Review Acer Predator Triton 300 SE – It SHOULD be Better

so this is the acer triton 300 se and its primary focus is to deliver mobility and power in a sleek 14-inch form factor it’s basically acer’s response to the slim gaming laptop market and that’s good news for anyone looking for competition but there is a saying that you should never judge a book by its cover and that literally applies to this laptop because when you look at the specs under the hood you know it’s got intel’s h35 cpu with an rtx 3000 series gpu and it’s supposed to compete with amd’s offerings within the 1400 to 1700 price range now there are some areas where this laptop shows its strengths but at the same time i had to deal with my own set of frustrations so let’s get into it after this the be quiet shadow rock 3 it won’t block your memory thanks to the offset construction it will not sound like a hurricane thanks to the quiet shadow wings 2 fan it will give you a peace of mind with exceptional cooling easy installation and the interesting bi-color design check it out below all right let’s start off with pricing acer is only making one skew of this laptop at the time of making this video and it costs fifteen hundred dollars for that you get a core i7 11375h cpu with four cores and a threads 16 gigabytes of memory half terabyte of storage and an rtx 360 gpu you might be lucky to find it for less than 1400 in some places like best buy now when i checked their model section on their official website i found another variant with an rtx 3050 ti but i’m not sure when that’s going to be available when you look at the competition i think the first laptop that comes to my mind is the asus tough dash f15 that i checked out a while back you can check it out right over here that has basically the same specs except for an rtx 3070.

then there’s the zephyrs g15 from asus with a ryzen 9 cpu and of course at 30 60 all that sort of start within the same price point from a physical standpoint the 300 se looks very different and non-gamery which i like acer went with a minimalist approach with this silver cross hatching finish on the lid and a predator badge at the corner with teal accents the hinge has this gradient look and it changes the color from purple to blue depending on the lighting conditions it’s really unique in my opinion build quality is satisfactory i mean the whole chassis is made out of plastic and i did notice some creaking when i was manipulating uh the screen the hinge is pretty stiff and it doesn’t wobble so that’s nice plus it can be opened up to 180 degrees which i’m not really sure who would take advantage of but it’s there now given the plastic construction the triton 300 is incredibly lightweight coming in at just 3.75 pounds which is lighter than the tough dash f-15 and some of the other slim gaming laptops that i’ve looked at the zed height is also impressive at 0.7 inches or 17.8 millimeters port selection is respectable keep your expectations low for a slim 14-inch gaming laptop though on the left-hand side uh there is kensington lock power in usb 3.

2 gen 2 type a port and thunderbolt 4 and then if you switch over to the right there’s hdmi 2.1 another usb type-a port and an audio jack just be mindful that because of this middle placement if you have anything plugged in it might cause some inconvenience when you have an external mouse or when you’re using external mouse moving on to the interior space and

you’re greeted with a standard layout which is to be expected for this form factor now don’t confuse the top grille as a front-facing speaker because that’s not the case in fact it’s meant to complement airflow for the hardware underneath acer has included dedicated media playback buttons on the right side along with a button to open predator sense which is its performance profile tuning switching app whatever you call it now one thing i do want to mention is for some reason they’ve integrated the power button with the keyboard and then they’ve added a dedicated turbo button over here which in my opinion kind of doesn’t make sense i mean i wish that they were switched so there’s a dedicated power button but maybe i’m just being too picky the keys themselves are pretty good i like the spacing between them and i was instantly able to get to my average typing speed in a few minutes which was awesome the problem is the shorter travel distance i just wish it was a little bit longer and when you bottom out it feels somewhere between mushy and tactile if that makes sense rgb lighting is here and it’s powered by mini leds and the result is stunning with bright levels and consistent spill across the board there are different

lighting effects that you can play around with some of which are laggy so keep that in mind i also found something really odd as i was adjusting the brightness of this display using the secondary function keys you see just by looking at it f7 reduces brightness whereas f8 increases it however on this laptop for some reason it does the exact opposite which did bother me a lot as i was adjusting the brightness depending on the lighting environment so i thought that was worth mentioning the trackpad is excellent it uses a glass surface which makes everything super smooth to navigate around with the integrated left and right buttons also feel nice and tactile uh probably one of the best track pads that i’ve come across on a gaming laptop to be honest um they’ve also integrated a fingerprint sensor so that’s a bonus this is the webcam test on the trident 300 sc the quality is not the greatest but i am really impressed with the microphone so it’s perfect for zoom or any sort of meetings that you do if you are gaming on the other hand i would honestly recommend picking up a dedicated gaming headphone just because there are better headphones out there with great mics so yeah there you go the speakers are positioned at the bottom and they sound okay i mean it’s nothing unique or special it’s just like your every other gaming laptop that you’ll find in the market other than ones that have front-facing speakers or some stuff that has more depth to the base this just

doesn’t have any of that so external headphones that’s again just use that the display is fine i mean there’s only one option with a 1080p ips panel with a refresh rate of 144 hertz so it’s not as fast as the dash f15 supporting 240hz um the colors look great for this type of panel as you can see it covers 99 srgb 74 adobe rgb and 77 dcip3 so it’s good for media consumption and gaming my biggest problem is with the brightness level because it only got as far as 307 nits which isn’t that great especially if you’re working with an extremely well-lit environments not to mention this is a missed opportunity for acer to implement a 16 by 10 display which is becoming really popular among gaming laptops these days now i know that acer is coming out with the 500 sc sporting that type of screen and intel’s newest tiger lake h45 chips but it just would have been nice to see a bigger brighter display in this form factor let me know if you agree with me in the comments upgradability is pretty straightforward on the trident 300 but it’s limited once you get under the hood you have access to a single ram module which is already populated on my sample the other eight gigabytes is on board with the pcb and i believe maximum support capacity is 24 gigabytes the primary nvme ssd is right over here and the drive speeds are really fast both in read and write performance now before i get into battery life i just want to mention some of the competition that you’ll see in this

video just to give you a little bit of context so as i said there’s the tough dash f15 which is probably the closest competitor to the trident 300 sc on the intel side because it comes with a similar tiger lake h35 processor but for about the same price you get an rtx 3070 on the top for an extra 150 dollars you should technically be able to step it up to the strix g15 with an rx 6800m the rest of the laptops in our charts are like the zephyrus g15 the razer blade 15 and the legion 5 pro which costs more or haven’t actually been officially announced yet that is the lesion 5 pro now they’re here to give you a point of reference rather than direct competition because you have to keep in mind that this is a 14-inch slim gaming laptop anyways let’s start with battery life and this is actually one of the first places acer stumbles and that’s mostly because the trident 300 has by far the smallest battery here a lot of that’s due to its smaller 14-inch form factor that doesn’t allow as much space as other 50-inch laptops here the amount of bloatware acer installs on this thing is probably another one of the reasons switching over to something heavy and you can really see the smaller

batteries struggling in this test especially compared to the tough f-15 which has almost the same cpu now this is something that you really need to take into account if you’re counting on the trident 300 sc to run for a long time away from a power source but look one of the biggest concerns i had about this thing is cooling because acer seems to have managed to pack some pretty impressive specs into a compact body but remember even the best components in the world won’t mean anything in a laptop if it isn’t designed to cool itself properly and if there’s lack of cooling well the gpu and the cpu will just end up throttling themselves into oblivion to help out with that acer has included four different modes that can be accessed through the predator sense application and they’re pretty self-explanatory so quite basically limits fan speeds for an almost sound experience default is the out-of-the-box setting and balances temperatures noise and performance then there is extreme which is recommends for gaming since it’s supposed to increase the power limits for both the cpu and the gpu but if you want the best possible performance turbo is where it’s at guys i mean just be warned it gets really loud and for the most part there weren’t really any red flags with temperatures the out-of-the-box default mode or even the quiet setting which usually sacrifices temperatures for lower noise

performed just as expected but switch that around to extreme or turbo and acer allows both of those to run right up to 100 degrees the other arm thing here is that even though its fans run at 100 the triton’s turbo setting wasn’t able to cool off the core i7 11375h any better than in extreme mode now could that point towards the heatsinks being completely saturated well either way 100 degrees is right at intel’s t junction or maximum allowable temperature for these tiger lake h35 cpus and normally you’d see something going on to keep things in line as in some kind of throttling but that didn’t really happen when you look at the power in these two modes since both stayed quite a bit higher than intel’s 35w spec i mean the extreme leveled out to just 45 watts while turbo just hung north of that at a pretty constant 47 watts meanwhile even the default and quiet modes were sitting above the specs so it looks like acer at least has some confidence in their thermal engineering but do clock speeds tell a different story well the interesting thing here is that in the two modes with the highest temperatures clock speeds aren’t impacted all that much what it looks like is acer is playing a balancing act where they’re right on the edge of pushing things too far but never head into danger territory still i wouldn’t want to run my cpu at 100 degrees too often personally though i’d pick the normal default settings since its clock speeds don’t take a huge hit while

temperatures stick to a more reasonable level quite on the other hand well it’s not all that bad the nice thing about the trident 300 ses performance modes is that they all yield very different noise levels but at the same time the quiet setting isn’t really quite at all you can still hear the fans pretty clearly when the laptops under load meanwhile default and extreme aren’t all that bad either when you compare the readings to some of the competition turbo well guys that mode screams along at almost 55 decibels and there’s no way i would recommend using it for any amount of time exterior temperatures while gaming were okay i guess since most of the heat is pushed away from the palm rest and primary tapping areas but the keyboard’s center line does get a bit toasty the underside also pushes the heat away from your legs but i still wouldn’t use the triton on my lap when gaming in any other situation it’s perfectly fine though as for actual performance well it’s about what we’ve come to expect from intel’s lower end tiger lake h35 series these four core eight thread cpus were built for lightly threaded workloads and they just can’t compete with the 16 thread amd monsters in here but also remember this 1500 laptop costs as much as some of the ryzen based alternatives out there the bad news for acer is the i711375h still seems to be thermally limited since in the extreme mode we tested in it’s still a good 200 megahertz slower than the tough dash f15 and yes that means it loses again and again and again gpu accelerated video

editing programs are interesting though since they play to the triton strengths of great lightly better performance and a decent discrete gpu but at the same time the results aren’t all that spectacular for the price as for gaming well as i mentioned in the very beginning of this video you can’t judge a book by its cover or a laptop by its gpu specs for example a higher wattage rtx 3070 can actually match or beat a lower wattage rtx 3080 but luckily manufacturers have become a bit better at calling wattages out in their spec sheets so in the trident 300 st’s case the rtx 360 is supposed to hit up to 75 watts but let’s see how that translates into various modes i also need to mention some of the problems that we had with gaming performance and it sounds like a lot of people who bought this laptop were on the same boat so straight out of the box the rtx 360 was only able to hit 40 watts which is way way lower than acer spec now thinking that it was a driver or a firmware problem i updated nvidia’s drivers and also checked

acer’s care app which is basically a separate app dedicated for checking drivers and formers and stuff like that and no there wasn’t a thing here but a manual search on acer support website showed there were at least two critical bios updates for the gpu and intel’s management engine neither was picked up by acer’s own built-in tool applying those brought things back to what we expected so if you’re having the same issues just make sure you get into the actual support page on acer’s website rather than relying on acer’s care center which clearly is or wasn’t doing its job anyways after jumping through those hoops turbo and extreme modes ended up delivering the promise 75 watts without too much of a problem but in turbo mode it does look like nvidia’s dynamic boost is sacrificing a tiny bit of gpu power overhead to boost the cpu performance a bit more default and quiet modes run the rtx 3060 closer to its minimum power envelope but that’s perfectly fine given that neither of these are meant to be used for high-end gaming anyways with those power levels taken into consideration both extreme and turbo fit right into the higher end of

nvidia’s boost spec at about 1500 megahertz but personally for the minimal uplift it gives you by running the fans at 100 percent i just avoid the turbo mode altogether guys both default and quiet modes are pretty close together too but the gap actually widens as quiet mode starts lowering chip power in order to stay below a certain temperature luckily gpu temperatures aren’t anywhere near as bad as the cpu ones were but they all do steadily rise over the course of this test by the end they hit a plateau just above 85 degrees though the turbo mode was a bit better at a maximum of around 81 degrees celsius the gaming results pretty much mirror the real world usage with the triton se trailing all other laptops here but at the same time you can’t forget it’s the only one here running with an rtx 360 and also a gpu that’s running at just 75 watts when you take those into account it’s delivering respectable performance across the board and it’s almost able to match the dash f15 in situations that are more cpu limited and that’s really the story with these tiger lake h35 cpus isn’t it i mean intel adapted them from the ultrabook market dialed up their power and expected them to compete against the best amd has to offer at these price points the end result is actually more cp bottlenecks than anything else and that ends up cutting back performance quite a bit and makes any laptop with them really hard to recommend for gaming but are these kinds of frame rates really

worth 1500 well that’s the big question isn’t it i mean in the end you have to choose what’s more important to you either have more speed in a larger heavier 15-inch chassis or something like the trident 300sc that sacrifices a bit of performance for a much more portable design and yes you do end up paying a premium for the 300 ses 14 size and the convenience factor that comes along with this whole package but i’m still not convinced about this laptop even if it was cheaper it runs hot build quality feels like it’s two years behind the competition and acer still insists on loading their devices up with bloatware the screen also doesn’t get that bright it’s probably not the greatest out there compared to the competition once again i just feel like your 1500 should be spent somewhere else instead of the trident 300sc so on that note thank you so much for watching i hope you’re able to take away everything that you need to know about the trident 300 sc let us know if you want us to check out the 500sc when it eventually comes out but yeah that’s it for me guys i’m eber with hardware canucks thank you so much for watching and i’ll talk to you guys in the next one

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