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Acer, Asus, and Dell

Acer Predator Triton 500

Acer outed two new machines packing RTX graphics at CES, but only the Acer Predator Triton 500 has the Max-Q version. (Its big brother, the Predator Triton 900, is quite an interesting thing all its own; it's basically a giant convertible laptop with RTX graphics on board.)

The Predator Triton 500 is a more typical 15.6" notebook, but it does have a seriously impressive-on-paper 144Hz 1080p display with G-Sync support. The bezels are fairly slim at 6.3mm. The max configuration pairs an eight-generation Intel Core i7 CPU with an RTX 2080 Max-Q GPU card. A solid 32GB DDR4 memory and some capacity of NVMe PCIe RAID 0 SSD storage round out the main specs.

At 17.9mm thick and weighing 2.1kg, it's one of the thinner machines available, and it has a full metal chassis. Acer promises up to eight hours of battery life, but it's likely that "up to" requires some power-saving gymnastics. It will start at $1,799 when it becomes available in February 2019. 

Asus Zephyrus S GX701 and GX531

Two of Asus' new laptops are on the Max-Q train. Essentially versions of one another, the Zephyrus S GX701 and GX531GS are 17.3" and 15.6" notebooks, respectively. 

The first thing you may notice is that the keyboard and mousepad sit astride each other at the front half of the machine, all pimped out with RGB, naturally. The back half, where the keyboard usually sits, is now an air intake to assist with cooling, which is key for such a slim chassis. Asus claims that it managed to fit a typically 17.3" 144Hz, 100% sRGB screen in a 15.7" body. You get up to six-core Intel Core i7 CPUs and RTX 2080 Max-Q graphics, along with up to 1 TB of NVMe SSD goodness.

They also have a toggle that Asus claims is exclusive. It allows you to enable G-Sync or Optimus, with only a reboot between them. We're not sure how this voodoo is occurring, but it could be a fantastic feature. The machine will also charge from a USB Type-C portable charger should you be without your power adapter and have light usage needs. Asus also removed the webcam from this device, citing "slim bezels," but it's happy to sell you one with 1080p 60FPS as an optional add-on that you can prop on top of your screen.

Dell Alienware m15 and m17, G5 and G 7 G5

Dell showed up with a full load of Max-Q machines, from the extreme high end with its Alienware brand to less flamboyant designs with its Dell G series. The options vary depending on what system your looking at, so pay attention.

Less exciting than the Area-51m perhaps, but more affordable, is the Alienware m17. It's looks quite similar to some other Alienware machines on the market, but it has support for bigger and faster things. The 15.6" version, the Alienware m15, has similar specs. Both offer hexacore, eighth-gen CPUs and up to RTX 2080 Max-Q graphics. You can choose between a 1080p or 4k display, and configurations are available that include up to 32 GB of RAM, 2 TB of storage (2 x 1-TB SSDs), and a Thunderbolt 3 port.

There are virtually countless configurations available between the new Dell G5 and G7 laptops. The company listed three distinct models, all eminently configurable, and all with RTX Max-Q graphics options. 

The G5 15 (5590) is a 15.6" affair with up to a stunning 3840x2160 resolution, but only a 60 Hz refresh rate. If you want to trade res for refresh, you can opt for the 1920x1080 model that offers 144 Hz. There's up to an Intel Core i7-8750HQ hexacore CPU inside, and graphics options run the gamut from 1050 Ti to RTX 2070 or 2080 Max-Q. There's also an SE white model that has transparent covering over the fans. 

Similar in size but with some different options is the G7 15 (7590). With the G7, you can upgrade to an Intel Core i9-8950K unlocked hexacore chip, but the other options remain the same.

If you like carrying around giant laptops, or are just lousy for maximum screen real estate, the G7 17 (7790) gets you there. But the juicy specs of the display are somewhat cut back, to just the 1920x1080, 144-Hz configuration. You can kiss 1440p and up goodbye, but no one's really complaining too much about that delicious refresh rate, right?