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Hands on: Acer Predator Triton 300 SE review

Perfect for work AND play

What is a hands on review?
Acer Predator Triton 300 SE
(Image: © Future)

Early Verdict

It's early days, but the Acer Predator Triton 300 SE looks to be a solid choice for folks needing to combine their gaming hobby and professional requirements into one device. Featuring an 11th-gen Intel CPU and the latest Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 GPU, this gaming laptop has some seriously impressive specs to tackle any task you subject it to.

For

  • Solid build quality
  • Hybrid professional/gaming aesthetic

Against

  • The power button is awkwardly placed
  • Very heavy

Whilst the ongoing pandemic has forced CES 2021 to go digital, we managed to get a few hours with the upcoming Acer Predator Triton 300 SE gaming laptop, which is a great deal longer than what we would have had during the physical event. In ordinary circumstances we would be running around the convention floor, desperately trying to get enough time with a product to give it a fair first impression.

The Predator Triton 300 SE is a small, but powerful gaming laptop that will feature up to an 11th Gen Intel Core-i7 H35-series processor and the freshly-revealed Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 laptop GPU. You can also expect up to 24GB of DDR4 RAM and storage options of 258GB, 512BG and 1TB.

Acer is promising clock speeds of up to 5 GHz, which we couldn't verify due to a lack of benchmarking or thorough tests, but it certainly got us excited for any opportunity to spend more time with the device in the future.

The Acer Predator Triton 300 SE will be available from £1,399 (around $1,900, AU$2,500), but no release date has been confirmed.

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Acer Predator Triton 300 SE

(Image credit: Future)
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Acer Predator Triton 300 SE

(Image credit: Future)

The first thing we noticed is that the Acer Predator Triton 300 SE is very heavy for a laptop this size, weighing in at 1.7KG. The all-metal chassis is solid, with a distinctive lack of any cheap plastic in the design. Having carried it around for a short while, you can't ignore the heft that will be present in your carry case or laptop bag, but it does give the machine a reassuring feeling of being hardwearing and resistant to damage.

The Predator Triton 300 SE sports a 14-inch full HD display with a 144Hz refresh rate for any competitive FPS players that are looking for a new machine, and the back of the monitor has a sleek, minimalist finish. With no RGB lights or garish logo on display, you could use the Acer Predator Triton 300 SE as a very serviceable professional laptop for your work or study needs, as well as your gaming hobby.

We're seeing the popularity for gaming laptops with a muted aesthetic booming right now, likely with the rise of remote working resulting in more demand for hybrid devices, but the Predator Triton 300 SE is one of our favorites so far.

Acer Predator Triton 300 SE

(Image credit: Future)

That isn't to say of course that you cant have the flashy RGB gaming look if you want - the keyboard is delightful to type on and can have its lighting fully customized or switched off entirely in the included Predator Sense software. An issue we did face was the placement of the power button on the keyboard layout, though this would be easy to adjust to after some use.

Located at the top left is a 'turbo' button, which will activate the one-click overclocking boost. This currently results in the powerful Aeroblad fans roaring into action, but as we couldn't run any benchmarks we can't confirm if this actually makes a difference to the laptop performance.

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Acer Predator Triton 300 SE

(Image credit: Future)
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Acer Predator Triton 300 SE

(Image credit: Future)

The Predator Triton 300 SE has a wide range of ports, including Thunderbolt 4, USB 3.2 Gen 2 and HDMI, and the device charging port is located on the left side. Acer has stated that you can expect up to 10 hours of battery life, but this isn't something we could confirm during the hands-on.

The audio was great quality too, with optimized bass and decent volume. The built in microphone includes some nice features such as keystroke suppression for noisy games and far-field pickup for when you're not hunched over the laptop.

Early verdict

Whilst the overall time spent with the Acer Predator Triton 300 SE was short, it's left us keen to put it through our usual rigorous testing standards soon. With the above-mentioned specifications, it's likely that this will be a solid choice for players looking to jump onto the next-gen gaming train without having to sacrifice portability in favor of a bulky desktop.

The laptop feels incredibly sturdy and well designed, and is almost incognito as a gaming orientated machine when the rainbow RGB backlight on the keyboard has been switched off, which also makes it a fantastic buy for anyone looking for one device that can support both professional work or study with the high power requirements to play the latest AAA game titles. Be it on a train, in a hotel room or just as a home-based laptop, these hybrid-designed gaming laptops have caught our attention for 2021.

The Predator Triton 300 SE has the makings to be a fantastic achiever in all areas, but only benchmarking and further tests will prove if there is performance to support its outward beauty. Whilst the time spent with the Acer Predator Triton 300 SE was short, we will remember it fondly until our paths cross again. 

Jess Weatherbed

Jess is TechRadar's Computing writer, and covers laptops, computers, PC gaming and peripherals. She can often be found playing games of both the PC and Tabletop variety, occasionally streaming to the disappointment of everyone.

What is a hands on review?

Hands on reviews' are a journalist's first impressions of a piece of kit based on spending some time with it. It may be just a few moments, or a few hours. The important thing is we have been able to play with it ourselves and can give you some sense of what it's like to use, even if it's only an embryonic view. For more information, see TechRadar's Reviews Guarantee.