Gaming

Acer Predator Triton 700 Review

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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…

15.6-inch 1080p IPS LCD, 18.9mm thinness, and 2.6kg in weight

But the RGB keyboard is fully mechanical and customizable…

The key travel is really short, but there’s a solid click to every press

The smooth glass trackpad is found above the keyboard…

The Gorilla Glass window provides a view of the AeroBlade 3D cooling system

There’s a desktop-grade GeForce GTX 1080 found inside…

You just lose the palm rest in exchange for the unusual design

And there’s no shortage of ports

Full-size USB and audio ports on the left

Power button, USB-C (with Thunderbolt 3), another full-size USB, and Ethernet port on the right

And desktop-size DisplayPort, HDMI, and power connector at the back

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.

SEE ALSO: Acer Predator Orion 9000 First Look

[irp posts=”19307″ name=”Acer Predator Orion 9000 First Look”]

Features

What does the GPU Turbo do to your phone?

Is it more than just a marketing gimmick?

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It’s been two months since Huawei rolled out the GPU Turbo update to its smartphones. Promised with a 60 percent increase in performance and reducing 30 percent on power consumption, a lot of fans and users were excited after the announcement.

Back then, everyone (including me) was hyped about lag-free games and longer battery life while playing. However, upon receiving the update, I began to wonder: Has GPU Turbo delivered what it promised?

What’s inside the update?

GPU Turbo was originally marketed as an improved gameplay experience, available only to PUBG and Mobile Legends: Bang Bang.

The Game Suite app, which comes with the update, offers an uninterrupted gaming feature, hiding all notifications when enabled (except for calls, alarms, and low-battery alerts).

Mistouch prevention is another feature to avert users from clicking the back and home button while playing — perfect for when you want to focus on your game.

Screenshots by Miguel Pineda, Huawei Mate 10 user

To some older smartphones like the Huawei Mate 10, the Game Suite App offers three performance modes: Gaming mode, which improves game performance but increases power consumption; Smart mode, which balances performance and power consumption; and Power saving mode, which saves power but reduces game performance.

For the newer Huawei P20 Pro (which I’ve been using) and Honor Play, it only has a gaming acceleration mode to toggle on or off.

Thoughts on the reduced power consumption

Because I used the Mate 10 before and recently transitioned to the P20 Pro, I’ve experienced the GPU Turbo update in both phones and I can guarantee that they’ve delivered on lowered power consumption.

With Game Suite, I can put my phone on power saving mode to further save battery. For instance, I was only able to drain the Mate 10 down to 15 percent during a 12-hour road trip despite switching between the games I play and other apps, such as Messenger, Netflix, Spotify, and taking photos and videos every once in a while. The same goes for the P20 Pro.

As a power user, I already get a lot of things done with these highly efficient smartphones and GPU Turbo; these allowed me to do more on a single charge. However, it’s a different case for gaming.

Improved gaming experience, but there’s a catch…

When I started playing games on gaming mode (or game acceleration mode on the P20 Pro), I could run Mobile Legends: Bang Bang on a high frame rate with the highest graphics setting available. Compared to how the game stuttered and lagged during 5v5 clashes, with GPU Turbo, it now runs smoothly, as if I have a smartphone made for gaming.

System notice when enabling the high frame rate on Mobile Legends: Bang Bang and the effects it may have on your gameplay

As shown above, most mobile games will notify their users about the possible repercussions of higher frame rates and using the best settings available. To prove that a smartphone with GPU Turbo can handle this, I sought out to confirm my suspicions.

After asking fellow Huawei users, I found out that after installing GPU Turbo, energy consumption is a lot faster than before. Their smartphones also heat up more easily, especially when playing games with the game acceleration mode on. This isn’t part of what was promised, and it’s pretty disappointing.

It’s not yet perfect

In my experience, GPU Turbo tries to boost performance above a smartphone’s limit hoping that users can experience better gameplay.

GPU Turbo can’t choose when to perform its best. It’s an update that is constantly running in our smartphones without any way to switch it off. We can only hope that Huawei will address these issues for the next batch of updates.

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Gaming

ASUS ROG Phone receives US pricing

Last piece of the puzzle

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ASUS is certainly taking its time with the release of its one and only gaming phone. First announced at Computex 2018, the ROG Phone finally has an official price to go with its US release.

For the model with 128GB of storage, you’d have to shell out US$ 899. For the larger 512GB storage variant, the cost goes up to US$ 1,099. Both come with a high-end Snapdragon 845 processor and 8GB of memory.

Of course, there are accessories to go with it. First is the ROG Mobile Desktop Dock, which costs US$ 229; the ROG Phone Case retails for US$ 59; the ROG Professional Dock is valued at US$ 119; you can buy the ROG TwinView Dock for US$ 399; the ROG Gamevice Controller is at US$ 89; and lastly, the ROG WiGig Dock goes for US$ 329.

Those are a lot of accessories for one phone, but that’s what makes the ROG Phone a truly gamer-centric device.

As stated last week, the ROG Phone will hit US shores starting October 18, with other regions to follow soon after.

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Gaming

PlayStation’s PSN Online ID change coming soon

Full rollout coming early 2019!

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You’ll soon be able to retire your DarkWarrior1214 PlayStation ID. In a blog post, Sony PlayStation said they will soon begin testing the PSN Online ID change feature as part of their preview program.

Beta testers part of the preview program will be able to change their PSN ID as much as they want. However, once the feature rolls out to everyone, only the first name change will be free. Succeeding name changes will cost US$ 9.99 for regular users.

PS Plus users will be charged a smaller fee of US$ 4.99. The online ID can be changed through the profile page on your PS4 or at the Settings menu. There’s also an option to display your old PSN ID alongside your new one so your friends can recognize you right away.

Not for all games

The feature isn’t available for all games, though. Only PS4 games published after April 1, 2018 along with other most-played titles that were published before that date will have the feature. PlayStation also warns that changing the ID might cause some issues with some games that can be fixed by reverting to the old ID. Here’s to hoping PlayStation finds a way to address those issues some time down the line.

The planned full rollout of the feature is in early 2019. What will be your new PSN Online ID?

SEE ALSO: Sony unveils PlayStation Classic, comes pre-loaded with 20 games

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