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  • Soon Kai Hong

Acer Predator Triton 300 SE (2022) Review: Awesome For Gamers, Not For Creators

So this right here is Acer’s offering in the 14-inch gaming laptop segment in which there is some serious competition. This is the Acer Predator Triton 300 SE and it’s gotten a well-needed refresh in 2022, having a slightly newer look and now updated with Intel 12th-Gen processors alongside a MUX Switch. But again, competition is tough so let’s see how this stacks up.


Now first of all, it is interesting to note that you don’t get any choice in terms of colours because there’s only one option available and it’s this brilliant silver. Honestly, we’re all for it as it does make a gaming laptop stand out from the crowd and it also helps mask the true nature of the beast, looking perfectly great in any professional setting. Apart from the unique rear vents and the presence of a really small predator logo near the lip, that’s about it. It’s a really minimalist design that’s really clean and neat. It also does come in at just about 1.7kg or about 3.74lbs which makes it fairly portable as well.

Now lift up the lid and you’ll be greeted with a pretty fantastic high refresh rate IPS display. We’re looking at a 14-inch IPS panel with a resolution of 2,560 x 1,600 running at 165Hz that’ll cover 100% sRGB and can get up to a pretty amazing 500 nits in max brightness.

Compared to the previous generation, this is a huge upgrade and a definite welcome. Watching your favourite shows or movies on Netflix, or just downright gaming for hours on end and you’ll enjoy pretty much every second of it. The colours are nice and vibrant with a great contrast ratio for IPS and that high refresh rate really does make the gaming experience that much better. Overall, it’s just a solid display that doesn’t disappoint.

Now, let’s talk about the keyboard and trackpad experience. Despite being a 14-inch form factor, you do get a keyboard that pretty much spans the entire deck of the chassis. In addition, you also do get a column of additional functions on the right side, just above the arrow cluster. These keys give you immediate access to your media controls, as well as a dedicated PredatorSense key and the power button. On the other side, you do also get a dedicated Turbo button that will instantly toggle the power profiles.

The typing experience is really nice in our opinion, with a good amount of key travel and a kind of soft landing with every stroke. The keyboard is also backlit with blue LEDs which is a nice touch to the whole Predator theme. One particular thing we did notice is the fact that this keyboard features slightly larger spacing between each key compared to the norm. Or rather, this looks a little more classic, harking back to older laptops when the chiclet style keyboard was first introduced in laptops. One benefit from doing this is that there is little to no flex on the keyboard deck, since there is just more structural support thanks to the presence of more aluminium. Overall, it’s a solid typing experience.

The same can also be said for the trackpad. It tracks well, has a nice smooth surface that’s easy on your fingers and it also has a fingerprint reader in the corner. The only drawback here would be the size of it. We just wished it was a little bigger.

But on to good stuff and one of the best things about this laptop is the battery life. This has a pretty large 76Wh battery inside it, which enables a really good battery life for about eight to nine hours easily. Given the amount of performance this can dish out and the size of the laptop, this is rather good. Two thumbs up here.

As for ports, you’re well covered. On the right, you get a standard USB 3.2 Gen 2, HDMI 2.1 and the 3.5mm combo jack. On the left, you have your DC input, another USB 3.2 Gen 2 and Thunderbolt 4.

Specs & Internals

But we then got to talk about specs and this little beast is equipped with an Intel Core i7-12700H, a GeForce RTX 3060 with a 95W TDP, 16GB of DDR5 5200MHz RAM and 1TB of PCIe 4.0 SSD storage.

Now before we get to the performance, we do want to open it up and show you the inside and you do get a dual fan assembly here with the new AeroBlade design. The interesting thing to note here is that only the CPU gets all the neat upgrades. Acer is using liquid metal for the thermal interface for the CPU and it also gets the metal fan for better cooling. While we’re at it, we do also want to note that the RAM is soldered on, so there’s no upgrading once you’ve decided the amount you want in your cart. However, you can upgrade the SSD should you want to do so.

Performance & Temperatures

And now, the performance.

We first tested with Cinebench R23 as usual and with the help of PredatorSense, we tested 3 different profiles. Namely on Default, Extreme and Turbo. With each profile, you’re looking at an increase of anywhere between 400-600 points in the Multi-Core while the overall points for the Single-Core remains relatively the same. As for video editing with Resolve, it performs as expected from such a CPU and GPU combo, delivering pretty great results across the board.

But most importantly, let’s talk about gaming. For our testing, we ran a few popular games at both 1440p and 1080p resolutions and also made sure the MUX switch is on and we’re using the dedicated GPU.

As expected, the Core i7 and RTX 3060 combo makes for an excellent gaming experience. eSports titles like CS:GO or Valorant are of no issues at all while even much more demanding AAA games like Halo Infinite are perfectly enjoyable as well, achieving way above 60 frames per second. In fact, depending on the game, you could even run 4K with an external monitor.

But here is where things get a little divisive and it has all to do with temperatures depending on the task.

For CPU intensive tasks like rendering, temperatures for the CPU aren’t great at all. On the default profile, it is still rather acceptable with that Core i7 drawing up to 55 watts and maintaining 90 degrees celsius thereabouts. However, turn it to Extreme or Turbo mode and you’ll see the CPU drawing up to 65 watts and staying at 100 degrees celsius throughout. Now while it does maintain clock speeds at 3GHz which is way above the base clock, we would say that this isn’t desirable for most people. We would much rather have a less aggressive power profile and one that’s more optimized for cooler temperatures than outright performance. Because in a 14-inch form factor, that heat really builds up and it’s not going to be great for the other components.

However, if we’re just strictly talking about gaming scenarios… Well, the temperatures are going to be pretty much fantastic and ideal. In a game like SOTR which is more GPU demanding, you’ll see the CPU hovering around 70 degree celsius with clock speeds near the base clocks while in a game like Valorant which is more CPU demanding, you’ll see the CPU hover around 85 degree celsius with clock speeds pushing 4GHz.

Overall Thoughts

So it’s kinda interesting in a way. This is a laptop that very much favours gaming above all else and in that regard, it performs admirably. But if you’re more of a professional and you’re looking at this laptop to be both your gaming machine and your workhorse, it might not really cut it. And thus we then come to the price. For this exact configuration, it’ll set you back S$2,998 or US$1,599.99. Though do note that the US configuration will only have half the SSD storage.

Compared to the competition from the likes of Asus, Alienware or Razer, this is definitely the most affordable of the bunch and performance is equally as good, if not better. Yes, you can of course get the Asus with the much more powerful Radeon RX6800S or the Razer with the top of the line RTX 3080, but those are going to cost way, way more. Spec for spec, this is of much better value.

But as we’ve noted, this is definitely more of a gaming powerhouse than a professional workhorse but overall, we still do really like the Predator Triton 300 SE from Acer. If you’re planning on getting this, just make sure that you’re going to be gaming with it.

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