If you’ve been desperately trying to find a new Nvidia GeForce RTX 3000-series graphics card to no avail, then Acer might have the solution to your problem with the new Predator Triton 300 SE and Helios 300.
While the latter gets a specs refresh giving it access to a laptop take on the mighty GeForce RTX 3080, the Triton 300 SE is arguably the more interesting laptop with its GeForce RTX 3060. That’s because Nvidia hasn’t released a desktop version of the GeForce RTX 3060 – it currently only has the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti – making the new Acer machine the easiest way to get the latest entry in the Nvidia graphics card lineup.
There’s also the refreshed Nitro 5 laptop, which gets access to the latest Intel 11th Gen Core H35-series processors, AMD Ryzen 5000 series CPUs and graphics that top out with the GeForce RTX 3080.
Acer Predator Triton 300 SE
Arguably the most interesting of the new Acer gaming laptops, the Triton 300 SE aims to mix the latest in gaming hardware in a relatively slim and light package, measuring 12.7 x 9 x 0.7 inches.
Despite this relative slimness, the laptop still manages to fit in an 11th Gen Core H35-series Special Edition processor, in Core i5 or Core i7 variations, with clock speeds up to 5GHz. The CPUs are paired with up to 24GB of DDR RAM. And storage comes in the form of PCIe Gen3 NVMe SSDs in 256GB, 512GB and 1TB variants.
The star of the show is the GeForce RTX 3060 GPU, which promises a serious boost in performance over the GeForce RTX 2060 found in previous-generation gaming laptops. That graphics card is matched with a 14-inch IPS panel with a 1920 x 1080 resolution and 144Hz refresh rate, and 300 nits of brightness. The graphics card and display combo should mean the Triton 300 SE will be able to run a good suite of games at frame rates that really take advantage of the speedy refresh rate.
All that hardware is nearly fitted into a reasonably unassuming and clean all-metal chassis. Unlike other Acer Predator machines, the Triton 300 SE doesn’t scream “gaming laptop” – at least not when its three-zone RGB keyboard lighting is off – though some sizable rear vents hint as the powerful specs at its heart. Port selection is decent as well, with one USB-C with Thunderbolt 4, HDMI, and two USB 3.2 Gen ports; a 3.5mm audio jack completes the list of connections.
Other features include: Intel Killer Wi-Fi 6 AX1650, Dolby DTS X: Ultra Audio support and far-field microphones that can facilitate Cortana with Voice support.
Set to go on sale in U.K. in February for a starting price of £1,399 and available in the U.S. in March for a starting price of $1,399, the Triton 300 SE could be a powerful yet portable gaming laptop well worth your consideration.
Acer Predator Helios 300
If you want to get the full GeForce RTX experience in laptop form, then you’ll want to look at the refreshed Acer Predator Helios 300.
While it retains the angular design of its predecessor that treads the line between having plenty of cooling without making the laptop too thick, the new Helios 300 gets access to the GeForce RTX 3080 and latest Intel processors. It can also be specced with up to 32GB of RAM.
The new Nvidia laptop-grade GPU means the Helios 300 will have an easier time running its 240hz refresh rate display, which comes in 15.6-inch and 17.3-inch variants.
Other than that, it’s business as usual for the Helios 300, though we hope Acer has managed to fix a few of the flaws we identified with the older models, such as its terrible keyboard and very loud fans. The gaming laptop goes on sale in the U.S. in February for a starting price of $1,249.
Acer Nitro 5
If you’re on a budget but want plenty of gaming power, then Acer’s new Nitro 7 comes with up to a GeForce RTX 3080 and AMD’s new Ryzen 5000 series CPU or the latest Intel H series processors.
That means you can get a gaming laptop with a powerful eight-core processor, Nvidia’s finest laptop GPUs, and up to 32GB of DDR4 RAM, and storage that can support up to 2TB of NVMe SSD space. Just don’t expect any design changes, as Acer has simply refreshed the laptop’s innards rather than its external aesthetic, which is still very much “gamer-focused.”
There’s a combo of display options as well, with the Nitro 5 offering a 15-inch and 17-inch panel that comes in either a QHD resolution with a 165Hz refresh rate or a Full HD resolution with a super-fast 360Hz refresh rate.
The 17-inch model goes on sale in the U.S. in February for a starting price of $849. While the 15-inch model launches at the same time but for a more affordable price of $749.
Overall, Acer’s 2021 gaming laptop lineup looks to be in good health, with a range of models to satisfy people after gaming laptops on a range of budgets. The Predator Trion 300 SE looks to be the most compelling machine, but we’d have liked to have seen Acer mix up the design of the Nitro and Helios range a little.
We’ll need to test these machines before we cast any real judgment, though. But if you’re after the latest in Nvidia graphics but can’t find where to buy the GeForce RTX 3080, then Acer’s gaming laptops are worth a closer look.