While building your own gaming PC is much better and less expensive than buying powerful gaming laptops, there is something about the portables that make it so much more versatile.
Portability and versatility are what drives people to buy gaming laptops over their desktop counterparts and if you are looking for one for just under $2,500, the Acer Predator Triton 500 is a good one.
Unlike other 15-inch gaming laptops out there, the Acer Predator Triton 500 has a thin form factor that makes it ultraportable and easy to use. True enough, it only measures 0.7 inches from top to bottom which means that you can easily slide this thing into your backpack without any issues.
This thing cannot be brought to the office without garnering some ‘oohs’ from your office mates because its design really appeals more to the gamers.
It has an all-black plastic/metal chassis that looks shiny and well-built. You have the Acer Predator logo in the middle that lights up as well. You can customize the lighting by using its proprietary software that is already installed in the system.
On the left side, you will find an ethernet port, the power port, a USB Type-A port, an HDMI port, and two 3.5mm ports for both the headphone and the microphone. It would have been nice if it were a combo jack, but I think that this level of versatility suits more people.
At the other end, you will find two additional USB Type-A ports, a USB Type-C port, and a mini-DisplayPort. If I were to nitpick here, it would have been nice if the right-side ports are more spaced out as I feel that it is way too cramped.
The Acer Predator Triton 500 is fitted with a 15.6-inch display that is considered as ‘IPS-level’. It is not as accurate as a true IPS panel but it is definitely okay for most gamers. The colors aren’t as punchy and as vibrant as what you can expect from displays with a wider color gamut, but it should be color-accurate enough in most games.
Do not worry about its mediocre color accuracy though because the display actually has a 300Hz refresh rate. This is ideal for eSports games like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Fortnite, for example.
If there is one thing I would like to emphasize here, it would be that the display is a bit wobbly, especially if you are flipping the lid open.
If you put it on your lap, for instance, and you make sudden movements, you will definitely see the display wobble. It might be concerning for some, but on my end, it was able to hold itself up nicely. This is just something to keep in mind if you are going to buy this.
The Acer Predator Triton 500 comes with a 720p webcam but unfortunately, the camera quality is just, to put it bluntly, quite awful. It’s as if the camera was made 10 years ago where true high-definition video still didn’t exist.
It is there when you need it, but if I were you, I would invest in a standalone webcam instead, especially if you are planning to use this thing for video-conferencing.
Keyboard and Touchpad
For a gaming laptop that costs $2,300, I would have loved it if Acer went with a mechanical keyboard. Instead, you are getting a full layout keyboard with membrane keys that are mushy to the touch.
I think that the design of the keyboard itself leaves much to be desired. You see, it has all of the keys that you need (except for the Numpad) but because there is so much real estate on the sides of the actual keyboard, I just feel that the space is not fully utilized in this regard.
The keys, as you can see, are a bit cramped and if you have large fingers like me, typing on this thing could lead to potential typos.
To add insult to injury, the touchpad doesn’t do you any favors as well. Although it is a bit wide like most laptops in 2020, the fact that the keyboard is a bit cramped makes typing on this thing a mess. This is especially true for touch-typists such as me.
The only redeeming factor here is that the keyboard has full RGB lighting, so at least you can stare at a colorful set of keys when you’re idle.
Specs and Performance
- CPU: Intel Core i7-10750H
- GPU: Nvidia Geforce RTX 2080 Super Max-Q
- Display: 15.6-inch IPS-level, 1920 x 1080 resolution, 300Hz Refresh Rate
- RAM: 32GB
- Storage: 1TB NVMe SSD
- Connectivity: WiFi 6, Bluetooth 5.1
- Ports: 3x USB 3.2 Type-A, 1x HDMI, 1x MiniDisplayPort, 1x Ethernet, 1x 3.5mm headphone jack, 1x 3.5mm microphone jack
- Battery: 84 Whr
- Operating System: Windows 10
- Dimensions: 14.1 x 10.0 x 0.7 inches
- Weight: 4.6 pounds
I was disappointed by the color accuracy of the display, as well as the layout of the keyboard and touchpad, but boy was I surprised by this thing’s gaming performance.
The Acer Predator Triton 500 has a 300Hz refresh rate screen for a reason because it has a performance package that can help you achieve frames that are near that threshold.
In most titles, you can go above 200fps which should provide you with a fast and smooth gaming experience across the board.
If you are playing the more graphically demanding games, you can still eke out 90-120 frames per second as well which is pretty insane for a thin and lightweight gaming laptop.
I do have to point out, though, that this machine can get really hot. According to some monitoring software, the CPU can reach up to 86 degrees celsius when subjected to full loads, while the GPU hovers anywhere around 73-78 degrees celsius depending on the games that I play.
What’s a bit concerning is that the keyboard area can get warm to the touch. Fortunately, if you do not stress the laptop too far, the keyboard should remain relatively cool for normal operation.
As far as real-world tests are concerned, you can still use the Acer Predator Triton 500 for creative workloads, though not those that would require a more color-accurate display.
You can do some video rendering, photo editing, and anything in between and this would perform admirably thanks to the components that were used.
I am surprised that for a laptop that is priced under $3,000 that you get 32GB of RAM which should provide you with more than adequate system memory for any workload.
Fully-specced gaming laptops are notorious for having low battery life and the Acer Predator Triton 500 happens to be on the same boat.
While playing Overwatch at graphical settings set to ‘Epic’, I was only able to get 2 hours and 24 minutes of game time before it warned me to plug this thing to the wall. Even though this should be okay for most people, this might not be ideal if you are heading out and you do not have a wall socket handy to charge this thing.
However, if you are just planning to use this laptop for relatively light tasks, it should give you more than 6 hours of screen on time which is still impressive.
You just have to make sure that you bring the charger with you at all times, especially if you are heading out.
Most gaming laptops that have power-hungry components usually have larger form factors but I am surprised that the Acer Predator Triton 500 remains relatively thin and lightweight despite it having a 10th-generation Intel chip and the RTX 2080 Super Max-Q GPU.
While the display’s build quality and the keyboard/touchpad’s apparent issues, I am still happy with the gaming performance of the Triton 500.
Would I recommend this? Well, sure, this can be in the running for one of the best gaming laptops under $2,500, though I would have loved it if Acer improved a number of things that were mentioned in this article.
Still, the Acer Predator Triton 500 is indeed a powerful performer for just $2,300.
Razer Deathadder V2 Pro Review- The Company’s Best Mouse Goes Wireless
Among all of Razer’s peripherals, it is the Razer Deathadder that consistently ranks among one of the best gaming mice on the market for so many years.
Much of it has to do with its design and ergonomics as the mouse is quite comfortable and it suits all grip styles.
The Razer Deathadder V2 Pro just improves upon the original formula by making the mouse a bit more lightweight and it is completely wireless now.
Read my review of this thing to find out if I recommend this one or not.
From a design standpoint, the Razer Deathadder V2 Pro is actually quite similar to the past versions, albeit there are some notable (and welcome) differences.
For one, you now have two DPI profile buttons situated just below the scroll wheel. These two buttons can cycle through the different DPI settings that you’ve configured using the Razer Synapse software (though you can set it to do other commands if you wish).
Second, both the thumb and the ring finger/pinky areas of the mouse now have rubberized textures which can really help gamers with sweaty hands grip the peripheral device better compared to the previous versions.
Lastly, I feel that the Razer Deathadder V2 Pro now has a more textured coating overall which adds to the better feel while you are wielding the mouse.
You also have some RGB lighting on the scroll wheel, as well as the infamous tri-headed Razer logo in the palm area of the device.
On the underside, you will find a switch that allows you to change to different modes depending on what you want to use.
This mouse can be utilized on your tablet, for example, as it now has a Bluetooth connectivity mode just for that.
You can also choose to use this thing with its wireless dongle (which is recommended for maximum performance) and you can even use this completely wired if you want to charge and play games at the same time.
Speaking of charging, while there is an included braided cable that you can insert into the device to charge this thing, it doesn’t come with the wireless charging dock that you can find in the Razer Viper Ultimate. That means that if you want the dock, you will need to be spending more on that as it is sold separately.
If you ask me, I suggest that you get the charging dock as it provides a seamless and convenient way of topping the device up, especially when it is not in use.
Mouse Sensor and Buttons
According to the company, the Deathadder V2 Pro comes with the second version of the company’s optical switches. That means that it is also rated to last up to 70 million clicks, albeit it provides a better feel on every button press.
To be honest, I didn’t really feel any difference between the first version of the optical switches and this one, but I guess you just have to take the company’s word for it.
As for the mouse sensor, the Razer Deathadder V2 Pro comes with the Focus+ sensor that has a maximum DPI of 20,000. The absurd DPI support is mainly for marketing purposes, but the main takeaway here is that the mouse remains fairly consistent from an accuracy standpoint.
Among all of Razer’s new gaming mice, the Deathadder V2 Pro should be in line with the Razer Viper Ultimate, at least, in terms of gaming performance.
Before I begin, let me just say that I have fairly large hands which means that my natural grip style is palm-grip. And, as a palm-grip user, I really love the ergonomics of the Razer Deathadder V2 Pro because it just feels so natural to hold.
This mouse has a grip width of 61.7mm, a height of 42.7mm, and a weight of 88 grams (when used completely wireless). For a wireless gaming mouse, that is pretty impressive.
When you are using the wireless 2.4GHz USB dongle or if you use the company’s included Speedflex cable, the Deathadder V2 Pro performed admirably well in all of the games that I play.
I can now confidently say that people can safely transition to using a wireless gaming peripheral as they are now in-line with their wired counterparts in terms of accuracy and overall performance.
I do have to say that there is a bit of a delay when using this thing on Bluetooth connection, but this is only evident when using it on a mobile device and not on the PC. This is to be expected, especially if you are still using a phone or tablet that uses a Bluetooth 4.2 connection.
Razer said that the Deathadder V2 Pro can last up to 120 hours on wireless mode, but that is only true if you are not enabling its Chroma lighting feature.
When you use the 2.4GHz mode alongside all of this mouse’s RGB goodness, you should be able to get roughly 75 hours of continuous use.
The good thing is that when you are using the charging dock, a 10-minute charge would allow you to use this mouse for 12 hours even with Chroma lighting enabled. That is seriously impressive.
What’s more, you can use this mouse completely wired using the Speedflex cable that is included in the box and you will not see any drop in performance whatsoever. It takes a bit more time to charge the device when using the cable though, but the fact that you can still use it when it is plugged in just means that it is pretty convenient no matter what charging method you want to use.
The era where people are afraid to use wireless gaming mice is over and the Razer Deathadder V2 Pro just proves that it can go head-to-head with wired gaming mice in the market.
There are some notable improvements on this mouse. The textured finish, the optical buttons, and the mouse sensor are great, and I love the fact that the company was able to make this device lighter even though it is a wireless peripheral.
This just reinforces the notion that if it ain’t broke, don’t fit it; just improve upon the original formula and you should have a winning product.
Although I would have loved it if the company had included the charging dock in the package, I guess doing so would jack up the price of this thing considerably.The Razer Deathadder V2 Pro costs $129.99 and for the price, it is actually pretty good for a highly competitive wireless gaming mouse. Do keep in mind that the charging dock is sold separately, but I would still recommend that you get one since it is also compatible with the company’s other wireless gaming mice as well.
Alienware Aurora R11 (2020) Review- Configured to Win
Dell’s subsidiary gaming division, Alienware, is at it again. This time, the company has released the new Alienware Aurora R11 and you can configure it to come equipped with the latest Intel processors along with an Nvidia graphics card of your choosing.
In this article, I will go over everything that you need to know about this gaming PC and find out why you can win with this thing if you configure it properly.
First and foremost, the Alienware Aurora R11 is fully configurable which means that you are in complete control of what chassis you want to use, as well as the components that are going to be installed inside of it.
In my testing, I went with a mid-range model that costs a little over $1,400 and I went with the Intel Core i7-10700F and an Nvidia Geforce RTX 2060 graphics card. As you can tell, it is a modest system but it is actually quite competent enough to handle all games with considerable frame rate values.
As you can expect from a product that comes from Alienware, the Aurora R11 has two different design options that you can choose. You can either go with the Dark of the Moon model (as tested) which is a chassis with an all-black aesthetic and the Lunar Light edition which is predominantly white with a black front panel.
Both of the said PC cases have a blue halo light that is reminiscent of old space movies, so you could definitely say that this is ‘Alienware’.
I am happy that you get a wealth of USB ports both at the front and at the back I/O panel which means that there is plenty of room for you to plug in all of your USB peripherals.
There is also an option for you to get one with WiFi connectivity. If you want the cheapest option, you can go with a Dell WiFi AC adapter but if you want to future-proof this device, you can go with the Killer WiFi AX adapter instead. The latter should be considered if you have a WiFi 6 router at home for better data throughput.
Although this thing comes with a Z490 motherboard, the only thing that you can overclock here is the graphics card. You could, however, buy the more expensive Intel chip but you will have to spend quite a bit of money just to get the higher model.
The chassis is quite big in height but I love the fact that it doesn’t take too much space on the desk.
My particular configuration doesn’t come with an overclockable processor which means that in most cases, its performance is a little bit subpar when it comes to multi-core workloads.
That being said, this thing is still no slouch as I’ve scored 33,335 on Geekbench on the multi-core tests and about 4,401 on the single-core benchmark which is still respectable in most instances.
I’ve also tested its mettle using PCMark 10 and it scored a little under 7,000 so you could say that this thing indeed has gaming prowess.
Speaking of games, this configuration can easily go more than 100 frames per second in most titles, while some of the most challenging ones would limit you to just 45-55 fps.
While playing Destiny 2, I was able to get more than 144 frames per second in most areas, while the frame rates dip a little bit when I am stationed in the tower.
I’ve also played Control which is one of the more demanding titles on the PC, and I was still able to get roughly 45-50 fps in max settings which is quite admirable.
Since MOBA games are quite popular, I tested this thing on League of Legends and Dota 2 as well. It’s good to know that this thing can output more than 144 frames per second even in heavy clashes.
So really, even with a modest configuration such as mine, I was still able to play games at really good frame rates across the board.
The Alienware Aurora R11 that I have comes with Windows 10 Home already pre-installed. Because this is a gaming PC from Alienware, the Alienware Command Center also comes pre-installed as well.
The said program can be used to look at the PC’s components at a glance while also changing its performance modes as well.
I find it to be fairly intuitive and I can really see the difference between performance modes. If you want the best of both worlds (meaning, acoustics and performance), setting it to balanced mode should suffice.
However, I find that the balanced mode doesn’t ramp the system’s fans good enough to maintain lower temperatures, so you may want to try out the performance mode while you are playing games.
- CPU: Intel Core i7-10700F
- GPU: Nvidia Geforce RTX 2060
- RAM: 16GB DDR4-2933
- Storage: 256GB NVMe SSD (Boot), 1TB 7200RPM HDD (Storage)
- Chassis: Dark Side of the Moon
- Weight: 39.2 lbs
- Dimensions: 17 x 8.8 x 18.9 Inches
- Operating System/Software: Windows 10 Home, Alienware Command Center
- Ports: [Front] 3x USB 3.2 Gen1 ports (1 port with PowerShare), 1x USB-C 3.2 Gen1, headphone/line out port, microphone/line in port; [Back] 6x USB 2.0, 3x USB 3.2 Gen1, Coaxial S/PDIF port, Optical S/PDIF port, USB 3.2 Gen 2 (Type-C), USB 3.2 Gen 2, Side L/R surround port, Microphone port, Front L/R surround line-out port, Line-in port, Rear L/R surround port, Network port
Despite my modest configuration, the Alienware Aurora R11 that I had was an able performer- both in productivity tasks and gaming. The Alienware command center provides a good overview of the system’s components and you can set its performance modes based on what you feel is apt for the moment.
Although it usually comes with crapware, you should blame Microsoft Windows for this and not the company. The good thing is that there are programs that can ‘decrapify’ a common Windows installation, so there’s that.
I love that the chassis doesn’t take up too much desk space, though if you are going to place this inside drawer, you may have to be wary about its height because it is definitely higher than the others.
If you have plenty of money, you can configure it ‘balls to the wall’ with the latest and greatest products from Intel and Nvidia, though keep in mind that because this model was released in 2020, you cannot expect the new Nvidia 3000 graphics cards to be present when you are purchasing this thing.
In summary, the Alienware Aurora R11 is a pretty good gaming machine- both in aesthetics and performance.
Logitech G305 Lightspeed Review- The $75 ‘G Pro’ Lite
The Logitech G Pro is highly praised by the gaming community, especially those that are playing first-person shooters. It is lightweight and it is wireless which is something that was unprecedented before its release.
There is only one issue: That mouse was expensive. Fortunately, you can get the Logitech G305 Lightspeed for a much cheaper price.
Read further to find out why I think the G305 is what I would consider as the ‘G Pro’ lite.
The Logitech G305 Lightspeed looks quite similar to the Logitech G Pro mentioned above. At first glance, you might think that this peripheral is an ambidextrous mouse, but that is actually not the case.
You see, while it has an ambidextrous design, the side buttons are actually located only on the left side of the peripheral. This is an odd choice considering that this can be construed as a mouse that can also be used left-handed, but this is something that you need to know if you are a left-handed gamer.
Its dimensions are 4.59 x 2.45 x 1.50 inches and it weighs 98 grams with the AA battery on. That’s right, you will need a single AA battery for this thing to operate, but the good thing is that a single AA battery can last up to three months with consistent use.
Much of the power-saving features come from the company’s own HERO sensor which doesn’t require a lot of battery to operate while still providing you with a competitive performance in games. More on this later.
This mouse is a bit on the smaller side and is perfectly suited for people who use the fingertip or claw grip styles. This could also work for a hybrid claw/finger grip style as well.
Because of its smaller dimensions, it should go without saying that people with larger hands might have a hard time grasping this mouse, so I wouldn’t recommend this for people that have bigger hands than others.
Despite its much cheaper price, I am glad that the Logitech G305 Lightspeed still feels premium. It is predominantly made with plastic and it has a matte finish so that it won’t easily get out of your grasps when you are playing even with sweaty hands.
On the underside, you will find four mouse feet for easier glide and you can also find the on/off switch as well. I love the fact that you can tell if it is turned on or off based on the color that you see depending on the switch’s orientation.
If you see the switch’s color turn blue, that means that the mouse is turned on. If it is on orange, then the peripheral is turned off.
I should also mention that there is no RGB lighting on this mouse at all and that is okay considering that you are running this thing with non-rechargeable batteries.
The Logitech G305 Lightspeed doesn’t have rechargeable batteries, but you might wonder why there is an included cable in the box. Well, that actually acts as an extender for the wireless USB dongle. This is used for better wireless coverage to ensure that the peripheral’s performance remains consistent across the board.
As mentioned earlier, the Logitech G305 Lightspeed comes equipped with the company’s HERO sensor which is derived from the popular Pixart 3366 sensor. For the people who are familiar with the latter, you know that this thing can perform admirably even in competitive situations.
The good thing about Logitech’s implementation is that the HERO sensor eats so little energy that a single AA battery can last up to 3-4 months with consistent use. That is truly impressive since you do not have to worry about losing battery life while you are using it.
The HERO sensor here is a cut-down version of what you can see in Logitech’s other gaming mice as it can only reach a maximum of 12,000 DPI (compared to the 16,000 DPI in others). This is still okay because, in more practical uses, I don’t think that people would go as high as that number anyway.
I am blown away by how smooth the mouse glides on my mouse mat. The sensor provides consistent performance and I am glad that this thing won’t spin out in games.
I’ve tried this in FPS games like Valorant and I’ve had no problems with aiming at all. This experience is coming from a person who uses a gaming mouse using a palm grip by the way. My aim would have been better if I used the fingertip or claw grip styles.
I’ve also tested this on some MOBA games as well and I never experienced any dropouts or performance issues at all.
This mouse has 6 programmable buttons and if you want to configure them, you will need to download the company’s G Hub software.
You can download and use it for free and is available for both Windows and Mac. I love the aesthetic of the software as it is intuitive to use and the menus are easy to understand.
I am just surprised by one thing, however. You see, the button that is directly below the scroll wheel is supposed to be the DPI switch button which means that pressing it would cycle through the different DPI profiles that you’ve set in the G Hub software. Or at least, that is how it should work in theory.
However, even though you can change the DPI to whatever value you want so long as it is within its range (up to 12,000), you cannot set more than one DPI setting which virtually renders the DPI cycle button useless, at least, in this regard.
You could set the button to do an entirely different thing like you can set it to a particular key on the keyboard so every time you press on the button, it does that. But, it is just interesting to me that its original purpose is not actually implemented in reality.
Normally, a wireless gaming mouse would typically cost more than $100 because of the use of wireless technology, along with the usual goodies that you can find in such a device. But, I am pleased that the Logitech G305 Lightspeed costs $75.
For its price, you are getting a very competitive gaming mouse that can last a couple of months using just a single AA battery. Of course, this changes depending on the battery that is used (brand and capacity), but for the most part, it should remain fairly consistent in terms of battery life.
The HERO sensor has also given me an amazing experience. I never would have thought that a wireless mouse can provide a similar experience to that of its wired counterparts.
All in all, I can wholeheartedly recommend the Logitech G305 Lightspeed unless of course if you are a palm-grip user.
Razer Deathadder V2 Pro Review- The Company’s Best Mouse Goes Wireless
Lenovo ThinkPad X13 Gen 1 Review- A Great Business Laptop Under $1,000
Alienware Aurora R11 (2020) Review- Configured to Win
Logitech G305 Lightspeed Review- The $75 ‘G Pro’ Lite
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