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Acer Predator Triton 500 review: Pure gaming speed from top to bottom

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MSRP: $2,999.99
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The Good The Acer Predator Triton 500 is a gaming powerhouse in a thin and light package. Acer's PredatorSense tool lets you easily tweak performance, including overclocking the GPU and adjusting the three-zone RGB keyboard lighting.

The Bad The keyboard isn't great for long gaming sessions. The laptop runs hot even with the fans blowing full blast, and battery life is predictably short when the discrete graphics are engaged.

The Bottom Line The Acer Predator Triton 500 puts Nividia's RTX 2080 Max-Q graphics to good use, delivering first-class gaming laptop performance in a slim design.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

7.9 Overall
  • Design 7
  • Features 8
  • Performance 8
  • Battery 6

Review Sections

From its blazing Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q graphics to its 144Hz full-HD display with 3-millisecond response time to its 6,600rpm cooling fans, everything about the Acer Predator Triton 500 is fast. 

The Triton 500 is also fantastically compact for a 15.6-inch gaming laptop. It weighs 4.6 pounds (2.1 kg) and is only 0.7 inch (17.9 mm) thick. That means it gives you high-performance gaming anytime and anywhere you want it -- assuming you're within 10 feet of a power outlet. It is, predictably, not cheap. 

Prices start at $1,800 for the Triton 500 with a less powerful RTX 2060 Max-Q GPU. But the version I reviewed, model PT515-51-765U, is $3,000. A similar version with half the RAM and storage sells for £2,500 in the UK along with an RTX 2060 configuration. The Triton 500 is currently unavailable in Australia, but the US price for the review configuration converts to about AU$4,260.   

Acer Predator Triton 500
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Sarah Tew/CNET

There are some nice gaming-oriented features, but really it's the fast performance and the thin and light chassis that makes you want to dig in the couch cushions to come up with the cash for the Predator Triton 500. 

Acer Predator Triton 500


Acer Predator Triton 500
Price as reviewed $3,000
Display size/resolution 15.6-inch, 1,920x1,080 pixels
CPU 2.2GHz Intel Core i7-8750H
Memory 32GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,666MHz
Graphics 8GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
Storage (2x) 512GB NVMe SSD RAID 0
Networking 802.11ac wireless, Bluetooth 5.0
Operating system Windows 10 Pro (64-bit)

Not so stealthy

The Acer Predator Triton 500 combines traditional aggressive gaming laptop design with a dialed-down approach reminiscent of Razer. The glowing blue Predator emblem and blocky Predator name on the lid and again under the display on the inside add some gamer flair, as do its vents and angular front edges. It would be nice if you could shut off the lid light when you'd like to be more inconspicuous. 

The three-zone RGB keyboard lighting can be set to any number of colors including plain ol' white with Acer's PredatorSense app, which also gives you other tools to improve the gaming experience. The keycaps of the WASD and arrow keys, as well as a dedicated PredatorSense key below the power button, are concave and tinted blue so they're easier to spot regardless of your color choices. 

Acer Predator Triton 500
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Keycaps for the WASD and arrow keys have a subtle concave shape. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

The keyboard layout in general is good and even the small right Shift key wasn't an issue since Acer placed it to the left of the up arrow. The soft feel and shallow key travel was fine for typing, but whenever a game involved repeatedly mashing the same key, it was tough to tell if my presses were registering. And while the touchpad worked well, I'd rather have discrete mouse buttons for casual gaming. 

The 144Hz, 1,920x1,080-pixel display has a response time of 3 ms and showed no discernible blur or ghosting while gaming.  Color performance wasn't necessarily good enough for critical photo and video work, but it was pleasing for gaming, as was brightness and contrast. If you're not traveling, there are HDMI 2.0, Mini DisplayPort and ThunderBolt 3 ports for external displays and you can run all three at the same time along with the Triton's built-in monitor. 

Three USB-A 3.0 ports, Gigabit Ethernet, headphone and mic jacks round things out. All of the connections and the power input are forced forward on the sides because the rear third is all vents. It's not a great look when fully connected and it can be a tight fit depending on the cable or adapter you're using. Also, there's no SD card slot. 

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