Acer Predator Triton 300 SE OLED review: A gaming laptop for content creators
A great OLED display and beefy Intel Core i9-12900H make the Predator Triton 300 SE appealing, but game performance falls short of the processor’s pace.
It’s hard to walk two feet without tripping over a new laptop with an OLED display, and Acer’s Predator Triton 300 SE is the latest to join the fun. Though largely similar to last year’s model, the latest Triton 300 SE pairs the OLED screen with a leap to Intel 12th-gen Core graphics. This leads to impressive processor performance — but I thought this was a gaming laptop? While the display is drop-dead gorgeous, the keyboard and graphics performance were nothing to write home about. Read on to learn more.
Acer Predator Triton 300 SE OLED specs and features
The Acer Predator Triton 300 SE OLED is essentially a special model of the Triton 300 SE, and the changes go beyond the display. This small laptop goes big on multithreaded performance with an Intel Core i9-12900H processor. It also packs in 32GB of DDR5 memory and a 1TB solid state drive.
- CPU: Intel Core i9-12900H
- Memory: 32GB
- Graphics/GPU: RTX 3060 with 95 watt TDP
- Display: 2880 x 1800 16:10 non-touch OLED
- Storage: 1TB PCie NVM SSD
- Webcam: 1080p
- Connectivity: 1x Thunderbolt 4 / USB-C 4, 1x USB-A 3.2 with Power Off Charging, 1x USB-A 3.2, 1x HDMI 2.1, 3.5mm combo audio jack
- Networking: Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.1
- Biometrics: Fingerprint reader
- Battery capacity: 80 watt-hours
- Dimensions: 12.03 inches wide x 8.9 inches deep x.78 inches thick
- Weight: 3.75 pounds
- MSRP: 1,949
So far, so good, especially at the laptop’s 1,949 MSRP. There is one component, however, that’s decidedly mid-range: the Nvidia RTX 3060 mobile graphics chip. It’s certainly the weakest link in this laptop’s chain of otherwise impressive hardware.
Design and build quality
The Acer Predator Triton 300 SE OLED is a handsome, workmanlike laptop. Rugged lines and sharp angles hint at the laptop’s gaming intent, but the use of subdued gunmetal panels and small Predator logos keeps flair to a minimum. It splits the difference between gaming and professional design which, given its beefy processor and small footprint, makes sense.
I like the look, but I have a few nits to pick. The laptop’s materials are attractive on their own but the color of different laptop panels can vary. I found the hinge often appeared more blue than the interior panel below it, while the touchpad is yet another shade of gray. Details like this cut against the model’s “SE” branding (which presumably is meant to stand for Special Edition, though Acer never mentions this in its marketing).
The laptop feels solid in day-to-day use and body panels resist flex while typing or using the touchpad. A slight warp is visible when holding the laptop from one corner, but only just, and the chassis emits no groans in protest. There’s obvious flex in the display lid, however, which wobbles as the screen is open or closed.
This is a 14-inch laptop with a small footprint. Display bezels are very slim on the top and sides and not excessive along the bottom. The Triton 300 SE is noticeably smaller than the Alienware x14, which has a large display chin and bump-out on the rear of the chassis. Asus’ ROG Zephyrus G14 is a few fractions of an inch thinner and a few grams heavier.
Keyboard and trackpad
The Predator Triton SE has a spacious layout that takes up most of the 14-inch laptop’s limited interior space. Key caps are large and most keys are full-sized (or very close to it). Key feel is decent, too, with good travel and some tactile response when activated.
Acer makes some odd choices, however, and they drag down the experience. The layout includes a column of function keys on the right side. These push the entire keyboard to the left. Acer also huddles the function keys into groups of four which, once again, changes their location. I found myself hunting for keys while touch-typing.
The touchpad measures about four inches wide and two and a half inches deep. This is typical for a small gaming laptop but feels cramped all the same. The limited space can make multi-touch gestures more difficult and left me feeling twisted while navigating the desktop.
It’s a mix, then, but I do prefer the Acer Predator Triton 300 SE OLED to Alienware’s x14, which has an even smaller touchpad and less pleasant keyboard layout. The Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 is more similar to the Triton 300 SE OLED but has a better layout, as it doesn’t have a column of media keys pushing the keyboard off-center.
Acer delivers a gorgeous 2880 x 1800 OLED display in this version of the Predator Triton 300 SE. This is the major difference between the OLED model and its less expensive siblings, which have a 1,920 x 1,200 LCD display. But wow — what a difference.
OLED provides a big boost in image quality over conventional LCD with far superior contrast ratio, a much wider color gamut, and better color accuracy. It’s even brighter than the LCD display in last year’s Predator Triton 300 SE.
Sharpness is great, too, thanks to the display’s high resolution. Pixel density works out to about 242 pixels per inch, which is similar to pixel density of an Apple MacBook Pro 14 and 50 percent better than the 1920 x 1200 LCD. Individual pixels are difficult to pick out and games look crisp.
All Predator Triton 300 SE models have a 16:10 display, which offers more vertical space than a 16:9 widescreen. This has become a trend after years of 16:9 dominance, and it’s a positive change. It’s a tad easier to fit multiple Windows on a 16:10 display. Games with a busy interface, like strategy titles and MMORPGs, benefit from the extra space.
The OLED display’s refresh rate goes up to 90Hz. This is less than most gaming laptops with an LCD display, which typically have a refresh rate between 144Hz and 240Hz. But let’s be real: most laptops can’t drive refresh rates that high in modern games. Even 90Hz is asking a lot.
Nvidia G-Sync is also missing, so screen tearing can be an issue when V-Sync is turned off.
Audio quality isn’t as good, however. The speakers have plenty of volume and sound great in less complex content, like podcasts, but games and movies can muddy the sound. I noticed that busy audio sources, like a raging river or nearby waterfall, had a metallic, sizzling quality that seemed more like digital static than an organic noise.
Webcam, microphone, biometrics
The Predator Triton 300 SE OLED surprises with a 1080p webcam that provides decent video quality. Video appears crisp and vivid. Bright light sources can throw the auto-FOCUS off kilter and a dark room will lead to grainy video, but overall quality is much better than average for a gaming laptop.
Microphone quality is less impressive, with a tinny, hollow presentation and a limited ability to pick up audio that’s off-axis. While this helps with eliminating background noise, it also caused my voice to sound too quiet when I wasn’t facing the laptop.
A fingerprint reader is included in the touchpad. It’s on the left, rather than the right, which southpaws should appreciate. The fingerprint reader works as well as any other, providing fast logins in most situations but hanging when my finger was a bit off the mark or damp. There’s no IR camera, facial recognition login isn’t supported.
The Predator Triton 300 SE offers a modest selection of connectivity. It includes a Thunderbolt 4 / USB-C 4 port with Power Delivery and DisplayPort Alternate Mode, plus two USB-A 3.2 ports, for a total of one Thunderbolt / USB-C and two USB-A.
The Thunderbolt / USB-C port can charge the laptop but doesn’t provide as much power as the 180-watt power brick, so performance may be limited while using USB-C and the battery may discharge. This is normal, as most USB-C typically maxes out at 100 watts of power (a newer 240-watt Power Delivery standard exists but remains rare).
Video connectivity is provided by either the Thunderbolt 4 port, which offers DisplayPort Alternate Mode, or a full-sized HDMI 2.1 port. It’s good to see Acer opt for HDMI 2.1, as it allows better refresh rates and resolutions on external displays. A 3.5mm combo audio jack provides support for headphones or microphones.
But that’s it. There’s no physical Ethernet port and no dedicated DisplayPort or Mini-DisplayPort. These omissions could sway many towards using a Thunderbolt 4 / USB-C dock or hub to expand connectivity. A barrel plug provides power from the 180 watt power brick.
The ports are located on the laptop’s flanks, not the rear, and positioned about halfway between the front and rear of the laptop. This could be an issue when docking the laptop, as it makes cable management more difficult. It’s also a problem when using an external mouse alongside the laptop, as cords from connected devices may occupy the space users will want to place the mouse.
Wired connectivity isn’t great, then, but wireless connectivity is better. The Predator Triton 300 SE OLED supports the latest Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2 standards. This will help future-proof the laptop’s wireless connectivity and, if you have a Wi-Fi 6E router, you’ll enjoy excellent wireless speeds. Wi-Fi 6E can exceed the performance of Gigabit Ethernet in a best-case scenario, making the lack of wired Ethernet a bit more tolerable.
The Acer Predator Triton 300 SE OLED I tested was decked out with an Intel Core i9-12900H processor, 32GB of RAM, a 1TB solid state drive, and Nvidia’s RTX 3060 mobile graphics with up to 95 watts of juice. This mighty hardware for a 14-inch laptop sold below 2,000.
PCMark 10 provides a strong result for the Predator Triton 300 SE OLED, though there’s room for debate.
A score of 7,014 is great for a small gaming laptop. However, it’s not much better than the Alienware x14 with Core i7-12700H and falls behind the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 with AMD Ryzen 6900HS.
Cinebench R20, on the other hand, gives Acer an obvious win. The Core i7-12900H led it to a score of 6,121, which is several hundred points higher than the Alienware x14 (though it, admittedly, only had the Core i7) and way better than the AMD-powered alternatives. This shows the Predator Triton 300 SE is a strong choice for multithreaded workloads.
It’s the same story in the Handbrake test, which transcodes a 4K trailer of Tears of Steel. Lower is better in this test, and the Acer breezes through the workload much quicker than either AMD-powered alternative.
In fact, while not shown on this chart, the 14-inch Predator Triton 300 SE is only a tad behind a bulk of 15-inch and 17-inch laptops we’ve tested with 12th-gen Intel Core i7 or Core i9 hardware.
Processor performance is only part of the story, however. This is a gaming laptop, so it needs to game.
Unfortunately, 3DMark does not lead to a strong start. The Acer comes in behind all the alternatives, including the Alienware x14, which uses Nvidia RTX 3060 graphics but has a lower power limit of 75 watts.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider isn’t great, either, with an average of 77 frames per second at 1080p resolution and Highest settings. This result is behind the Alienware x14 though. Out of curiosity, I also tried testing the older Rise of the Tomb Raider and saw a similar result, with the Acer falling behind the Alienware.
Metro: Exodus: Enhanced Edition throws Acer a bone. The Predator Triton 300 SE and Alienware x14 almost tie in this test, with only one frame per second separating them. This shows more demanding titles can still bring performance down to 30 frames per second, requiring a move to lower settings if 60 fps is desired.
Performance can be improved by opening Acer’s PredatorSense software and switching the performance mode from Default to Extreme or Turbo. This does improve results: Time Spy rose from 7,846 to 8,588. This comes alongside screaming fans and high surface temperatures, both of which makes the laptop unpleasant to use.
I can’t imagine using the laptop day-to-day in either Extreme or Turbo, but they may be useful if you plan to start a 3D render or video encode and leave for dinner.
A modest 78 watt-hour battery powers the Acer Predator Triton 300 SE. This is large for most laptops but not large for a high-performance machine. Alienware’s x14 has a larger 80 watt-hour battery. Asus’ ROG Zephyrus G14, on the other hand, has a smaller 76 watt-hour unit.
Acer has a secret weapon, however: switchable graphics. This feature, which isn’t present on all gaming laptops, falls back on Intel’s Iris Xe graphics when the Nvidia RTX 3060 would be overkill.
The result is strong battery performance. Acer’s Predator Triton 300 SE lasted eight hours and 41 minutes while looping a 4K file of the short film Tears of Steel. That’s roughly double the Alienware x14 and 35 percent longer than the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14.
This is good news if you want a gaming laptop that can also be used while traveling. To be clear, gaming will engage the RTX 3060 graphics chip and slash endurance. If you stick to web browsing or video, however, the Predator Triton 300 SE can handle a cross-country flight.
The Acer Predator Triton 300 SE OLED has potential. It’s a compact yet powerful laptop with an excellent display and decent battery life. Pricing isn’t terrible, either, with an MSRP of 1,949. That’s not inexpensive, but it’s reasonable for a laptop with 32GB of RAM and a 1TB solid state drive.
Graphics performance lets the laptop down, however. Nvidia’s RTX 3060 is a fine mid-range mobile graphics solution, but the Predator Triton 300 SE’s price puts it very close to premium territory. Even Alienware’s x14, which I tested at 1,999, managed to squeeze ahead, and the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 is just flat-out superior in games.
The Predator Triton 300 SE OLED is a much better laptop for content creators than it is for gamers, even though it’s sold as a gaming machine. The Intel Core i9-12900H processor and vivid, color-accurate display make it great for those who want a compact Windows laptop for photo or video editing. If you just want to game, though, the Alienware x14 or Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 should prove a better choice.
Acer Predator Triton 300 SE PT314-51s (2021) Review
- Manufacturer: Acer Predator
- Model: Triton 300 SE (2021) (2021)
- Part number: PT314-51s-76JL
- Price when reviewed: £1,399
- Supplied by: Acer
Acer Predator Triton 300 SE Review
Acer’s new variant of the excellent Triton 300 is actually more like a whole new laptop considering how much has been changed. It’s slimmer, lighter, and now has a 14” display and much more subtle styling and branding. Were it to have been finished in the typical matte black found on most gaming laptops, you could make the argument it looks a bit basic, but the sparkly silver finish gives the Triton 300 SE a uniquely stylish and professional look.
Build quality is very good, as we expect from Acer. The keyboard tray has very little give if you apply pressure to the centre, and there are no annoying creaks if you flex the chassis. Although we’ve seen complaints there is a lot of flex in the display, it’s a lot sturdier than previous generations of Predator laptops. Yes, it does flex a little, but only if you’re going out of your way to twist it, because why?
In the SE specification, the Triton 300 SE has an 11th-gen Intel i7-11370H, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 6GB (75W TGP – but there’s good news to come here), 16 GB DDR4-3200, a Rapid 1TB M.2 SSD and a 144Hz 1080p display.
The CPU is one of Intel’s power-efficient 35W quad-core processors, so it can’t quite keep up with some of the newer CPUs on the market when it comes to applications that rely on multi-core performance. This is by no means meant to be a workstation PC, though, and for regular everyday tasks, it blasts through with ease.
Gaming performance is very good out of the box, especially at this price point, but since the Triton 300 SE launched Acer has pushed out a firmware upgrade that boosts the GPU power from 75W to 90W. In some situations, the GPU only draws 60W of power, but on many games, we found this rose to as much as 85W with a resultant increase in performance.
As a rough indicator, we found performance improved by roughly 10% in terms of frames per second across almost every game. Even before we applied the update performance was good, but with the increase in GPU TGP, the Triton 300 SE is great.
There are still a couple of areas where we found the Triton 300 SE to be lacking, such as in its meagre offering of ports and high surface temperatures, but on the whole, this is a serious contender in the ultra-portable category.
Internals and upgrades
Accessing the internals of the Acer Triton 300 SE is straightforward, providing you have the right tools. Nine T8 Torx screws secure the bottom of the case, and with the help of a pry tool it opens up easily enough.
Much of the interior space is dominated by the 60WHr battery and cooling system for the CPU and GPU. Although there’s not a lot of wiggle room, the design should do a good job of keeping out dust and dirt.
There’s not actually much that you can upgrade in the Triton 300 SE. There aren’t any additional slots for storage expansion, and of the 16GB RAM, 8GB is soldered to the board. You can swap the 8GB stick for a 16GB one, which will give you the 24GB maximum supported, but it’s not necessary or arguably even worth it. Likewise with the SSD, as long as you get the 1TB M.2 NVMe SSD, that should be sufficient for most users.
Keyboard and trackpad
The Acer Predator Triton 300 SE has a tenkeyless layout, with a small bank of hotkeys along the right-hand side. These include a quick-access Predator Sense button and dual-assigned keys for volume/mute and media control.
It’s a traditional layout, and anyone familiar with notebooks will quickly get to grips with the various Fn key shortcuts. For some reason brightness up and down are reversed, but other than that, I had no issues with my use of the keyboard.
Although there is no per-key RGB lighting, the keyboard has a three-zone assignable backlight which can be configured how you like, with a handful of dynamic modes thrown in. For my preferences, I like to assign a static colour that complements the rest of my setup, and it was easy to use the RGB settings to match the colours perfectly.
The translucent font on the keys lets a good amount of light through, making them easy to see in any lighting condition; If you want to avoid drawing attention to yourself and leave the backlight off, the font is still clearly visible as long as there is a decent amount of ambient light.
Typing on the keyboard is very enjoyable, with the keys having plenty of travel and a weighty actuation that is well suited to gaming without that smushy feel common in cheaper notebooks. It’s also pleasingly quiet, which can come in handy on a device that lends itself well to gaming and working on the go. Aside from the lack of a dedicated numpad (for the obvious reason that it wouldn’t fit), there’s very little I could say against this keyboard.
By necessity, the touchpad is a bit on the small side, but it’s super smooth and responsive. It is also where you’ll find the fingerprint reader for biometric security. The touchpad still works over the indentation where the fingerprint scanner is housed, but it does slow down the pointer speed slightly.
In my experience, the scanner was about 50/50 in its reliability, but that was without taking the time to go back and improve the initial read of my print. Although a fingerprint reader is a handy and desirable feature, the implementation here isn’t ideal, and I’d rather just have an unimpeded trackpad given the option.
Connectivity and I/O ports
The selection of ports on the Triton 300 SE is one of the weaker aspects of the design, with the notable omission of an ethernet connection. It has just three USB ports, an HDMI port and a 3.5mm combi-jack for headsets.
On the plus side, it is an HDMI 2.1 port, both USB-A ports are high speed 3.2 Gen2, and the USB-C Thunderbolt 4 port supports DisplayPort over USB-C and 100W charging. With a decent USB-C hub you can connect all the peripherals you need, as well as multiple displays, and crucially, provide an ethernet RJ45 port if needed.
On the left of the Triton 300 SE is the USB-C Thunderbolt 4 port, a single USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-A, and a power connector.
On the right side is a USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-A, HDMI 2.1 and the 3.5mm analogue port.
Without any ethernet connection, networking is handled purely by the Killer AX1650i (802.11ax) network card. We’ve tried this Wi-Fi card on lots of laptops before, and the performance is excellent. The Killer control centre also has some excellent tools for prioritising network traffic, limiting bandwidth, analysing your Wi-Fi signal and even acting as a network range extender. For many, an ethernet cable will always be preferable, but if you have no alternative to Wi-Fi this is a damn good NIC (network interface card).
I was hugely impressed with the screen on the Triton 300 SE. Colours pop, and it has the best contrast and black levels of any IPS display we’ve tested.
In its factory calibration, the display covered 96% sRGB, 71% AdobeRGB and 73% DCI-P3. This allowed the display to produce rich and vibrant colours, without any oversaturation, and with an average Delta-E (colour accuracy) of 0.74 which is excellent. Uniformity was consistent across the display, with no visible backlight bleed or IPS glow around the corners. Colour warmth was a touch on the cool side, measuring 7400K, but this was easily remedied by lowering the green and blue RGB within the settings.
The native gamma very closely followed the 2.2 gamma curve in our tests. Peak brightness was slightly above average at 326 cd/m², but the black level of 0.19 cd/m² is excellent. These deep blacks allowed the Triton 300 SE to achieve a peak contrast level of 1700:1, which is superb for an IPS display. This makes playing games or watching movies with lots of dark scenes very enjoyable, without the washed-out blacks you frequently get from IPS panels.
Viewing angles were excellent, with the image clearly visible from sharp angles, retaining colour vibrancy and contrast well when viewed off-centre.
The panel’s motion handling was particularly impressive, with tests showing only a trace of ghosting, no distracting smearing and no noticeable overshoot. This was when we were studying the display up close, too. In regular use, it’s essentially flawless.
It may only be a 1080p 144Hz display, but this is ideally suited to the CPU/GPU combo in the Triton 300 SE, with a frame rate that is at the limit of what it can max out in many popular competitive titles.
Side note for creatives: When calibrated, the Triton 300 SE was incredibly accurate. Average DeltaE was just 0.2, the measured whitepoint was 6495K, and the black luminance was 0.15 cd/m², resulting in a staggering contrast ratio of 2071.3:1 – perfect for colour critical work, even if the small screen size and lower resolution display may not be ideal.
This is the first RTX 3060 laptop we’ve tested so far, but we do have plenty of systems from either side of this performance and price range to compare with. In comparison with the RTX 2060, 2070 Super and even a lower-powered variant of the 3070, the RTX 3060 in the Triton 300 SE performed brilliantly. In many cases, it surpassed what should be more powerful systems. When you factor in the price and relatively low power drain, it’s a stellar performance from the Triton.
Before we get onto the gaming performance, we’ll quickly address the day to day performance of the Triton 300 SE. For my regular workload involving word-processing, video and photo editing and running a few sizeable spreadsheets, I had no problems with the Triton. Thankfully, we’ve reached a point now where even the most modest gaming system can handle everyday workloads effortlessly. Boot up and app launch times are Rapid, and outside of the most demanding software, it’s likely to be ideal for the majority of people. Props to Acer for including a webcam; it’s only 720p and can appear a little fuzzy, especially in low-light situations, but it serves its purpose and will likely be a welcome addition for those who want a notebook that’s as comfortable for work as it is in a battle station setup.
Being able to connect to multiple 4k displays is a clear advantage for the Triton, as it allows you to have a lot more screen real estate for working or for watching high-res movies. If you have a monitor that supports KVM it’s as simple as rocking up at your desk, plugging in a single USB-C cable and getting straight to work. Less time setting everything up equals more productivity (at least that’s what you should tell your boss if you are pushing for a work from home upgrade).
Now, the gaming. When the Triton 300 SE first launched the GPU had a TGP of 75W, which is a little on the low end. Since then, however, Acer has released a firmware upgrade that increases the (potential) TGP to 90W, which is a substantial increase. I initially recorded the results before updating the firmware, but after seeing how much more performance I was getting I re-ran all of the benchmarks. Across the board, we saw up to and over a 10% improvement in frame rates.
The highest TGP we measured was on Borderlands 3 and CoD Warzone, which both averaged 85W. Shadow of the Tomb Raider and Control averaged 80W. Of the rest of our test bench games, these numbers fluctuated a lot more, with more CPU limited games dipping down as low as 60W. Despite this, the performance increases were consistent, and every game saw an increase following the firmware update.
At the native 1080p, you can hit a 60 fps minimum on all but the most demanding games without having to turn anything down from ultra. Competitive esports games can often max out the 144Hz panel, making this ideal for both AAA single-player experiences and multiplayer frag-fests.
On more powerful machines we test at 1440p and 2160p in addition to 1080p, but the modest RTX 3060 isn’t really cut out for gaming at those resolutions. If you do have an external display you want to plug into, most games will run OK, but you may need to scale back to medium settings or possibly run at 1080p to get a smooth experience.
All benchmark tests were carried out with the performance mode set to Extreme in the PredatorSense software, which overclocks the GPU and runs the CPU at its maximum, dynamically adjusting fan speed to keep everything cool. (Turbo mode is significantly louder, with the fans constantly running at full speed. Although it did lower the temperatures very slightly, it only resulted in a couple of extra frames, making Extreme mode the best option in my opinion.)
In-game settings use the Ultra preset (or equivalent) where available. If DLSS was available, it was set to performance mode unless stated otherwise. (If an RTX game comfortably runs above refresh rates you are happy with, we recommend switching DLSS to Quality, as it makes a noticeable difference to image clarity.)
All results were recorded using the inbuilt display.
Gaming performance comparisons
We’ve listed a range of computers with varied GPUs for comparison, including the Triton 300 with RTX 2070 Super. This should give you an idea of how it compares against a range of processors and system configurations. We find these comparisons useful for consumers looking for not only the best overall performance but the best value, too.
|Laptop/PC||Asus TUF Dash F15||Acer Predator Triton 300||Acer Predator Triton 300SE||Acer Predator Helios 300||Asus ROG Flow X13|
|Model||FX516PR (2021)||PT315-52||PT314-51s||PH315-53 (2020||GV301QH (2021)|
|Processor||i7-11370H||i7-10750H @ 2.60 GHz||i7-11370H||i7-10750H||R9 5980HS|
|GPU||RTX 3070 8Gb||RTX 2070 Max-Q 8Gb||RTX 3060 6Gb||RTX 2060 6Gb||GTX 1650 4GB|
|Ram||16GB DDR4-3200 (88)||16GB DDR4-3200 (88)||16GB DDR4-3200||20GB DDR4-3200 (164)||32GB DDR4X-4266 MHz|
|SSD||512GB M.2 NVMe SSD||1Tb M.2 NVMe SSD||1Tb M.2 NVMe SSD||512GB M.2 NVMe SSD||1TB M.2 (WD PC SN530)|
|HDD||n/a||n/a – 2 x M.2 slot, 1 x PCIe||n/a||n/a||n/a|
|Display||1080p 144Hz||1080p 144Hz||1080p 144Hz||1080p 144Hz||1920×1200 120 Hz Pantone|
- CineBench – CPU (Single)(cb)
- (High-performance mode / Auto Fan): 200 cb
- CineBench – CPU (Multi)(cb)
- (High-performance mode / Auto Fan): 958 cb
- CineBench – GPU (OpenGL)
- (High-performance mode / Auto Fan): 138.29 fps
- CineBench – CPU (Single)
- (High-performance mode / Auto Fan): 520
- CineBench – CPU (Multi)
- (High-performance mode / Auto Fan): 2409
- CineBench – CPU (Single)
- (High-performance mode / Auto Fan): 1370
- CineBench – CPU (Multi)
- (High-performance mode / Auto Fan): 5609
3DMark – Fire Strike (DX11)
- Fire Strike Score – 15049
- Graphics Score – 18009
- Physics Score – 13467
- Combined Score – 7319
- PCMark 10 – 5695
- Essentials – 8876
- App Start-up – 12896
- Video Conferencing – 6974
- Web Browsing – 7777
- Productivity – 8538
- Spreadsheets – 9802
- Writing – 7438
- Content Creation – 6615
- Photo Editing – 7762
- Rendering and Visualisation – 7798
- Video Editing – 4783
This PCMark 10 score is respectable. It falls behind the Ryzen systems we’ve tested, however, they have significantly more cores than the quad-core i7 in the Triton 300 SE. It’s still possible to carry out content creation, but if you do a lot of editing and production work a more potent processor may be preferable. In terms of everyday productivity, though, the Triton 300 SE won’t have any problems carrying you through your workload.
Bright Memory Infinite RTX Benchmark
Very High – DLSS Setting: Quality
High – DLSS Setting: Performance
- Gaming – 79% Battleship
- Desktop – 98% Nuclear submarine
- Workstation – 69% Battle cruiser
- CPU – Gaming – 88.60%
- Graphics – 85%
- Boot Drive – 337%
The 1TB M.2 NVMe SSD should be capacious enough for most users but can only be expanded by replacing the SSD with a larger one. Acer has chosen an excellent SSD for the Triton 300 SE, however, with consistently fast speeds resulting in short loading times and excellent system responsiveness.
Sequential read and write speeds of 3603 MB/s and 3027 MB/s respectively are very good and in line with or better than the SSDs in most high-end laptops. This translates into much lower loading times in games, superb system responsiveness and Rapid boot times.
The following are the results recorded in CrystalDiskMark, with figures measured in MB/s
This is where my main issue lies with thin and light gaming laptops. With such a small amount of space housing internals producing a lot of heat, it’s very hard to get that heat out of there; system temperatures are among the highest I’ve ever seen, at 66℃. To Acer’s credit, they’ve rammed the Triton 300 SE full of vents and exhausts, as well as their excellent Aeroblade fan technology, but even then it struggles with heat.
Surface temperatures at the rear of the keyboard tray are very high, and hot air blasts from the rear and side vents. Aside from making the laptop a lot thicker to aid cooling, I don’t see how they could have avoided this, though.
Although the exterior gets hot, the CPU settles around 88℃. There are infrequent spikes up to 100℃, but this is very brief, only occurring when the CPU is first placed under load and is followed by the fans swiftly spooling up.
These peaks are within the tolerances of the CPU, and consistent with other gaming laptops, so it’s not of concern. The GPU averages 69℃ during prolonged gaming sessions and high loads (measured after the TGP firmware increase), which is well within acceptable limits and considerably lower than most systems we’ve tested. If the overall surface and system temperatures weren’t so high, I wouldn’t be surprised if they could push the GPU even harder.
In quiet mode, the laptop is indeed mostly silent, especially if all you are doing is watching a movie. Performance was down by around 30-40% on our system benchmarks, but the system temperatures were still above what we’d consider comfortable – an unfortunate byproduct of stuffing a small frame with powerful components.
The Triton 300 SE has power-efficient components, but this is offset by only having a 60Wh battery. In comparison with the 90Wh batteries being fitted to other laptops, this means that it only has average battery life that is on par with most gaming laptops.
On battery power, the system can be set to an aggressive power-saving mode, which helps extend the battery life. The Triton 300 SE has a tendency to run apps using the discrete GPU, so to prolong battery life (assuming you don’t need the RTX 3060’s grunt), you can set apps to use the integrated GPU (This is done within the Nvidia Control Panel).
Watching 1080p video played back from an external hard drive, we got around 4.5 hours of battery life. For standard productivity and browsing, we used PCMark 10 running on a loop and averaged around 3.5 hours on a full charge. Gaming puts greater demand on the battery, resulting in 1 hour of play at 50% brightness, with the framerate capped at 60fps. This is quite disappointing, and well below what was expected.
There is a slight quirk in that if there is less than 40% battery remaining, you can’t change the performance mode, even if it’s plugged into the mains. While this won’t bother most people, if you take it to a meeting or lesson, it could be annoying having the fans spooling up while you’re unable to switch to silent mode.
Charging from empty to full is quite fast, it took just 30 minutes to reach 60%, and a total of 55 minutes to reach 90%, however, it slows over the final 10%, trickle charging for a further 15 minutes to hit the full 100% charge.
The Triton 300 SE also supports USB-C charging at up to 100W and can be topped up with power banks, via monitors that support power delivery, or even a mobile phone charger (though this is likely to be a lot slower).
Pricing and alternatives
At £1,399, the Triton 300 SE is competitively priced, and there are very few competitors that can match the performance while staying so compact and portable. The Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 has a better Ryzen 9 CPU, but you’ll be paying a couple of hundred more for the privilege, and the styling is a lot more shouty than the svelte Triton.
For my preference, and because the Ryzen 9 is more CPU than I need for my workload, I’d go with the Triton 300 SE. If you want an out and out gaming machine, there are arguably better options; this is a machine best suited to those who want a laptop for work and play in equal quantities, and for who portability and discretion is a high priority. If you fit into that demographic, it’s hard to beat the Triton 300 SE.
There are a lot of reasons to love the Triton 300 SE: The display is gorgeous, with accurate colour and incredible contrast; gaming performance is excellent for both 1080p AAA gaming and competitive esports; the design is stylish, without too much flashy gamer-centric branding, and it’s reasonably priced for what you get.
I would have liked to see an ethernet port included, and a few more IO options, but that’s easily remedied with a USB-C hub. The only other thing of concern is the high surface temperatures, but even then it’s consistent with other slim-profile gaming laptops, and the components aren’t overheated.
If you need an ultra-portable machine for work, but also want to bust out a few games of CoD at high frame rates, the Triton 300 SE is a very attractive proposition. Covid notwithstanding, my work involves a lot of travel, and this is an ideal system for my needs. With many businesses now alternating between the office and working from home, this is likely to suit a lot of consumers.
Acer Predator Triton 300 SE review: Powerful hardware in a sleek package
In recent years, we’ve seen a shift in gaming laptop design. While the behemoth machines that are only arguably portable are still around, there’s also been a push to create thin and light gaming laptops that can also be used as a daily driver as well. These thin and sleek gaming laptops offer a lot to love by packing high-end GPUs and powerful CPUs in as small a chassis as possible. Acer’s Predator Triton 300 SE laptop is immediately eye-catching in its design, and it doesn’t slouch on the spec sheet either. But, is it a good choice for gamers looking for the best of both worlds in a laptop?
I should start by saying that my usual laptop is a 2020 Asus ROG Zephyrus G14, a laptop that made a lot of waves when it was first released last year. I bought into the hype and decided to buy one, and I haven’t been disappointed yet. When I pulled the Triton 300 SE out of the box for the first time, I was immediately reminded of the Zephyrus G14. Both laptops have a surprisingly small footprint with 14-inch, high refresh rate displays, both have a nice metal chassis, and both offer a lot of power.
Triton is a brand with some surprising notoriety too. When I was looking for a new laptop at the beginning of last year, I saw recommendations for the standard Triton 300 left and right. A lot of people seem to think that the standard Triton 300 offers a lot of power for the price and is generally a well-built computer. Apparently, the Triton 300 SE has a lot to live up to.
From a design perspective, the Triton 300 SE definitely doesn’t disappoint. As someone who really dislikes the angled corners and thick display bezels on the standard Triton 300, the 300 SE may as well be a feast for the eyes. The brushed metal exterior looks really nice, and when you open it up, you’re greeted by a pleasantly normal gray-on-silver color scheme. One could even call the look of the machine understated. I have to say I really like this trend of (some) gaming laptops shedding the garish designs that scream “I’m a gamer!” and replacing them with designs that wouldn’t look out of place on more mainstream laptops.
While this may look a little more inconspicuous than some of the other gaming laptops out in the wild, this is definitely still a gaming machine. There is, indeed, a customizable RGB backlight for the keyboard, but the lighting is split into three zones (no per-key RGB here) that are customizable through Acer’s PredatorSense software (more on that in a bit).
Overall, I really like the design of the Triton 300 SE. I think the silver brushed metal lid looks really good, and, despite my tendency to go a little crazy with RGB in desktop builds, it’s nice to have simple three-zone RGB that’s easy to get looking pretty and forget about.
Hardware and Performance
So, the machine looks good, but how does it perform? Obviously, with an RTX 3060 laptop GPU under the hood, the Triton 300 SE is going to be able to play some games. The machine also features a Core i7-11375H that’s normally clocked at 3.3GHz but can go up to 5.0GHz clock speed with Intel’s Turbo Boost. The model I received for testing has 16GB of RAM (which is upgradable to 24GB) and a 512GB SSD, which works out to 475GB of free space once the OS is accounted for.
As you would imagine, given that CPU and GPU combination, the Triton 300 SE runs games well. With Borderlands 3 set to Ultra settings, I had an average FPS of 61.61 using the game’s benchmarking tool. We see even better performance in Forza Horizon 4, with an average of 95 fps on Ultra settings. In Geekbench 5, the Triton 300 SE received a single-core score of 1476 and a multi-core score of 5128.
The Triton 300 SE has a 14-inch, 1080p display running at 144Hz, and I think that’s something of a sweet spot for thin gaming laptops like this. The Triton 300 SE certainly has the hardware to warrant a high refresh rate display, so I would much rather have 1080p at 144Hz instead of something like 1440p at 60Hz. On the other hand, I think the display is small enough that 1080p still looks plenty sharp, and just in general, I’m more inclined toward higher framerates than higher resolutions when it comes to PC gaming.
Most indie games won’t have an issue fully putting that 144Hz refresh rate to use, while you can always turn down the graphics settings a little bit in modern AAA games to achieve higher framerates past 60 fps. That’s what I love about setups like this in general – you have enough power and a fast enough refresh rate to play how you want, and it’s really nice having that flexibility.
To my eye, the display on the Triton 300 SE looks really good. It can get nice and bright (when connected to power at least), and the colors seem to be solid. I will note that I’m color blind, so I’m probably not the best judge of color accuracy and overall tone, but to me at least, both Borderlands 3 and Forza Horizon 4 look really good on this display.
Really, the biggest concern when you’re working with a gaming laptop that’s packing this kind of hardware into a small chassis is heat. There are vents along both sides, the back, and the bottom of the chassis, so airflow isn’t really a concern, but under load, the CPU and GPU are both going to get hot. There’s simply no avoiding it. These laptop parts are made to run hot, so the biggest thing users need to be concerned with is how heat affects the gaming experience.
It seems like the Triton 300 SE uses its metal chassis as a heatsink in some areas because after about a half-hour of playing Borderlands 3 on max settings, there were some spots in the middle of the chassis above the function row that were very hot to the touch. The good news is that the areas where you’re most likely to put your hand while playing – in the general area of the WASD keys along with the spacebar – were warm but nowhere near overwhelmingly hot. So the thermals in this machine seem to be good, at least from a perspective of keeping users comfortable as they leverage the hardware that’s inside.
Your job as a user is to make sure that when you use this laptop to game, you only do so on a hard surface to ensure that you have as much airflow as possible. This is helped by a stand on the bottom that runs almost the entire width of the laptop, so as long as you play on a hard surface, airflow shouldn’t be a concern.
PredatorSense is where you’ll set your fan speed and monitor temperatures, with four different usage modes to pick from: Quiet, Default, Extreme, and Turbo. Obviously, Quiet is the mode you should use when you don’t need to use a lot of power and want the fans to be as quiet as possible.
Extreme overclocks both the CPU and the GPU but throttles the fan so they aren’t quite so loud, while Turbo maximizes fan and clock speed. You can only change your usage mode when the computer is plugged in and the battery power is above 40%, which seems like a strange limitation to me, especially when it comes to throttling down to the Default and Quiet modes. There’s also a dedicated Turbo key, so as long as you meet those requirements I just listed, you can hit that whenever you want to toggle Turbo mode on and off.
The fans are very loud in Turbo mode, but we tend to forgive fan volume when those fans are cooling powerful gaming hardware. While the Triton 300 SE’s speakers do get loud and sound pretty good for laptop speakers, you’ll probably want to wear some headphones when you’re doing intensive gaming so you have an easier time hearing over the fan noise. But, of course, you might just want to use headphones with this computer anyway, as it supports DTS:X Extreme spatial sound.
The Triton 300 SE is a capable gaming machine, but it’s also a good work machine as well. Typing on the keyboard feels good, though the chiclet-style keys feel slightly less wide than what I’m used to. That is the smallest of gripes, though, because it didn’t take very long at all before I’d adjusted to the Triton 300 SE’s keyboard and was typing away like it was my daily driver. The backlighting seems to be solid as well, though coming from the Zephyrus G14 with its notoriously bad backlighting, it’s entirely possible that my backlighting standards are low, to begin with.
Finally, we’ve got battery life and the ports. Acer says that the Triton 300 SE will last for as much as 10 hours a single charge; this laptop is part of a breed of thin and light gaming machines that boast long battery life as one of their features. However, in my experience, it takes some tweaks to get battery life that high – for instance, I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the pre-installed hardware like PredatorSense or Norton Antivirus both eat away at that battery life.
Still, out of the box and on balanced settings with the display brightness set to 50%, I was able to stream 1080p video from Twitch for about 5 hours before I was getting battery-critical warnings. I imagine that more mixed usage involving things besides straight video streaming will result in longer battery life. If my time with the Zephyrus G14 is any indication, there are no doubt users who have put together exhaustive guides on how to squeeze every ounce of battery life out of this machine. I think 10 hours is probably too optimistic, but 7-8 is doable for sure.
As far as ports are concerned, we’ve got one HDMI output, two USB-A 3.2 Gen 2 ports, one USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 port, and a 3.5mm headphone/microphone combo jack. In addition, that USB-C port supports DisplayPort, Thunderbolt 4, and USB charging. It’s always nice to see HDMI and DisplayPort on a laptop like this because it means you can leverage that 3060 and game on a larger desktop monitor if you want. All in all, the selection of ports is good enough, but I would like to start seeing more USB-C ports on these laptops in general.
What I didn’t like
There isn’t a whole lot that I didn’t like about this laptop, but there are a few things. The pre-installed software is a pain, particularly Norton antivirus. I haven’t used Norton in years and the internet says it’s good now, and while that may be the case, it’s still far too annoying. Not to mention the fact that many who are buying a laptop like this for gaming probably already have their antivirus setup figured out; for those who happen to use Norton, maybe it’s a good thing that it’s pre-installed on here, but for everyone else, it’s just frustrating.
Other pre-installed software joining Norton Antivirus includes Dropbox (which is some kind of promotional install that has a sign-up offer with it), GoTrust ID, ExpressVPN, CyberLink’s PhotoDirector and PowerDirector, Acer’s own PredatorSense, and a link on the Windows taskbar that not only takes you to Acer’s Planet9.gg website but also automatically downloads an installer for the service.
I recognize that pre-installed software is just part of the game when it comes to pre-builts and laptops. I’m not too fond of it, but I know that it’s too much to expect a 100% clean Windows install when buying one of these things. It’s too much on the Triton 300 SE, though, and it doesn’t feel great to get this sleek, sexy laptop out of its box only to be greeted by strange taskbar shortcuts and Norton popups once you’re into Windows.
I also wish that PredatorSense were a bit more responsive and less clunky. PredatorSense does have its uses, as do most of these manufacturer-made system management apps, but all of them feel laggy and awful to use. PredatorSense at least gives some useful insight into your components’ temperatures, but it feels so clunky that I’d rather install something else to handle that and use PredatorSense as little as possible.
Acer Predator Triton 300 SE verdict
So, in the end, we’re left with a solid thin and light gaming laptop that can easily go undercover as a daily driver notebook for work with some bad decisions on the pre-installed software front. Even though it’s a pain, pre-installed software can be dealt with, and once that’s done, we have a notebook that ultimately impresses.
I like a lot of things about the Triton 300 SE. I’m a big fan of 14-inch notebooks like this in general, and I think that going with a 144Hz display at 1080p was a good choice, given the internals. I think the laptop looks excellent – I like it even more than the Zephyrus G14 – and it offers good gaming performance for its size.
Still, Acer faces stiff competition around this price point (this model has an MSRP of 1,499.99), not only in terms of specifications but also in battery life and design. So while I can’t emphatically say that the Triton 300 SE is heads and shoulders above something like Zephyrus G14 or the Razer Blade, it’s certainly good enough to be considered alongside those notebooks if you’re in the market for a 14-inch gaming laptop.
The Triton 300 SE is a powerful, long-lasting gaming laptop at an affordable price
Laptop Mag Verdict
The Acer Predator Triton 300 SE boasts strong performance and decent battery life packed into a sleek 14-inch chassis, all for an affordable price.
- Strong performance and graphics
- Solid battery life
- Sleek, 14-inch chassis
- Bright and colorful display
- Relatively affordable
Why you can trust Laptop Mag
Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.
Acer is known for making quality laptops at affordable prices, but its gaming laptops can get a little pricey and don’t offer all of the bells and whistles that other brands do. However, the Acer Predator Triton 300 SE sits in that cozy spot where the company offers its best quality components packed into a relatively affordable package.
For 1,399, you get a powerful Intel Core i7-11375H processor and Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 GPU, decent battery life and a colorful 14-inch, 144Hz display wrapped up in a sleek and thin chassis. The only real downsides are the quiet audio and the keyboard and touchpad experience could be a little better.
For the price alone, the Predator Triton 300 SE is easily one of the best video editing laptops, best gaming laptops and best VR-ready laptops that you can buy.
Acer Predator Triton 300 SE price and configuration options
Price: 1,399 CPU: Intel Core i7-11375H GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 RAM: 16GB Storage: 512GB Display: 14-inch, 1080p, 144Hz Battery: 6:41 Size: 12.7 x 9.0 x 0.7 inches Weight: 3.8 pounds
There’s only one available model of the Acer Predator Triton 300 SE and it comes with an Intel Core i7-11375H processor, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 GPU with 6GB of VRAM, 16GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD and a 14-inch, 1080p at 144Hz display all for 1,399.
If you’re looking for something cheap, I suggest checking out our best cheap gaming laptops page.
Acer Predator Triton 300 SE design
When I heard I was getting the Acer Predator Triton 300 SE, I imagined a bulky chunk of plastic. I was pleasantly surprised to find a stylish, silver color diagonally brushed over the hood of a 0.7-inch thin machine. The lid is home only to a Predator logo protruding from the top-right corner as a sort of square stamp. Meanwhile, the hinge features the traditional Predator Blue, but its pearlescent coating causes it to shine purple in some areas.
The interior sports the same silver color accompanied by a splash of dark gray from the keyboard and glossy silver accents that surround the touchpad. Surprisingly, there’s a fingerprint reader embedded within the touchpad. Above the keyboard lies a button labeled “Turbo,” which lets you blare the fans, located to the right of the button, like a nuclear engine. The bezels on the display are impressively thin, and yet there’s still a webcam on top.
At 3.8 pounds, 12.7 x 9.0 x 0.7 inches, the Triton 300 has one of the smallest footprints of any gaming laptop. The Asus TUF Dash F15 (4.4 pounds, 14.2 x 10.0 x 0.8 inches) and Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 (3.5 pounds, 12.8 x 8.7 x 0.7 inches) are just a tad larger.
Acer Predator Triton 300 SE ports
There are relatively few ports onboard the Predator Triton 300. It would have been nice to see an additional USB Type-A port as well as a Mini DisplayPort.
On the left, there’s a Kensington lock slot, the power jack, one USB Type-A port and a Thunderbolt 4 port, while the right features an HDMI port, one USB Type-A port and a headphone jack.
If you need more ports, we suggest checking out our best laptop docking stations and best USB Type-C hubs pages.
Acer Predator Triton 300 SE display
The Acer Predator Triton 300 SE’s 14-inch, 1080p at 144Hz display is relatively bright and colorful for the price.
In the trailer for Space Jam: A New Legacy, the blue basketball court popped on the screen and contrasted well with the lush greenery that surrounded the area. Despite being in a relatively dark room, I sussed out details from the door behind Cedric Joe. The panel was also sharp enough for me to pick out Jim Carrey’s The Mask character in the background of the basketball game.
In Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, I shield-bashed an enemy, and when his blood misted in the air, it contrasted against the grass and the sun hit it in a way that made it look like a vibrant horror film scene. While riding my big boy wolf at night, I had no issues making my way through the woods, as the panel was bright enough to light the way. When I turned the graphics down, I got to experience the smooth 144Hz refresh rate as I threw my ax into my enemy’s chest from several yards away.
According to our colorimeter, the Triton 300 covered 80.6% of the DCI-P3 color gamut, which is well above the 66.8% mainstream gaming laptop average. It even beat the TUF Dash F15 (77.9%), but was behind the Zephyrus G14 (83%).
At 292 nits of brightness, the Triton 300 is brighter than some premium gaming laptops, and is brighter than the category average (279 nits). The TUF Dash F15 (265 nits) fell a little short of that, while the Zephyrus G14 (323 nits) had the brightest panel.
Acer Predator Triton 300 SE keyboard and touchpad
While it may take some time to get used to, the Acer Predator Triton 300 SE has a decent keyboard. It’s relatively comfortable to type on, but the keyboard is somewhat small.
I got 73 words per minute on the 10fastfingers.com typing test, which is slightly below my 78-wpm average. The keys almost feel punchy and clicky, but they don’t quite get there, unfortunately.
The keyboard features three-zone RGB lighting that can be configured via the Lighting tab in the PredatorSense app. There are lighting effects such as Wave, Breathing and Twinkling, but there’s no way to customize the dynamic lighting.
The 4.1 x 2.5-inch touchpad is relatively smooth to the touch, but it could definitely be smoother. The fingerprint reader annoyingly takes up some real estate. However, Windows 10 gestures like two-finger scrolling and three-finger tabbing worked well.
Acer Predator Triton 300 SE audio
The Acer Predator Triton 300 SE’s bottom-firing speakers aren’t very loud and don’t have enough bass to back up heavy music or games. However, the audio is balanced.
I listened to Au/Ra’s “Panic Room,” and immediately, the electronic beats came off as scratchy and empty without the proper bass to back them. However, the vocals sounded crisp and clear. The chorus didn’t sound muddy or abrasive either, it just lacked a warm sound to round it out.
In Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, two characters were chatting and the voices sounded clear and lively, but the quiet audio made it difficult to enjoy the scene. Afterwards, we charged and attempted to breach the gates, and the meaty smash of the battering ram was surprisingly satisfying, but the speakers were still too low to capture the full sound. However, when attacking enemies with my ax, it produced a sharp slashing sound.- if the audio was any louder it might’ve been uncomfortably sharp, which could’ve been helped by some added bass.
The laptop comes with the DTS:X Ultra app, which includes audio presets such as: Music, Voice, Movies, Strategy, RPG and Shooter. There’s also Automatic, which optimizes your audio based on the content you’re listening to. And then there’s Custom, which lets you adjust the spatial model, treble, bass, dialog clarity and volume smoothing. The app definitely helped with the sound, but unless you know what you’re doing, it’s going to be tough to get things sounding optimal.
Acer Predator Triton 300 SE gaming, graphics and VR
Hidden away within the shell of the Acer Predator Triton 300 SE is an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 GPU with 6GB of VRAM. It was more than capable of running Assassin’s Creed Valhalla at 54 frames per second on Ultra, 1080p settings as I raced across a field and plunged my weapon into the first unfortunate human being I found.
On the Shadow of the Tomb Raider benchmark (Highest, 1080p), the Triton 300 nailed 61 fps, just climbing over the mainstream gaming laptop average (58 fps). The Zephyrus G14’s RTX 2060 GPU scored a lower 49 fps, while the TUF Dash F15’s RTX 3070 hit a higher 69 fps.
A similar result occurred on the Metro: Exodus benchmark (Ultra, 1080p), where the Triton 300 got 50 fps, beating the category average (49 fps), but fell between the TUF Dash F15 (57 fps) and the Zephyrus G14 (41 fps).
Surprisingly, the numbers were radically different on the Far Cry New Dawn benchmark (Ultra, 1080p), as the Triton 300 averaged 73 fps, falling short of the average mainstream gaming laptop (74 fps). However, the Triton 300 beat the TUF Dash F15 (70 fps) and matched the Zephyrus G14 (73 fps).
On the Assassin’s Creed Odyssey benchmark (Ultra, 1080p), the Triton 300 hit 51 fps, which is just above the 49-fps average, and it actually matched the TUF Dash F15 (51 fps).
Acer Predator Triton 300 SE performance
The Acer Predator Triton 300 SE is toting an Intel Core i7-11375H processor with 16GB of RAM, which easily juggled 40 Google Chrome tabs and five YouTube videos while Assassin’s Creed Valhalla ran in the background.
On the Geekbench 5.3 overall performance benchmark, the Triton 300 scored 5,234, climbing over the 4,996 mainstream gaming laptop average. With the same CPU, the TUF Dash F15 scored 5,166, while the Zephyrus G14’s AMD Ryzen 9 4900HS CPU hit a whopping 7,870.
The Triton 300 transcoded a 4K video to 1080p in 11 minutes and 36 seconds on our HandBrake benchmark, which is pretty sluggish compared to the 8:51 category average. The TUF Dash F15 nearly completed it a minute sooner, at 10:40, while the Zephyrus G14 finished before either laptop knew what hit them, clocking in at 6:59.
Acer’s 512GB SSD hit a transfer rate of 993 megabytes per second, which isn’t far off from the TUF Dash F15’s 1TB SSD (1,003 MBps).
Acer Predator Triton 300 SE battery life
Intel is slowly but surely catching AMD when it comes to chip efficiency, but it still has a long way to go. On the Laptop Mag battery test, the Acer Predator Triton 300 SE lasted 6 hours and 41 minutes, which is pretty good for a gaming laptop, despite being a few minutes behind the mainstream gaming laptop average (6:47). The TUF Dash F15 lasted a few minutes longer, at 6:53, but the Zephyrus G14 crushed it with 11:32.
Acer Predator Triton 300 SE webcam
While I appreciate the webcam being on the top bezel, the 720p shooter isn’t good.
In the test shot I took, there was a ton of color noise all over the image, and the window behind me was completely blown out, appearing pure white. My face was blotchy and the Fullmetal Alchemist wall scroll behind me was completely illegible. If you’re like me and love playing DD Online, or you just need a webcam to stream in general, check out our best webcams page for something better.
Acer Predator Triton 300 SE heat
The Acer Predator Triton 300 SE can get a little warm under the hood. After gaming for 15 or so minutes, the underside hit 114 degrees Fahrenheit, which is above our 95-degree comfort threshold. The center of the keyboard and touchpad hit 104 and 79 degrees, respectively. Meanwhile, the hottest the machine got was actually 125 degrees, which was on the rear underside, between the two center vents.
When used casually, like streaming a video for 15 minutes, the underside reached 97 degrees, the keyboard hit 91 degrees, and the touchpad actually got slightly hotter at 80 degrees.
Acer Predator Triton 300 SE software and warranty
Acer includes the PredatorSense app in the Triton 300 SE, which gives you access to performance control, fan control and temperature monitoring of your vital components. The other important app included with the Triton 300 SE is Acer Care Center, which presents all of the important information about your laptop as well as software to tune or check up on your components.
You’ll also get Windows 10 bloatware like Hidden City, Hulu and Roblox.
The Predator Triton 300 SE comes with a one-year limited warranty. See how Acer performed on our Tech Support Showdown and Best and Worst Brands ranking.
It’s tough to beat something like the Acer Predator Triton 300 SE when it is priced at just 1,399. With this Acer, you get a powerful CPU and GPU as well as a decent battery life and vibrant display packed into a slim 0.7-inch chassis. However, the quiet speakers and keyboard experience may be a deal breaker for some.
If so, I recommend taking a look at the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14, which features stronger performance, a more vibrant display and a much better keyboard although the touchpad is a bit of a mixed bag.
Overall, the Triton 300 is easily one of the best gaming laptops out there to get if you’re on a tight budget.
Acer Predator Triton 300 SE Review
Matthew S. Smith has been writing about consumer tech since 2007. Formerly the Lead Editor at Digital Trends, he’s also written for PC Mag, TechHive, and others.
Acer Predator Triton 300 SE
Acer’s Predator Triton 300 SE delivers solid Nvidia RTX performance at a reasonable price.
Acer Predator Triton 300 SE
Acer provided us with a review unit for one of our writers to test. Read on for our full take.
Nvidia’s RTX 30 series is the hottest thing in PC gaming right now. So hot, in fact, that it’s almost impossible to buy a desktop RTX 30 series graphics card, and even laptops with the hardware are flying off store shelves.
Acer’s Predator Triton 300 SE is, in many respects, a mid-range gaming laptop, but it succeeds at one very important task: it delivers Nvidia RTX 3060 Max-Q at a reasonable price, and it’s actually in stock not just at, but sometimes below, MSRP. Its value pricing helps the Triton 300 SE stand out against attractive competitors like the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14.
Design: Small but sturdy
I’m surprised Acer didn’t slap a “Pro” label on the Predator Triton 300 SE. The spec sheet might scream gaming, but the laptop’s look and feel has more in common with business laptops. The aluminum exterior and simple silver interior keep this laptop subtle. It’s a bit dull, actually, compared to the sleek elegance of Razer’s Book 13 or the brash look of Asus’ ROG Zephyrus G14.
The Triton 300 SE measures 0.7 inches thick and weighs a hair less than 3.5 pounds. These figures aren’t unusual in 2021 but are impressive for a laptop packing serious gaming horsepower. It will easily fit in most backpacks or messenger bags, yet packs performance to rival modern game consoles.
It’s a sturdy little beast, too. The chassis feels slate-like in hand. Holding the laptop up by one corner reveals nearly no flex. The display is the weak point; opening the laptops can cause a few creaks and groans.
Physical connectivity is a mix of new and old. There are two USB-A 3.2 ports paired with a USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 port that supports DisplayPort Mode and Thunderbolt 4. There’s also an HDMI output and a 3.5mm audio jack that handles audio-in and out.
All the laptop’s ports are placed near the front of the chassis. You’ll have to deal with tangled cables more often than with a laptop that places most ports on the rear. I found this annoying when using an external mouse, as cables jutting from the laptop’s flanks often bumped my hand while playing games.
What’s New: This one is special
The Acer Predator Triton 300 SE has little in common with other Predator Triton or Helios models. A few common design elements can be found in the speaker grill, fans, and PreadtorSense software, but the design is otherwise distinct.
Display: Better than first glance
I wasn’t immediately impressed by the Acer Predator Triton 300 SE’s display. It’s not especially bright and has a matte coating, so lacks the brilliant, eye-catching look that is common to high-end laptops with glossy, high-brightness displays.
The display delivers impressive contrast and vibrant color for a mid-range gaming laptop. I noticed this in every game I played.
Once I loaded a game, though, I liked what I saw. The screen’s resolution is 1080p, but that’s more than enough to provide a sharp, crisp look in modern games. It also supports a maximum refresh rate of 144Hz, providing an ultra-smooth look in older titles capable of achieving a high framerate.
The display delivers impressive contrast and vibrant color for a mid-range gaming laptop. I noticed this in every game I played. Games with bright, high-color graphics look vivid, while those with a moody tone look dark and foreboding.
There’s one downside: poor viewing angles. This is unusual in a modern laptop, though I’ve noticed this trait in many high-refresh laptop displays. I can’t give the Triton 300 SE too much flak for this given its otherwise excellent performance.
Performance: Great for games, ok for everything else
The Acer Predator Triton 300 SE’s most unusual feature is its Intel Core i7-11375H processor. It’s odd because it has just four cores (running eight threads) but is still sold as a top-tier component. The Core i7-11375H has higher minimum and maximum clock speeds than the comparable Intel Core i7-1165G7 found in thinner notebooks. The i7-11375H can clock as high as 5GHz. My review unit also had 16GB of RAM and a 512GB solid-state hard drive.
PCMark 10 hit an overall score of 5,534. Geekbench 5 turned in a single-core score of 1,418 and a multi-core score of 4,493. The Geekbench 5 multi-core score is behind the curve; new AMD Ryzen 7 5000-series laptops can almost double that result. This will disappoint content creators who use CPU-dependent applications. The Acer Triton 300 SE won’t keep up with AMD-powered rivals, like the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14, in such workloads.
Gaming performance proved more impressive. 3DMark Fire Strike hit a score of 14,462, while Time Spy hit a score of 6,721. The laptop averaged 143 FPS in the GFXBench Car Chase test. It also averaged 74 frames per second in Shadow of the Tomb Raider at high detail with ray-traced shadows off. Turning ray-traced shadows on reduced the average to 56 frames per second.
For me, the Triton 300 SE is easily fast enough: it can handle most games at an average of 60 frames per second (fps), and often much higher, at 1080p resolution.
These numbers may seem disappointing if compared to all RTX 3060 laptops. You can expect more from Asus’ ROG Zephyrus G14 and the Razer Blade 15. But don’t forget the price. Acer’s laptop significantly undercuts those alternatives. When compared to all gaming laptops, this Acer delivers great performance for the price.
For me, the Triton 300 SE is easily fast enough: it can handle most games at an average of 60 frames per second (fps), and often much higher, at 1080p resolution. I wouldn’t recommend the Triton 300 SE if you plan to use an external 1440p or 4K monitor, however. Pushing a higher pixel count will lead to sub-60fps performance in most demanding games.
Productivity: All business
The Acer Predator Triton 300 SE’s business-like design carries over to the keyboard and mouse. Key feel is good, with significant key travel and firm bottoming action, and the spacious layout will be comfortable for most users.
There is a flaw: some keys are smaller than they could be. The Control, Function, and Windows keys are noticeable examples. It’s an odd decision that can cause confusion when hunting for a keyboard shortcut.
Keyboard backlighting is standard and set to white by default, but the color can be customized across three zones. It’s not as impressive as the per-key RGB backlighting found on some gaming laptops but I’m happy to see some customization offered.
The touchpad is about four inches wide and two and a half inches deep. That’s not bad for a gaming laptop, but average for a productivity machine, and it can feel cramped. It’s responsive and rejects any quick, unintended brush by a palm or thumb. It’s smooth when using multi-touch gestures like two-finger scroll or pinch-to-zoom.
Audio: Packing a punch
This laptop packs a sonic punch. It has an upwards-facing speaker that provides clear, crisp sound in games, music, or podcasts. Maximum volume is loud enough to fill an office with music and overcome most ambient noise. There’s even a hint of bass that you’ll feel through your fingertips when the volume is cranked up.
This laptop packs a sonic punch. It has an upwards-facing speaker that provides clear, crisp sound in games, music, or podcasts.
There are limits, of course. It isn’t loud enough to project impressive volume in a living room or kitchen. It can also sound muddy and confused when playing bass-forward music or the most frantic action games. Still, it’s an impressive set of speakers that will rarely leave you wanting for more.
Network: Killer performance
Downloading a big, hot new game can be a real hassle, especially over Wi-Fi, but the Triton 300 SE can help. It has Intel’s Killer Wi-Fi 6 AX1650 and let me tell you: this thing rips.
It delivered network speeds of over 800 megabits per second (Mbps) near my router, which is typical. Every Wi-Fi 6 laptop I review manages that. I was impressed by its performance in my detached office, where the Triton 300 SE hit up to 195Mbps. By comparison, the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Titanium hit only 40Mbps in the same space.
This translated to excellent real-world results. I created a real-world stress test by downloading Cyberpunk 2077 on Steam while simultaneously downloading Metro Exodus on Epic. Surprisingly, both downloads averaged in excess of 25Mbps. I’m used to seeing numbers in the teens.
Camera: BYOW (Bring Your Own Webcam)
Acer’s Predator Triton 300 SE straddles the line between entertainment and productivity in its design, but the camera falls short of its professional aspirations. It’s a tiny 720p pinhole camera that squeezes between the display and the top bezel. Video quality is grainy in all but the brightest rooms and uneven lighting can easily confuse it.
It’s easy to pack the Acer Predator Triton 300 SE in a bag for travel, but keeping it charged is a different story. This is a powerful laptop yet, due to its size, it contains a modest 60 watt-hour battery. That would be fine in a laptop without discrete graphics, but this is a gaming laptop.
I didn’t expect much endurance and received even less. My first effort at using the Triton 300 SE for a workday of writing had me reaching for the power brick after 3 hours. Two further workdays put me at about 3 hours, 30 minutes each.
It’s easy to pack the Acer Predator Triton 300 SE in a bag for travel, but keeping it charged is a different story.
In fairness to Acer, there’s little it could do to fix this issue. A slim gaming laptop sucks down a lot of juice even outside of games, yet there’s not much room for a battery. The majority of gaming laptops I’ve tested in recent years have delivered less than 4 hours of real-world endurance, and the worst won’t last 2 hours.
Still, buyer beware. The Triton 300 SE might look like a productivity laptop, but its battery life is solidly in the realm of full-blown gaming machines.
Software: Planet what now?
Acer ships the Predator Triton 300 SE with Windows 10 Home. It includes a few touches exclusive to Acer, including a Planet9 wallpaper and a few other icons under the same.
Despite this, most laptop functions are controlled through the PredatorSense software interface. It can control fan modes, adjust keyboard lighting, and monitor temperatures, among other functions. PredatorSense is not much to look at, but I find it less confusing than the alternatives from Asus and Razer.
The laptop comes with Norton antivirus installed. It’s eager to remind you of its presence whenever you download a file or visit an unfamiliar website. The antivirus is easy to uninstall, but its presence takes away from what otherwise feels like a special laptop in Acer’s Predator line.
Price: An outstanding value
Acer sells the Predator Triton 300 SE for 1,400, and it sometimes sells for 1,350 at Best Buy. This is an outstanding price for a laptop packing Nvidia’s RTX 3060. There’s only a few competitors with the RTX 3060, such as MSI’s GF65 Thin, that can be purchased for less right now. The MSI GF65 manages to undercut the Triton 300 SE by using an older Intel chip and just 8GB of RAM.
Acer Predator Triton 300 SE vs. Asus ROG Zephyrus G14
Acer’s Predator Triton 300 SE and Asus’ ROG Zephyrus G14 seem to target the same users. They’re both compact, light 14-inch laptops that pack impressive CPU and GPU horsepower. Although great for gamers, they also appeal to content creators seeking an affordable, portable laptop.
The Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 wins out in design and build quality. It’s an attractive, eye-catching laptop that feels more solid than the already respectable Triton 300 SE. The two laptops trade blows in display, keyboard, touchpad, and connectivity, with neither having a significant edge.
Game performance is similar, but the Asus G14 embraces AMD processors with up to eight cores. A well-equipped G14 will easily trounce the Acer in multi-core processor tests. Game performance is roughly similar when both are configured with an RTX 3060 graphics chip, with the Asus G14 having a slight edge.
While the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 is a better laptop overall, price is a factor. The Asus G14 is sold for 1,500 when configured with Nvidia’s RTX 3060 and is harder to find in stock. Paying a bit more for the Asus G14 makes sense to content creators who need its superior processor performance, but gamers could find more value in Acer’s alternative.
Excellent value for an RTX-powered gaming laptop.
Acer’s Predator Triton 300 SE is an excellent value that has what gamers want: a great gaming experience and a quality display. Its short battery life and mediocre multi-core processor hold it back in everyday use, but the laptop’s competitive price makes these flaws easy to forgive.