Notebooks can have cool names. HP had a cool one with its Omen series. Very ominous sounding right? Horror-esque even! Strikes fear into the hearts of men and beasts alike kind of thing.
Acer probably saw that and their marketing guys thought of the same thing. How do they top that? Make a sillier name!
…and so the Acer Predator Triton 300 SE was born.
I jest, I jest.
Don’t kill me Acer.
What is the Acer Predator Triton 300 SE?
The Acer Predator Triton 300 SE is a 14-inch gaming notebook.
Our review unit was packing an Intel 12th Gen CPU (i7-12700H), an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 GPU, 16GB DDR5 RAM, a 512GB SSD and a WQXGA display that outputs at 2560 x 1600 (16:10) with a 165Hz refresh rate.
It weighs a measly 1.7KG and retails for SG$3,298.
Once, I loved huge laptops.
Over the years though, I’ve started to get a better appreciation for smaller sized ones and the 14-inch Acer Predator Triton 300 SE is certainly one of my fondest yet.
14-inch might seem small in the grand scheme of things but that just means this bad boy is hella portable. I lugged it around to Thailand in my messenger bag for the Thailand Game Show and I didn’t feel encumbered by it one bit.
It barely took up any space in my Timbuk2 bag and it felt like I wasn’t carrying anything extra at all.
Portability and weight aside, I just love the hardware that’s Acer’s stuffed into it.
While I do wish it packed the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 or even the 3070Ti instead of the 3060, the machine’s still capable enough to get decent gaming performance at 1080p from even the most recent titles.
Before we get to that though, let’s take a look at the ports this machine has.
I’d taken my own shots but since Acer’s website has it in a much nicer format, I’ll just nab theirs.
See? Fancy background and all!
You’ll see that it packs 2 USB3.2 Gen 2 ports, a single USB Type-C port, a HDMI 2.1 port, an Ethernet port and an audio jack.
I personally found that 2 USB3.2 ports weren’t enough. I usually have a mouse plugged in along with another USB port used for my charging cable. That just leaves the USB Type-C port open for thumb drives.
What if I want to charge my watch or connect something (a camera perhaps?) that requires a USB port while all the ports are being used?
3 is the bare minimum number of ports that should be on notebooks. Or at the very least an SD card or microSD card reader should be included.
The issue of ports aside, the rest of the hardware on the Acer Predator Triton 300 SE is decent.
The keyboard has a 3-zone RGB backlight and it’s decently bright enough to see even when there’s light. Cool to have for those who want to bling out their gaming gear.
The keyboard’s keys have decent travel too, which means they’re tactile enough to type on. Not the best mind you (mechanical keyboards are), but still far from the worse notebook keyboard I’ve tried.
I also love that the Power button is secluded on the upper right so that you won’t accidentally hit it. The backspace key’s also nice and long, which is yet another thing some laptops chose to ignore.
I’m quite impressed that Acer’s made a lot of smart decisions with its keyboard, especially given the small (compared to 15 or 17-inch notebooks) amount of keyboard real estate they have to work with.
Unfortunately, the trackpad’s too mushy for my tastes.
It’s all integrated into one chunk (I prefer separated buttons for left and right click) so it’s a bit bleh for my liking. Then again, I’ve hated most of the notebook trackpads I’ve come across, so the notebook isn’t an outlier.
One last awesome point I want to make…or better yet, show.
Look at that screen!
It’s almost 180 degrees flat. It’s really impressive and really lets you tilt the laptop to your heart’s content if you’re sitting at a weird angle. I don’t see much utility in that, but it’s still a cool feature.
Also, a cute little tidbit. On the back of the display, there’s this little logo of the line.
Again, nothing major but a cool thing to have.
Now let’s finally get down to the nitty gritty; the gaming performance.
Here’s how the machine performs on PCmark 10.
Good solid numbers, with high 9000s in all categories. That’s a decent flex indeed for a compact machine like the Acer Predator Triton 300 SE.
The PCmark 10 scores are pretty self-explanatory I think. It clearly labels what each rating is for so you know the machine does really well with basic word processing stuff, as well as video and photo editing.
Now here’s how the notebook performs for 3Dmark.
Yeah, remember when I saw the machine should’ve been packed with an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 instead? This is why.
Don’t get me wrong, the performance is decent enough…if you’re planning to game on 1080p. With the Acer Predator Triton 300 SE and its WQXGA screen though, that’s a waste of a great display.
Acer really should’ve made the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 or 3070Ti standard on all variants of the Acer Predator Triton 300 SE, not just the high end ones. I do understand the need to cater to those with a smaller budget, but it’s just a shame to not see the display used to its full potential.
Here is how the notebook plays on games.
This is Three Kingdoms.
The first shot is the Custom setting (everything set to Ultra or Very High) with progressively lower settings as you move down.
A 42.7FPS average on an RTS isn’t a great score but do bear in mind this is with everything turned all the way up. Ultra unit numbers is nothing to laugh at. Only the beefiest rigs will stand a chance here, so there’s no way that a notebook packing an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 will do 60 or higher FPS.
The great news here is that if you do use the highest preset (Ultra) the machine does post an average of 61 FPS. Just barely past 60, but good enough. It only gets better the lower you go but that’s really no surprise.
Now let’s take a look at Shadow of the Tomb Raider.
Again, going from Custom (where everything is cranked up) at the top, and going down to Lowest, which is last in line.
The Acer Predator Triton 300 SE posts a surprisingly good performance here. It just barely fails to hit an average of 60FPS on Custom, though it more than meets that minimum on every other preset.
An average of 88 FPS for the Highest preset is nothing to scoff at here too! That’s a decent score and more than enjoyable enough to play with.
Finally, we move on to the Final Fantasy XV Benchmark.
I’ll be honest, I was actually a bit surprised that the Acer Predator Triton 300 SE posted a decent score on the 4K Custom setting. I reckon the game would be pretty playable on the native 2560 x 1600 resolution of the Acer Predator Triton 300 SE display because of that.
It goes without saying then that the rest of the settings are enjoyable enough to play on as well.
So under all this heavy load, how did the notebook fare thermally?
Well, the Acer Predator Triton 300 SE remained decently cool. That’s to say you can feel the machine getting warmer as you play (especially if you’re pushing the hardware hard).
It never got to a point where it was too hot to touch, so that’s a plus.
Could it be cooler? Sure, but I reckon Acer doesn’t have a ton of space for some really good cooling gear.
After all, space is at a premium with 14-inch notebooks. You’ll definitely want to invest in a good external laptop cooler though, even if the heat’s pretty bearable.
Why overburden the machine unnecessarily right?
The Bottom Line.
The Acer Predator Triton 300 SE is actually a pretty capable little notebook.
It’s display is great, it’s light and the keyboard’s a decent one. The build’s good, the machine looks premium.
For something that’s SG$3,298 though, I’d have expected a little more power under the hood.
The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 really should’ve been an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 or 3070Ti to keep up with the display and make the machine much more appealing. The number of USB ports is a potential drawback too, especially if you constantly have a ton of devices that you use, like I do.
At the end of the day, if you’re looking for a light 14-inch gaming machine with some muscle, the Acer Predator Triton 300 SE does fit the bill.
Just don’t expect to play games at 4K and you’ll be fine.
Great machine though the GPU’s a bit underwhelming considering the price.
- Decent keyboard.
- Display is pretty good.
- Great 1080p gaming performance.
- GPU could be better.
- Not enough USB ports.
- No SD or microSD card reader.