Acer, known for its pricey, powerful gaming systems — take its flagship Predator 21X, for example — has ventured into new price territory with the launch of the budget Nitro 5 and the midrange Helios 300. And, of course, there’s the usual high-end release intended to please the power user, in this case, the Triton 700 overclockable thin-and-light. They’ll all be ready by the time folks start heading back to school.

Triton 700

Acer claims its new 15.6-inch aluminum-clad thin-and-light notebook delivers “compromise-free gaming,” thanks to dual fans (AeroBlade 3D, natch) that allow for current, fast, overclockable components. It certainly has some interesting design choices, such as the transparent Gorilla Glass touchpad that sits above the keyboard. On one hand, when you’ve got the mouse connected you don’t really need it, and you’ve got the keyboard where you do; on the other hand, when you’re not gaming, and don’t have a mouse, it’s a pretty awkward location. And while Acer boasts about how thin it is, it’s not really that light — only 3.2 oz/0.1 kg lighter than the Helios 300 15.6-inch model. But it does have mechanical keys, which I can always get behind. Plus, it supports G-Sync.

Predator Triton 700 basic specs

Size 15.6 inch
Display 1,920 x 1,080 IPS
Processor options Core i5-7300HQ, Core i7-7700HQ
Memory Up to 32GB DDR4
GPU options GTX 10 series
Storage Up to 512GB PCIe SSD
Connectors 3 x USB Type-A (1 always on); 1 x USB-C/Thunderbolt; 1 x HDMI; Ethernet; headphones and mic
Weight 5.7 lb/2.6kg
Price Starts at $3,000; €3,400 for both (UK and Australian prices not available)
Available August 2017

Nitro 5

It’s just weird: Acer announced this during its press event, but left it out of its press materials, so we’re pretty thin on the details. It joins the Dell Inspiron 15 7000 and a host of other models that incorporate the recent lower-cost Nvidia GeForce 1050/1050 Ti series of GPUs for more affordable gaming systems. It almost seems like a rebranding of the Aspire VX series; the current Aspire VX 15 incorporates the 1050 models as well. It does have some Predator features over that, though, including Acer’s Coolboost technology, which allows you to control the fan speed and therefore mediate noise; Dolby Audio Premium with Acer TrueHarmony (which was introduced in the Swift 7); and a PCIe SSD drive. Without price, specs or even a clear photo of it, it’s impossible to comment on this model, though it’s supposedly shipping in July of this year.

This is what we know about the Nitro 5.


Sarah Tew/CNET

Helios 300

This price/performance-balanced middle child is distinguished by its use of Acer’s updated Aeroblade 3D fans; the second generation has an axial fin, which Acer claims improves airflow by 35 percent. It’s similar to the GTX 1060-class of Predator 15 and 17 models with respect to specs, but with a less flashy design, fewer connectors and lower prices.

Predator Helios 300 basic specs

Sizes 15.6-inch and 17.3 in
Display 1,920 x 1,080 IPS
Processor options Core i5-7300HQ, Core i7-7700HQ
Memory Up to 32GB DDR4
GPU options GTX 1060, 1050Ti
Storage Up to 512GB SATA SSD, 1TB hard disk; SD card slot
Connectors 3 x USB Type-A (1 always on); 1 x USB-C; 1 x HDMI; Ethernet; headphones
Weight 6/6.6 pounds; 2.7/3 kg
Price Starts at $1,300/$1,400; €1,199 for both (UK and Australian prices not available)
Available June/July 2017



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