Acer’s Predator Triton 300 SE is attempting to capitalize on the buzz created by Asus’ excellent Zephyrus G14 last year. It’s close in a few main ways: it’s a sophisticated-looking gaming laptop with a streamlined and surprisingly slim build that borders on ultrabook territory. To top it all, it has a 14-inch 1080p display with a high refresh rate and decent graphics performance. The price hits a similar spot at $1,399.
We haven’t yet received Asus’ new G14 for analysis, so we can’t say if it compares to this one in any of the important areas. In the meantime, Acer’s latest model has some obvious benefits, such as a built-in camera and a Thunderbolt 4 socket. With the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 graphics card, it also achieves commendable gaming results. So don’t be fooled by the parallels (or even the few advantages). It’s a bit of a stretch to call the current Triton 300 SE a Predator.
- Elegant design
- Good gaming performance in a small laptop
- Efficient cooling
- Battery life isn’t as good as Acer claims
- Build quality issues
- 144Hz display has ghosting issues
- There’s so much bloatware
When it came to battery life, last year’s G14 defied my colleague Monica Chin’s wishes. Acer’s latest desktop, in comparison, isn’t quite as durable, but it’s not bad. The battery in the Triton 300 SE is a 60Wh four-cell battery that lasts about six hours on average with moderate use. More on this later, but it’s fair to say it’s much less than Acer’s reported 10-hour battery life. You should feel comfortable taking the Triton 300 SE to a cafe for a few hours of work.
Whether or not the short battery life scares you, there are a few other problems that I couldn’t ignore. The all-plastic lid contrasts well with an all-metal chassis, but the lid feels flimsy in a way that leaves me nervous about its reliability. The Predator logo under the show bows more than it should when a few pounds of weight is applied to it. The harder plastic incorporated into the screen’s bezel that cushions the lid as it closes has tiny holes where it’s not smoothly adhered on the device Acer sent us. Near the keyboard, the “Turbo” key, which increases the fan speed, has a minor flaw. Finally, Acer crammed the Triton with way too many obnoxious bloatware. Every hour or so, a pop-up appears, requesting that I install or subscribe to something.
All of this results in a notebook that doesn’t sound as high-end as the price suggests.
This model is currently available in just one version, which includes a four-core Intel Core i7-11375H cpu, 16GB of DDR4 RAM, 512GB of NVMe SSD storage, and the RTX 3060 graphics card. The efficiency of the GPU is highly dependent on how much power each manufacturer allows it to use.
It has a combined power draw of 75W and can be boosted up to 1,382MHz in this scenario. I wasn’t expecting much after spending time with many RTX 3070-equipped gaming laptops with more headroom. However, I was pleased to see that gaming output in a number of games was about 60 frames per second without needing any settings adjustments.
ACER PREDATOR TRITON 300 SE SPECS (AS REVIEWED)
- Model number: PT314-51s-71UU
- 14-inch FHD 144Hz non-touchscreen IPS panel
- Quad-core Intel Core i7-11357H with 3.3GHz base clock and 5GHz boost clock
- Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 (75W, boost clock of up to 1,382MHz)
- 16GB RAM (soldered), supports up to 24GB with one extra SO-DIMM slot
- 512GB NVMe storage
- 720p webcam
- Wi-FI 6 (802.11ax)
- Bluetooth 5.1
- Ports: Thunderbolt 4 port, two USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A ports, HDMI 2.1 port, 3.5mm jack, charging plug
- 60Wh four-cell battery
- Dimensions: 12.7 x 8.97 x 0.7 inches
- 3.75 pounds
- 180W adapter