Laptop, Review

Acer Predator Triton 500 (2020) Quick Review: A Slim, Incredibly Fast Gaming Laptop

The new Acer Predator Triton 500 isn’t remarkably different from its predecessor, but the hardware upgrades under the hood bring some notable performance gains. Not only does it ship with a beefier Nvidia RTX 2070 Super Max-Q GPU now, the display has also been swapped for a blazing fast 300Hz panel.

Of course, these upgrades come at a cost: the new Triton 500 now starts at RM7,999. This review unit is the range-topping configuration, which costs a whopping RM8,999. It’s a steep asking price, but I can definitely see why it costs so much after spending some time with this slim, powerful gaming laptop.

For some folks, the premium asking price for the equally premium Triton 500 is certainly worth it.

What It Is

Display15.6-inch 300Hz FHD IPS (1920 x 1080), G-Sync
ProcessorIntel Core i7-10875H (8C/16T, 2.3GHz with boost up to 5.1GHz)
GPUNvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Super Max-Q 8GB GDDR6 VRAM
RAM16GB DDR4 2933MHz
Storage512GB PCIe NVMe SSD
Camera720p
Battery82WHr
Dimensions358.5 x 255 x 17.9 mm
Weight2.1kg
AudioBottom-firing stereo speakers
Ports1x USB 3.1 Type-C (Thunderbolt 3, DisplayPort)
3x USB 3.2 Type-A
1x HDMI 2.0
1x mini DisplayPort 1.4
1x 3.5mm headphone jack
PriceRM8,999

For RM8,999, the Triton 500 naturally offers some powerful hardware. The Core i7-10875H octa-core processor is fast, the RTX 2070 Super (even in Max-Q form) can deliver high frame rates in AAA titles, and the 300Hz screen is absolutely fantastic. All of these hardware are packed inside a 17.9mm thin chassis, which is one of the reasons why this laptop costs as much as it is.

The Good Stuff

Let’s get to the most exciting aspect of the Triton 500 first: performance. As mentioned, the Core i7-10875H is a fast processor that can easily keep up with the RTX 2070 Super Max-Q. To see just how capable this chip is, I put it through its paces in CineBench R20. It returned 3,773 points in the multi-core test, and 483 points in single-core performance; good numbers that are similar to other high-end mobile processors in the market now.

What about gaming performance? Well, this is where the Triton 500 took me by surprise. The RTX 2070 Super Max-Q is one serious powerhouse, and I ran the following games in Turbo mode, which automatically overclocks the GPU.

Games (max settings @ 1080p)Average FPS
Witcher 3 (HairWorks disabled)100.93
Borderlands 3 (DX11)75.09
Call of Duty: Warzone (Ray tracing disabled)118.70
Apex Legends126.89

Impressive numbers, right? Sure, these games still don’t quite take advantage of the Triton 500’s 300Hz panel, but you can get even higher frame rates by tweaking the graphics settings. After all, I tested these games with maxed out settings.

Thermals of the Triton 500 are surprisingly good too, especially for a thin and light gaming machine. The palm rest area stays cool in heated gaming sessions, and while the CPU gets quite toasty, the GPU remains well below 80°C. Do note that I tested the temperatures of the laptop when it’s running on Turbo mode, which allows the fans to run at max speed. It gets quite loud, but the results are well worth it.

And that brings me to the noise level of the Triton 500 outside of gaming, which is basically whisper quiet. Whether I’m doing some light photo editing, browsing the web, or watching some shows on Netflix, the fans are barely audible.

Speaking of content consumption, the Triton 500’s 15.6-inch 1080p IPS screen simply looks stunning. Without a doubt the 300Hz refresh rate itself makes gaming on it extremely enjoyable – not to mention the G-Sync support – but the quality of the panel itself is worth praising too. Colours pop, viewing angles are good, and it’s well-calibrated as well.

That being said, I do wish the display was ever so slightly brighter. It’s not dim by any means – it can get bright enough for comfortable use indoor – but it does wash out in much brighter conditions outdoor.

Last but definitely not least are the input devices of the Triton 500, which are great. The keyboard – now with per-key RGB lighting – is comfortable to type on with tactile keys and just enough key travel for a pleasant typing experience. I’m not a fan of the PredatorSense shortcut key right beside the backspace – it’s easy to launch the software by accident – but at least the keyboard as a whole is great.

As for the trackpad, I absolutely love it, which is a peculiar thing to say for a gaming laptop’s trackpad. See, even compared to the trackpad of premium productivity laptops, this is by far one of the most accurate trackpads I’ve used on a Windows machine. The smooth surface of the glass trackpad also allows my fingers to glide across it effortlessly.

The Bad Stuff

While the Core i7-10875H under the hood of the Triton 500 can return good numbers, it’s actually not quite as fast as AMD’s excellent Ryzen 4000 chip; more specifically, the Ryzen 7 4800H. In my review of the Asus TUF Gaming A15, the Ryzen 7 chip powering the laptop proved to be superior to Intel’s offering. Just look at the performance disparity below in CineBench R20:

ProcessorSingle-core testMulti-core test
Intel Core i7-10875H4833773
AMD Ryzen 7 4800H4814106

While both of them are basically comparable in the single-core test, the Ryzen 7 4800H has a noticeable lead over the Core i7-10875H in the multi-core test. Yes, this Core i7 chip is still a capable chip, but given the fact that the Ryzen 7 processor is found in even more affordable gaming laptops, Intel’s offering doesn’t look to offer very good value for money.

Another area where the Core i7-10875H fall short on is power consumption. It’s fabricated on a 14nm process, so its power efficiency isn’t quite as good as the 7nm Ryzen 7 4800H. As a result, the battery life of the Triton 500 suffers, especially in comparison to its predecessor. I managed to get six hours of use with the previous model, but with this new iteration, I only got about four hours of use.

Granted, the 300Hz panel takes up quite a bit of power too, but just imagine if Acer equipped the Triton 500 with the Ryzen 7 4800H processor instead. Not only will it be a faster gaming laptop, it will offer much better battery life as well. Sure, the latter isn’t quite as important for a gaming laptop, but faster performance certainly is.

Is It Worth It?

If you’re looking for a thin and light gaming laptop that offers incredibly good gaming performance, then yes, the Acer Predator Triton 500 is worth it. This RM8,999 configuration is costly, but you do get a quick 300Hz screen, a powerful RTX 2070 Super Max-Q GPU, and although it’s not the best processor in the market now, the Core i7-10875H chip is still very capable.

Those who don’t need this level of performance, but are enticed by the sleek chassis of the Triton 500, can always opt for the RM7,999 model instead. This configuration comes with a 144Hz screen, an RTX 2070 Max-Q GPU, the same Core i7-10875H processor, and 8GB of RAM. It’s still reasonably powerful, though you should definitely upgrade the RAM to 16GB.

The Acer Predator Triton 500, with its slim chassis and powerful performance, is an accomplished gaming laptop. But personally, I wish there was an AMD option for the machine, which would’ve made it that much more enticing by offering even better performance and battery life.

Hopefully, Acer will consider doing so with the next iteration of the Triton 500.