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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)

[irp posts=”21299″ name=”Best Video Games of 2017 (Q3 Edition)”]

Best Smartphones

Best Premium Smartphones above $600

March 2020 Edition

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If you’re looking for the very best high-end smartphones available, you’ve come to the right place! Every month, GadgetMatch updates this list with the finest devices money can buy, no matter how much they cost.

Updated monthly, this list takes every newly launched flagship costing more than US$ 600 into consideration, but doesn’t discount the smartphones that continue to make an impact since their launch last year.

Here they are in no particular order:

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra (US$ 1399)

All of Samsung’s new Galaxy S20 series belong in this price range. If you’re going to spend north of $600, might as well get the one with maxed-out specs, right? That’s exactly what the Galaxy S20 Ultra — the absolute best that Samsung has to offer right now in this form-factor. The numbers on the hardware are there but Samsung made sure to add key software features to appropriately take advantage of everything it has to offer.

WATCH HANDS-ON: Samsung Galaxy S20 series

Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ (US$ 1100)

The Samsung Galaxy Note series continues to set itself apart by being the premier smartphone that comes with a stylus. It doesn’t hurt that the smartphone is also pretty darn good at pretty much any other thing you might think of doing on a smartphone. While it’s not necessarily elite at one thing, it’s pretty darn good at everything.

HANDS-ON: Samsung Galaxy Note 10

ASUS ROG Phone 2 (Starts at US$ 500)

Nobody asked but ASUS followed up their gaming smartphone. The ROG Phone 2 maxes out every imaginable spec all while maintaining the design language of its predecessor. While the older accessories work, ASUS still introduced a few new ones. Most notably the Kunai gamepad that makes the gaming phone look almost like a Nintendo Switch.

REVIEW: ROG Phone 2

Google Pixel 4 XL (US$ 899)

Reluctantly adding this to the list due to how it feels like a stepback from the Pixel 3. In reality though, it’s still better than its predecessor, it just didn’t meet most people’s expectations. Google’s computational photography is still second to none and that’s still enough to make this list.

HANDS-ON: Google Pixel 4 XL

iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max (US$ 999)

The iPhone 11 Pro made no leaps in design which is why it somewhat feels underwhelming. It does, however, make up for it with yet another faster than ever processor, and a much-improved camera system. No, Apple didn’t exactly “innovate” but the iPhone is still what you expect it to be — a smartphone who’s hardware and software just works.

UNBOXING: iPhone 11, 11 Pro, 11 Pro Max

Photo from @oneplus on Twitter

OnePlus 7T Pro (GBP 699)

The OnePlust 7T Pro didn’t get hyped as much because it was — in the words of many reviewers — only an incremental update from its predecessor. Make no mistake though, this is still a powerhouse of an Android phone is the owner of perhaps the smoothest, fastest Android UI today.

REVIEW: OnePlus 7T Pro

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip (US$ 1380)

The Galaxy Z Flip compares directly to the Motorola razr because of the way they fold. But on paper, the Galaxy Z Flip blows the Moto razr out of the water. There have also been plenty of reports that the Galaxy Z Flip has sold out in many markets (but lacking any actual figures). Regardless, this is easily the foldable smartphone that might actually serve well as your main phone.

WATCH: Galaxy Z Flip vs Moto razr

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Best Smartphones

Best Upper-Midrange Smartphones from $400 to $600

March 2020 Edition

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When premium phones are out of financial reach and entry-level handsets just don’t make your cut, something in between is the next best thing. This is our updated list of the best upper-midrange smartphones retailing from US$ 400 to US$ 600.

Formulating this category was tricky, since you can’t set an exact price and some of these devices are, in fact, the flagship phones of their respective brands. To simplify things, we chose a price range that simply sits between our other lists for best budget, midrange, and premium smartphones.

Here they are in no particular order:

Samsung Galaxy A71 (US$ 500)

Awesome screen, awesome camera, long-lasting battery life — that’s the LSS-inducing theme of the Galaxy A71 as it was being teased. Lo and behold, Samsung wasn’t lying. The phone certainly lives up to the hype and while specs-wise there may be cheaper options out there, the package that Samsung has put together is quite enticing.

REVIEW: Samsung Galaxy A71

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Lite (US$ 449)

Finally. A Galaxy Note sans the gimmicks. The Galaxy Note line has always been a premium offering. And while this isn’t exactly budget, it’s still a lot more affordable than the usual stylus-paired smartphone from Samsung.

WATCH HANDS-ON: Samsung Galaxy Note 10

Realme X2 Pro (CNY 3299)

The Realme X2 Pro has flagship killer written all over it. Equipped with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+ and a 64MP camera sensor along with three other cameras, this phone promises to be a powerhouse with a price tag that doesn’t require sacrificing any of your internal organs.

HANDS-ON: Realme X2 Pro

OnePlus 7T (US$ 599)

When the OnePlus 7 and 7 Pro came out, the company wanted to clearly communicate that they’re competing in the premium space. Fast forward to the OnePlus 7T and it looks like they are back to their flagship killing ways offering premium-level specs at a price lower than most top-of-the-line flagships.

UNBOXING & HANDS-ON: OnePlus 7

OPPO Reno2 (EUR 449/ US$ 488)

Yes, the Reno3 is already out there in the wild but we’ve yet to truly put it through the paces. The Reno2 however, we’ve had our hands-on. It’s crazy how close the release dates of these phones are but we can say for sure that this is still a good purchase owing to its now more premium design and dedication to providing better camera performance.

REVIEW: OPPO Reno2

Black Shark 2 [8GB + 128GB] (GBP 449/ US$ 283)

Okay so we’re being very specific here. There is a pro version but that’s that what we’re talking about. There’s also a version of the Black Shark 2 but with 12GB of RAM which exceeds this price point by hair. Which is why we specifically put the 8GB+128GB variant. It’s still a phone with pretty obvious gaming aesthetic. If this appeals to you, it’s a worthwhile purchase.

READ: Black Shark 2

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Best Smartphones

Best Midrange Smartphones from $200 to $400

March 2020 Edition

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When premium phones are out of financial reach and entry-level handsets just don’t make your cut, something in between is the next best thing. This is our updated list of the best midrange smartphones retailing from US$ 200 to US$ 400.

Formulating this category was tricky, since you can’t set an exact price and some of these devices are, in fact, the flagship phones of their respective brands. To simplify things, we chose a price range that simply sits between our other lists for best budget, upper-midrange, and premium smartphones.

Here they are in no particular order:

Realme XT (US$ 333)

The Realme XT is our choice for best smartphone with a 64MP camera. This smartphone produces flagship-level photos.

REVIEW: Realme XT

Xiaomi Mi 9 SE (US$ 300)

Xiaomi has always been a part of the list and the Mi 9 SE truly deserves its spot. It’s a flagship-grade phone from its design to its specs. It’s dubbed as a “compact flagship” thanks to its smaller-than-usual form factor. If you’re looking for a phone that won’t hurt your pockets both in size and price, check out the Mi 9 SE.

REVIEW: Xiaomi Mi 9 SE

Realme 5 Pro (US$ 232)

A quadruple-camera setup at this price point seems unlikely but Realme made it happen. And it’s not just the setup, the lenses actually take photos with good image quality. That would have been enough to recommend this but it also has a Snapdragon 712 AIE chip with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. If you’re looking for a great deal, this is it.

HANDS-ON: Realme 5 Pro

 

Pixel 3a (US$399)

The Pixel 3a barely makes this price range by being just a hair under $400. The camera alone easily makes this crème de la crème of this bunch. Add to that the vanilla Android experience and of course being in the priority list of Android updates, this is the Pixel to get for Android purists.

HANDS-ON: Pixel 3a

 

POCO X2 (INR 19,99/ US$ 279)

The future of Pocophone was up in the air for a while, but all of that was finally put to rest when the brand finally released the POCO X2. This isn’t exactly the successor to the POCO F1. In fact, this is just a rebranded Redmi K30 Pro. But it’s still a step in the right direction for a brand that quickly captured everyone’s attention only to go completely silent for over a year.

READ: POCO X2

Samsung Galaxy A51 (US$ 320)

Samsung’s on a roll with their Galaxy A-series. The Galaxy A51 builds on everything that was already great with the Galaxy A50 and A50s and just makes it even better. Much like everything on the Galaxy lineup this year, the Galaxy A51 sports a look that as of posting is still undeniably Samsung.

Samsung Galaxy M31 (INR 15,99/US$ 224)

This battery-powerhouse of a smartphone has never quite made it to more markets, but it has gotten a significant amount of attention thanks to its 6,000mAh battery. Something this long-lasting appears to still be one of the priorities of smartphone buyers.

 

 

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