The Acer Predator Triton 500 SE is an excellent gaming machine. It has a great design that can fit anywhere you want to use it, wherever you go, and the thin design is compact enough to take anywhere.
- Gorgeous and smooth 16-inch screen
- Fast 12th-gen CPUs and NVIDIA GPUs
- Respectable battery life
- Solid productivity performance
- Speakers are pretty weak
- Cooling could be better during gaming
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The Acer Predator Triton 500 SE (PT516-52s-99EL) is a sleek, subtle powerhouse you can slide into your backpack and sneak into the office, and nearly a day’s worth of work done. On paper, it positions itself as a super-portable powerhouse from a technical perspective, especially when factoring in its glorious 16-inch screen, with a unique 16:10 aspect ratio, making it slightly taller than typical widescreen displays and very useful when dealing with documents.
Our review unit, the Acer PT516-52s-99EL features a 12th Gen Intel Core i9 CPU and Nvidia’s powerful 3080Ti GPU with 16GB of VRAM: this Predator is hiding some potent gaming power underneath a gorgeous all-aluminum, gun-metal grey exterior that fits both at home and work. Even its air vents have this understated aggressive look that doesn’t shout “gamer” at all.
With a sleek design, some of the quietest fans, and one of the best webcams I’ve seen for a long time, this new Predator seems destined to join our best gaming laptops category. Alright folks, let’s see why this Acer Predator Triton 500 SE is such a big deal.
About the Acer Predator Triton 500 SE
Acer’s updated Predator Triton 500 SE is a different animal altogether, with impressive all-metal construction and a stellar 16:10 screen. The screen features a WQXGA 2560 x 1600p display, and that places it in line with Apple’s latest 16-inch MacBook, much higher than gaming laptop resolutions. It’s no slouch either when it comes to its refresh rate and response time, clocked at 240Hz and 3ms respectively, with Nvidia G-sync and Optimus technology as standard in all models.
The hardware inside is the real showstopper, and it will turn heads in the high-end gaming scene. As mentioned, it boasts an Intel Core i9-12900H CPU and RTX 3080 Ti GPU with 16GB GDDR6 VRAM, 32GB LPDDR5 RAM, and 1TB SSD storage. In short, this is a battle station beast packed into a 20mm chassis with some serious gaming chops.
Here are the Acer Predator Triton 500 SE specs:
|Processor||Intel Core i9-12900H|
|RAM (as Tested)||32 GB|
|Boot Drive Capacity (as Tested)||1 TB SSD|
|Screen Size||16 inches|
|Native Display Resolution||2,560 by 1,600, IPS, G-Sync|
|Screen Refresh Rate||240 Hz|
|Graphics Processor||Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti Laptop GPU|
|Graphics Memory||16 GB|
|Wireless Networking||Wi-Fi 6E|
|Dimensions (HWD)||14.11 x 10.33 x 0.78 inches|
|Operating System||Windows 11 Home|
The base model Predator Triton comes with a core i7-12700H processor, RTX 3070 Ti GPU, 16GB of RAM, and 1TB of SSD storage. Sticking with that CPU and RAM, but upgrading to 2TB of SSD and an RTX 3080 Ti GPU takes you back up to around three grand. Then, there is the ultimate-beast mode configuration. The Triton 500 SE (PT516-52s-99EL), with a Core i9-12900H processor, an RTX 3080 Ti GPU, 32GB of RAM, and 1TB of storage.
Similar to what we’ve seen from the flagship gaming laptops from Razer and Alienware, the Acer Predator Triton 500 SE comes with three-zone lighting which you can tweak via the onboard PredatorSense software. This software gives you seamless control over fan speeds, system monitoring, and overclocking potential.
What We Like
Most powerful CPU in a portable gaming laptop
We’re not surprised that this flagship tops the charts when it comes to performance. When it comes to processing power in a laptop, the 12th Gen Intel Core i9-12900H CPU has no match. It’s one of the best-performing laptops we’ve seen, edging out the MSI Raider GE76 (Intel Core i9-11980HK) and the Razer Blade 14 (AMD Ryzen 9 6900HX). In Cinebench tests, for instance, the Triton 500 SE scored 15278 points, which is almost 30% faster than the Raider GE76 and 27% faster than the Blade 14.
The stellar benchmark scores are replicated in the real world too. The Core i9 CPU renders 3D content in a few seconds, much better than its closest competitors from Razer and MSI. It beats high-end desktop CPUs like AMD Ryzen 5 5600X on the MSI Aegis ZS, by a couple of seconds.
Having such a powerful processor is great for CPU-intensive games like Total War: Warhammer II and other strategy titles, but is also useful for professional work that needs raw CPU muscle. It’s especially great for productivity and creative workloads like photo and video editing, and it doesn’t disappoint where it matters most.
Top-notch gaming performance
The Acer Predator Triton 500 SE (PT516-52s-99EL) model we’re reviewing comes with an Intel Core i9-12900H and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti GPU. The GPU has 16GB of GDDR6 memory (which is why you can run pretty much anything without exhausting the VRAM) and max graphics power of 115W. Competing gaming laptops like the Alienware x17 R2, MSI GE76 Raider, and Razer Blade 17 also have the same GPU.
On its highest 1080p graphics settings, Shadow of the Tomb Raider played at 118 frames per second (fps). On the other hand, Cyberpunk 2077 runs at 78 fps on the 1080p Ultra preset and at 59 with ray tracing enabled. Some other laptops can deliver almost similar performance on older games like Shadow of the Tomb Raider, but then the Triton 500 SE offers much better ray tracing performance than the competition.
If you’re more interested in eSports, first-person shooters, or other AAA titles that require high refresh rates, you can readily take advantage of the Triton 500 SE’s 240Hz display. In Overwatch, it runs at 161 fps on 1080p ultra graphics, while Final Fantasy XIV, runs at 118 fps on 1080p max graphics.
A sleek design, and feels elegant
While some gaming laptops need to make a compromise between a thin chassis and creating room for the internals to breathe well, Acer has managed to strike a sweet balance with its Triton 500 SE. That gunmetal gray coating of its all-metal chassis is fantastic and doesn’t pick fingerprints. With a thin profile, it will easily slide into your backpack and you can carry it on your daily commute with ease. The predator logo is recessed to a corner, so it won’t draw as much attention if used at the office or college. Even the speaker grilled looks cool and has a wave pattern that’s fun to stare at.
The keyboard and keyboard are fantastic too. Finally, you have a gaming laptop with a MacBook’s trackpad and it’s awesome. The response and feel are flawless, and it gets a fingerprint scanner tucked away.
The chicklet keyboard has three RGB lighting zones that are surprisingly comfortable to type on and pretty to look at. The keyboard has a dedicated power button, a few media buttons, and a key with the Predator symbol that launches the preinstalled PredatorSense app.
Incredible display for gaming
The Acer Predator Triton 500 SEE is a gaming-first display. While it doesn’t get as bright as an OLED display, it still shines with its 520 nits of brightness and 100% DCI-P3 color gamut that put it among the better screens we’ve seen on a gaming laptop. Most gaming laptops we’ve reviewed before often suffer with washed-out screens – even the Acer Predator Helios 300 (2022) we reviewed a few days ago comes with solid performance but a dim screen holds it from being an Editors’ Choice gaming laptop.
This display is simply gorgeous: the 16-inch, 16:10 aspect ratio, 2560 x 1600-pixel screen feels massive and immersive, without necessarily feeling like someone attempted to slap a desktop monitor on a laptop. With a 240Hz refresh rate, this screen outscores most of its competitors in most categories. Overall, the bright, beautifully colorful, crisp screen is a bountiful bonanza of viewing pleasure to watch.
Elsewhere, the FHD webcam on the Triton 500 SE is one of the best cameras you’re going to find on a laptop. With a 1080p resolution, that’s more than enough for video conferencing, and you’ll be surprised with the crisp images it produces and how color accurate it is in all lighting conditions.
What we don’t like
Audio and battery life are middling
The audio experience on the Predator PT516-52s-99EL is solid, but it won’t blow you away. The Predator Triton produces enough audio depth that you can make out the difference between highs, mid-one, and lows. Its bass is narrow but you can still listen to music from the room in a tiny studio or apartment.
As for battery life, the Triton 500 SE lasts decent enough for a gaming laptop with these potent specs, but it’s still a mixed bag. On one hand, the Predator lasts 8 hours 16 minutes over continuous web surfing over Wi-Fi at 150 nits; but it lasts just 1 hour and 13 minutes during gaming. So, as you can see, the svelte Predator is up to the tasks for work, and will probably give you a full day at work, but if you want to game on the road, find an outlet.
Should you buy the Acer Predator Triton 500 SE?
The Acer Predator Triton 500 SE is an excellent machine. It has a great design that can fit anywhere you want to use it, wherever you go, and the thin design is compact enough to take it anywhere.
It’s that GeForce RTX 3080 Ti with 16GB of GDDR6 VRAM and an Intel Core i9-12900H that makes this a complete 1440p powerhouse. For those using the same laptop for work and play, the keyboard is surprisingly comfortable to type on, and that 1080p webcam is pretty solid for remote conference calls.
Other laptops, like the alternatives from Razer, MSI and Alienware pack almost the same hardware, but our review configuration of the Triton 500 SE is probably the best bang for your buck, of those systems. The Razer Blade 15, Alienware x17 R2, and MSI GE76 Raider, all cost almost $500 more than the Triton 500 SE.
And while the Predator feels lighter and looks smaller than you’d expect, once you load it up, the 16-inch, 16:10 aspect ratio, 240Hz display will have you immersed in whatever you do.
If you’re looking for a machine that can do serious productivity work on the clock and some heavy gaming after hours, the Acer Predator Triton 500 SE (PT516-52s-99EL) is the laptop for you. It comes highly recommended.
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