Following a quick sneak peak at IFA in August, Acer has introduced two new models in its premium-meets-portable line of Predator Triton gaming laptops. Based on the same cantilevered design Acer used for its 15.6-inch Predator Triton 700, the new $4,000 Predator Triton 900 comes equipped with a 17-inch 4K display, eighth-gen Intel Core i7 processors and Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 2080 GPU series. The $1,800 Predator Triton 500, on the other hand, loads much — though not all — of the same hardware into a more compact and traditional 15.6-inch body.
And then there’s the matter of the touchpad.
When we reviewed the Predator Triton 700 in 2017, we admired its fabulous mechanical keyboard and appreciated the novel, hinged design that shifted the 4K display between laptop and tablet modes. But we found the unconventional placement of the Gorilla Glass touchpad, above the keyboard, regrettable.
The positioning made it unwieldy and that it was made of glass and seated above key components made it uncomfortably hot to the touch — awkward at best and potentially infuriating for a $3,000 machine. Given this, we’re a bit dubious about the bigger and even more expensive Predator Triton 900, which, despite some impressive specs, is saddled with the same design flaw.
But we’re more optimistic about the more affordable Predator Triton 500, which puts the touchpad where it’s supposed to be — right below the keyboard. At 4.1 pounds, it’s lighter than the Razer Blade, which starts at $1,600, and on par with the MSI GS65 Stealth Thin, which starts at $1,800. But though all three can be configured with eighth-gen Intel Core i7 CPUs, only the Predator Triton 500 (for now) offers Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 2080 GPUs.
Other noteworthy specs include NVMe PCIe RAID 0 SSDs, up to 32GB of DDR4 memory and a 15.6-inch IPS display with 3ms response time, 144Hz refresh rates and support for Nvidia G-Sync. Acer says the Predator Triton will deliver up to 8 hours of battery life.
The Predator Triton 500 will be available on Feb. 15 followed by the Predator Triton 900 on March 15. Acer has not yet announced international pricing or availability.