Acer Predator Triton 500 hands-on: How to do a powerful gaming laptop right
Even without the 300 Hz display, this is the nicest gaming laptop Acer has put out in recent years.
Back at IFA 2019 in September, Acer grabbed the headlines with the new Predator Triton 500, a new gaming laptop with an actually absurd 300 Hz display. Regardless of your feelings on a display that fast, it grabbed attention. But fortunately, it's not the only good thing Acer has going on here.
It's also not necessary to have one with a 300 Hz display, which is fantastic news. Whichever panel you choose, the Predator Triton 500 is the most excellent gaming laptop Acer has ever made.
Acer Predator Triton 500 tech specs
|Category||Predator Triton 500|
|Display||Full HD 1080p @ 144hz (w/ G-Sync)|
Full HD 1080p @ 300Hz
|Processor||Intel Core i7-9750H|
|GPU||NVIDIA RTX 2070 MaxQ|
NVIDIA RTX 2080 MaxQ
|Memory||Up to 32GB DDR4 2666MHz|
|Storage||Up to 2 x 512GB NVMe SSDs in RAID 0|
Killer DoubleShot Pro
|Ports||HDMI, DisplayPort, USB 3.1, USB-C Thunderbolt 3, Ethernet|
|Battery||Up to 8 hours|
|Dimensions||17.9 mm x 358.5 mm x 255 mm (0.7 in x 14.1 in x 10 in)|
The Acer Predator Triton 500 is slim and crazy powerful
Squeezing an RTX 2080 into a gaming laptop is a feat in itself, but squeezing one into a laptop this slim and light boggles the mind. The combination of Acer and NVIDIA engineering here has produced a genuinely portable gaming laptop with extraordinary power. Oh, and the RTX 2080 in this laptop is overclockable because, of course, you need more power, right?
That's what grabs me the most about this laptop. My first reaction to seeing it for myself was astonishment, and there's no shortage of powerful laptop announcements coming across our desks of late. But it still blows the mind to see just what you can get in something so compact.
The rest of the Triton 500 is no slouch, either. You get a 9th Gen Intel Core i7-9750H six-core processor, up to 32GB of 2666MHz DDR4 RAM, options for storage that include a pair of 512GB NVMe SSDs in RAID 0.
This is a serious laptop that's competing against the very best. But it leaves an indelible first impression. It feels well built, you've got additional special sauce like NVIDIA G-Sync, the keyboard feels decent, and the styling is very tasteful.
About that display...
Much buzz at the announcement of the Predator Triton 500 was for its display. Acer has, for reasons known only to the company, slapped a 300Hz 1080p display on this laptop. For context, most of the fastest gaming monitors on sale today top out at 240Hz.
Whatever your take — and our own Daniel Rubino has given his thoughts — it's an impressive piece of engineering. But it also helps drive the price up.
Fortunately, for those not sold on the 'benefits' of a 300Hz display, there's also another option. The unit I saw had a 1080p 144Hz panel, which is absolutely fine. It's still more than fast enough to game on a laptop, even with a 2080 inside, it looks decent, and importantly, it'll cost a bit less.
Choice is never a bad thing.
A crazy laptop done right
Acer is no stranger to putting out some pretty wild laptops, the Predator Triton 900 and its madly adjustable screen position is proof alone that the company still has a taste for it. But the Triton 500 is so much more reserved in its approach while even bringing similar levels of performance.
Likewise, in years past, many of Acer's top gaming notebooks would be these huge, thick machines, lashed with red accents. All fit the Predator badge well, but it's easy to see how they could also be offputting.
The Triton 500, whether in its pre-refresh form —which is still available with an 8th Gen Core i7— or the newer version, is the best all-around gaming laptop Acer has put out in recent years. It looks good, it's insanely powerful, it's slim, light, and ticks pretty much every feature box. All without being a "look at me" party piece.
Sure, you could argue the optional 300Hz display fits the last of those, but whether you have it or not, this looks like being a ridiculously good gaming laptop. Better yet, there are also more affordable variants with an RTX 2060 or RTX 2070, which are still plenty powerful enough for gaming on a laptop, while keeping a few more dollars in your wallet.
The Acer Predator Triton 500 is on sale now from $1,660 with an RTX 2060, around $2,000 with an RTX 2070, while the more expensive, higher-spec versions with the RTX 2080 are available directly from Acer from around $2,700.
Thin body, big performance
Lean machine with superb power
Acer's Predator lineup is undeniably thin and powerful, with up to an NVIDIA RTX 2080 GPU and 9th Gen Intel Core i7 CPU and a ridiculous 300Hz display
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Richard Devine is a Managing Editor at Windows Central with over a decade of experience. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently, you'll find him steering the site's coverage of all manner of PC hardware and reviews. Find him on Mastodon at mstdn.social/@richdevine