Acer Predator Triton 700 review

An attractive desktop replacement that runs hot

With a GTX 1080 inside, the Triton is ready to handle whatever you throw at it. The available 32GB of RAM is also a welcome touch and, combined with the Core i7-7700 processor and hefty graphics card, the Triton would make an excellent mobile video processing work station, so long as you don't try to work away from an outlet.

Benchmarks

Here’s how the Acer Predator Triton 700 performed in our suite of benchmark tests:

3DMark: Sky Diver: 31,325; Fire Strike: 14,131; Time Spy: 5,573
Cinebench CPU: 747 points; Graphics: 103 fps
GeekBench: 4,859 (single-core); 15,132 (multi-core)
PCMark 8 (Home Test): 4,180 points
PCMark 8 Battery Life: 1 hours and 39 minutes
Battery Life (TechRadar movie test): 2 hours and 6 minutes
Total War: Warhammer (1080p, Ultra): 94 fps; (1080p, Low): 235 fps
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided (1080p, Ultra): 19 fps; (1080p, Low): 127 fps

When it comes to raw performance, the Triton delivers. It bested both the Zephyrus and Alienware in every gaming test and only really stumbles on battery life. 

It's definitely a capable gaming machine, having no problem running PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds. PUBG isn't the most graphically intense game, but it's extremely processor intensive, and the i7-7700HQ had no problem keeping up. The mushy textures and pop-in PUBG is famous for never made themselves apparent.

Deus Ex on Ultra was the only time the Triton struggled, slowing things down to a paltry 19 frames per second (fps), but on low it comfortably reached a zippy 127fps.

Running the Deus Ex benchmark on Ultra settings got the Triton up to its most alarming temperature. We actually recoiled when we touched the trackpad. PUBG and Total War: Warhammer got the Triton hot under the collar, but not to the same extremes. 

As great as games look, they don't sound great. The stereo speakers on the Triton don't have a lot of volume to them, and they lack nuance and range. The speakers produce a flat, almost hollow sound unfitting of a laptop of this price and pedigree. There is nothing exciting or remarkable about them. They sound about as ordinary as the speakers on a budget laptop. It's a big disappointment.

Battery life and cooling

The Triton's battery is its Achilles heel. In our TechRadar movie test, watching Guardians of the Galaxy on loop at 50% screen brightness and volume, the Triton only lasted 2 hours 6 minutes. 

The PCMark 8 battery test returned a result of 1 hour 39 minutes, putting it behind the Zephyrus and the Alienware 15 as well. For as mobile as the Triton is, we wish we could take it around without worry of the device losing power within two hours.

The Predator includes a hardware monitoring suite to adjust fan speed, overclock and make adjustments to the RGB patterns on the keyboard. We left the fan on auto, but full-blast made a noticeable difference in cooling the CPU and GPU. The monitoring software showed a high temperature of 79 degrees Celsius for both processors under maximum load, which was honestly lower than we expected based on how hot the laptop was to touch.

We liked

For sheer power in a thin laptop, you'd be hard pressed to find something better. The Triton 700 absolutely dominates when it comes to gaming. While the screen is only 1080p, it wouldn't have any problem with 1440p through an external monitor. The positively sublime keyboard makes gaming an even more enjoyable experience for games with classic mouse and keyboard controls. Just make sure you pack a good gaming mouse in your laptop bag.

We disliked

All that power comes at a hefty price, however, which doesn’t deliver in key areas. This is easily the hottest laptop we've tested. It's so hot that it's alarming, and while the cooling system does an excellent job making sure the tender components inside are kept at safe temperatures, it fails to keep the rest of the laptop from getting unbelievably hot. Battery life is abysmal, so thankfully the power brick isn't too bulky, but it also gets really hot while charging.

Final verdict

Power and portability in a laptop are both here in satisfying amounts. This is an excellent desktop replacement that doesn't feel like a scaled-back desktop in terms of bulk. The screen is a joy to look at – despite its resolution for such a price – and the keyboard is phenomenal. From a strictly performance numbers stand-point, this is an amazing laptop.

The heat is absolutely concerning. We used the laptop in relatively cool environments and it was still on the cusp of being too hot to handle. The monitoring software gives a little peace of mind, but the first time you touch the trackpad under load, you will recoil.

The trade off on heat for all that power is a deal breaker. At $2,999, it doesn't feel good owning a laptop that feels like it's on the cusp of heat failure. As the machine ages and it inevitably collects dust, it doesn't seem like the cooling system will be able to keep up with the massive output. It's the single most surprising and disappointing problem with an otherwise excellent gaming laptop.