Reviewed in the United States on May 2, 2019
Having read and researched for several weeks, I took a flier and decided to purchase an Acer laptop. In the past, Acer has – at least in my circles – had both a less-than-sterling reputation, and one as a “bargain basement brand.” However, over the last few generations of Acer laptops, it’s been clear that their quality has been improving significantly. So, when the initial reviews for the Predator Triton 500 came out, I sat up and took notice. This laptop proves that Acer is no longer the “Blu of laptops.”
Aside from the impressive specs on what’s under the hood, this laptop offers features such as a metal chassis and skin (except the screen bezel). The backlit keyboard is well-designed, with the keys having a surprising amount of travel for so thin a laptop. Okay, it’s not equipped with Cherry MX switches, but for a laptop it’s not at all bad. In contrast to some of the other reviewers here, a very careful inspection of my RTX 2060/6GB/16GB “entry level” machine revealed zero assembly flaws. Its fit and finish remind me of my old IBM Thinkpads and MacBooks.
Overall, the design strikes me as well thought out. The hinges are sturdy, the case quite stiff, with an abundance of cooling vents. The only possible complaint is that the anodized brushed aluminum case is a bit of a fingerprint magnet.
Unlike most gaming rigs, this laptop is not the garish LED wet dream of a 14 year old gamer nerd, but actually rather tastefully appointed. The inclusion of a turbo button over the F1 and F2 keys, and an Acer-specific button to the right of the backspace key (which starts the Acer Predator Sense utility), and a multi-hue RGB backlit keyboard with some special effects will sooth the above-mentioned nerd’s yearnings for flash and glitz. Unlike others, I found the touchpad to be more than adequate; Windows 10’s control panel allows for sufficient fine-tuning as to eliminate most issues.
The ability to utilize both wired and WiFi internet – separately or together – is a welcome plus to this user, as my last few laptops did not offer an RJ45, and the various other ports – 3 USB 3.1, 1 Thunderbolt 3, HDMI, etc., offer significant expansion capabilities from the base system. While not “obsolescence proof,” the Thunderbolt 3 should delay such to some degree.
Contrary to what others have commented, under normal load, I’ve not noticed the fans at all. Sure, under full load from a graphics intensive game, or in turbo mode, they are a bit loud, but this IS a gaming laptop and certain trade offs are inevitable. The case does get warm under heavy load, but I’ve had far worse laptops in this regard. A caveat: thanks to 42 years of punk rock, my hearing’s not what it was and the fans noise may be in a frequency in which I’m partially deaf.
This is a 4.2 lb (1.9 kg) metal chassis/case gaming laptop with three fans an i7, an RTX 20(X)0 and an ultra-thin design. Expecting 8 hours of battery life is unrealistic. Expecting much battery life at all when playing a graphics-intensive game is just foolish. That said, a plethora of battery saving options are available and I found that, with moderate use of them, I was able to extend battery life to about 4 hours, 40 minutes (to 5% charge) while doing mixed productivity (word-processing), web-surfing via WiFi and watching 1080p videos. That’s not too shabby. Had I gone full bore on the battery saving options, I feel certain I could have eked out another hour, at least.
The PCIe SSD makes short work of moving large files about. Loading LibreOffice Writer by clicking on a 10 page .odt file brings that file up in about 3 seconds, unzipping large files (e.g. gzipped 4GB Linux isos, etc.) is extremely fast, and moving such files to and from a 3.1 USB pendrive is jaw-dropping to someone who remembers using 8MB USB 1.0 pendrives.
Others have suggested the screen is slightly dim, but I found it to be adequately bright, about par with most ICP laptops, with rich colors and clean definition. Of course, 144Hz makes gameplay seamless. No, it’s not UHD, but my senior citizen eyes aren’t able to discern the difference on a 15” screen.
Gameplay – I haven’t really tried to push it yet, but Elite:Dangerous runs pegged at 144 FPS, and League of Legends never dips below 215 FPS, even in team fights, both at highest settings. A portion of my next pension check will be spent on a game that will test the 2060’s limits. HD movies play flawlessly, and I was noting details that I’d previously missed on my last laptop (a Dell 2-in-1), such as facial fuzz.
There’s never such thing as a perfect machine, and this one has one significant – even mortal – flaw in my book. I am a Linux user and gamer, and thanks to the asinine security restrictions Acer has placed in the BIOS, the only way to install Linux is either on a pen drive and boot to it via the F12 boot drive selection menu, or ship your laptop to Acer, paying $100 for them to flash an unlocked BIOS to it, a process that’ll take 7-10 days after they receive it. Had I been aware of this, I probably would have bought something else, as a large percentage of my games library is Linux-based. Thanks, Acer, for kissing Microsoft’s monopolistic ass.
If you’re not a Linux geek, disregard the above; this is an excellent machine for Win10 users.
The review is supposed to be about the merchandise, so no deduction was made for the truly pathetic customer service I received from Amazon in this particular instance. Attempting to buy on the installment plan, I had to cancel and reorder three times, before, thanks to an extremely kind and helpful lady in customer service, my order was tagged, flagged, marked and all boxes otherwise ticked to indicate it was not to be paid all at once. Thus, it took 2 weeks to receive this laptop from the date I initially ordered it. Caveat Emptor when attempting to buy from Amazon in this fashion.