Gaming laptops continue to be a bright spot in the PC market, and practically every manufacturer offers some sort of system targeted at gamers. Some of them more successfully target the market than others, offering features that improve gameplay and visuals, and others focus more on what I’ll politely call the “gaming laptop aesthetic” which includes a myriad of multi-colored LEDs, and generally angular design cues. Diving head-first into that subject, today we're taking a look at Acer's gaming-focused Predator Triton 500 laptop. Although Acer has touched on a couple of the aesthetic design choices, they’ve kept it subtle, and still offer all of the accoutrements expected in a premium gaming laptop design.

There are two schools of thought for gaming laptops: either you want to be able to move it around, or you don’t. Acer’s Predator Triton 500 is in the former camp, offering an incredibly powerful system, in a thin and light form factor. Thin and light is of course relative, but true desktop replacement laptops can easily tip the scales over ten pounds, making them transportable, but not really portable. Acer’s Triton 500 offers a much more sleek design in its 15.6-inch frame, and weighs in at 4.64 lbs, meaning it really is a laptop you can easily take on the road.

That thin design doesn’t preclude the Triton 500 from offering the latest high-performance silicon inside either. The Predator Triton 500 comes with the hex-core Intel Core i7-8750H, boasting a boost frequency of 4.1 GHz, and either a NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 video card, or the highest performance single video available in a laptop, the GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q. This is the exact same Turing-based TU104 found in the desktop GeForce RTX 2080, just clocked down a bit and binned for power. Acer sent us the top model PT515-51-765U for review, featuring the RTX 2080, 32 GB of RAM, and 1 TB of SSD storage.

One of the biggest changes in gaming laptops over the last couple of years has been the introduction of variable refresh displays, namely G-SYNC, and that has been a tremendous help smoothing out the performance from laptop-class GPUs. The new trend is for higher refresh rates, coupled with G-SYNC, and here Acer delivers. Not only is this 15.6-inch panel a G-SYNC display, but it offers a 144 Hz refresh rate, and rather than move to a twisted nematic (TN) transistor layout, Acer is offering an In-Plane Switching (IPS) display, meaning it still offers the exceptional viewing angles that we’ve become accustomed to on quality laptops.

Acer Predator Triton 500
Component PT515-51-71VV PT515-51-75L8 PT515-51-765U
(Model Reviewed)
CPU Intel Core i7-8750H
6 Core, 12 Thread
2.2 GHz - 4.1 GHz
9MB Cache 45W TDP
GPU NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060
1920 CUDA Cores, 48 ROPs, 6 GB VRAM
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080
2944 CUDA Cores, 64 ROPs, 8 GB VRAM
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080
2944 CUDA Cores, 64 ROPs, 8 GB VRAM
RAM 16 GB Dual-Channel DDR4
2 SODIMM Slots
32 GB Dual-Channel DDR4
2 SODIMM Slots
Display 15.6-inch 1920x1080 IPS
144 Hz Refresh Rate with G-SYNC
Matte coating, no touch support
Storage 512 GB NVMe PCIe SSD 2 x 512 GB NVMe PCIe SSD in RAID 0 (1TB Logical Drive)
Networking Killer Wireless AC-1550
2x2:2, 160 MHz channel support
MU-MIMO, 1.736 Gbps max connection speed

Killer E300 Gigabit Ethernet
Killer Doubleshot Pro
Audio Stereo Speakers
Waves MaxAudio
Waves Nx
Separate headphone/microphone jacks
Battery 84 Wh
180-Watt AC Adapter
I/O 3 x USB 3.0
1 x USB Type-C Gen 2 w/Thunderbolt 3
HDMI 2.0
mini DisplayPort 1.4
Dimensions 358 x 255 x 17.8 mm
14.11 x 10.04 x 0.7 inches
Weight 2.1 Kg / 4.63 lbs
Extras 1280 x 720 Webcam
No Windows Hello support
Price $1,799.99 $2,499.99 $2999.99
 

Acer powers the networking with Killer’s DoubleShot Pro, which means you can team up Killer’s Gigabit Ethernet with the Killer Wireless-AC 1550 adapter. I’ll dig into this more in the wireless section, but this is one of the gaming laptop choices which target a demographic rather than actual performance.

There’s plenty of I/O available, with three USB 3.0 Type-A ports, and a USB Type-C port which offers Thunderbolt 3 connectivity. For video output, there’s not only DisplayPort but HDMI native, which is a nice touch.

Acer’s Predator Triton is near the top-end of Acer’s Predator product stack, with the good gaming bits inside, but first let’s take a look at the design and build quality.

Design
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  • timecop1818 - Friday, May 3, 2019 - link

    Garbage 1080p screen and not one but TWO killer network shits? Hard pass.
    What's the fucking point of 2080 if the screen isn't even 4K on this thing?
    Reply
  • Rookierookie - Saturday, May 4, 2019 - link

    Optimus battery time goes from 5 hours to 3, for starters. Reply
  • Loic - Tuesday, May 7, 2019 - link

    Are you sure it's a vm ? It looks like a User Mode Linux to me. There are some bugs that have been fixed in wsl to run UML less than a year ago so it would make sense to work with that. You'll get docker and fuse out of the box without having to manage a vm. Reply
  • Loic - Tuesday, May 7, 2019 - link

    Wrong article sorry! Reply
  • ballsystemlord - Thursday, May 9, 2019 - link

    Spelling and grammar corrections:
    "The most recent installment of the Lara Croft series really bumps of the graphical fidelity,"
    "up" no "of":
    "The most recent installment of the Lara Croft series really bumps up the graphical fidelity,"

    Luckily GeForce Experience makes this process pretty easy,
    Missing comma:
    Luckily, GeForce Experience makes this process pretty easy,
    Reply
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