Acer are launching a brand new compact 14-inch Predator Triton 300 SE – Special Edition gaming laptop built on Intel Tiger Lake H35 hardware and mid-range RTX 3000 graphics as of the beginning of 2021, as well as updating their popular mainstream Predator Helios 300 model with the new generation graphics, but for now, the same 10th gen Comet Lake Core H processors.
The new Triton 14 should attract a lot of attention as one of the first Tiger Lake H35 models on the market, as well as one of the most capable 14-inch gaming ultraportables right now, a potentially more affordable alternative for the AMD-based Asus Zephyrus G14. Tiger Lake H35 is quad-core only, but promises excellent single-threaded performance and IPC, which should provide a snappy everyday experience and smooth gaming experience, where a higher number of cores matters less than having four fast cores, as offered with this hardware.
As for the Helios 300, that’s merely a GPU update of the mid-2020 generation we’ve already reviewed here, without any other changes for now. Tiger Lake H 6-core processors are scheduled for the Spring of 2021, and I’d expect the revamped 2021 Helios 300 to be unveiled at that point. For now, this early-2020 model is just a mid-generation hardware bump, so not sure if entirely worth upgrading to, unless backed up by some excellent pricing.
Update: In interested, here’s our detailed review of the 2022 Predator Helios 300, in the best-value Core i7 + RTX 3070Ti configuration. And here’s out coverage of the updated 2023 Acer Predator Helios 18 and Helios 16 generations.
We’ll thoroughly look into both of these in future reviews. For now, this article is just a quick preview of the two series, with some insights on their particularities, especially focusing on that new Triton 14 SE.
|Acer Predator Helios 300 PH315-53 – early 2021||Acer Predator Triton 300 SE PT314-51s – early 2021|
|Screen||15.6 inch, 1920 x 1080 px resolution, IPS, 240/144 Hz 3ms, matte||14 inch, 1920 x 1080 px resolution, IPS, 144 Hz, matte|
|Processor||Intel Comet Lake Core i7-10750H, six-core||Intel Tiger Lake H35 i7-11375H, quad-core|
|Video||Intel UHD and up to Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop 8GB||Intel Iris Xe and up to Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Laptop 6 GB|
|Memory||up to 32 GB 2933 MHz (2x DIMMs)||?? DDR 3200 MHz|
|Storage||2x M.2 slots + 2.5″ bay||2x M.2 slots ??|
|Connectivity||WiFi 6 (Killer 1650i) with Bluetooth 5.1, Realtek Gigabit Ethernet LAN||WiFi 6 (Killer 1650i) with Bluetooth 5.1, Realtek Gigabit Ethernet LAN|
|Ports||3x USB-A 3.2 gen2, 1x USB-C gen 2 – data only, HDMI 2.0, miniDP, LAN, headphone/mic, Kensington Lock||2x USB-A 3.2 gen2, 1x USB-C with Thunderbolt 4, HDMI 2.0, mic/earphone, Lock|
|Battery||58 Wh, 230 W power adapter||?? Wh, 180 W power adapter|
|Size||363 mm or 14.27” (w) x 255 mm or 10” (d) x 22.9 mm or .9” (h)||–|
|Weight||2.2 kg (4.85 lb), .75 kg (1.65 lbs) power brick, EU version||from 1.7 kg (3.8 lb) + charger|
|Extras||RGB backlit keyboard – 4 zones, NumPad, 2x stereo speakers, HD webcam||4-zone RGB backlit keyboard, HD webcam, stereo speakers|
I’m not going to spend much time on the Helios 300 update here, as we can’t yet talk about any of the performance improvements of the RTX 3000 chips, which is the sole update from the 2020 mode, as far as I can tell right now.
Much like the previous generation, this most likely offers mid-range RTX 3060 and 3070 MQ graphics, paired with the 10th gen i7-10750H processor. Everything else remains unchanged, and I’ll direct you to our detailed review of the 2020 model for extra details, until we get to test the RTX 3000 updates.
As for the Predator Helios SE, this is the first brand-new Acer gaming series in a while.
It offers mid-tier specs, with the quad-core Intel Core i7-11375H Tiger Lake H35 processor clocked at up to 5.0 GHz (single-core Turbo, with Thermal velocity), RTX 3060 graphics, and a 144 Hz screen. But let’s not forget this is merely a compact 14-inch laptop, and there are very few other similar products out there that can match it. We’re still looking to fill up all the banks in regards to the full hardware details and battery size, as Acer haven’t provided in-depth details so far, so stay tuned for updates.
We do know this is a compact laptop, judging by the bezels around the screen, as well as fairly lightweight at around 1.7 kilos/3.8 lbs. Looks entirely metallic and I’m especially glad Acer finally cleaned up their aesthetics, dumping that ugly Predator lid logo for a much more subtle Predator plaque in the corner, as well as a simple logo under the screen. It was about time and I hope this spreads onto the entire lineup. Not sure about the gray color, though, looks a bit dull and not as cool as the traditional dark-blue of previous Predators. Should be friendlier, though, easier hiding smudges and fingerprints.
From what I can tell right now, looks like Acer didn’t skimp on the thermal design, with a dual-fan, quad-radiator implementation, and included a full-size RGB keyboard and spacious clickpad. The IO is spread around the sides and fairly limited, but without any significant lacks: 2x USB-As, USB-C with Thunderbolt 4, HDMI and audio.
I’m looking forward to spending more time with this Triton, as one of the first Tiger Lake H models on the market. I’m especially interested in the overall performance and efficiency with daily use and games, as well as in that 14-inch 144 Hz screen, as a novelty for the 14-inch segment this year and hopefully faster than the 120 Hz option from 2020. Stay tuned for our reviews in the weeks to come.
In the end, I’ll also add that the Predator Triton SE is expected in stores around February in Europe, starting at 1499 EUR, and March 2021 in North America, starting at $1399. As for the updated Predator Helios 300, that one comes in February in most regions, starting at $1249 in the US and EUR 1500 in Europe.