Features

Acer Predator Triton 700 vs ASUS ROG Zephyrus (GX501): Best slim gaming laptop?

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It’s not too often that we get to test the two most advanced gaming laptops in the market at the same time. And you know what that means? Comparison time!

Neither notebook needs a full introduction. In our full review, we lauded Acer’s Predator Triton 700 for setting the standard for how all gaming laptops should look and feel; at the same time, the ROG Zephyrus (GX501) of ASUS makes an equally strong case for being the mobile machine of the future.

You can’t go wrong with either laptop, but with their eye-popping prices, you have to choose wisely before committing to one. So, which will it be? Let’s break this down into several categories.

Design

These being slim gaming laptops, portability is a major factor. On paper, the Zephyrus (379 x 262 x 17.9mm, 2.25kg) is the clear winner over the Triton 700 (392 x 265 x 18.9mm, 2.6kg). In practice, I find the ASUS laptop much easier to slip into my regular-sized backpack, and it takes less effort to drag around during trips.

But from a pure aesthetic standpoint, the Triton 700 is arguably the better-looking product. Clipped corners, curvier edges, and the clear window that provides a peak at the guts combine for a more alluring package. This round can go either way: Do you prefer a slightly more compact design to carry with you, or do you want something that looks good wherever you go? We’ll call this a draw.

Winner: Draw

Display and Audio Quality

Both have the same display specs: a 15.6-inch panel with a resolution of 1080p, 120Hz refresh rate, and NVIDIA’s G-Sync technology to prevent tearing and stuttering when frame rates get too erratic during gameplay. When compared side by side with default display settings, the Triton 700 is slightly brighter at max brightness, while the Zephyrus has a warmer tone to it.

When it comes to the entire audio-visual experience, however, the Acer wins out. Its speakers are louder and less likely to crack when outputting loads of low-frequency sound during movie watching or gaming. Chances are you’ll prefer using headphones, but for moments when getting loud and clear matters, we’d go for the Triton 700.

Winner: Acer

Keyboard and Trackpad

 

Let’s face it: Both machines have awkward keyboards and trackpads. For the Triton 700, it has a short-travel mechanical keyboard and overly smooth trackpad right below the display. The Zephyrus has a quieter but less responsive membrane keyboard with a trackpad found to the right (which can magically transform into a numpad by pressing a button).

Neither are particularly user-friendly especially at the beginning, but ASUS makes it a little easier with the Zephyrus. It comes bundled with a rubber palm rest to make typing easier, and the trackpad has physical left- and right-click buttons. The only gripe is for left-handed users forced to use a right-handed setup, but the Triton 700 isn’t any more intuitive in the first place.

Winner: ASUS

Special Features

To make these laptops so thin and powerful, NVIDIA’s Max-Q technology was employed to cram a GeForce GTX 1080 graphics chip beside their high-end Intel Core i7-7700HQ processor. Both also have specialized software — Predator Sense for the Triton 700 and the ROG Gaming Center for the Zephyrus — to maximize the components’ potential and monitor their temperatures (more on that later).

Although they’re designed similarly on the inside, the wired connectivity tells another story. On top of all the Zephyrus’ ports, the Triton 700 also has an Ethernet port, DisplayPort, and better placement for the power port. These matter for a more complete gaming experience, giving Acer this win.

Winner: Acer

Benchmark Performance

This is the moment most of you have been waiting for. These gaming laptops are designed for the latest games on the highest graphics settings, so it’s only right for us to compare them head to head, number for number. We put them through two raw benchmarking apps and the benchmark tests of two popular games. Here’s what we got:

Unigine Superposition (1080p Extreme, DirectX)
Acer: 3428 points, 25.65fps (Average)
ASUS: 3555 points, 26.59fps (Average)

Cinebench R15
Acer: 671 (CPU), 98.12fps (OpenGL)
ASUS: 741 (CPU), 97.87fps (OpenGL)

Rise of the Tomb Raider (Very High settings, DirectX 12)
Acer: 98.28fps (Average)
ASUS: 98.14fps (Average)

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided (Ultra settings, DirectX 12)
Acer: 58.0fps (Average)
ASUS: 58.2fps (Average)

No surprises here. Even though the Triton 700 has more RAM (32GB compared to the Zephyrus’ 24GB), there’s no significant difference in terms of pure computing power. The two gaming machines are at the top of their games while being evenly matched.

Winner: Draw

Temperature and Battery Life

What’s excessive power if the hardware can’t handle it? To ensure stable performance, each machine has its own signature cooling system. The Triton 700 uses AeroBlade 3D cooling fans to quickly exhaust hot air away from the laptop, while the Zephyrus’ Active Aerodynamic System lifts the bottom plate to allow greater airflow when loads are heavy.

We put both devices through a stress test at the same time under identical conditions. Here are the results:

Acer: 80 degrees Celsius (CPU), 77 degrees Celsius (GPU)
ASUS: 71 degrees Celsius (CPU), 70 degrees Celsius (GPU)

To our surprise, the Zephyrus was more efficient at keeping itself cool. The ASUS product was also noticeably quieter throughout the process. However, when we executed a balanced mix of tasks on pure battery power, the Triton 700 lasted much longer:

Acer: 1 hour, 14 minutes
ASUS: 45 minutes

Take note, however, that the Triton 700 throttles its components sooner than the Zephyrus while unplugged, effectively lessening the burden on its fully charged battery for a longer period of time. With that, we ask ourselves: better thermal control or longer battery life? Again, we have a tie.

Winner: Draw

Which is your GadgetMatch?

When dealing with laptops designed on the same premise, you’re bound to see multiple similarities. The Triton 700 and Zephyrus are more similar than you’d think at first, both owing their power-to-portability ratio to NVIDIA’s Max-Q architecture and Intel’s never-ending quest to lowering power draw for greater efficiency.

In the total count, the Triton 700 wins with one extra point in its favor. But that isn’t to say Acer takes home the trophy with that alone. Pricing plays another factor, and ASUS has the slight advantage.

The official starting prices for the two laptops are US$ 2,999 for the Triton 700 and US$ 2,799 for the Zephyrus. If you look at the pricing of the specific configurations we have on hand in the Philippines, they’re PhP 229,990 and PhP 179,995, respectively. The ASUS laptop is significantly cheaper, even though the installed memory is only marginally less (24GB versus 32GB).

So, which is your GadgetMatch? If you want the most stylish gaming notebook in the market with performance to match, there’s nothing better than the Triton 700 right now. If portability is your priority and want to save money, you can’t go wrong with the Zephyrus from ASUS.

SEE ALSO: Best Video Games of 2017 (Q3 Edition)

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24 Hours Series

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4: First 24 Hours

With an unboxing of the Z Fold4 and its special S-Pen case!

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During the first of the Flip or Fold: First 24 Hours series, Michael Josh went around New York with the Galaxy Z Flip4.

In the second part, he now has the Galaxy Z Fold4 with him.

After unboxing comes the usual battery life test by bringing it around the streets of Manhattan.

Other than that, a mini camera shootout was performed against the Galaxy Z Fold3.

Watch our Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4 Unboxing and First 24 Hours video to know everything about it.

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Smartphones

Xiaomi 12 Lite Unboxing

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Xiaomi 12 Lite

There’s always a Lite at the end of every Xiaomi flagship tunnel. Here, we’re unboxing the Xiaomi 12 Lite.

Unboxing

Xiaomi 12 Lite

It’s not everyday that we get smartphones in this luggage-like package.

Xiaomi 12 Lite

Opening it up reveals the Xiaomi 12 Lite box. There’s a bunch of other stuff in there. But they’re mostly for goods for the upcoming Malaysia trip we have which we’ll document using this phone. Be sure to wait for that one to come out.

Here’s a closer look at the lower end of the box just so we can pad this article with more photos and words.

Xiaomi 12 Lite

Opening the box you’ll see the phone itself covered in paper detailing its key features. The following are highlighted: Featherweight slim design, Studio-level 108MP triple camera, Smart 67W turbo charging, and 120Hz AMOLED display.

Xiaomi 12 Lite

There’s also the cardboard box thing containing the jelly case, documentation, and what not. Everything from here on out is a pretty standard affair.

Xiaomi 12 Lite

Digging deeper into the box, you’ll find the power brick which is no longer a staple inclusion in all brand new smartphones.

Xiaomi 12 Lite

And the USB-C cable.

That’s pretty much it for the contents of the box. Now, onto the phone itself.

Closer look at the Xiaomi 12 Lite

Xiaomi 12 Lite

The unit we have is the Lite Green colorway. It also comes in Lite Pink and Black.

Xiaomi 12 Lite

The right hand side has the volume rockers and power button. The other side is empty.


And at the bottom you’ll find the speaker grille, USB-C port, and SIM Tray slot. Yes, it’s dual-sim, and no, it doesn’t have any storage expansion slots. Onboard storage goes up to 256GB for some variants. This particular one we have only has 128GB.

Xiaomi 12 Lite

Here’s a closer look at the rear camera module. The 108MP f/1.9 main camera is flanked by an 8MP f/2.2 ultra-wide angle lens, and a tacked on 2MP f/2.4 macro lens.  Up front, it has a 32MP f/2.5 selfie shooter.

Xiaomi 12 Lite

The phone runs on the Android 12-based MIUI 13.

Xiaomi 12 Lite

It has a 6.55-inch AMOLED display with a 120Hz screen refresh rate. It also supports Dolby Vision and HDR10+ where applicable. The phone is relatively easy to hold and doesn’t feel too big despite the large screen.

Xiaomi 12 Lite

That’s it for the Unboxing! As mentioned earlier, we’ll have a GadgetSnaps feature to show you what its cameras can do. Pricing details should be available on August 18th and the full review will come after.

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Automotive

Celebrating spesh occasions with the Ford Territory

Friends, blue skies, and creature comforts for a cozy drive down south

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I can still remember the first time I rode the Ford Territory. I was astounded by the vehicle’s creature comforts that gave drivers and passengers a cozy experience.

We traversed between cities, looking for good food. Despite the hellish traffic that comes with driving in Metro Manila, we were entertained by the technology packed inside the automobile.

More than a year later, the Ford Territory found its way to my garage. It’s like a gift of adventure, in time for my birthday.

Day 1

9:00 am. south kids, ready to go.

July 23. It was a Saturday morning when I received a call from my best friend, Mark, asking me to get ready. They arrived shortly and tried to wind down watching Netflix at home while I prepare everything we need for the trip.

The last time I celebrated my birthday was three years ago. When the pandemic robbed us of time and moments to be with the people we love, I found it difficult to find joy in glamorizing my day. As the world eases up, I knew I had to take this chance to get out and be fabulous.

Before we set off for an adventure down south, we took a photo in front of the Territory.

It was only the three of us who are going for a ride, though. Two of my friends, Oliver and Marlon, weren’t able to join my momentous occasion due to a conflict in the schedule but they decided to stop by and greet me.

10:00 am. navigator at your service.

We were headed to pick up the parents of my godson along Santana Grove in Parañaque. Of course, I wasn’t the driver. I took on the shotgun to be the navigator and the DJ. And so I can always look at myself in the side mirror.

The first half of the trip consisted of exploring the Territory’s technology. A drive isn’t complete without good music, so we used Apple CarPlay in its infotainment system to connect our iPhones. Plenty of devices can get in the way of easily connecting your iPhone to the vehicle, but it’s still easy to pair.

READ: 13 Reasons Why I keep coming back to an iPhone

What we found troublesome was using both Maps and Spotify. The music gets interrupted whenever Maps prompts with a new direction to take. Since music is more important to us, I used my Android phone to use Maps and have a separate, dedicated navigation tool.

If you have a car mount like Moshi’s SnapTo Universal Car Mount, you can clip it so it’ll hold your smartphone.

11:30 am. blue skies.

Our destination for the weekend was Calatagan. That means we have to pass through Tagaytay, which is horrible on the weekends. We took several detours and long cuts just so we have to make it to our favorite stop, Mahogany, in time to meet our other friends driving their sedan.

Finally seeing good weather, we blasted ‘Teenage Dream’ by Katy Perry and opened the windows, as well as the sunroof, while traversing CALAX.

I was already having a good time, and it was just the morning.

1:00 pm. time for bulalô.

Our mood went down; energies depleted. We finally encountered Tagaytay’s unbearable traffic on the weekends. It took us at least half an hour to arrive at Mahogany Beer Market, and we even struggled with finding a parking slot.

When we found a space to park, I loved how the Ford Territory assisted us, thanks to its Ford Co-Pilot 360, an advanced suite of standard driver-assist technologies. Parking in reverse — parallel even — allows the screen to provide a simulated aerial view of the Territory’s surroundings on the screen.

The Mahogany Beef Market is popular for serving fresh meat such as beef, chicken, and pork. On the second floor of the beef market, you can find a slew of food stalls serving Bulalô — a Filipino soup dish made from beef leg bones and marrow.

Mahogany wasn’t fancy in any way, but the food is overwhelmingly delicious and they serve it at a cheaper price compared to restaurants found in Tagaytay. The place is also nostalgic. I remember my drunken nights from Papa Doms, stopping over at Mahogany so I can get sober.

READ: 24 Hours in Tagaytay

3:00 pm. safe drives in the rain.

It took us more than an hour to reach Calatagan coming from Tagaytay. The drive was filled with chill OPM blasting through its speakers. We weren’t able to use the sunroof since we encountered heavy rains and thunderstorms when passing through Nasugbu.

The infotainment system came in handy when I was adjusting the vehicle’s air-conditioning system, the ambient lighting, and sometimes, the seat’s heater. My friend kept increasing my seat’s heater while I try to take a nap, which annoyed me since my butt’s getting really warm.

On another note, my friend was able to keep his eyes on the road and take control of the vehicle’s settings even if we were all asleep, thanks to the easily reachable buttons in and around the steering wheel.

4:00 pm. hello, calatagan.

By four in the afternoon, we were able to arrive at our destination called The Beach along Lucsuhin-Hukay Rd. There are military checkpoints along the way, so be sure to stop when they tell you to do so — even if you’re obstructing the traffic. They’re pretty angsty if you’re considerate of other vehicles.

Nevertheless, the staff at The Beach greeted us with a welcoming smile when we arrived. Even in the lobby, the staff were polite, courteous, and accommodating. When we got the keys to our room, we were served refreshments while we bask at the sound of the waves crashing down the shores, along with the murmurs of friends and families chatting and having fun.

We tried to settle in and change our clothes so we can relax.

6:00 pm. dillydallying at the beach.

As the sun sets, we were vibing, dancing to the beat, and drinking beer, while gawking at the scenery unraveling before us.

When the night came, we ate our freshly-served dinner and I blew the candles from the cake my friends surprised me with. It’s funny how they stole the Instax films I have at home as my cake’s topper to make it really about me.

My birthday night ended with moments of revelry, alcohol, music, and good companionship. I couldn’t ask for more.

Day 2

07:00 am. mornings by the beach.

The Beach, home to aesthetically-pleasing sets and decors, looked immaculate when I went out to enjoy the rising sun. The sea was calm, the breeze was cool, and there are happy vibes all over the place.

The resort offers a freshly-brewed Kapeng Barako, a coffee varietal grown in Batangas province coming from the Coffea Liberica species. There’s also a complimentary breakfast for the guests.

The Beach had an Instagrammable dining area by the sea, and we opted to eat our breakfast there.

9:00 am. laughter and splashes.

Making the most out of our stay, we decided to head to the beach. We weren’t thrilled with the kayak, and instead, we swam up to the inflatable which proved to be challenging for almost everyone trying to make their way up.

We took several photos, had fun splashing around, and enjoyed swimming.

Moments later, we decided to try the Infinity pool. Of course, we still had our photos taken.

12:00 pm. it’s time to go.

Check-out is at 12 noon. We dressed up because we were a little extra. We took group photos in several parts of the resort to commemorate the celebration.

Of course, we all posed in front of the Ford Territory. Rising pop-rock sensation, Noela, and her boyfriend stood out of the sunroof. If this was a 7-seater, we would’ve really enjoyed using only one vehicle, and our drives may have been filled with waves of laughter and stories.

2:00 pm. wind in my hair, i was there.

We were on the way home, and there were only three of us inside the Territory since the couple we picked up before were joining my friend in another vehicle. We were taking separate ways after eating our lunch at Tagaytay, again.

 

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I took this moment to sing along to my favorite songs, as I open the sunroof. We were savoring the cool breeze despite the blazing heat of the sun. It was literally a Taylor Swift moment of “Wind in my hair, I was there” because I remember it all too well.

4:00 pm. do you have oat milk?

Like on ‘Death By A Thousand Cuts’, we took a long way home. But no, we didn’t ask the traffic lights if it’ll be alright. We passed by Amadeo, the coffee capital of the Philippines. We stopped over by Kaffe Belardo so my friends can buy their coffee beans.

I bought a ready-to-go beverage, taking a sip of their cold brew mixed with almond and oat milk. It’s rare to see local cafes offering milk options, especially for those allergic to regular, fresh milk.

With the scent of coffee and the cool breeze thanks to a lineup of trees surrounding the highway, Amadeo is a good place to drive when you just want to get away from it all. I wish I went here when I was losing myself before.

9:00 pm. singing in the car, getting lost upstate.

The Sunday traffic was arguably hellish, especially if you’re down south. The full tank was almost depleted after over a hundred-kilometer drive, which made us giddy since we didn’t have to stop over at gas stations to refuel while we were on our way. It made the trip efficient, and our planned schedule was followed — even with bumper-to-bumper traffic.

The Ford Territory offers a cozy experience — whether you’re a driver or a passenger. It makes being on the road fun and comfortable, thanks to its creature comforts that are easily accessible to anyone. Moreover, the technology infused in the vehicle makes everyone feel safe.

I never pegged the Territory as a long-drive companion, but it proved that it can handle city drives and road trips excellently, more than what we asked for.

To know more about the latest offers, visit ford.com.ph/shopping/latest-offer/ or any Ford dealership nearest you.

SEE ALSO: Ford Territory: Feel at ease while traveling in style | Ford Territory: A techie finds his dream car

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