Acer has provided us with a review unit that one of our writers can test. Read our full version.
NVidia’s RTX 30 series is currently the hottest in PC gaming. So hot, in fact, that it’s nearly impossible to buy an RTX 30 series desktop graphics card, and even laptops with hardware are flying off the store shelves.
The Acer Predator Triton 300 SE is a mid-range gaming laptop in many ways, but it succeeds in one very important thing: it offers an NVidia RTX 3060 Max-Q at a reasonable price, and it’s not just in stock, but sometimes below, it is suggested. Retail price. Its affordable price sets the Triton 300 SE apart from interesting competitors like the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14.
Design: small but sturdy
I am surprised that Acer has not put the “Pro” badge on the Predator Triton 300 SE. The specs may scream gaming, but the look of the laptop has more in common with business laptops. The aluminum exterior and simple silver interior keep this laptop understated. It’s actually a bit bland compared to the sleek elegance of the Razer’s Book 13 or the flashy looks of ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14.
The Triton 300 SE is 0.7 inches thick and weighs a hair under 3.5 pounds. These numbers aren’t unusual for 2021, but they’re impressive for a laptop with serious gaming power. Easily fits into most backpacks or shoulder bags, yet delivers performance that rivals modern gaming consoles.
It is also a sturdy little beast. The body looks like slate in the hand. If you hold the laptop at an angle, you won’t see much flexibility. The screen is a weak point; opening laptops can cause creaking and groaning.
Physical connection is a mix of new and old. It has two USB-A 3.2 ports paired with a USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 port that supports DisplayPort and Thunderbolt 4 mode. It also has an HDMI output and a 3.5mm audio jack that handles input and output. Audio.
All laptop ports are located on the front of the case. You’ll be dealing with tangled cables more often than with a laptop that places most ports on the back. I found this annoying when using an external mouse, as the cables protruding from the sides of the laptop often hit my hand while gaming.
New: this is special
The Acer Predator Triton 300 SE has little in common with other Predator Triton or Helios models. Some common design elements are found in the speaker grille, fans, and PreadtorSense software, but otherwise the design is different.
Display: better than at first glance
I was not immediately impressed with the display of the Acer Predator Triton 300 SE. It’s not particularly bright and has a matte finish, so it lacks the bright, eye-catching look common to high-end laptops with glossy, ultra-bright displays.
But when I downloaded the game, I liked what I saw. The screen resolution is 1080p, but that’s more than enough to produce a crisp, clear look in modern games. It also supports a maximum refresh rate of 144Hz, which makes it look very smooth on older titles that can hit high frame rates.
The screen offers impressive contrast and vivid colors for a mid-level gaming laptop. I have noticed this in every game I have played. Games with bright and colorful graphics look vibrant, while games with an atmospheric tone look dark and creepy.
It has a disadvantage: poor viewing angles. This is unusual for a modern laptop, although I have noticed this feature on many high-end laptop monitors. I can’t give the Triton 300 SE too many flakes here for its otherwise excellent performance.
Performance: Great for gaming, ok for everything else
The most unusual feature of the Acer Predator Triton 300 SE is the Intel Core i7-11375H processor. It’s weird because it only has four cores (with eight threads), but it’s still sold as a flagship. The Core i7-11375H has higher minimum and maximum clock speeds than the Intel Core i7-1165G7 equivalent in thinner laptops. The i7-11375H can reach up to 5 GHz. My test unit also had 16 GB of RAM and a 512 GB solid-state hard drive.
PC Mark 10 achieved a total score of 5,534. Geek bench 5 returned a single-core score of 1,418 and a multi-core score of 4,493. Geek bench 5’s multi-core score is around the curve; the new AMD Ryzen 7 5000 series laptops can almost double this result. This is disappointing for content creators who use CPU-dependent applications.
The game performance turned out to be more impressive. 3DMark Fire Strike scored 14,462 points, while Time Spy scored 6,721 points. The laptop averaged 143 FPS in the GFXBench Car Chase test. It also recorded an average of 74 frames per second in Shadow of the Tomb Raider in high detail with ray-traced shadows turned off. The introduction of ray-traced shadows dropped the average to 56 frames per second.
These numbers may seem disappointing compared to the fully portable RTX 3060. You can expect more from the ROG Zephyrus G14 and Razor Blade 15 from Asus. But don’t forget the price. The laptop from Acer reduces these possibilities considerably. Compared to all gaming laptops, this Acer offers excellent performance for the price.
For me, the Triton 300 SE is fast enough: it can handle most games at an average of 60 frames per second (fps) and often much higher, at 1080p resolution. However, I wouldn’t recommend the Triton 300 SE if you plan on using an external 1440p or 4K monitor. Adding more pixels results in less than 60 fps performance in the most demanding games.
Productivity: All Features
The professional design of the Acer Predator Triton 300 SE extends to the keyboard and mouse. The keys feel good, the keystroke and stable bottom movement are good, and the spacious layout is comfortable for most users.
There’s a problem: some keys are smaller than they could be. The Control, Function, and Windows keys are clear examples. It’s a strange decision that can be confusing when looking for a keyboard shortcut.
The keyboard backlight is standard and white, but the color can be adjusted in three areas. It’s not as impressive as the per-key RGB backlighting on some gaming PCs, but I’m glad some customization is offered.
The touchpad is about four inches wide and two and a half inches deep. It’s not bad for a gaming laptop, but its average for a productivity machine and can feel cramped. It is sensitive and can withstand rapid and accidental brushing with the palm or thumb. It is smooth when using multi-touch gestures like two finger swipe or pinch to zoom.
This laptop has audio stream. It has an upward-firing speaker that delivers clear and crisp sound for games, music or podcasts. The maximum volume is loud enough to fill an office with music and dominate most ambient noises. It also has a hint of bass that you can hear in your fingertips when the volume is turned up.
There are, of course, limits. It is not strong enough to project an impressive volume in the living room or kitchen. It can also sound confusing and jarring when you play forward music or Fastest Action Games. However, it is an impressive set of speakers that will rarely leave you wanting more.
Network: Deadly Achievements
Downloading that great new game can be a hassle, especially over Wi-Fi, but the Triton 300 SE can help. It has an Intel Killer Wi-Fi 6 AX1650 and let me tell you: this thing rocks.
It offered network speeds of over 800 megabits per second (Mbps) near my router, which is typical. Every Wi-Fi 6 laptop I’ve tested can handle it. I was impressed with the performance in my own office, where the Triton 300 SE reached 195 Mbps. In comparison, the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Titanium only managed 40 Mbps in the same mode.
This has led to excellent results in the real world. I did a real stress test by downloading Cyberpunk 2077 from Steam and Metro Exodus from Epic at the same time. Surprisingly, both downloads averaged over 25 Mbps. As a teenager I am used to seeing numbers.
Camera: BYOW (bring your webcam)
Acer’s Predator Triton 300 SE crosses the line between entertainment and productivity in its design, but the camera falls short of its professional goals. It’s a tiny 720p pinhole camera that squeezes between the screen and the top edge. The video quality is grainy in all but the brightest rooms, and uneven lighting can easily confuse it.
The Acer Predator Triton 300 SE is easy to pack for travel, but keeping it charged is another story. This is a powerful laptop, but for its size, it has a modest 60-watt-hour battery. It would be fine on a laptop that doesn’t have decent graphics, but this is a gaming laptop.