I Can't Deal With The Touchpad On Acer's Predator Triton 700

Image: Gizmodo Australia

I couldn't help but gasp in delight when I first got my hands on the Predator Triton 700. It's a beautiful machine, and it has the specs to back it up.

I even cooed when I laid my eyes upon the most controversial feature of the laptop — the touchpad. Built into a sleek line of Gorilla glass that also peeks into the belly of the beast, it's situated above the keyboard and looks magnificent.

However I quickly discovered that it is in fact, the worst.


Just The Specs, Please

  • 2.8GHz Intel Core I7-7700HQ processor
  • 15.6-inch 120Hz 1920 x 1080 IPS G-Sync display
  • 8GB Nvidia GeFroce GTX 1080 Max-Q graphics
  • 32GB DDR4 RAM
  • 2 x 256GB SSD
  • 15.5 x 10.5 x 0.7 inches, 2.39kg (plus 0.92kg power supply)
  • 3 x USB 3.0, USB 2.0, HDMI Thunderbolt, DisplayPort, Gigabit Ethernet, headphone jack, mic jack connectivity.

Just The Benchmarks, Please

  • 3DMark Firestrike Ultra: 4,138
  • 3DMarkFirestrike Extreme: 7,681
  • 3DMark Firestrike: 14,041
  • Geekbench 4 (single-core): 4,477
  • Geekbench 4 (multi-core): 14,596
  • Rise of the Tomb Raider: 134.57
  • Netflix Battery Test: 1.5 hours (Note: non-streaming battery tests have gotten longer lasting results

What's It Good At

Image: Gizmodo Australia

Power Meets Design

The Triton 700 manages to fit a lot of power into its thin and sleek shell. With a GTX 1080 graphics card and an impressive array of ports, it's one hell of a gaming rig. It's also quite portable at 2.4kg. That being said, the power supply does add almost an entire extra kilo.

And while the battery life isn't overly impressive, it's not surprising from a Max-Q.

Pure grit aside, the Triton 700 is also a pleasure to look at.

From aesthetic perspective, I adore the cut-out corners, which add an extra style flare to the already-lovely body.

The Gorilla glass panel above the keyboard is also absolutely beautiful, if unconventional. It houses the mouse and offers a window into the guts of the machine. I found myself staring at it a lot.

Sadly, I also hated it. But we'll get to that.

The design is further enhanced by the PredatorSense app, which provides overlclocking, temperature monitoring, fan control and light customisation. The latter allows you to play around with the fan light underneath the see-through touchpad, as well as the backlit keyboard.

As an added touch, there is a profile manager, so lighting schemes can be saved for multiple users.

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As Razer fans already know, customisable backlit keyboards aren't anything new, but it's a nice touch that compliments an already-gorgeous machine.

Speaking of which, the mechanical keyboard is enjoyable to use. You gotta love a satisfying 'clack' when it comes to typing... or is that just me? It was also great to game on, which I tested with the likes of Overwatch, PUBG and Stardew Valley with zero sponginess experienced.


What's It Not Good At?

The Touchpad

While I can appreciate wanting to shake things up and challenge the norm, it hasn't worked here.

The odd touchpad placement makes using it uncomfortable. I couldn't do it for more than a minute at a time without getting annoyed. This was only exacerbated by the Gorilla Glass — which is stunning, but impractical.

It was really difficult to see which parts of the glass were part of the touchpad, which resulted in inaccurate use of the cursor, as well as lot of unnecessary finger-tapping as I struggled to get a response.

And then there's the heat.

This thing gets really hot, which is unsurprising — it's a glass panel that sits on some of the key components of the laptop. For reference, during a Fire Strike stress test, the CPU came in at 72 degrees, and the GPU at 77. Suffice to say, it was too hot to use comfortable during or after a gaming session.

One might argue that perhaps none of this matters because it's designed to be a gaming laptop — the target demographic are probably going to plug a mouse in.

Sure, but if you're dropping $2000 on a product, you should be able to use it comfortably without making peripherals a necessity.

Overclocking

The Triton 700 has built-in overlocking software, but I'm not sure that it needs it. The power is already there with this laptop. There wasn't any significant difference when testing Rise of the Tomb Raider on normal and turbo settings, making it a tad superfluous. There's already plenty there to enjoy.

I'm suspicious in regards to cooling capacity when it comes to overclocking laptops, anyway. Considering how hot this was running, which was made all the more obvious with the touch pad, I'll pass.


Should You Buy It?

This is a tough one. As much as I abhor the touchpad of the Triton 700, there's no denying that it's a powerful machine. If you can overlook such a significant design flaw and are still happy to drop around $2000 ($1000 less than when it was first released), then it could be worth it for you — especially if you plan on simply using a mouse and/or controller anyway.

Personally, I'm more tempted by the white Predator Helios 300 special edition that is pegged to come out this year, even with the slightly smaller GTX 1060 graphics card. It's still thin, stylish and powerful — and with a more logical touchpad.

Alternatively, the Helios 500 is on its way — but it will add an extra 1.6kg of bulk.

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