If you want the biggest, baddest gaming laptop in existence, you go for the Predator 21 X. But what if you want something that actually fits in your backpack, and doesn’t compromise performance? Well…
There are multiple answers to that, and like the smartphones we recommend (or not) on a daily basis, there’s no solid solution when it comes to gaming notebooks. It takes a short look at the options from Acer alone to see how much variety there is now.
The Predator Helios 300 is such a well-balanced machine and popular among reviewers everywhere; the Nitro 5 is a fun gaming laptop, oblivious to the bling found in every other device mentioned here, but far more affordable; and, it goes without saying that the Predator 17 X is somewhere between practical (like the two aforementioned laptops) and overbearing (Predator 21 X).
And then there’s the Predator Triton 700 — the specialized name simply adds to its “Frost Forged” aura. This is the no-compromise, high-powered, impressively slim gaming device you want. Of course, it’s going to cost you a pretty penny, but there’s good reason for that.
Before we begin, here was our first look at the product back in April:
Not much has changed since then; the Triton 700 is still the same beast we experienced before, but now we’ve had our hands on it much longer, and got a far better idea of where it stands.
See for yourself:
It looks like an ordinary laptop at first…
But the RGB keyboard is fully mechanical and customizable…
The smooth glass trackpad is found above the keyboard…
There’s a desktop-grade GeForce GTX 1080 found inside…
And there’s no shortage of ports
What does the Triton 700 pack inside?
With a starting price of US$ 3,000 — you read that right — the Triton 700 instantly falls under the elite class of gaming products.
While the Predator 21 X costs thrice as much, this is still as hefty in value as it is in specs. Let me explain why:
Despite the relatively thin (and sort of light) frame, there’s an Intel Core i7-7700HQ processor with a legit NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 8GB sitting inside. Combined with 32GB of memory plus two 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD drives in RAID 0 for a total of 1TB of storage in our review unit, the Triton 700 doesn’t hold back in terms of performance.
To maximize the potential of this laptop, a 120Hz panel is used alongside G-Sync technology to prevent tearing and stuttering during gameplay. This is perfect for fast-action games such as first-person shooters, and simply gives the high-powered innards justice.
Making all this possible is NVIDIA’s Max-Q design, which is the magic behind the no-compromise setup. And to ensure everything stays cool, Acer has their own tech called AeroBlade 3D — a set of ultra-thin metal fans that are good enough to prevent the need for any liquid cooling.
Can it run any game on Ultra settings?
There’s clearly no doubt that the Triton 700 can slay the latest games on their highest settings, but the questions are: How fast can it output frames, and at what temperatures?
We got a score of 86.8fps on Rise of the Tomb Raider‘s benchmark test with all settings at maximum on 1080p. That doesn’t hit the 100+ FPS we were hoping for out of a two-year-old game, but there’s virtually no lag during actual gameplay. Newer, lighter games such as PUBG, DOOM, and Overwatch are walks in the park for the Triton 700, just as they should. We also achieved 3,559 points with an average of 26.6fps on Unigine’s Superposition benchmark at 1080p Extreme settings.
As for temperatures, it’s a mixed bag. Maybe we’re spoiled by the more complex cooling systems of desktop builds, but the AeroBlade 3D fans didn’t always impress. During stress tests at maximum load (comprising graphics benchmarks), the processor would hit temperatures exceeding 85 degrees Celsius, while the graphics chip hovered close to 80 degrees.
It’s possible that a standard system temperature of 35 to 40 degrees prevents the fans from cooling the components any further, but they do get quite loud when you push the laptop and they reach 4000rpm. Although Predator Sense software offers overclocking for the graphics chip, the gains of around 3fps to 5fps for games aren’t enough to justify the spikes in temperature of 88 and 82 degrees for the CPU and GPU, respectively.
What are the drawbacks?
After all the gaming laptops we’ve reviewed, it’s safe to say that battery life is never a strong suit of these mobile machines, but I’m still obliged to mention that the Triton 700’s juice gets sucked dry quickly whether you’re playing games on battery power or simply browsing the web. Expect no more than two hours of usage on a single charge with moderate load.
As much as I love the inclusion of a mechanical keyboard and its clicky feel, the low travel on the Triton 700’s keyboard almost negates the advtanges. You see, the keys used on dedicated keyboards are tall and provide consistent feedback for each actuation; the Triton 700’s keyboard still feels close to the membrane type found on regular laptops, so don’t expect too much. (Being able to customize the colors and how they pulse is glorious, though.)
Above the keyboard, we have that awkwardly placed glass trackpad. The positioning is questionable, but that’s what enables the Triton 700 to have a full-length keyboard and enough room to house the high-end components underneath. Because it’s so smooth and far away from your hands, you’ll miss inputs like crazy in the beginning, and even once you get used to it, you’ll still swear to bring a separate mouse with you wherever you go. And before you ask: No, this should not be used for gaming!
Finally, the strength and placement of the stereo speakers don’t match the quality you get out of the display. There’s a glaring lack of bass, and you’re prone to covering the speakers accidentally while gaming. Like the need for a mouse to ignore using the trackpad, you’re better off ditching the top-mounted speakers completely for a pair of decent headphones.
Is this your GadgetMatch?
We’ve been hearing the words “no compromise” thrown around more times than we can count when it comes to gaming laptops. The Predator Triton 700 has, no doubt, packed so much power into such a sexy design, but there are a few trade-offs — like with any other gaming product.
For one, the audio and input experience had to take a step back in order to accommodate all the internal muscle. And unfortunately, the Max-Q design still needs some work before technologies like the AeroBlade 3D metal fans can reach their full potential. I wouldn’t overclock a laptop like this just yet.
in the end, the Triton 700 is still that gaming notebook you really, really want, but have to think twice before purchasing. At US$ 3,000 for the lowest configuration, this isn’t an easy buy, though we can’t blame you for wanting one of the best.
We love the super-smooth performance, incredibly slim and light profile, and design that resonates with elite gaming products. The Triton 700 sets the standard for how all gaming laptops should look and feel like in the future.
NVIDIA launches the new RTX 2000 series
Promises movie-like quality for games
Throughout the years, video games have slowly edged closer to movie-like picture quality. As of late, cinematic video games — like The Last of Us — have begun their long renaissance. Now, NVIDIA has unveiled a new series of graphics cards that pushes that boundary even further.
The newly launched GeForce RTX 2000 series leaps miles apart from NVIDIA’s long-reigning GTX 1080 video card. Specifically, the series comes in three variants — the RTX 2070, RTX 2080, and RTX 2080 Ti.
Powered by the Turing architecture, the new series attempts to solve the industry’s problems. Most importantly, the RTX 2000 series highlights ray tracing, a feature missing from video cards before now.
Traditionally, video games have trouble rendering lighting. Usually, games fall into two categories: terribly drawn lighting which clashes haphazardly with stunning textures, or power-hungry graphics that tank your frames-per-second rate to single digits.
Ray tracing vastly improves how light interacts with surfaces. With the feature, the series brings professional-level graphics to a mass market. In terms of performance, the RTX 2000 cards promise six times the capabilities of the previous GTX 1080.
For starters, the RTX 2070 comes with 2304 CUDA cores and 8GB GDDR6 RAM. The midrange RTX 2080 offers 2944 CUDA cores and the same amount of RAM. Finally, the flagship RTX 2080 Ti boasts 4352 CUDA cores and 11GB GDDR6 RAM.
Already, the series promises support for upcoming games: Battlefield V, Metro Redux, Shadow of the Tomb Raider.
Upon launch, the RTX 2070 retails for US$ 499. The midrange RTX 2080 sells for US$ 699. Finally, the RTX 2080 Ti sells for US$ 999. All three cards will also come with Founders Edition variants selling for US$ 599, US$ 799, and US$ 1,199, respectively. The series will officially launch on September 20.
ASUS ROG Zephyrus S is the slimmest gaming laptop available today
But doesn’t compromise performance
Alongside the 17-inch ROG Scar II, ASUS has announced a new ROG device that they claim to be world’s slimmest gaming laptop. The ROG Zephyrus from last year was already thin by gaming laptop standards, but the new ROG Zephyrus S is 12 percent thinner with updated specs.
The ROG Zephyrus S (GX531) still has the look and feel of the original Zephyrus but it’s now only 14.95 to 15.75mm thick. Those numbers might not sound as sexy as other super-slim notebooks, but the Zephyrus S has desktop-grade gaming performance with either an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q or GTX 1060 GPU inside its chassis.
Powering the Zephyrus S is a six-core Intel Core i7-8750H processor with up to 16GB of DDR4 memory and storage option of up to a 512GB NVMe SSD.
The laptop’s display is a 15.6-inch 1080p panel with a 144Hz refresh rate, 3ms response time, and 100 percent sRGB coverage. It’s definitely not the sharpest laptop display, but it’s one of the fastest for smooth gameplay. The display has a thin-bezel design as well, so the footprint of the laptop is just a bit bigger than your typical 14-inch notebook.
ASUS uses their Active Aerodynamic System (same as with other Zephyrus laptops) which opens a vent at the bottom of the laptop when the lid is lifted, and the vent stretches across the entire back of the body. This improves airflow by 22 percent over a conventional design as per ASUS.
Another distinct trait of the Zephyrus S is the keyboard. It’s still on the front of the device, which helps with cooling, but it might not be everybody’s cup of tea. The keys have 1.2mm of travel, N-key rollover, and RGB lighting via Aura Sync over four zones.
As for I/O, it has two USB-C ports (Gen1 and Gen2), two USB 2.0 ports, one USB 3.0 port, HDMI 2.0 at the back, and a headphone jack.
The ASUS ROG Zephyrus S (GX531) will become available starting September in the US and in October for the UK and Asia. Pricing starts at US$ 2,099 for the GTX 1060 model, while the higher-end GTX 1070 is priced at US$ 2,199.
ASUS’ new ROG Strix Scar II is world’s most compact 17-inch gaming laptop
Thanks to its super-slim bezels!
After going hands on with the ROG Strix Scar II and reviewing the Hero II in full, we wondered what else could be done to improve this second-generation lineup. Well, it looks like ASUS just gave us the answer.
Discreetly launched today, the new 17.3-inch ROG Strix Scar II (model name GL704) is the most compact gaming laptop of its kind, according to ASUS. It’s basically a supersized variant of the already-available 15.6-inch version but with an even badder screen.
It may be worth the wait, because the color-accurate 17.3-inch 1080p display is able to fit into a chassis designed for 15.7-inch panels, effectively providing it a width of less than 400mm thanks to the slim bezels.
The wide keyboard and Aura Sync RGB lighting make a return, along with the fast 144Hz refresh rate and 3ms response time of the display.
In terms of specs, it can go up to an Intel Core i7-8750H processor with 16GB of memory and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 graphics chip. A 256GB SSD plus 1TB SSHD combo maintains the speed and fluidity of the system.
It’ll be available by the end of September in official ROG stores. Pricing begins at US$ 1,699.
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