Incredibly powerful hardware
Blazing fast screen refresh rate
Display colors could be better
Short battery life
Even the most brutal AAA games won’t dip below 60 frames per second with this machine, but you’ll quickly get used to a bunch of games running at 100 frames per second, 200 frames per second, maybe even 300 frames per second.
As impressive as the Predator Triton 500 may be, it does have some drawbacks. Its 300Hz display’s color accuracy isn’t spectacular, the laptop only manages three hours of battery life, and it’s outrageously expensive for having last-gen’s Nvidia RTX 2080 SUPER graphics card. It is definitely worth checking for sales, though, as laptops with RTX 30-series cards are still scant and even more of a money sink than the $2,000+ Triton 500.
About the Acer Predator Triton 500
The Acer Predator Triton 500 is undoubtedly the ace of Acer’s thin gaming laptops. With top-shelf processors and refined looks, it’s meant for those who need top-tier performance. There are two configurations (one for an Nvidia RTX 2070 SUPER graphics card and one for the RTX 2080 SUPER), but you would likely be better off splurging on the RTX 2080 SUPER model or waiting for a sale when you can likely get it at the same price as its lesser sibling.
We tested the configuration with the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER, with the full specs listed below:
- Processor: Intel Core i7-8750H (Core i7-750H also available)
- Memory: 32GB RAM (16GB RAM also available)
- Storage: 512GB SSD (1TB also available)
- Display: 15.6-inch 1080p resolution at 300Hz
- Ports: 1x Ethernet port, 3x USB-A 3 ports, 1x 3.5mm headphone jack, 1x HDMI port, 1x USB-C port
- Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER (RTX 2070 SUPER also available)
- Wireless: WiFi 6, Bluetooth 5.0
- Battery: 79 Whr battery
- Charger: 230W
- Weight: 4.63 lb
- Dimensions: 14.1 x 10 x 0.7 inches
- Warranty: One-year limited warranty
What We Like
It's got all the power you could want
The Predator Triton 500 packs the highest-tier hardware any gamer could reasonably want. Between its overclockable Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER graphics card, Intel Core i7-10875H processor, and 32GB of RAM, there is no program the laptop can’t conquer.
When it comes to gaming, the Predator Triton 500 is one of the best laptops you can buy. The only laptop we’ve tested that can match it is the Razer Blade Advanced 15, which packs the same processors as the Triton 500, although the Blade Advanced 15 is around $3,000. The Triton 500 features a blazing-fast display that can refresh up to 300 times a second, and the graphics card does a great job of pumping enough frames to keep up with the screen. In Metro Exodus—a game known to punish PCs even at its lower settings—the Triton 500 pumped out 53 frames per second at ultra settings. The Acer Nitro 5, a budget gaming laptop with an entry-level GPU, could only hit 23 frames per second. The Razer Blade 15 Advanced did offer a slight edge, averaging 63 frames per second.
When I benchmarked the Predator Triton 500 on 3DMark’s Firestrike test, it broke our record for highest score with 18,563 points—almost a thousand points more than the Razer Blade 15 Advanced (and 10,000 points more than the Nitro 5). In real-life testing, the Triton 500 pulled 99 frames per second out of Shadow of the Tomb Raider at the highest graphics settings, roughly 10 frames per second more than the Razer Blade Advanced 15.
The Triton 500’s 2080 SUPER and 300Hz screen shine best in esports, where the frames are easier to render and higher frame rates equate to better performance in fast-paced and hectic environments. For our tests, we set every game to the highest graphics settings possible—higher frame rates are possible on lower settings. Overwatch was a riveting experience, with the Triton 500 cranking about 150 frames per second. From World of Warcraft, I saw 190-200 frames per second, and from Fortnite, I got about 130 frames per second. If you turn Overwatch down to "High", you'll see 200-220 frames per second on average.
But the Predator Triton 500 doesn’t forget about performance for work. The Intel Core i7 processor is incredibly fast, with no task slowing it down. It crushed our Cinebench and Geekbench tests, scoring among the top laptops on the market—the only laptops beating it are the M1 MacBooks and laptops with top-line Intel Core i9 or AMD Ryzen 9 processors, like the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 gaming laptop. To be clear, very few people need processors that beefy. Processors handle a computer’s multitasking and general operations, and for that, an Intel Core i5 or AMD Ryzen 5 is more than enough for most people. Games rarely make use of CPU resources, opting to dump most of the load onto the GPU.
For an idea of what kind of processing power the Triton 500 provides, large Photoshop documents and 4K video in Premiere shouldn’t be a big deal. Google Chrome can handle 50+ tabs. Given the Triton 500’s 32GB of RAM, you can have a lot of programs open at once, from Discord to OBS Studio to your browser to an intense video game without seeing any notable performance drops.
If you’re looking for a pseudo-workstation for 3D modeling or math simulations, the Predator Triton 500 is an excellent choice. The RTX 2080 SUPER graphics card and the Intel Core i7 processor make it a smooth experience for programs like Autodesk Maya or Fusion 360 and should be perfect for engineering or 3d art students. Professionals may need to look to business laptops, which can offer more RAM, more processor options, and more graphics card options optimized for stability and reliability.
You can push the laptop past its limits with overclocking
“Overclock” is a term unfamiliar to most laptop gamers, since this practice can result in unstable hardware and overheating processors if done poorly. Unfortunately, laptop chassis have few thermal capabilities to take advantage of, so it’s rare for laptops to include the ability to overclock your GPU or CPU. The Acer Predator Triton 500 is an exception.
Acer preinstalls PredatorSense onto Triton 500 laptops, making it extremely easy and safe to play with overclocking your GPU. You can control your GPU’s clock speed as well as your CPU and GPU fan speeds to keep the chips as cool as possible. The Triton 500 also has a “Turbo Mode” which maxes out all fan speeds and clock rates if you want to go all-in.
When I ran the Triton 500 in Turbo Mode, I saw some notable performance gains. On average, you may get between an extra 5 and 10 frames per second during gaming. On Metro Exodus’s Ultra graphics preset, it pulled 60 frames per second (7 frames per second more than usual). I don’t think the boost in performance is worth the strain that Turbo Mode could cause on the PC, but different players have different needs—I could see this being helpful for ranked competitive esports.
The processors stay cool no matter what
When you boost a processor’s clock speed past its intended limit, you can see performance gains, but your processor will be working really hard. When a processor works too hard, it can overheat and even sustain damage as a result of overheating. I thought this would be a concern for the Triton 500’s overclock modes, but I was pleasantly surprised.
In Turbo Mode, the GPU actually managed to stay a couple of degrees cooler than in regular mode, running at an impressive average of 64 degrees Celsius. Meanwhile, the CPU ran as hot as it usually does, topping out at 76 degrees Celsius. It’s not unusual to see gaming laptops run their processors between 80 and 90 degrees Celsius, but going past 85 degrees Celsius can put a serious strain on the processors’ longevity. I’m impressed with how cool the Triton 500 runs, and I’m even more impressed that it’s operating in a thin chassis, where airflow is more restricted than in bulkier laptops.
RGB keyboard and trackpad are convenient and packed with features
When you’re on your laptop for long stretches of time, the last thing you want to worry about is typing fatigue. The Predator Triton 500’s keyboard is big, fast, and responsive. Keys don’t require much pressure to actuate, but the keystroke’s feedback is satisfying and clearly indicates when you can move to the next key. The trackpad is similarly reliable, with a smooth surface that you can glide across and input detection that works without a hitch—although if you prefer a separate gaming mouse, there is Bluetooth 5 and plenty of ports for a dongle.
The Triton 500 wasn’t happy to settle with just a good keyboard and trackpad, however. On the keyboard’s right side are dedicated media keys and a dedicated key to access PredatorSense. I usually find media keys a little inconvenient to use, but the ones on the Triton 500 feel like a natural extension of the tenkeyless keyboard.
Touch typing is also easier than usual on the Triton 500 thanks to WASD and arrow keys that have grooves etched into them. Many keyboards change the color of these keys to make them visually easier to find, so it’s refreshing to find a design that’s made for those who are too busy looking at the screen to look at the keyboard.
Of course, no gaming laptop would feel complete without an RGB keyboard backlight, and the Triton 500 delivers with rich customization. Not only can each key’s color be changed, but the PedatorSense software also has dozens of presets for glow patterns. The Predator logo on the laptop’s lid is also illuminated, but it can be turned off if you wish.
This laptop’s body is sturdy, thin, and rich with ports
The Acer Predator Triton 500 is like a luxury vehicle: there are no compromises. The 15.6-inch chassis is only 0.7-inches thick, but it manages to stay cool while packing crazy-powerful hardware. The body is carved of a luxe, dark-grey metal that resists bending and cracking. The sides offer a myriad of ports, including USB-C, USB-A, HDMI, Ethernet, and even mini DisplayPort. I wish the laptop had several USB-C ports (or better yet, several Thunderbolt ports), but with such a rich port selection I'm not complaining.
What We Don’t Like
The display is not for everyone
The laptop’s display is good for gaming; it refreshes 300 times a second, and it has very little latency. For tasks where speed and precision are critical, you will be well served.
However, the display makes some compromises to reach that 300Hz speed. To make sure the graphics card can pump out 300 frames per second, the display is only 1920p x 1080p resolution, which doesn’t feel as sharp these days with so many laptops having screens closer to 2K or even 4K resolution.
Second, the display panel’s color range isn’t great (it covers 78% of the sRGB space), and the display’s only bright enough for indoor use. It will be bright and vibrant enough for most gamers, modelers, and scientists, but those who do a lot of color-sensitive work (like film students) will wish for better real-life accuracy.
The processors are from the previous generation
Both the Intel processor and the Nvidia graphics card are getting older. For the Intel Core i7, it’s a 10th generation processor, and the 11th generation of Core processors came out at the end of last year. While Intel’s 11th generation processors have made respectable progress from its 10th generation ones, the 10th generation Core i7 processor is definitely powerful enough to keep up with heavy loads for the next five or so years.
The graphics card is in a trickier situation. Nvidia’s latest GPUs are the RTX 30-series, which boasts the biggest performance boost over the previous generation in a decade. However, that’s only true for desktop graphics cards. The laptop RTX 30-series of graphics cards is reportedly only modestly better than the laptop RTX 20-series.
What does that mean for the Acer Predator Triton 500’s RTX 2080 SUPER graphics card? We haven’t gotten our hands on a laptop with an RTX 30-series graphics card, so we can’t say for sure. However, you can easily expect the 2080 SUPER to hold 60+ frames per second in the more demanding contemporary AAA title releases for the next three or four years.
If you purchase a gaming laptop six months from now, you are much more likely to find a gaming laptop with an RTX 3080 graphics card equipped that can do the same, so if you want to stay on the bleeding edge of graphics, you should wait before you buy the Predator Triton 500.
The battery life is awful
The Predator Triton 500’s incredible power comes at a cost: it consumes a lot of power. Even if you’re running the Predator Triton 500 without some serious power-saving measures, you’ll only get about 3 hours of use out of the laptop.
Our battery test is fairly simple and a good metric of what everyday use looks like—we cycle through web pages on Google Chrome, at a medium amount of brightness until the laptop dies. You might be able to push more time if you turn off WiFi and Bluetooth, and you’re only watching a movie or writing a word document. You’re definitely going to have less than three hours of battery if you try to run some games.
Bloatware has its claws on the Triton 500
Nobody likes bloatware. It’s obstructive, it takes up storage space, and it’s rarely something you actually want on your system. Out of the box, the Acer Predator Triton 500 comes with a Norton security trial and defaults to Yahoo! search engine across browsers. The Norton security software constantly pings notifications to Windows, and it even self-installs browser extensions that may slow down the experience. Thankfully, Acer PredatorSense, the laptop’s built-in monitoring software, is actually extremely useful, so not all of the Triton 500’s preinstalled software is annoying.
Should You Buy It?
Yes. The Acer Predator Triton 500 is blazingly fast and pushes games to the limit.
There’s a lot to love about the Acer Predator Triton 500. This beast of a laptop has an exceptional, overclockable Nvidia RTX 2080 SUPER GPU, and while it isn’t a shiny new RTX 3080, it is still one of the fastest laptop graphics cards you can get today. You may see AAA adventures run at 100+ frames per second on the Triton 500’s snappy 300Hz display, and you’ll definitely see less demanding eSports titles hit 200+ frames per second. The Triton 500’s ergonomics and design are also on point thanks to its fantastic RGB keyboard and svelte chassis.
As impressive as the Acer Predator Triton 500 may be, it is not a laptop for everyone. The Triton 500’s display doesn’t have a full-color range, leaving creatives who need accurate visuals in a tough spot. The laptop is also not as portable as its thin body may lead you to believe—its battery couldn’t even last three hours when I tested it. Finally, this outrageously powerful PC is also outrageously expensive, starting at $2,199 on Acer’s webstore.
If you’re willing to drop the cash for an incredibly powerful gaming laptop but you prefer crisp, vibrant graphics to ultra-fast refresh rates, you might want to consider the Razer Blade 15 Advanced with a 60Hz 4K OLED screen. Its refresh rate is much lower, but in return, you get a screen that’s even nicer to look at than the MacBook Pro’s. Plus, its battery life is about five hours long.
If you just want a great gaming experience and you feel the Predator Triton 500 is way over your budget, consider the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14. This glorious gaming laptop comes with a 144Hz display, an Nvidia RTX 2060, and an AMD Ryzen 9 processor that can handle many AAA games with grace and speed. While there are similarly powerful laptops for its market price of $1,499, the ROG Zephyrus G14 stands a head above the rest thanks to its excellent ergonomics, five-hour battery life, and classy design.
Despite a couple of grievances, the Acer Predator Triton is a fantastic laptop for someone who needs a boatload of power and a super fast screen in a relatively compact form factor. Acer lists the Triton 500’s MSRP as $2,599, but you should be able to get $400 off or more at retailers like Microcenter, B&H Photo Video and Best Buy. As laptops with RTX 30-series graphics cards trickle into the market, the Predator Triton 500’s price will keep getting slashed, making this excellent laptop a better and better deal as time goes on.
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Meet the tester
Adrien is a staff writer for Reviewed, mainly focused on reviewing laptops and other consumer tech. During his free time, he's usually wandering around Hyrule.
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