We continue to get acquainted with the growing popularity of gaming laptops, made in the design of NVIDIA Max-Q. Such laptops combine a productive stuffing and a small case thickness, which should not exceed 20 mm. Today we tested a flagship laptop from Acer, which is part of the newly created Triton 700 series, the Predator family.
Acer Predator Triton 700 (PT715-51)
The key features of the new line, in addition to the thin body, are: a high screen refresh rate of 120 Hz, the presence of an NVIDIA G-SYNC image synchronization module, and the user’s ability to manually overclock the graphics subsystem. The last point is especially interesting, since the possibility of additional overclocking often requires the installation of a massive cooling system, which is difficult to implement in conditions of limited dimensions. Acer representatives assure that the Triton 700 CO was designed specifically to work in a thin form factor and is able to fully unleash the potential, including the top-end GeForce GTX 1080 Max-Q graphics accelerator.
|Model||Acer Predator Triton 700 (PT715-51)|
|Processor||Intel Corei7-7700HQ, 2800 MHz (up to 3800 MHz with Turbo Boost)|
|RAM||32 GB, DDR4-2666|
|Display||15.6″, 1920×1080, 120Hz, NVIDIA G-SYNC, Matte, IPS (AUO B156HAN04.2)|
|Video card||NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Max-Q, 8GB GDDR5X|
|Disk subsystem||SSD 1024 ГБ RAID 0, 2x Lite-On CA1-8D512 (M.2 2280, PCIe 3.0 x4, NVMe)|
|I/O ports||USB 3.1 Type C (Gen 2, Thunderbolt), 3x USB 3.0 Type A, USB 2.0 Type A, HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort, LAN RJ-45, Headphone-out jack, Microphone-in|
|Communications||Killer Wireless-AC 1535 (2×2 MU-MIMO, 802.11 ac, Bluetooth 4.1)|
|Multimedia||Audio system 2.0, web camera|
|Power adapter, W||230|
|Dimensions, mm||393 x 266 x 18,9|
As for the price of the new product, which is already familiar to the flagship segment, it is not at all humane and proceeds from how much a limited circle of potential buyers are willing to pay for the proposed set of technical characteristics, and not from how much it will cost to assemble a desktop PC similar in components and how many compact ultrabooks can be purchased with the remaining money.
Contents of delivery
Available in Ukrainian retail, the Triton 700 delivery package contains a minimum of additional “goodies”. In addition to the laptop itself, inside the package, the future owner will find a quick start guide, several booklets with warranty information, a power supply and a wired mouse.
The manipulator received the technical name SM-9627 and is an entry-level gaming mouse. Matte plastic is used as the case material, the side faces have rubberized inserts, two auxiliary buttons are placed on the left side of the case.
Quite expectedly, the mouse has elements of LED-backlighting, which illuminates the Predator logo and the scroll wheel.
The complete power adapter manufactured by Chicony is designed for power consumption up to 230 W and is somewhat out of the general concept of compactness. Its dimensions and weight are approximately one and a half times larger than that of a similar power supply unit from the delivery kit of the ASUS ROG Zephyrus laptop we tested earlier.
Based on the photo, the exterior design of the Triton 700 is not flashy, bright or playful. Whether this is good or bad depends on the individual preferences of each person, but, subjectively, the absence of bloated radiator grilles and trendy red plastic inserts went to the Triton 700 in favor.
The body of the laptop is almost entirely made of anodized aluminum. If we compare everything with the same ASUS ROG Zephyrus, which in the hands felt more like a fragile toy, then the product from Acer seems more durable and weighty.
Tactile sensations are also confirmed by the mass of the Triton, which, excluding the power supply, is 2.4 kg (150 grams more than that of the ASUS ROG Zephyrus). The exact dimensions of the case are 393x266x18.9 mm.
The overall build quality is extremely high. All panels fit without a hint of gaps, backlashes or squeaks during the operation of the laptop.
The image of the «gray clerk» Triton 700 resets itself as soon as you open its top cover. At the top of the case above the keyboard is an insert made of protective glass Corning Gorilla Glass, which, in addition to showing part of the cooling system located underneath, also functions as a large touchpad. The resulting “wow effect” is enhanced by the possibility of activating the RGB backlight of the left CO fan, the glow of which breaks through the tinted glass at night.
I won’t say that the ubiquitous RGB lighting or the visible inserts in the case are in themselves something unique or remarkable, but in the case of the Triton 700, the effect of childish delight and a sense of satisfaction from the aesthetic appearance of the internal layout arises after the fifth and after the tenth opening the laptop lid.
In 2018, I would like to see thinner screen bezels in the top models. In the test sample, their width in certain places exceeds 15 mm. The standard HD-camera is located in the center and is covered on top with a large protective glass insert.
The maximum tilt angle of the display is about 140 degrees. This will be enough to work with a laptop when it is located on the user’s lap. At the same time, given the high performance of the internal components and the shifted location of the keyboard relative to the work surface, the best scenario for using the Triton 700 is still to place it on the desktop.
Pleasantly pleased with Acer’s approach to the implementation of a set of available ports. Keeping in mind that the main purpose of the Triton 700 is computer games, engineers, despite the small thickness of the case, found a place to install a standard RJ-45 connector. Those players for whom the minimum ping is important in the first place in games will be able to directly connect the Internet cable to the laptop. Next to the LAN are a USB 3.0 Type-A port (with the function of charging when the laptop is powered off) and a USB 3.1 Type-C connector combined with Thunderbolt.
On the right side of the laptop, there are two more USB 3.0 Type-A ports, a pair of audio jacks and a recessed USB 2.0 port. The latter is initially covered with a plastic plug and designed to connect a wireless mouse adapter. Thus, the receiver will not protrude beyond the aisles of the case.
Connectors for an external monitor (DisplayPort and HDMI 2.0), as well as a slot for a power adapter are placed on the back of the laptop. This is another good solution in terms of ergonomics.
The laptop power button is not quite familiarly located on the right side of the laptop.
Following the Max-Q design features, the Triton 700’s keyboard has been moved to the bottom of the case. In practice, this means an additional load on the user’s hands, and in order to comfortably play for several hours, it is advisable to use a special wrist pad, which was not included in the package of the hero of the review.
As for the keyboard itself, we are dealing with low-profile mechanics. Its key travel is only 1.6 mm. In terms of gaming capabilities or typing, the keyboard will delight the user in every way: the keys work quickly and with an informative click, there is support for multiple clicks, there are no significant flaws in the keyboard layout — all the buttons are in place. The click volume is below average.
Included with the Triton 700’s basic set of pre-installed software is the multifunctional Predator Sense utility, which opens up a real Klondike of possibilities for connoisseurs of RGB lighting. Here, Acer marketers clearly decided to satisfy the existing market demand for RGB in the best possible way. Set any color for all buttons at once, select the illumination of certain blocks of buttons, select an individual color for each key, activate one of 11 preset dynamic glow modes, setting them the desired speed and direction. Perhaps not all of the Las Vesas light shows have the same flexibility in color customization as the Trion keyboard.
Well, those to whom all of the above seems insufficient, as we mentioned earlier, can additionally highlight one of the cooling system fans, which is visible through a glass insert at the top of the laptop case.
The only downside is that backlighting is available only for English keyboard characters, and Cyrillic characters are painted instead of being engraved.
The glass surface of the touchpad is located above the keyboard. The exact operating area of the touch panel is indicated by four corner symbols. Such a solution looks stylish, but loses in functionality and ergonomics to classic models.
Due to the location above the keyboard, when interacting with the touchpad, the hand must be kept on weight. And the lack of physical buttons does not add to the ease of use of this control system.
The acoustic system, in turn, consists of a pair of speakers placed on the edges of the working surface of the laptop. Its sound quality is at a high level, as for solutions designed for installation in thin laptops, and significantly exceeds the sound that we observed in the ASUS ROG Zephyrus. Declared support for proprietary technologies Acer TrueHarmony and Dolby Atoms.
The Triton 700 has a 15.6-inch display with a resolution of 1920×1080 pixels, which, in my opinion, remains optimal for gaming laptops in terms of getting the maximum amount of fps in computer games. For smooth pictures, the laptop supports NVIDIA G-SYNC frame synchronization technology, and the screen matrix is capable of displaying an image with a refresh rate of 120 Hz. Glare protection is provided by a matte film without a pronounced crystalline effect.
In the test sample, we are dealing with the B156HAN04.02 IPS panel from AUO, which is well known to us from ROG Zephyrus. Despite the fact that the model of the matrix and even the production date of the batch completely match, the settings and measurement results of some parameters differ from the Zephyr.
So the maximum screen brightness is at a noticeably higher level and can reach 300 cd / m² (minimum level — 20 cd / m²). The contrast ratio is stable from 20% brightness and averages 1095:1.
The color gamut covers 94% of the sRGB color space. The gamma curves are gathered together and run next to the reference.
At the basic settings, the color temperature is overestimated by approximately 1100K, which leads to the dominance of cold shades in the output image. If desired, the user can activate the blue filter function, and the color temperature will drop to 6000K.
The DeltaE deviation is at an acceptable level for gaming solutions. The average color deviation is 3.06 units, the maximum is 9.43 units.
Working viewing angles are up to 178 degrees. When the viewpoint is shifted, there is a slight burn-in of colors.
In summary, the Triton 700 screen is well suited for gaming, watching movies or surfing the Internet. The high refresh rate, NVIDIA G-SYNC technology, and the absence of SHI modulation make the gaming experience smooth, comfortable and gentle on the eyes. After activating the blue filter function, the user will need to select the color scheme that he likes best — cold or warm. For serious work with photo or video content in the basic settings, the Triton 700 matrix is not suitable, or it will require additional settings using a colorimeter.
To keep the internal components cool, the Triton 700 has a number of perforated inserts in the case. Most of them are concentrated on the bottom of the laptop.
Additional perforations are placed on the side faces, the rear outer panel under the display and in the upper right corner above the keyboard. Comparing with the ASUS ROG Zephyrus, it can be noted that Acer engineers approached the air circulation inside the system more thoroughly.
To gain access to the internal components of the laptop, you must remove the front panel with the keyboard and touchpad. This is done much easier than the ASUS ROG Zephyrus.
In addition to two dedicated slots for RAM, which indicates the absence of soldered microcircuits on the motherboard and, if necessary, gives the user the flexibility to equip the hero of the review with more capacious RAM modules, I also want to note the pre-installed heatsink for the disk subsystem. A copper plate with massive thermal pads covers two seats for M.2 2280 drives. A very commendable solution in terms of using an NVMe SSD in a closed case. There is no space for connecting classic 2.5-inch drives.
The Triton 700 cooling system consists of four radiators, two heat distribution plates, five heat pipes and a pair of proprietary AeroBlade 3D radial fans.
The configuration provided to us for testing is the top one for the Ukrainian market and is based on an Intel Core i7-7700HQ central processor, an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Max-Q video card, 32 gigabytes of DDR4 2400 MHz RAM and a RAID 0 array from a pair of NVMe PCIe drives.
The Intel Core i7-7700HQ CPU can rightly be called a gaming laptop veteran, and in the very near future, the Triton 700 series should be replenished as part of the 8th generation Intel Core recruits. Available in the test modification, the CPU has 4 cores and 6 megabytes of third-level cache, operates at a clock frequency of 2800 to 3800 MHz, and also supports Intel’s proprietary Hyper-Threading technology.
The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 graphics card, made in Max-Q design, is a slightly stripped-down version of the full-fledged GeForce GTX 1080. But the limitation itself is to lower the operating frequencies of the GPU, while the Triton 700 functionality allows the user to manually control the frequencies of the graphics core and memory. ASUS ROG Zephyrus did not have a similar opportunity.
The LiteOn CA1-8D512 solid-state drives are individually capable of reaching read/write speeds up to 2300/900 MB/s, and combining two SSDs into a RAID 0 array raised the bar to 3200/1500 MB/s. TLC NAND chips are used as flash memory. Data transfer is carried out through the PCI-Express x4 interface, with support for the NVMe protocol. The total amount of free space is equal to 1 terabyte of data.
Software and overclocking
The main utility in a small set of pre-installed software on the Triton 700 is the PredatorSence program, which has undergone significant processing. Its functionality now allows the user to monitor the temperature of key system components, adjust the keyboard backlight, adjust the speed of each fan individually and activate one of two preset graphics overclocking profiles.
Each of the overclocking steps adds +75 MHz to the video core frequency and +200 MHz to the effective video memory frequency. Thus, in Turbo mode, the user can get an increase of 150/400 MHz, which corresponds to a 6% increase in video card performance.
Fortunately, the overclocking potential of the GeForce GTX 1080, combined with the capabilities of the Triton 700 cooling system, does not end there. During manual overclocking, we managed to increase the final core frequency by 225 MHz, and the memory frequency by 650 MHz.
You can visually assess how the performance of the video card has changed when using each of the modes using the example of the 3DMark Fire Strike test. We carried out all further tests and measurements under conditions of active manual overclocking of the GPU.