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Acer Predator Triton 500 (2020) review

Blistering performance is bogged down by a mediocre display and weak speakers

Acer Predator Triton 500 (2020) review
(Image: © Future)

Our Verdict

The Acer Predator Triton 500 offers blistering performance packed in a sleek design, but between its short battery life and mediocre display, the price is too high.

For

  • Powerful performance and graphics
  • Lightning-fast SSD
  • Slim and sleek design
  • 300Hz panel
  • Comfortable keyboard

Against

  • Short battery life
  • Mediocre display
  • Weak speakers
  • Runs warm
  • Expensive

If you’ve been searching for the sleekest yet most powerful gaming laptop you can buy, let me introduce you to the perfect match: the Acer Predator Triton 500 (2020).

This absolute unit packs a powerful Intel Core i7-10875H processor and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Super Max-Q GPU into a super slim chassis with a lightning-fast SSD, comfortable keyboard and a 15.6-inch, 300Hz display. But for a whopping $3,000, the Triton 500 should have longer battery life, a more colorful display and stronger speakers.

The Predator Triton 500 isn’t exactly one of the best gaming laptops, but as long as you’re okay with being plugged in, and don’t mind a somewhat dim display, the Predator Triton 500’s ridiculous performance will make your heart sing.

Acer Predator Triton 500 (2020) price and configuration options

Acer Predator Triton 500 (2020) specs

Price: $3,000
CPU: Intel Core i7-10875H
GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Super Max-Q
RAM: 32GB
Storage: 512GB SSD
Display: 15.6-inch, 1920 x 1080, 300Hz
Battery: 3:46
Size: 14.1 x 10.0 x 0.7 inches
Weight: 4.6 pounds 

There are a number of configurations for the Acer Predator Triton 500 (2020), but the one I tested was the most expensive, totaling $3,000. It’s outfitted with an Intel Core i7-10875H processor, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Super Max-Q GPU with 8GB of VRAM, 32GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD.

If you’re looking for a decently priced 10th Gen Intel model, there’s a mid-tier model that’ll run you $2,199 which has a Core i7-10750H CPU, an RTX 2070 Super GPU, 16GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD. However, Acer still sells the 9th Gen Intel models, and the cheapest on that list costs $1,699 and comes with a Core i7-9750H CPU, an RTX 2060 GPU, 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD.

If none of those are in your price range, take a look at our best cheap gaming laptops page.

Acer Predator Triton 500 (2020) design

The Predator Triton 500’s black metal chassis is clean, sleek and discreet, apart from the glowing blue-and-silver Predator logo stamped on the lid. Thanks to its sandblasted metal finish, the Triton 500’s black hood looks more premium than your average gaming laptop.

Acer Predator Triton 500 (2020) review

(Image credit: Future)

Popping open the lid revealed a surprisingly small deck and keyboard. It looks kind of cute instead of edgy. Just above the keyboard, there’s a bunch of tiny holes for the vent’s intake. The bezels on the display are incredibly slim, but the webcam still manages to find its way on the top bezel, instead of being placed on the bottom bezel or removed altogether (ahem, Asus).

At 4.6 pounds and 14.1 x 10.0 x 0.7 inches, the Predator Triton 500 is incredibly slim and light for a 15-inch laptop. The Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 (5.3 pounds, 14.2 x 10.6 x 0.8 inches), Alienware m15 R3 (4.7 pounds, 14.2 x 10.9 x 0.8 inches) and MSI GS66 Stealth (4.6 pounds, 14.2 x 9.7 x 0.7 inches) were all just slightly wider than the Triton 500.

Acer Predator Triton 500 (2020) ports

Despite its slim stature, the Acer Predator Triton 500 (2020) features a wide variety of ports.

Acer Predator Triton 500 (2020) review

(Image credit: Future)

On the left side of the chassis, there’s the power jack, an RJ45 Ethernet port, one USB Type-A port, an HDMI port, a microphone jack and a headphone jack. The right side features a Kensington lock slot, two USB Type-A ports, a Mini DisplayPort and one Thunderbolt 3 port.

Acer Predator Triton 500 (2020) review

(Image credit: Future)

If that’s not enough for you, check out our best USB Type-C hubs and best laptop docking stations pages.

Acer Predator Triton 500 (2020) display

The Predator Triton 500’s 15.6-inch, 1920 x 1080-pixel, 300Hz display is decently bright and colorful, but it’s not as good as it should be for a $3,000 gaming laptop.

Acer Predator Triton 500 (2020) review

(Image credit: Future)

In the trailer for Jiu Jitsu, the schlockiest action film ever, the alien’s weird blue-and-red vision popped on the Triton 500’s display. When Nicolas Cage was about to battle an alien ninja warrior to the death in the pale moonlight, I was still able to make out details in the archway behind him. Cage’s grizzled beard looked plenty sharp on the panel as well.

I was soaking in the warmth of the sun highlighting the lush greenery around me in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey as I crept up to a dude and Sparta-kicked him off of a cliff. The shrubs growing out of the cliff face glowed on the panel. Despite crawling through the shadows of a building, I could see every detail in the armor of a guard I was about to shank just outside the door. While it’s not a 4K display, the screen is still sharp enough to capture the crispness in Alexios’ armor. When I turned the settings way down, I experienced how smooth it felt to bounce around enemies and have even more time to react to their movements thanks to the Triton 500’s high-refresh-rate panel.

According to our colorimeter, the Triton 500 covered 77.4% of the DCI-P3 color gamut, which is solid, but not up against the average premium gaming laptop (88.4%). It couldn’t match or surpass the Zephyrus Duo 15 (113.5%), the Alienware m15 R3 (149.7%) or the MSI GS66 Stealth (79%).

At 322 nits, the Triton 500 is decently bright, but it once again falters against the category average (349 nits). It’s barely brighter than the MSI GS66 Stealth (321 nits), but can’t get anywhere near the Alienware m15 R3 (369 nits) or the Zephyrus Duo 15 (402 nits).

These numbers would be acceptable if the Triton 500 cost sub-$2,000, but at $3,000, 300Hz won’t save it; we expect a lot more out of the display.

Acer Predator Triton 500 (2020) keyboard and touchpad

My fingers happily tap-danced across the Predator Triton 500’s comfortable keyboard. Despite the deck being so short, there’s still more than enough room for my palms to rest while typing. The keys have decent travel, but they’re not really clicky.

Acer Predator Triton 500 (2020) review

(Image credit: Future)

I hit 80 words per minute on the 10fastfingers.com typing test, which is slightly above my current 78-wpm average. The keyboard is comfortable to type on, but the keys do feel a bit mushy and could use more of a snap.

The per-key lighting on the keyboard is fantastic, however. You can customize the lighting in the PredatorSense app and either granularly configure each key or go with one of the 17 presets, like wave, rain or ripple. You can even customize the speed and the direction that the lighting flows.

The 4.1 x 2.7-inch touchpad can get a little sticky when up against my clammy hands, but even if it was as smooth as glass, there’s no room to rest my palm when using the touchpad because it’s up against the lip of the chassis. Thanks to its Windows Precision drivers, gestures like three-finger tabbing and two-finger scrolling worked fine.

Acer Predator Triton 500 (2020) audio

The Predator Triton 500’s bottom-firing speakers are subpar, as it struggles to highlight percussion with its weak bass.

In mxmtoon’s “ok on your own,” the opening ukulele was congested, and while the following vocals were clear, it didn’t sound full. Both the vocals and ukulele were front and center, so when the percussion chimed in, it sounded muted. The lack of bass really killed the percussion’s presence in the song.

In Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, I swept a curved blade across my enemy’s chest and heard a clean slice, but it was a little too sharp and hollow. When I switched to my bow, the usually thick snap from the string and resulting hard impact against my enemy’s face sounded more muted than usual. The voices in-game lacked depth as well.

The laptop comes with the DTS:X Ultra audio app, which lets you optimize the speakers depending on the content type. Presets include Automatic, Music, Voice and Movies. There are also gaming settings, like Strategy, RPG and Shooter. You can also customize the audio, which gives you access to spatial settings as well as the treble, bass, dialog and volume smoothing settings. To top it all off, there’s even an EQ section. I’ve noticed that content typically sounds louder and more full in custom audio, but it won’t make the speakers sound good.

Acer Predator Triton 500 (2020) gaming, graphics and VR

Packed within the confines of this sleek black chassis lies an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Super Max-Q GPU with 8GB of VRAM, which is one of the most powerful GPUs you can get in a gaming laptop today. As I leaped off the face of a two-story structure and slammed my body against some unsuspecting dude in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, the laptop was able to average a solid 64 frames per second on Ultra, 1080p settings.

On the Red Dead Redemption 2 benchmark (Medium, 1080p), the Triton 500 averaged 61 frames per second, sliding past the premium gaming laptop average (55 fps). It made short work of the Zephyrus Duo 15’s RTX 2080 Super Max-Q GPU (54 fps), Alienware m15 R3’s RTX 2070 Max-Q GPU (59 fps) and MSI GS66 Stealth’s RTX 2080 Super Max-Q GPU (49 fps).

The Triton 500 nailed 95 fps on the Far Cry New Dawn benchmark (Ultra, 1080p), which flys by the 85-fps category average as well as the Zephyrus Duo 15 (89 fps), Alienware m15 R3 (80 fps) and MSI GS66 Stealth (86 fps).

On the Borderlands 3 benchmark (Badass, 1080p), the Triton 500 hit 68 fps, which once again trounces over the 65-fps premium gaming laptop average. The Zephyrus Duo 15 (65 fps), Alienware m15 R3 (2020) (56 fps) and MSI GS66 Stealth (60 fps) didn’t stand a chance.

We ran the Triton 500 through the Shadow of the Tomb Raider benchmark (Highest, 1080p) and it scored 72 fps, which matched the premium gaming laptop average. Yet again, the Zephyrus Duo 15 (69 fps), Alienware m15 R3 (59 fps) and MSI GS66 Stealth (66 fps) all fell short of the mark.

Acer Predator Triton 500 (2020) performance

The Predator Triton 500 is equipped with none other than the Intel Core i7-10875H processor with a meaty 32GB of RAM. I swear I could hear the laptop laugh, unphased when I blasted it with 40 Google Chrome tabs and five 1080p YouTube videos while Assassin’s Creed Odyssey was running in the background.

On the Geekbench 5.0 overall performance test, the Triton 500 nailed 7,706, climbing over the premium gaming laptop average (7,389). The Zephyrus Duo 15’s Core i9-10980HK CPU (8,078) excelled, while the Core i7-10750H in the Alienware m15 R3 (6,314) and MSI GS66 Stealth (6,238) lagged behind.

The Triton 500 transcoded a 4K video to 1080p in 7 minutes and 37 seconds on the HandBrake benchmark, which is nearly a minute faster than the 8:24 category average. The Zephyrus Duo 15 (8:24) still outshone the Triton 500, but the Acer beat the Alienware m15 R3 (8:38) and MSI GS66 Stealth (9:25).

Acer’s 512GB SSD is quite special, as it was able to copy 4.97GB of data with a transfer rate of 1,403 megabytes per second, soaring past the premium gaming laptop average (1,207 MBps). The Alienware m15 R3 (748 MBps) was no match, but the Zephyrus Duo 15 and MSI GS66 Stealth displayed a surprising show, both hitting 1,696 MBps.

Acer Predator Triton 500 (2020) battery life

Battery life in gaming laptops is slowly but surely getting better. Ever since the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 scored 11:32 on our test, I’ve had hope, but the Acer Predator Triton 500 doesn’t follow through. That isn’t a surprise given the power in this machine, but it didn’t come close to the average.

On the Laptop Mag battery test, the Triton 500 lasted 3 hours and 46 minutes, which is over an hour shorter than the premium gaming laptop average (5:13). The Zephyrus Duo 15 (6:12), Alienware m15 R3 (4:55) and MSI GS66 Stealth (6:36) all had better scores. The Zephyrus Duo 15 has two freakin’ 4K displays active, and it still lasted 5:01. Acer needs to step up its game.

Acer Predator Triton 500 (2020) webcam

While I’m happy that Acer managed to fit a 720p shooter into a very thin top bezel, the camera shots look bad.

Acer Predator Triton 500 (2020) review

(Image credit: Future)

Blotches of RGB pixels coated the wall, while the details on my skin mashed into a fuzzy image that did not compliment my face whatsoever. I couldn’t see a single number on the Legend of Zelda calendar behind me. The color on the camera covered practically every character on that calendar in darkness except for Link. Between the poor contrast and darker colors, I wouldn’t even want to use this camera casually. Check out our best webcams page for something better.

Acer Predator Triton 500 (2020) heat

This chic black beast might look cold, calm and calculated, but it gets so warm that the fans blare up a storm. After gaming for 15-minutes, the underside measured 122 degrees Fahrenheit which is way above our 95-degree comfort threshold. The center of the keyboard and touchpad hit 106 and 90 degrees, respectively. The hottest it got was 124 degrees on the underside near the Predator sticker.

The Triton gets relatively warm while casually watching videos as well. After streaming a 15-minute video, the underside measured 101 degrees, the keyboard hit 97 degrees, and the touchpad registered 86 degrees.

Acer Predator Triton 500 (2020) software and warranty

Acer packs several apps in this machine that you probably won’t use, but the most important one is PredatorSense, which even has a dedicated button to open on the right side of the keyboard. The app lets you monitor the temperature of your CPU, GPU and overall system, control the fans, overclock the GPU and even monitor the usage of your components. You’ll also find the keyboard lighting tab as well as links to other necessary apps.

Acer Predator Triton 500 (2020) review

(Image credit: Future)

Another important app in the Triton 500 is the Care Center, where you’ll find your warranty as well as several tools to run diagnostics on your drive, RAM and battery. Other Acer apps include Acer Collection S and App Explorer, apps that tell you to download other apps. Then there’s Acer Product Registration, which you can use to access Acer’s deals.

You’ll also find Windows 10 bloatware like Hulu, Hidden City and Facebook Messenger.

The Predator Triton 500 comes with a two-year limited warranty. See how Acer performed on our Tech Support Showdown and Best and Worst Brands ranking.

Bottom line

The Acer Predator Triton 500 (2020) is one of the most powerful gaming laptops I’ve ever tested, and while its sleek chassis and 300Hz panel are certainly tempting, it needs to give a lot more for $3,000. The battery life is too short compared to competitors, and neither its display nor its speakers look or sound very premium.

If you’re looking to splurge, we recommend the Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 15. For $3,699, this beast will net you with two gorgeous 4K displays in a machine that’s equally as powerful and boasts longer battery life.

However, you won’t find anything this powerful with such a small profile as the Acer Predator Triton 500. It’s kind of scary how beastly this adorable monster is.