The Acer Predator Triton 900: Basically a monster convertible laptop

At CES this year, Acer announced a few new laptop models, but certainly its most interesting is the new Predator Triton 900. The Predator Triton series has been around for a few years, but prior models have been traditional clamshell designs. The 900 makes a significant departure, and it's a love-or-hate design. Essentially a unique and extremely powerful convertible, you can move the the 17" screen in many directions. You can close it, flatten it, flip it, tent it, or completely reverse it. Acer really wants people to know that this is due to a CNC-machined hinge it calls the "Ezel Aero Hinge." This isn't the first device Acer has used this type of hinge on—it made an appearance as far back as 2014 on the Acer Aspire R 13—but it's certainly the most eye-catching.

That big shiny display is a 4k IPS touch screen with G-Sync support powered by an RTX 2080. Just to be clear, it is not the Max-Q version. Had they thrown in stylus support, you'd essentially have a significantly more powerful mini Surface Studio on the go. That GPU is married to an 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8750H processor, a popular hexacore choice among mobile gaming machines. As for the memory, this model can be configured with up to 32GB of DDR4 at 2666MHz. Storage maxes out at dual 512GB M.2 NVMe PCIe SSDs in Raid 0. Whether that's a hardware limitation or simply an initial configuration maximum is not mentioned, though I expect it's the latter.

The low-profile mechanical keyboard, with individual RGB backlighting, and trackpad are both moved to the front of the device. The back half of the chassis, where the keyboard typically resides on a laptop, is instead a large venting area. The trackpad is an odd shape; it's taller than it is wide. With that shape comes the option to use the trackpad as a number pad, including displaying lit-up numeric "buttons." The keyboard includes a "Turbo" button, which increases the GPU clock speeds, as well as a "Predator" button. The "Predator" button opens Acer's configuration app, which controls things like backlighting, fan speeds, clock speeds, and more. Acer is also bringing out a mobile version so you can control your device settings remotely, should that be your thing.

Your I/O options include multiple USB 3.1 and two USB-C ports with Thunderbolt, as one would expect on a machine of this caliber. Audio is powered by Waves Maxx and includes head tracking for a simulated 3D surround sound.

Rounding out the details is an internal Xbox wireless receiver, meaning it'll work with any wireless Xbox peripherals, not just the Bluetooth ones. The Xbox wireless receiver hasn't seen a ton of support since launch, so it's a bit of an interesting decision, but with the growing popularity of games like Overcooked, the one Xbox controller-per-machine limit of Bluetooth could be a problem.

None of this comes cheap, of course. The announced pricing starts at $4,000 for the base model.

Josh Pozzolo

I WRITE ON THE TECH REPORT ABOUT ALL THE IMPORTANT STUFF YOU WANNA READ

Comments closed
    • crystall
    • 6 months ago

    That’s no laptop – Obi Wan

    • Sargent Duck
    • 6 months ago

    Ummm…battery?

    Although I don’t expect to game on my gaming laptop (Dell Inspiron 7000) when on battery, I DO expect my laptop to give me at LEAST 5 hours of battery time to watch movies when traveling on a plane. If I can’t use a laptop for at least that, it’s kinda useless to me.

      • Chrispy_
      • 6 months ago

      You’re not getting this laptop out on a plane, LOL.

        • GrimDanfango
        • 6 months ago

        Hah, yeah, either you can afford business class, and get a plug-socket for the PSU anyway, or you’re in economy and wouldn’t physically be able to fit it between your chest and the seatback infront of you 😛

        Speaking of airlines, I’ve heard that all laptops are typically restricted to a maximum of a 99Wh battery, or airlines can refuse to even allow them onboard.
        Even a 99Wh wouldn’t run a slab like this for 5 hours. They usually presume with any desktop-replacement style laptops that you’re almost never going to attempt using it without the PSU anyway, so they typically keep them at more like 40-50Wh.

        Gaming monstrosities are never going to make good travel laptops.

    • wizardz
    • 6 months ago

    This is not a [s<]knife[/s<] laptop, this is a [s<]knife[/s<] laptop.

    • ronch
    • 6 months ago

    I’m a big Acer fan and, despite that I initially thought that this is a stupid idea. But just now I began to realize this could actually be useful for some folks. I’ve largely stayed away from laptops because I have poor vision and laptops have smaller screens that I need to hunch forward to see, and after a few hours it can cause neck and back pains and fatigue. This Acer right here allows the screen to be set closer to one’s eyes to help them see it more easily.

    Also, why can’t laptops have their keyboards closer to the front edge like this laptop does? This may not be everyone’s reason but I don’t want my watch scratching the laptop and that nice Ryzen sticker. I understand putting the trackpad further away can make it harder to use though, but I reckon most folks use a mouse anyway and the trackpad is only used when you don’t have a mouse.

    • SecretSquirrel
    • 6 months ago

    [url<]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lamborghini_Urus#/media/File:Lamborghini_Urus_20180306_Genf_2018.jpg[/url<] You can match the styling of your uber expensive SUV to your uber expensive laptop...

    • Chrispy_
    • 6 months ago

    This is offensive to my tastes, but I can appreciate that people who use these DTR gaming laptops would appreciate being able to bring the screen closer to the keyboard.

    Using this as a tablet is obviously laughable, but my limited experience with ‘front-edge keyboard’ laptops is that the position of the keyboard is way too far forward from the screen. At least this weird hinge lets you slide the whole laptop back further on the table, giving you more desk space and a much better [s<]typing[/s<] gaming position.

    • rramrram
    • 6 months ago

    So this doesn’t come with stylus support, if they did that many (me included) would buy this motherfucker ahead of Surface Studio or Lenovo’s, such a shame

    • NTMBK
    • 6 months ago

    Yikes. That thing is nigh on a desktop.

      • DrCR
      • 6 months ago

      Ha! Literally loled.

        • Srsly_Bro
        • 6 months ago

        Same. And we reward him with votes. No shame here.

          • Mr Bill
          • 6 months ago

          Which nobody can de-nigh.

            • arunphilip
            • 6 months ago

            I love the smell of puns in the morning.

      • ronch
      • 6 months ago

      For those who didn’t get it, check out another recent article here regarding Mushkin.

    • Srsly_Bro
    • 6 months ago

    You never told me how the rest of your vacation went! I’m still wondering!

      • sweatshopking
      • 6 months ago

      was ok.

    • Neutronbeam
    • 6 months ago

    First, hey Josh! Nice to see your name and thanks for the story.

    Next, of the two DTR flagship gaming laptops with interesting form factors that came out of CES, I prefer the ASUS Mothership….

    [url<]https://www.asus.com/Laptops/ROG-Mothership-GZ700/[/url<] [yes, the name to me is a Marketing fail] The Mothership is just less hingey and maybe fewer mechanical things that could go wrong. Looking forward to reviews of both.

      • Voldenuit
      • 6 months ago

      Another fan of the Mothership here, although moreso for its excesses.

      If I had to pick any single gaming laptop right now, though (money no object), it’d be the Asus Zephyrus GX701. I have the GX501, and it’s just been such a great desktop replacement gaming laptop that’s still eminently portable, and the GX701 seems to improve on it in every facet.

        • sweatshopking
        • 6 months ago

        Yeah, the mothership is also an interesting design. I love my surface pro 6, so i’d probably love a mothership too. Oddly, the mothership doesn’t show a touch sensitive display in its specs, which is an odd move. I also really like the asus exclusive tech that allows you to switch between gsync and optimus.

      • Spunjji
      • 6 months ago

      I really feel like they missed a couple of possible tricks with that device that would give it more of an edge – firstly giving it a higher-resolution panel, and secondly taking it beyond 17″ diagonal.

      The first one they can (and probably will) address easily, but the second would admittedly be tougher without having something custom made. Still, 18.3″ or even 19″ with narrow bezels would make it into a proper portable AIO computer that would do as well on a desk as travelling.

      As it is, it kinda looks small for a desktop PC and a lousy form factor for a portable device. I guess I’ll wait for reviews because I sure as hell won’t be able to afford one 😀

    • Usacomp2k3
    • 6 months ago

    That touchpad location makes sense for gaming. 99% of people will use a separate mouse. I kinda like it. My only concern is that 2160p monitors on laptops make no sense. They are a waste of power draw and GPU. A high-refresh 1440p would make much more sense.

      • Voldenuit
      • 6 months ago

      Might be a question of panel availability. I don’t see anyone using 1440p gaming displays on laptops, so it could be that nobody’s making them in volume.

        • Usacomp2k3
        • 6 months ago

        That would make sense.

      • EndlessWaves
      • 6 months ago

      I’d have though 17″ is big enough you’d notice the blurriness from 1.5x scaling at 25×14 compared with 2x scaling at 38×21.

        • Usacomp2k3
        • 6 months ago

        For gaming or desktop usage?

        • Voldenuit
        • 6 months ago

        I have a 34″ 3440×1440 monitor, and don’t notice any scaling issues when watching 1080p and 4k video. With anything more powerful than a 1070, you’d be gaming at 1440p if available rather than 1080p anyway, so comparison might be native 1440p vs scaled 4K.

          • derFunkenstein
          • 6 months ago

          I think he’s talking about 150% scaling in Windows apps that don’t scale gracefully.

            • Voldenuit
            • 6 months ago

            If they don’t scale gracefully at 1440p, what are the odds they’d scale gracefully at 2160p?

            I was an early adopter on hiDPI displays with a 13″ 3200×1800 Yoga Pro 3, and it was painful to use in some apps. For some apps, I was able to install custom icon packs to make things legible/touch-usable, but for others, I just had to squint.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 6 months ago

            In my (albeit very limited) experience, integer scaling doesn’t look as bad as 150%.

      • Spunjji
      • 6 months ago

      Agreed the a high-refresh 1440p display would be better, but there’s literally only one panel that fits the bill and it’s a TN with mediocre contrast. Apparently as far as TN displays go it’s rather good, but given the all-swinging all-dancing display design here I’m not sure it would really fit the bill.

      Thing is, low refresh rate aside, I can attest that gaming on a 17″ 4K display is in all other respects a really nice experience. The increase in resolution is noticeable at a laptop viewing distance and things look ridiculously detailed. For games where you can’t hold ~60Hz at full resolution you can drop to 2.5K and benefit from the “freebie FXAA” that is non-integer scaling. Seriously – at that pixel density, the effect is less of an obvious blur and more of a light edge-softening effect.

    • Pulsar_the_Spacenerd
    • 6 months ago

    It appears that flagship gaming laptop design has officially transitioned to an absurdist artform.

    • Krogoth
    • 6 months ago

    DECEPTICONS SUPERIOR, AUTOBOTS INFERIOR!

      • chuckula
      • 6 months ago

      Rumble, Ravage, Laserbeak.
      Eject Eject EJECT!

        • Krogoth
        • 6 months ago

        OPERATION: SHAMELESS SHILLING/TROLLING! 😉

      • ronch
      • 6 months ago

      Who are you calling inferior?? Nobody would listen to a charismatic bore like you!!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This