Acer is bringing some good ol' innovation to its gaming laptops with the Predator Triton 900's flexible 2-in-1 design. For $3,799, you can get a flippable 17.3-inch, vivid 4K display along with a strong Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 GPU. However, you will have to deal with an uncomfortable keyboard and short battery life, and the Triton is quite expensive. While the Predator Triton 900 is not the best gaming laptop around, overall, it's a solid machine.
Acer Predator Triton 900 price and configuration options
I tested the base model of the Predator Triton 900, which costs a whopping $3,799 and comes with an Intel Core i7-9750H processor, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 GPU with 8GB of VRAM, 32GB of RAM and two 512GB SSDs.
The next step up is the $3,999 model, which bumps up to two 1TB SSDs. The maxed-out $4,799 version comes with a Core i9-9980HK processor and two 512GB SSDs.
If the Predator Triton 900 is too hot for your wallet, consider looking at one of our best gaming laptops under $1,000.
Acer Predator Triton 900 design
The Triton 900 takes the typical Predator laptop design and attaches an exoskeleton suit to the back and sides that allows the display to spin and fold, similar to the HP Spectre Folio. The laptop's black aluminum hood is home to the steel Predator logo.
Opening it up, I found a forward-facing keyboard with a touchpad on the right-hand side and a pair of top-firing speakers surrounding them. Just above the keyboard is a glass panel revealing the heating solution and a cutout for the intake fans on the left.
There's thick-as-hell bezels on the display paired with the aforementioned exoskeleton, which supports the display along the sides.
The display can fold forward, lying against the top end of the keyboard in a presentation mode, which is the optimal way to play games. You can also fold it flat against the keyboard in tablet mode. It's quite innovative, especially for creatives who need a bangin' CPU and GPU.
At 9 pounds and 16.9 x 11.9 x 0.9 inches, the Predator Triton 900 is quite the hefty boy, but it is relatively slim for a monster 17-inch laptop. The MSI GT75 Titan (10 pounds, 16.9 x 12.4 x 1.2-2.3 inches), Alienware Area-51m (8.5 pounds, 16.1 x 15.9 x 1.1~1.7 inches) and Asus ROG Mothership (10.5 pounds, 16.1 x 12.6 x 1.2 inches) all stack up much thicker than the Triton 900.
Acer Predator Triton 900 ports
Like any good gaming machine, the Predator Triton 900 has ports for days.
On the left side, there's one USB 3.1 port, a microphone jack, a headphone jack and a USB 2.0 port that folds inward toward the chassis, so it doesn't stick out. Meanwhile, the right side has room for an RJ45 Ethernet port, one USB 3.1 port, one USB Type-C DisplayPort, one Thunderbolt 3 port, the power button and a security lock slot. The back side includes the power jack, an HDMI 2.0 port and a DisplayPort.
Acer Predator Triton 900 display
The Predator Triton 900's 17.3-inch, 3840 x 2160 display is vivid and bright enough for gamers to enjoy beautiful cinematic experiences and creatives to kick ass in Adobe Photoshop. It's close to one of the best 4K laptops around.
When discount Rafiki rolled up on Karen Gillian in Jumanji: The Next Level, his blue face and red nose popped on the Triton 900's screen. In a dimly lit room, I could see the detail in the wall behind Jack Black, but the glossy display made it difficult to focus on the darker parts of the shot. Of course, Black's beard was as sharp as ever.
The gold on Lara Croft's Blue Heron Tunic in Shadow of the Tomb Raider was silky and bold. And while I was raiding a tomb, as one does, I could spot the jagged edges of stalagmites in the corner away from the light, but I could also see a whole lot of myself in the reflection. Focusing in on Lara, the threading in her tunic was sharp and clear.
According to our colorimeter, the Predator Triton 900's display covered 167% of the sRGB color gamut, sliding past the 148% premium gaming laptop average. The Area-51m (118%) and ROG Mothership (102%) couldn't come close, but the GT75 Titan crushed it with 178%.
But at 324 nits of brightness, the Predator Triton 900 climbed over the competition, from the category average (320 nits) and the GT75 Titan (271 nits) to the Area-51m (284 nits) and the ROG Mothership (286 nits).
Acer Predator Triton 900 keyboard and touchpad
When I think mechanical keyboard, I imagine pleasantly clicky keys with deep travel. All the Predator Triton 900's mechanical keys delivered was a squishy feedback, thanks to incredibly low travel.
I hit 72 words per minute on the 10FastFingers typing test, which is close to my typical 70-wpm average. However, I wouldn't want to type on this keyboard, let alone game on it, especially considering it doesn't have any palm rests.
The keyboard does have per-key lighting, which is controlled via the PredatorSense app. There are also a pair of macro buttons above the keyboard that are split among three groups when you hit the P button. To the right, there's also a Turbo button for the fans.
Its 2.4 x 3.6-inch touchpad is smooth to the touch and offers two clicky, responsive buttons. Double tapping the corner of the touchpad will turn it into a digital number pad. Windows 10 gestures like two-finger scrolling and three-finger tabbing worked well, thanks to the Windows Precision drivers. Consider taking a look at our best gaming mice page if you're looking for something more precise.
Acer Predator Triton 900 audio
The Predator Triton 900's dual top-firing and dual bottom-firing speakers are rather decent.
From the opening strum to the electric guitar riffs in Arctic Monkeys' "R U Mine?" the sound was bright, although it could've used more bass. The lack of bass was more obvious during the drum and bass guitar section as it lacked that thump I was expecting. But the speakers were still able to separate the instruments. Considering how big the system is, I expected everything to sound louder, however.
Despite that, I felt relatively immersed in Shadow of the Tomb Raider. The low clicking and drumming of the background music got me pumped as I was making my way through a tomb. The sound of an arrow snapping against a stalactite was thick and loud. And the low rumbling of mechanisms beneath me was satisfying as I turned some doohickey that looked like a boobytrap.
You can customize the sound with the Waves MaxxAudio app, which has settings for bass, details and width. It also has a full equalizer if you want to go ham. You can configure those settings within each preset: Gaming General, Gaming FPS, Gaming Sports, Movies, Music and Voice. Gaming General was perfect for Tomb Raider on its own, but I had to turn up the details in Music to properly hear the instruments in "R U Mine?"
Acer Predator Triton 900 gaming, graphics and VR
This machine is packing an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 GPU with 8GB of VRAM, which was capable of running Shadow of the Tomb Raider at 79 frames per second (Highest, 1080p) as I jumped from platform to shifty platform in an underground tomb.
On the Rise of the Tomb Raider benchmark (Very High, 1080p), the Predator Triton 900 nailed 83 fps, surpassing the 66-fps premium gaming laptop average. It also beat the GT75 Titan (76 fps), but couldn't get past the Area-51m (92) or the ROG Mothership (86) — all of which have the same GPU as the Triton 900. At 4K, the Triton 900 hit 26 fps, which is slightly better than the category average (20 fps).
The Predator Triton 900 averaged 132 fps on the Hitman benchmark (Ultra, 1080p), sailing past the premium gaming laptop average (108) but falling short of the GT75 Titan (140 fps), Area-51m (143 fps) and ROG Mothership (135 fps). When cranking it up to 4K, the Triton 900 got 66 fps, knocking out the category average again (56 fps).
On the Grand Theft Auto V benchmark (Very High, 1080p), the Predator Triton 900 kicked ass, hitting 106 fps, toppling the premium gaming laptop average (80 fps), the GT75 Titan (90 fps) and the Area-51m (105 fps). The ROG Mothership beat it by only a few frames, at 108 fps. At 4K, the Triton 900 hit 32 fps, climbing over the 30-fps category average.
Unsurprisingly, the Predator Triton 900 maxed out the SteamVR Performance Test with a perfect 11, just like the GT75 Titan, Area-51m and ROG Mothership.
Acer Predator Triton 900 performance
With an Intel Core i7-9750H processor and 32GB of RAM, the Predator Triton 900 barreled through 40 Google Chrome tabs and five 1080p YouTube videos without breaking a sweat while Shadow of the Tomb Raider was running in the background.
On the Geekbench 4.1 overall performance benchmark, the Predator Triton 900 scored 24,749, which is spitting distance from the premium gaming laptop average (24,793). The GT75 Titan's Core i9-8950HK CPU did slightly worse, at 24,569, while the Area-51m's Core i9-9900K and the ROG Mothership's Core i9-9980HK did incredibly well, with 32,591 and 34,879, respectively.
The Predator Triton 900 transcoded a 4K video to 1080p in 9 minutes and 55 seconds on our HandBrake benchmark, which is just a little slower than the category average (9:55). The GT75 Titan (8:00), Area-51m (6:00) and ROG Mothership (5:50) all completed it much faster.
Acer's dual 512GB SSDs copied 4.97GB of data in just 6 seconds, translating to 848 megabytes per second, which just slides past the 789-MBps premium gaming laptop average and matches the GT75 Titan's 512GB SSD. Meanwhile, the Area-51m's dual 1TB SSDs and the ROG Mothership's dual 512GB SSDs nailed 1,272 MBps.
Acer Predator Triton 900 battery life
Even for a 4K gaming laptop boasting this much power, the Triton's battery life was way below average. The Predator Triton continuously surfed the web over Wi-Fi at 150 nits of brightness and lasted only 1 hour and 48 minutes, far away from the 3:23 premium gaming laptop average. The GT75 Titan (2:20) and the Area-51m (2:36) didn't match the average, but at least they didn't go below 2 hours. Meanwhile, the ROG Mothership hit 4:41 (keyboard attached) and 5:09 (keyboard detached).
Acer Predator Triton 900 webcam
While Acer's 1080p shooter isn't bad, it could be better, especially if you plan on streaming. I noticed a red tint in the test shots I took, but the camera managed to catch some details in my hair and beard. Apart from the tint, the baby blue and white colors in my shirt looked okay, but it couldn't really catch the turquoise. The ceiling lights above me were blown out, so the contrast was poor. Overall, you should pick up one of the picks from our best external webcams page.
Acer Predator Triton 900 heat
With a relatively thin chassis packed with a powerful GPU, it's no wonder this thing gets hot. After playing Shadow of the Tomb Raider for 15 minutes, the underside hit 127 degrees Fahrenheit, flying over our 95-degree comfort threshold. The center of the keyboard and touchpad hit 94 and 92 degrees, respectively. However, the hottest the machine got was 142 degrees on the center vent of the underside, which was pretty hot to the touch.
On the normal heat test (streaming a 15-minute 1080p video), the underside reached 100 degrees, while the keyboard hit 87 degrees and the touchpad measured 83 degrees.
Acer Predator Triton 900 software and warranty
Of course, the most important piece of software in the Predator Triton 900 is the PredatorSense. With this app, you can keep track of the temperature of the CPU, GPU and overall system. You can also overclock the GPU via this app and mess with the fans, hot keys and lighting profiles.
Acer also throws in its Acer Product Registration app, which offers warranty information, and the Acer Collection S app, which is literally a collection of apps that Acer recommends to download. There's also the Killer Control Center, which you can use to optimize your bandwidth. On top of that, there's Windows 10 bloatware, like Candy Crush Friends, Candy Crush Saga and Gardenscapes.
The Acer Predator Triton 900 is a unique gaming laptop that offers a way to use a touch-screen display practically while also packing some major components inside. It has great graphics performance and a vivid 4K display, but for $3,799, you shouldn't have to suffer with a crappy keyboard and short battery life.
If you can ditch the 2-in-1 display, and you have the money to spend, we suggest going with the Alienware Area-51m ($5,099), which offers a much more powerful processor and lightning-fast SSDs as well as a gorgeous design.
Overall, the Predator Triton 900 is a great choice for any creative who needs a flippable screen and bangin' graphics performance.