Acer and its newly-revealed Predator Triton 500 SE continues to push the move towards gaming laptops that look less ostentatious, while still packing lots of power.
Building upon the Predator Triton 300 SE revealed earlier this year, the Triton 500 SE boosts the specs and the display size but squeezes it all in a relatively compact frame. This means Acer has a laptop that’s neat enough for work but powerful enough for high-end gaming.
- Can't wait? These are the best gaming laptops you can get right now
- 5 gaming laptop deals you can get ahead of Memorial Day
- Plus: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti launch date just teased — what you need to know
While the Predator Triton 500 SE looks a lot like the 300 SE, the most notable difference is it’s 16-inch display, complete with rather slim bezels. By trimming down the bezels, the Triton 500 SE offers an 87% screen-to-body ratio, fitting the 16-inch screen into a 15-inch footprint.
And with a 16:10 aspect ratio and claimed 100% coverage of the DCI-P3 color gamut, the laptop should be good for creative work, such as video and photo editing — as well as making Cyberpunk 2077 look pretty good.
While the screen isn’t quite as bezel-eating as that on the Asus ROG Zephyrus M16, the Trion 500 SE’s screen is still fairly impressive. And it comes in multiple panel options, including a 2560 x 1600 165Hz mini-LED display or an IPS panel with a 240Hz refresh rate, 3 millisecond response time and Nvidia’s G-Sync anti-frame-tearing tech.
Under its chassis, the Triton 500 SE sports up to an 11th Gen Intel Core i9 processor, Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 graphics and 64GB of 3200MHz DDR4 RAM. Storage can go up to 4TB of PCIe Gen4 SSD space. While a top-end spec won’t come cheap, with the laptop starting at $2,499 when it goes on sale this month, it’s offering plenty of storage space for games and, say, video edit files in a compact form.
Going back to the rather unassuming chassis, which has a few tell-tale gaming accents in terms of angular rear vents and a “Turbo” button for one-touch overclocking, the grey machine still offers per-key RGB lighting on its keyboards.
And unlike some modern thin-and-light laptops it offers a good set of ports, including HDMI 2.1, a brace of USB-C ports with Thunderbolt 4 and a trio of USB 3.2 Type-A connections; you won’t need an array of dongles for the Triton 500 SE.
Acer Predator Triton 500 SE hands-on
I got to take a closer look at the Predator Triton 500 SE during a hands-on event hosted by Acer, but sadly it had no games on it for me to try out its performance.
However, the sleek design is a breath of fresh air compared to Acer’s previous gaming laptops. And the minimal bezels help maintain the expansive feel of the display, which thanks to its taller-than-average aspect ratio should be better for work than traditional 16:9 laptop screens. It was tricky to tell how well 1,250 nits of peak brightness is handled and how the display deals with color saturation.
I did like the trackpad, an area where some gaming laptops fall flat. I can’t really say the same for the keyboard, as the keys felt a bit mushy and lacking in the travel and tactile response that I've found rival laptops from Asus, Razer and Alienware are better at. But some might prefer keys with less travel than I.
The Predator Triton 500 SE isn’t light compared to some ultraportables, but it’s light enough to stick into a backpack and lug around for a good day. So it could stand up as a device to take to work or on vacation.
A proper test and review of the Predator Triton 500 SE is needed before I or Tom’s Guide casts any definitive judgments. But Acer has made an impressively sleek gaming laptop here; the main problem it could face may be stiff competition from other gaming laptop makers, which are also making machines that target creators as well as gamers.
And there’s the new HP Omen 16, which offers access to the latest Intel and Nvidia hardware at a price that looks set to undercut a lot of other gaming laptops. Still, all this competition should mean more keenly-priced and slickly-packaged gaming laptops to bolster out picks for the best gaming laptops.