ACER TRITON 700 PERFORMANCE
Next question: What’s all this Max Q nonsense about? Nvidia came up with Max Q cards to let laptop-makers create high performance gaming machines that aren’t so big and heavy that you can’t even face moving them between rooms.
These cards are much quieter and create less heat than the full-fat desktop versions, while still providing much better performance than a traditional mobile chip. A GTX 1060 was about the traditional limit if you wanted to put a “normal” Nvidia graphics card into a laptop, without giving it a series of double chins to deal with all the heat.
To put this to the test, we tried Middle Earth: Shadow of War up against a RM6799 Asus Strix laptop with a GTX 1060. At 1080p, with the graphics maxed-out to the “Ultra” setting, the Strix manages an average of 52fps. We’d take that. Not bad. However, the Triton 700, which is thinner and lighter, averages 82fps. Even framerate-obsessed nerds can’t complain about this speed, and it’s not that far off Nvidia’s claim of 1.7x improvement over a GTX 1060.
Sure, with a desktop PC and GTX 1080 you’d be looking at around 100fps. But have you seen how thin this thing is?
You get this performance when the Triton 700 is plugged-in. Running off the battery, the frame rate plummets from 82fps to 18fps. The GTX 1080 may not check out completely, but you need to be plugged-in to get the real deal.
The Triton 700 has a 7th generation Intel Core i7-7700HQ CPU, rather than the 8th gen kind. At its release the only new Intel laptop CPUs on the horizon were ones designed for slim and light laptops, though, so this was still the best choice. You also get 16GB RAM and an extremely fast SSD array , with read speeds of up to 2899MB/s. Our Triton came with 1TB of storage, but 256GB and 512GB variants are available online for less cash.
The big question is how the Predator handles pressure. See those little vents to the right of the glass GPU covering? Cool air is sucked through these, then passed over the GPU. Warm air is then spat out of the vents on the left and right sides.
When you’re just using Windows 10, the Triton 700 is near-silent. Play a game and the fans crank up almost immediately. Their pitch is higher than that of one of the gigantic doorstop alternatives, but you don’t get the sense it’s like a someone trying to stop a sailboat sinking by bailing it out with a teaspoon. The noise is surprisingly bearable.
The cooling system works, but the glass above gets, predictably, pretty toasty after a while. The trackpad isn’t very useful when you’re just pottering about Windows 10, and unless you want to use it to avoid turning your central heating on, it’s not much use for gaming either. For the last time: you’ll need to use a mouse. Or a gamepad.
ACER TRITON 700 BATTERY LIFE
Battery life is predictably pretty poor too. Play a video, which shouldn’t wake the GTX 1080 at all, and the Triton 700 lasts just 2 hours 3 minutes. That’s not even enough for a Marvel movie. However, as the laptop isn’t close to the peak of its power on battery, it’s an issue that’s easy to shrug off.
The speakers are good enough for casual gaming, as they have a good sense of stereo and at least a pinch of bass. Explosions even have some weight. The mids are emaciated and the treble a little rough, though, so you’ll want to use headphones or speakers most of the time.
Now that all the fun stuff’s out of the way, let’s check out the connections. There are three USB3s on the sides, separate mic/headphone jacks, a single USB-C, and an Ethernet port. You also get an extra USB2, covered by a plastic bung - as if Acer is slightly embarrassed about including something so dated.
On the back edge sits the power socket, an HDMI socket and a Display Port. Hook it up to a TV or monitor and you can try games at 1440p or 4K to really test the GTX 1080 card. There’s no SD card slot, because apparently you can’t have everything. Even when you're spending over RM6999.
Acer Predator Triton 700 verdict
The Acer Predator Triton 700 is not for everyone. It’s probably not the laptop for you, in all probability. It’s expensive, the glass trackpad is little more than a fancy-looking ornament and getting used to the keyboard arrangement takes a while.
However, it’s a great showcase for the latest graphics card tech, cramming desktop-grade power into a laptop under 20mm thick.
The Asus Zephyrus RX501 is a little more practical, jamming a trackpad onto the keyboard. However, the Acer looks better. And given how unusual both appear, a bit of extra style is worth celebrating.