers Blade 15 offers a similar display option. Asus and MSI also offer 300 Hz displays on selected models.
The Triton 500 delivers its audio through a series of speakers directly above the keyboard. They offer strong, clear audio. Distortion can prevail in demanding situations such as bass-heavy music or action films when the volume approaches its maximum. Still, it resists that better than most laptops. Most players want to use a headset, but the audio quality of the Triton 500 won’t disappoint if one isn’t available.
There is an 82 watt hour battery in the Acer Predator Triton 500. It’s not a small battery, but considering what it powers (a six-core processor and the fastest mobile GPU from Nvidia), it’s clear that the battery did its job.
Let’s start with a simple video loop, our least demanding test. The Triton 500 played a 1080p movie trailer on a loop for three and a half hours before the battery was empty. That is a mediocre result. It’s better than the HP Omen X 2S, but not as good as the latest Razer Blade 15.
In the Basemark 3.0 browser benchmark, our most demanding test, the Acer Predator Triton 500 only lasted one hour and 57 minutes. This is slightly better than the Alienware m15 (2019), which lasted an hour and 49 minutes. It connects the Razer Blade 15 (2019) exactly to a 240 Hz 1080p display.
My real observations came close to the Basemark browser test. The laptop had more than two hours of battery life when it was used for Internet surfing and Microsoft Word productivity. The endurance when playing is even worse and is north of an hour.
These results are not uncommon for a gaming laptop with this hardware caliber. The Alienware m15 performed even worse in our tests, while the HP Omen X 2S and the Razer Blade (2019) were roughly equivalent. Especially with high-end gaming laptops, it is still correct that excellent gaming performance and excellent battery life often do not match.
This is due to Nvidia’s G-Sync, which synchronizes the game’s frame rate with the refresh rate of the display, but unfortunately doesn’t work with Nvidia’s Optimus, which allows a laptop to use the powerful integrated Intel graphics solution when the Nvidia GPU is not needed. Pairing G-Sync with Optimus is not impossible. Some laptops have a switch that allows users to choose between them after a restart.
Nvidia recently launched Advanced Optimus, which allows laptops to use G-Sync and Optimus at the same time. Unfortunately, the Triton 500 does not support a hardware switch or Advanced Optimus, so you only have a short battery life.
Acer ships the Predator Triton 500 with its “PredatorSense” software suite. This includes fan management and keyboard customization. It all works well and looks pretty chic, which is more than I can say about certain competitors (I see yours, MSI). On the other hand, the Alienware brand from Dell offers a more elegant surface.
Unfortunately, Acer ships the Triton 500 with bloatware, including Norton Antivirus. Uninstalling is easy, but annoying given the price of $ 2,600 for the laptop.
The Predator Triton 500 from Acer is not a revolutionary or most attractive gaming laptop, but it offers excellent gaming performance and offers important functions such as the 300 Hz display and the keyboard. It’s a good choice and, at $ 2,600, a better value than most high-end gaming laptops.
Is there a better alternative?
Razers Blade 15 is our favorite gaming laptop overall, and the Triton 500 doesn’t change that. We like the Blade 15 because it offers great gaming performance and is still fun to use as a normal gaming notebook every day. However, the Blade 15 is more expensive, so the Triton 500 is a better choice if performance per dollar is your main concern.
MSI and Asus offer a variety of alternatives. Digital Trends hasn’t tested them all, but in general we’ve given Acer recent efforts better marks. MSI gaming laptops often offer excellent performance at the expense of mediocre design. Asus mirrors Acer more closely, but I think Acer gaming laptops are more attractive.
Alienware’s laptops are another strong choice. However, the Alienware m15 doesn’t focus as much on everyday use as the Triton 500. This makes the m15 a better choice when you need a laptop mainly for gaming, while the Triton 500 is better when you use it. It’s yours most important everyday laptop.
How long it will take?
You will be surprised how long the Triton 500 remains relevant. It has excellent gaming hardware and doesn’t surpass that hardware by unnecessarily adding a 4K display. You will see excellent gaming performance for at least three years, and the latest games should run on the laptop at medium settings for over five years.
Should you buy it
Yes. The Acer Predator Triton 500 is a killer value.