While the Triton 900's 17-inch screen looks decent, it's not as bright as some other notebooks like the Razer Blade. And its 60Hz refresh rate limits your framerate to 60 FPS. NVIDIA's G-SYNC technology does a great job of smoothing out faster gameplay, but to be honest, games look noticeably smoother on 1080p screens with faster 120Hz and 144Hz refresh rates. That's a feature we've seen on most other gaming laptops over the past few years.
Let's face it, rendering 4K natively is incredibly resource intensive, even with top-of-the-line hardware. A more realistic gaming resolution would be 1,440p, since it's a slightly higher resolution than 1080p, but still reasonable enough to run most games with maxed out graphics.
Unfortunately, I've heard from several laptop makers that there simply aren't many 1,440p panels around today. And another bit of bad news: the Triton 900 doesn't natively support 1,440p either. I had to manually add it as a resolution option in NVIDIA's settings. If you don't do that, you're stuck with a slightly lower res 2048 x 1536 option, something we've only seen on iPads until now.
It's sad to say, but the Triton 900's hinge didn't add much to the experience either. It was nice to be able to pull the screen closer to me during hectic firefights, but that's not something I've ever really wanted from a gaming laptop. And while being able to flip the screen around sounds nifty, it's actually even less useful. I found it more convenient to leave the screen above the keyboard, just in case I needed to shoot off a quick IM or check Slack. Oh, and don't get me started about the pointlessness of the tablet mode.
In many ways, the Triton 900 is a machine filled with baffling decisions. What's up with that annoying keyboard layout? And why does it need to take up precious case space for a flip out USB port for Xbox controllers? Are gamers that annoyed by plugging in an Xbox wireless adapter? At least it offers a wide variety of other ports, including two USB Type A slots on each side, two USB-C connections, Ethernet, DisplayPort and HDMI.
Simply put, Acer went to great lengths to create a unique and pricey gaming laptop that doesn't seem like it's meant for anybody in particular. It's similar to a few other curiosities we've seen this year, like Alienware's Area 51m, which gives you desktop-like customizability, and ASUS's ROG Mothership, which is more like a portable all-in-one PC than a laptop. It's not like Acer packed in more battery life than the competition either, I only clocked an hour of video playback before the Triton died.
It makes sense that laptop makers are going all out with their machines this year. The hardware is faster than ever, and there's an endless road of possibilities ahead for notebook designs. But when it comes to the Predator Triton 900, Acer forgot that you can't just make something that's cool and powerful -- it also has to have a purpose.