Acer Predator Triton 500: the complete Review
Power while finesse. This is the mantra of Acer to extol the merits of its Triton 500, a laptop 15.6 inches, cut for gaming that is not intended to "spin" games. He wants to make your eyes full and also give you the opportunity to play everywhere, since it is relatively thin and light for a gaming computer. Power, lightness and finesse have not always been good some competitors of Acer. The Taiwanese manufacturer has managed to surpass them to offer, with the Triton 500, one of the best references of the moment.
The machine we had under Review was codenamed Triton 500 (PT515-51-75EB) and is offered at 2100 euros catalog price; but it is possible to find it around 1900 euros in some stores.
The Predator range of Acer has more to prove. It has managed to gain a foothold in the gaming machine market and now manages to tickle Asus' ROGs and to regularly outpace all the other major players in the sector such as Dell, MSI, HP, Lenovo or Gigabyte. It must be said that, as with Asus, the offer of Acer gaming laptops is plethoric. There are many, spread over several sub-families depending on the strength of their components, their finish and, of course, their price.
The Predator embody the top of the basket. And the Triton 500 is no exception to the rule. Its case offers fairly racy lines, slightly broken angles and the colors midnight blue, light blue and black put them well in value. It's also nice to see that Acer continues to offer something other than black and red, the two favorite colors of the gaming world (according to the manufacturers).
Read also – Review of the Asus ROG Strix Scar III mobile PC gamer: a lethal weapon if you can afford it
In hand, the case gives an impression of solidity and reassuring reliability. While being undoubtedly lightweight: 2.1 kg on the scale, we must add the almost 600 grams of the AC adapter. Nevertheless, it is 13% lighter than the competition.
Add to that the 2.2 cm thick (the width and depth remain those of a classic 15.6 inches), and you can seriously consider taking the Triton 500 on a ride, with you. Note also that its battery keeps it alive for 5 h 33 in versatile use, 3 h 48 if you streame movies in 1080p (screen set to 200 cd / m2), 30% better than the latest PCs past game in our hands.
Connectors in number
The machine may be fine, Acer does not overlook the connection. On the contrary. This laptop gamer has all the arsenal necessary to satisfy players and streamers. You can plug everything in, starting with the mouse and the USB or analog headset. Not to mention an external display (HDMI outputs or miniDisplay Port) or the smartphone (USB Type-C).
For network connections, the wired is preferred and that's good, an Ethernet jack is there. But Wi-Fi 5 is also at the rendezvous if you have no choice.
We just regret two things. The first, Acer has not bet on Wi-Fi 6, yet becoming the new standard of wireless communication. However, thanks to the Killer technology, it is possible to operate the Wi-Fi module and the wired connection at the same time (which is not usually possible). We can use the wireless to make updates in the background while we are in the middle of the game.
The second, the manufacturer continues to place plugs on the right side of the machine which is not at all convenient and comfortable. Let's say you connect your USB headset to the right and the external mouse to the left (or vice versa) and you're right-handed. You then have every chance to come hit the catches with your hand resting on the mouse during your wild games of FPS or MOBA. Why not have the connectors off the back of the machine as Alienware or Asus do on some of their machines?
A good keyboard but too concentrated keys
Side comfort, responsiveness and RGB keyboard compatibility, nothing to say, it's good. We can adjust the colors of the letters according to his tastes, his moods or the games executed with the help of the software, the Predator Sense (we will come back to it). It is also possible to assign separate colors to the ZQSD buttons and directional arrows to distinguish them from the rest of the letters in the dark.
As can be seen in the photo above, the keys on the right side of the piano are almost nested within each other. This can be embarrassing, especially if you are used to keyboards whose layout is more traditional and therefore more airy. You will make some typos in the early days and hit the "* " instead of touch Entrance.
On the right side are the commands to launch the app Predator Sense, but also to control the volume and playback of multimedia content. It's a good idea, we would have just appreciated that Acer take off the rest of the keys, to make them even more convenient to use. We will pass voluntarily quickly on the touchpad because, as for all gaming machines, it will only be used here to use the mobile machine and not when playing a video game on the 15.6-inch slab.
This amphibian projects beautiful colors
As the picture below shows, the screen can almost be called a thin-edged model. The two side borders are a model of discretion, the superior a little more imposing and the lower band … very thick. Acer still has some efforts to produce to be at the level of its direct competitors in this area.
On the technical side, however, this Predator plays all possible cards and appreciated in the world of gaming. The coating of the slab is matte, the definition is confined to Full HD and, above all, the refresh rate climbs to 144 Hz (update of the image 144 times per second, response time of 3 ms gray to gray).
Clearly, on paper, this slab has everything to display fluid images and quality in games. After a few hours of use, we felt that the slab was of good quality so we used our Review protocols to check it.
The maximum average brightness of the slab is estimated at 318 cd / m2 with a peak at 330 cd / m2 In the center. The contrast ratio, for its part, reaches 1370: 1, a very good score. All the more appreciable that the homogeneity of the whole is excellent.
As for the colorimetry, it's pretty good for a gaming machine. We measured deltaE at 2.73 (the closer we got to 0), compared to 3.31 on average on the other gaming notebooks we had in our hands in recent months. In detail, the rendering of reds is not very faithful, just like that of the flesh color. But you really have to have the eye (of a probe or a photographer) to notice it. In a word, the screen is good and that's good.
A good gamer that can be dope
To ensure that all games run smoothly, Acer is relying on a high-end technical platform, which can be found in many laptops, which are sometimes more expensive. The Intel Core i7-9750H processor is maneuvering with its 6 cores, supported by 16 GB of DDR4 memory (2666 MHz). The storage is provided by 512 GB of SSD, divided into two modules of 256 GB mounted RAID 0 to accelerate a little more flow.
The graphic part is entrusted to the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q graphics card. It will be recalled that this one is slower than a normal 2070 but more powerful than a classic 2060. And, particularity of the GPU Triton 500, it can be overclocked via the application Predator Sense. Three profiles are available (Normal, Fast, Extreme) and you have the freedom to use them as you wish.
Genuine control center of the machine, the Acer application Predator Sense also allows you to keep an eye on the frequencies of your components, as well as their temperature, during your most frantic games.
With the technical platform of the Triton, there is something to enjoy: eSport games pass without the slightest problem, sometimes several hundred images per second.
To take advantage of the AA and AAA to the most advanced 3D graphics engines, the combined firepower of the GeForce and the Intel processor is wonderful. We found scores of between 80.7 and 100 images per second, on average, in The Division (Ultra and High profiles) and up to 104.3 frames per second in Rise of the Tomb Raider, with everything thoroughly tuned in the latter case. Comfortable, no?
By playing on the possible overclamping of the GPU, we even manage to pick up a few more frames per second. The clock boosted chip goes from 1305 to 1620 MHz on our Review unit but may not rise as high on your model because, remember, the GPU Boost is not an exact science. The value indicated is the guaranteed minimum. Not all chips have the same tolerance for frequency rise. In short, do not expect to double the stake, but gains ranging from 3 to 6% were raised by us.
Noisy ventilation, occasional hot flashes
To cool this big engine, Acer not put on two – as is the custom – but three fans. Two on the left for the graphics processor and one on the right for the CPU. And as for overclocking, a trio of three profiles is available in Sensible, sober, wise in order to act on the behavior of the ventilation.
We had fun pushing the cooling system to its limits, simply activating the option CoolBoost who, strangely, roars the fans stronger than the profile Max.
The fans are blowing, as shown in the screenshot above. Almost 7000 revolutions per minute for one of them, to say that it is necessary to increase the sound of the game in the helmet to be certain not to hear the wind tunnel shout.
In a more "normal" mode, the fans do not show much discretion because they cause nuisances up to 45.5 dB and the noise is not dull but quite acute, which can quickly take you on nerves.
Are they effective? Yes, most of the time. They manage to dissipate enough calories so that, on the outside and under the machine, we only found 47.9 ° C against 35.6 ° C on the palm rest. Nevertheless, the temperatures reached by the components are sometimes quite high as evidenced by the measurements made by Predator Sense.
And, to drive a little more nail, we found that the Intel processor was a victim of throttle after 5 minutes of very intense activity. It then lowers its operating frequencies from 2.6 GHz to 2.3 and 2.1 GHz in the space of 10 minutes. Then peak at 2 GHz then never return to its initial speed (25 min).
For evolutions, it's missed!
Although it is difficult to upgrade a gaming laptop, it is significant to easily increase the amount of memory or, better, easily add a storage unit. In the case of the Triton 500, it's almost impossible mission. By dismounting the back of the machine, you only have access to the Wi-Fi module and the battery. Everything else is inaccessible. Disassemble everything to gain access to memory and SSD modules. And given the thickness of the machine there is a good chance that the memory is soldered to the motherboard.
As for the SSD modules, there are chances that they are smart health connected to conventional M.2 slots, but to reach them, it will be darn play the screwdriver. We did not have fun dismantling everything to make it clear, for fear of damaging a small web of connection.