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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
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.
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.
[irp posts=”21299″ name=”Best Video Games of 2017 (Q3 Edition)”]
Mate 20 series offers a solid lineup: Weekend Rewind
There’s a Mate 20 for everyone!
Here are this week’s top stories on GadgetMatch.
1. Huawei offers plenty of things with their Mate 20 Series
Huawei could very well fill up this week’s entire rewind with the whole Mate 20 series. In total, they released four new smartphones along with two wearables during their event in London. Here’s all of them.
These were the devices most of us expected to see. The Mate 20 Pro is probably the most feature-packed phone of 2018. They brought in everything that was good with the P20 Pro and added a few wait-hold-up-did-it-really-do-that features like reverse wireless charging.
Watch the Mate 20 Pro Hands-on…
And our Mate 20 Unboxing while you’re here.
Porsche Design Mate 20 RS
If you have an excessive amount of money to spend (please give us some), you can opt for the more luxurious Mate 20 RS. It has all the bells and whistles of the Mate 20 Pro but with the leatherback Porsche Design. It’ll come in two colors: Black in select markets and in a limited edition Red in China.
Mate 20 X
This was announced as Huawei’s one more big thing. Big, it truly is. Coming with a massive 7.2-inch display, the Mate 20 X is being marketed as a gaming smartphone. It even pairs with a gamepad for that ultimate gaming experience.
Huawei Watch GT and Band Pro 3
These two wearables mostly flew under the radar but they are still worth taking note of. The Huawei Watch GT, while waterproof and equipped with fitness features, is the more lifestyle model thanks to its design. The Huawei Band Pro 3 is the more straightforward health tracker and something you probably shouldn’t wear at formal gatherings.
I could do this all day.😎 pic.twitter.com/GRAF4jPMZt
— Mi (@xiaomi) October 18, 2018
2. Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 getting hype ahead of launch
In case you haven’t been keeping up, there’s already a handful of smartphones released in October and there’s a handful more coming. One of them is Xiaomi’s Mi Mix 3 which is slated for an October 25 launch and is rumored to have a whopping 10GB of RAM and 5G connectivity.
Xiaomi also released a teaser showcasing the device’s sliding camera feature.
3. Palm breaking trend of bigger phones
Tired of phones getting bigger and bigger? Palm came back this week and offered a different approach with the Palm phone. It’s not exactly a standalone smartphone and is really meant to be more of a Robin to the Batman which is your daily driver. At this point, we’re not sure how useful it’ll be but if you’re curious, it’s priced at US$ 349.
4. OnePlus 6T moves launch date
Speaking of more phones coming, the OnePlus 6T, which was reported to come with a smaller notch, an in-display fingerprint scanner along with the usual performance we’ve come to expect from the company, was forced to move its launch to October 29 with OnePlus CEO and founder Pete Lau saying they want “to make sure it gets the time and attention it deserves.”
Why wouldn’t it get the attention during its initial launch date? Well, it’s because of this next news item.
5. Apple wants to end October with a bang
Whether intentional or not, looks like Apple isn’t done announcing things and they want to be the one to cap off October with their own launch event. After announcing the iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR, the company is expected to unveil a new iPad Pro with Face ID, and possibly a low-cost MacBook or MacBook Air as reported by Bloomberg.
Weekend Rewind is our roundup of top news and features you might have missed for the week. We know the world of technology can be overwhelming and not everyone has the time to get up to speed with everything — and that includes us. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the rewind.
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Cherry Mobile Flare S7 Plus hands-on: A step-up
The company’s greatest contender
Cherry Mobile recently launched their new Flare S7 series, which is essentially their main smartphone lineup for the year. The greatest offering among the bunch is the Flare S7 Plus, a device with all the specifications and features you’d expect from a 2018 phone.
Since it’s from Cherry Mobile, you’d expect the phone to be cheap, right? Price-wise, it is, but that doesn’t mean it’s just another affordable phone.
Here’s what I got to say about the Flare S7 Plus.
Cherry Mobile has officially joined the notch wagon with a borderless 6.18-inch display. It’s a Full HD+ panel with a 19:9 aspect ratio, and it’s Cherry Mobile’s best display yet.
It’s vibrant and produces vivid colors, but the user interface kind of ruins the beauty of the display. It’s best to download your preferred third-party launcher and customize to your heart’s content.
Unlike with other midrange phones, the Flare S7 Plus’ notch is pretty wide and there’s a reason for it. The phone is equipped with more advanced facial recognition hardware including an IR camera. This ensures higher accuracy, faster unlocking, and even better face detection in low-light.
If you’re not a fan of face unlock, you can always resort to the fingerprint sensor placed on the back of the phone. Based on my usage, the fingerprint reader is faster most of the time than the face unlock. Good thing you have the best of both worlds.
Now that we’re on the back of the phone, let’s talk about another special feature of the Flare S7 Plus. Finally, Cherry Mobile embraces a more elegant design using a glass back and metal frame. I was told that they used Gorilla Glass 3 on both sides, so it won’t scratch easily in your pocket or on the table.
Since we we have a glass back, it’s possible to put in wireless charging and the company did just that. Simply place the phone on any Qi standard wireless charger, and let the magic happen.
It’s not exactly magic per se, but it’s amazing to have your phone charge by placing it on a table. This phone costs less than half of most flagships that don’t even support wireless charging.
Of course, you can always charge this phone’s 3050mAh battery through the reversible USB-C port, which also doubles as the audio port because, sadly, the Flare S7 Plus doesn’t have a 3.5 headphone jack. Cherry Mobile bundles a 3.5mm to USB-C adapter inside the box, so you can still use your legacy headphones as you please.
Powering the Flare S7 Plus is a MediaTek Helio P60 processor. We have already tried the capabilities of this chipset with the OPPO F9, and it definitely delivers great performance. If you’re into benchmarking, you’ll be glad to know the Helio P60 scores higher than its competitors.
The phone also comes with 4GB of memory and 64GB of expandable storage which is pretty standard nowadays. It boots Android 8.1 Oreo out of the box, but there’s no word when Android 9 Pie is coming.
The gaming performance of the Flare S7 Plus is above average, which is what you can expect from the Helio P60. The Mali-G72 MP3 GPU works well with intensive games, but you must reduce the graphics quality a bit to get consistently high frame rates.
As for the cameras, the Flare S7 Plus has capable shooters that are probably the fruit of Cherry Mobile’s investment in improving their R&D when it comes to picture quality. The phone has dual rear shooters using a main 16-megapixel RGB sensor and a secondary 5-megapixel depth sensor. In the front, there’s another 16-megapixel selfie camera that’s paired with the IR sensor when needed. Check out the samples below:
An additional feature of the front sensors is FlareMoji. Using the IR sensor and facial recognition, you can animate cutesy characters. Check this out:
It’s essentially like Apple’s Animoji, but the tracking is nowhere near as smooth as with the iPhone. Anyhow, it’s still enjoyable to use.
Is this your GadgetMatch?
For just PhP 11,999 (US$ 225), the Flare S7 Plus offers a lot. You get a great premium phone with midrange power, beautiful display, and a plethora of extra features like wireless charging and an IR face scanner. The software UI is quite a letdown, but you can always download a launcher from the Play Store.
If you’re wondering what the Flare S7 Plus is in other markets, it’s also called the BLU VIVO XI+ and they share similar specifications and design.
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