Best Acer gaming laptops in 2023

Acer Predator Triton 300 SE review
(Image credit: Rami Tabari)

The best Acer gaming laptops combine excellent performance with affordability, allowing the user to jump into the most demanding games out there. There's nothing more invigorating than getting lost in a gorgeous world, becoming addicted to a exhilarating gameplay loop, and experiencing a truly lifechanging narrative.

But to do those things, you often need the power to accompany it. After all, this is a medium that requires technology. So whether you're looking for a budget laptop, something that suits premium tastes, or want to strike a solid middle ground, there's plenty here to choose from. Here are the best Acer gaming laptops out there.

What are the best Acer gaming laptops right now?

The Acer Predator Triton 500 SE (2022) is easily the best Acer gaming laptop you can purchase right now, but that comes with the assumption that you have the cash to afford it. This absolute beast of a machine is packed with an Intel Core i9-12900H processor, Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti graphics card, and but our review unit came at a steep cost of $3,000.

If you're looking for something with solid performance, but nowhere near as costly, the Acer Predator Triton 300 SE is under half the cost with admirable specs. Boasting the powerful Intel Core i7-11375H processor and Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 GPU, this is a worthwhile gaming laptop for those on a budget.

If even that's too expensive for you, the Acer Nitro 5 (2022)'s cheapest model is only $999, outfitted with an Intel Core i5-12500H processor, Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti graphics card, 16GB of RAM and 512GB of SSD storage. Sure, it's nowhere near as powerful as the other stuff on this list, but it's the cheapest one here.

The Acer Predator Triton 500 SE (2021) is also a great pick, and while it might be an older model of our number one Acer gaming laptop, it's also slightly more affordable yet still carries excellent specs. For $2,700, you get an Intel Core i9-11900H processor and Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 graphics card.

The Acer Predator Helios 300 SpatialLabs Edition is easily the most expensive laptop on this list, costing $3,399. It's packed with a 12th Gen Core i9 processor and an Nvidia RTX 3080 GPU, but what makes it really stand out is its 3D functionality that utilizes an eye-tracking camera, a stereoscopic 3D display and real-time rendering technologies that mean you can enjoy 3D without the glasses. It's not at the consumer level just yet, but it is an exciting piece of tech.

If you're in the market for a peripheral, check out our pages for best gaming headsetsbest gaming mousebest gaming monitors and best gaming keyboard.

Acer Predator Triton 500 SE (2022) review

(Image credit: Future)

1. Acer Predator Triton 500 SE (2022)

The best premium Acer gaming laptop

Specifications

CPU: Intel Core i9-12900H
GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti
RAM: 32GB
Storage: 1TB PCIe NVMe SSD
Display: 16-inch QHD (2560 x 1600) at 240Hz
Battery: 8:19 (1:13 gaming)
Size: 14.11 x 10.3 x 0.78 inches
Weight: 5.29 pounds

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent gaming and productivity performance
+
Elegant design with solid build quality
+
Beautifully crisp, colorful, speedy display

Reasons to avoid

-
Audio could use a bass boost
-
Cooling could be better during gaming

Acer’s updated Predator Triton 500 SE is a sleek, subtle powerhouse you can sneak into the office, get nearly a day’s worth of work done. And if you plug in during your lunch break, you can vanquish your enemies and get back to business. 

Featuring a 12th Gen Intel Core i9 CPU and Nvidia’s powerful 3080Ti GPU with 16GB of VRAM, this Predator is hiding its potent gaming genes underneath a gorgeous all-aluminum, gun-metal grey exterior that is office elegant. Even its air vents possess an understated aggressive look that will excite you.              

The Predator feels lighter and looks smaller than you would expect. However, once you pop it open and see the 16-inch, 16:10 aspect ratio, 240Hz display, you will find yourself totally immersed in whatever you’re doing. I absolutely recommend the Acer Predator Triton 500 SE for those secret gamers who like to accomplish a little bit of everything during their day. If you have the budget to spend anywhere between $2,000 to $3,000, this is the best Acer gaming laptop out there.

See our full Acer Predator Triton 500 SE (2022) review

Acer Predator Triton 300 SE review

(Image credit: Rami Tabari)

2. Acer Predator Triton 300 SE

The best budget Acer gaming laptop

Specifications

CPU: Intel Core i7-11375H
GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060
RAM: 16GB
Storage: 512GB SSD
Display: 14-inch, 1080p, 144Hz
Battery: 6:41
Size: 12.7 x 9.0 x 0.7 inches
Weight: 3.8 pounds

Reasons to buy

+
Strong performance and graphics
+
Solid battery life
+
Bright and colorful display

Reasons to avoid

-
Keyboard and touchpad could use some work
-
Quiet audio

Acer is known for making quality laptops at affordable prices, but its gaming laptops (like the one above) can get a little pricey. 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. On the Laptop Mag battery test, the Acer Predator Triton 300 SE lasted 6 hours and 41 minutes, and it boasts 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. Overall, the Triton 300 is easily one of the best gaming laptops out there to get if you’re on a tight budget.

See our full Acer Predator Triton 300 SE review

Acer Nitro 5 (2022) review: Great performance with some compromises

(Image credit: Future)

3. Acer Nitro 5 (2022)

The best Acer gaming laptop under $1,000

Specifications

CPU: Intel Core i5-12500H
GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti / 3060
RAM: 16GB
Storage: 512GB SSD
Display: 15.6-inch, 1080p, 144Hz
Battery: 5:33
Size: 14.2 x 10.7 x 1.02~1.06 inches
Weight: 5.5 pounds

Reasons to buy

+
Bright display
+
Comfortable keyboard
+
Strong performance and graphics

Reasons to avoid

-
Dull display
-
Quiet audio
-
Battery life could be better

Acer’s Nitro series is among the most popular best cheap gaming laptops, but not all of them are good. The latest Acer Nitro 5 (2022), however, leans toward the buy it side.

Both models we tested boast strong performance, a comfortable keyboard, and a bright 15.6-inch, 1080p display. However, both also struggle with a dull panel, tiny speakers, and battery life that could and should last longer than the competition. The $999 price for the Nvidia RTX 3050 Ti model isn’t too bad, but a whopping $1,299 for the RTX 3060 is a little excessive, especially with its flaws.

The Acer Nitro 5 is one of those laptops that is a better value the cheaper it is. I’d recommend this to anyone willing to get the cheaper model and wait for a good discount. 

See our full Acer Nitro 5 (2022) review

Acer Predator Triton 500 SE (2021) review

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

4. Acer Predator Triton 500 SE (2021)

The best Acer gaming laptop that balances power and price

Specifications

CPU: Intel Core i9-11900H
GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 GPU
RAM: 32GB
Storage: 1TB PCIe SSD
Display: 16-inch, 2560 x 1600-pixel, 165Hz
Battery: 4:42
Size: 14.1 x 10.1 x 0.8 inches
Weight: 5.4 pounds

Reasons to buy

+
Bright, high-res 16-inch display
+
Comfortable keyboard
+
Solid performance

Reasons to avoid

-
Runs hot
-
No per-key RGB option

The Acer Predator Triton 500 SE wants to be a gaming laptop that is both easy to carry and easy on the eyes. It brings to the table an increasingly common 16-inch frame with a 16:10 aspect ratio display housed in a relatively compact package. Better yet, the keyboard is comfortable to use during long gaming sessions despite the laptop's thin frame. Under the hood, this gaming rig brings the latest Nvidia RTX graphics and Intel Core 11th Gen processors, a combo you’d expect would help it punch well above its weight. 

The reality is a bit more complicated. Its performance doesn’t quite live up to the hardware it packs underneath the hood. However, the Predator Triton 500 SE gets enough of the basics right to be a compelling laptop for those who want a gaming system with a large display in a relatively portable chassis. And if you’re a stickler for aesthetics, this Triton brings some beauty to the brawn. 

While there is a newer version of this model available, you can still enjoy a similar level of power for a lower price with this 2021 edition.

See our full Acer Predator Triton 500 SE (2021) review

Acer Predator Helios 300 SpatialLabs Edition review

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

5. Acer Predator Helios 300 SpatialLabs Edition

The best 3D Acer gaming laptop

Specifications

CPU: Intel Core i7-12700H
GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti
RAM: 16GB
Storage: 2TB SSD
Display: 15.6-inch, 4K
Battery: N/A
Size: 14.1 x 10.9 x 1.1 inches
Weight: 5.7 pounds

Reasons to buy

+
Powerful gaming and overall performance
+
Bright, vibrant display
+
Smooth 3D experience

Reasons to avoid

-
Heavy and chunky
-
Mushy keyboard

There’s nothing new under the sun and what’s old will be new again. But still, I was taken by surprise by the Acer Predator Helios SpatialLabs Edition gaming laptop. Priced at $3,399, this gaming rig is just as packed as you’d expect with a 12th Gen Core i9 processor and an Nvidia RTX 3080 GPU. However, Acer is attempting to bring 3D gaming back to the forefront with its 3D solution that allows you to play AAA titles sans glasses. 

Acer gave me a chance to try out a pre-production version of the laptop to see how it works. And I’m happy to report that the gameplay is definitely better than the 3D gaming laptops of yore. That doesn’t mean there aren’t a few caveats. But if the consumer version of the laptop is anything like my test unit, I expect to see the Helios 300 snagging a spot on the best gaming laptops list.

See our full Acer Predator Helios 300 SpatialLabs Edition hands-on review

How we test gaming laptops

When we bring a laptop into our laboratory, our goal is to see how it would work if you brought it into your home or office. While we use a number of industry standard benchmarks such as Geekbench and 3DMark, we focus heavily on real-world tests that we have developed in-house.

To test endurance, the Laptop Mag Battery test surfs the web at 150 nits of brightness until the system runs out of juice. To judge pure processing power, we use a giant spreadsheet macro that matches 65,000 names with their addresses, a video transcoder that converts a 4K video to 1080p and the Geekbench 4 synthetic test. We measure graphics prowess with both 3DMark Ice Storm / Fire Strike and a series of actual game titles.

We use a colorimeter to measure screen brightness and color gamut while other instruments help us determine a laptop's key travel and ambient heat. See this page on How We Test Laptops for more details on our benchmarking procedures.

How to find the right Acer gaming laptop

Deciding which gaming laptop is right for you entirely depends on your video game tastes. For example, indie games are far less demanding on hardware when compared to the biggest AAA titles. It's important to understand your own intentions and what that hardware is capable of, as there's no worse feeling than wanting to play something but not being able to run it well on your new laptop.

If you're only interested in playing older or indie games, you won't need tons of power. The Acer Nitro 5 (2022) is the least expensive laptop on this list at $999, boasting a solid bit of power that will easily be able to handle any indie game you throw at it. Its Intel Core i5-12500H processor and Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti graphics card isn't super powerful, but it's good value. You won't have the best time playing modern games with this, as you'll probably have to run them at their lowest graphic settings and still only get middling frames per second.

The Acer Predator Triton 300 SE is in a similar position. It's a little more expensive, costing $1,399, but it's also more powerful with an Intel Core i7-11375H  processor and Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 graphics card. This laptop hits a decent middle ground between being inexpensive while also capable of running AAA games at moderate performance.

Everything else in this list is costly and only recommended to people who want a gaming laptop that can handle the most demanding titles the industry can offer today. The least expensive of those is the Acer Predator Triton 500 SE (2021), which is packed with an Intel Core i9-11900H processor and Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 GPU for $2,700. Bump up that price point to $3,000, and you get the Acer Predator Triton 500 SE (2022), which upgrades the processor to an Intel Core i9-12900H and the GPU to a Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti. It also boasts superior battery life.

The Acer Predator Helios 300 SpatialLabs Edition is a bit of an exception, though. This $3,400 laptop is packed with a 12th Gen Core i9 processor and an Nvidia RTX 3080 GPU, but the primary purpose of its existence revolves around its eye-tracking camera, stereoscopic 3D display and real-time rendering technologies that mean you can enjoy 3D without the glasses. It's not available to the public just yet, but when it is, we're excited to see its full potential.

Momo Tabari
Contributing Writer

Self-described art critic and unabashedly pretentious, Momo finds joy in impassioned ramblings about her closeness to video games. She has a bachelor’s degree in Journalism & Media Studies from Brooklyn College and five years of experience in entertainment journalism. Momo is a stalwart defender of the importance found in subjectivity and spends most days overwhelmed with excitement for the past, present and future of gaming. When she isn't writing or playing Dark Souls, she can be found eating chicken fettuccine alfredo and watching anime.