Acer Predator Triton 500 SE Review – Flagship laptop gaming performance in a subtle style

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Acer Predator Triton 500 SE Review Rating

Summary

The Acer Predator Triton 500 SE is a subtly designed high spec laptop that will work well for gamers or creators. Performance is superb, and pricing is competitive against competing brands.

Overall
85%
85%
  • Overall - 85%
    85%

Pros

  • Premium spec with high-end performance for a reasonable price
  • Unique display spec with 16:10 aspect ratio
  • 2x1TB NVMe in RAID 0 for ultra-fast storage 

Cons

  • Runs hot and loud while gaming (like most high end laptops)
  • No 2.5GbE or Wi-Fi 6E
  • So bloatware

This year Acer has launched two special edition laptops with slightly different form factors than the generic 15.6″ and 17″ they typically use.

The Acer Predator Triton 300 SE was their first foray into the smaller format 14-inch gaming laptop niche, a category that doesn't have much competition, and I loved it.

The Triton 500 SE goes the other direction, upping the display to 16-inches which I think is the only laptop on the market to use this size.

The model I have been sent is the maxed-out i9-11900H with RTX 3080, so it sits at the top of the range for Acer this year.

These two new special editions clean up the design offering something a little less in-your-face than some gaming laptops with a more subdued professional design.

Specification

  • Display:
    • 16-inch Mini LED panel
    • 2560 x 1600 resolution (WQXGA)
    • 1600 nits brightness maximum
    • 240Hz refresh rate
    • 16:10 aspect ratio
  • CPU: Intel Core i9 11900H
  • GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Max-Q
  • Storage: 2TB Internal SSD (2X1 TB NVME SSDs)
  • Ports: 2x USB-A 3.2 gen2, 2x USB-C with Thunderbolt 4, HDMI 2.1, SD card reader
  • Connectivity: WiFi 6 (Killer AX1650i) with Bluetooth 5.2, Killer E3100G Gigabit Ethernet LAN
  • Dimensions: 359 mm (w) x 262(d) x 19.9 mm (h)
  • Battery: 99 Wh, 230 W power adapter
  • Weigh: 2.5kg
  • Price: Around £3k

Design & Display

While the Triton 300 SE adopted a smaller than normal size for Acer, the 500 SE uses an unusual 16-inch mini-LED display which has a 16:10 aspect ratio running at 2560 X 1600 with a 240Hz refresh rate.

Most laptops opt for a higher refresh rate 1920×1080 or a lower refresh rate but higher resolution 3840×2160. It is only the £3.5k MSI GS66 Stealth 15″ that has a similar display with 2560×1440 and 240Hz. As someone that reads/writes a lot on a laptop, I find the increased 1600px vertical resolution a little more preferable than 1440px, though, admittedly, not much difference.

Beyond the refresh rate and resolution, the display looks great. It is a matte display, so it doesn't suffer too much from reflections. I don't have a colourimeter on hand but colour accuracy appears to be good and the screen can get quite bright.

Acer hasn't provided the exact dimensions of this model, but I believe it is 359 mm (w) x 262(d) x 19.9 mm (h) and 2.5kg, so a bit larger than the 15.6″ Triton 500 that launched last year.

Even though it is quite thin, it is reasonably large and on the heavier side. You can slot it into a laptop backpack easily enough, but you probably don't want to be carrying it around all day.

You get plenty of ports. The two USB-C ports are also Thunderbolt 4, making this perfect for gamers and creators alike, allowing super-fast file transfers or daisy-chaining monitors and peripherals. The HDMI port is 2.1 allowing you to get 4K at 120Hz on external displays. On the flip side, it is a little disappointing that the Ethernet is only gigabit and that the WiFi is only 6, not 6E.

Keyboard & Trackpad

I generally don't have any strong feelings towards laptop keyboards and trackpads, which applies here.

The keyboard is decent with well-spaced keys and a pleasant enough typing experience. The keys don't go right to the edge of the keyboard so Acer don't include a number pad (unlike the Gigabyte AORUS 15G). The RGB lighting is also more subtle than some of the other options from Acer or other brands. The RGB is in three zones rather than per-key lighting.

The trackpad is large and responsive enough with no issues to report. Similar to other Acer laptops, you get a small fingerprint scanner on the upper left of the trackpad, allowing you to log in a little quicker.

Performance – Acer Predator Triton 500 SE RTX 3080 vs Gigabyte AORUS 15G

Acer Predator Triton 500 SE Gigabyte AORUS 15G 
Time Spy10030 (Graphics: 10257  CPU: 8917)9532 (Graphics: 9597, CPU: 9184)
Time Spy Extreme4987 (Graphics: 5170, CPU: 4159)4433 (Graphics: 4693, CPU: 3376)
Port Royal6174N/A
Fire Strike Extreme11586 (Graphics: 12632, Physics: 24071)11782 (Graphics: 12354, Physics: 20640)
PCMark 10Total: 6407
 Essentials: 10003
 Productivity: 7551
 Digital Content Creation: 9449
Total: 6101
 Essentials: 8981
 Productivity: 7670
 Digital Content Creation: 8949
Far Cry 5 New DawnRunning at 2560 x 1600
79fps avg
55fps min
97fps max

Running at 1920 x 1200
93fps avg
64fps min
123fps max
Running at 1920×1080
 95fps average
138fps max
67fps minimum
Final Fantasy XV Benchmark112458487
Assasins Creed Valhalla Running at 2560 x 1600
48fps avg
29fps min
112fps max

Running at 1920 x 1200
67fps avg
31fps min
101fps max
Running at 1920×1080
64fps avg
26 min
103 max
CystalDisk11492MB/s Read
9134MB/s Write 
2580MB/s read
2842MB/s write

I don't review many high-end laptops, but this is the second RTX3080 model I have had this year. The Gigabyte AORUS 15G I previously reviewed is now discontinued and used an older lower spec Core i7-10870H plus a lower resolution display.

These laptops use an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Max-Q GPU, so the overall performance is quite a bit lower than you find on a desktop, which makes sense, considering this is 19.9mm thick. Looking at the Time Spy and Time Spy Extreme results this offers about 33% less than my desktop Zotac RTX 3080.

The results show the Acer performs well and can easily play games at their highest setting using the native resolution. The overall performance was superior to the Gigabyte even when you look at just the GPU performance.

The CrystalDiskMark result is ridiculously high. This is because the laptop comes with two 1TB NVME drives in RAID 0, which effectively doubles the performances but also doubles the chance of data loss through drive failure. You should be backing things up regardless, so it shouldn't be too much of an issue.

The overall specification of this model means this is around the best performance you will see on a laptop right now.

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