Acer gaming brand Predator is going from strength to strength, but as they continue to break barriers with their gaming products one stands out: Predator Triton 700 ($4,099).
The 15.6” Triton 700 runs GeForce GTX 1080, Intel i7 processor, and 16GB RAM.
It is one of their breakout stars and winner of the 2018 Red Dot Design Award.
However, with other gaming notebooks on the shelves and its successors on the way, is it worth its price point?
One of the most notable features of this machine isn’t its powerful specs – although they are something – it’s the innovative design.
It features eye-catching diagonally cut corners, thin and extremely lightweight body with aluminium frame.
This gaming beast passes for a regular old laptop when closed, with only the Predator logo a giveaway.
Predator has attempted to disrupt the gaming world with its head-spinning take on a laptop’s keyboard layout.
The gorgeous Gorilla Glass trackpad is situated above the RGB mechanical keyboard.
I would have loved to witness the pitch meetings when this was suggested, approved, and then followed through with.
The mechanical keys were a pleasure to use both while gaming and tying up stories, despite its location along the edge of the laptop.
The dynamic RGB lighting is bright and customisable via Acer’s PredatorSense app.
The trackpad itself looks great with a see-through glass panel revealing the internal cooling fan subtly lit with customisable lights.
However, no matter how much I respect Predator’s attempts – which took moxie to follow through with – I just don’t really see the point beyond it being an interesting feature.
It took some time to get used to as it was awkward to reach over the keyboard keys to get to the trackpad.
Automatically, I kept reaching for a mouse that wasn’t there.
You can tap to select but it can be tricky. Instead, you can use Windows gestures, which is a little cumbersome.
I found it frustrating for gaming as even though I generally use keyboard controls for gameplay, aiming weapons etc. requires a good mouse.
So instead of controlling the trackpad with my thumb while the rest of my fingers navigate and select weapons, I had to reach over the entire keyboard.
It was awkward, to say the least, as this is a powerful gaming engine, and it makes gaming difficult.
However, for everyday use like surfing the web and typing up documents, it’s not a huge issue once you get the hang of it.
After a few hours of constantly reaching for the ghost of trackpads past, I connected an external mouse.
Another issue with the glass trackpad being directly above the mechanical innards of the machine is that it gets hot.
Not unexpected on a gaming laptop, or any laptop, however, it made the trackpad basically unusable as the temperature soared.
The cooling fans do an impressive – and loud – job of keeping the temperature at reasonable heights for a gaming machine.
The noise can be distracting for gameplay, so a pair of good-quality headphones wouldn’t be a bad accessory.
When you turn on the machine you are greeted with the audio power of the Dolby ATMOS sound with a signature start-up sound.
The Triton manages to pack in a whole lot of power into its impossibly thin chassis, which in itself is an impressive feat of engineering.
It can handle a heavy load thanks to the GTX 1080, 16GB RAM and Intel i7 Core i7-7700 processor and hefty graphics card.
It’s a powerful gaming engine – as long as you either get used to using the trackpad or add an external mouse – having no problem with the Tomb Raider: Rise of The Tomb Raider.
Graphics shone, there was zero lagging, and games loaded quickly.
Like any gaming laptop it eats away at its battery life and the brick that acts as its power source is heavy to carry around. So, make sure you set yourself up near to a power outlet.
It features inbuilt overclocking software, but it seems superfluous as the machine has the power needed to game to your heart’s content.
The Triton includes the PredatorSense app which monitors hardware adjusts fan speed, overclock as mentioned, and changing the RGB lighting patterns on the keyboards.
I played around with it for a built, making different profiles for gaming vs regular use, but mostly I left it with the default settings.
However, the full blast version of the fan, while extremely loud cooled the machine down in literal seconds. Well worth it if the device gets too hot, and with the powerful engines, it gets very hot.
I got about two hours off-charge for streaming Netflix and much less with gaming so it was plugged in more often than not.
The Triton 700 is a powerful machine but it’s not perfect.
The gorgeous machine is beautifully built with an inexplicably located Gorilla Glass trackpad in an impossibly thin chassis.
It dominates when it comes to gaming, with a keyboard that is a pleasure to use, although you may prefer to have a mouse nearby.
Power and portability are paramount when it comes to any laptop, even gaming laptops.
For gaming, this laptop may be best served in a desktop set up with a good gaming mouse and perhaps even a 4K external monitor.
However, for a casual gamer who is looking for a powerful machine that can perform and is lightweight, it would be a good option, granted you have the funds.
In terms of the gaming market, the Predator Triton is on par with Dell’s Alienware, while they trade some better features for others, neither can be considered truly “better value” than the other. It may come down to personal preference.