Acer Predator Helios 300 (2019) assessment
The Acer Predator Helios 300 is among the most reasonably priced gaming laptops we’ve seen for a while – at £1,199, it prices lower than half as a lot as extra prestigious machines.
In fact, an reasonably priced value does imply compromises, however Acer reckons that this machine nonetheless has the velocity and high quality to supply a superb expertise.
Value & Availability
The Helios 300 reviewed right here prices £1,199 within the UK and consists of the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti graphics card and a Core i5-9300H processor.
It’s higher for US patrons: throughout the Atlantic the $1,199 model consists of the identical GPU alongside a Core i7-9750H processor.
A number of different fashions can be found. UK patrons who need the Core i7-9750H pays £1,299. Step as much as £1,499 and also you add an RTX 2060 GPU to that spec. Acer sells three 17.3in variations with the RTX 2060 or RTX 2070 – costs vary between £1,499 and £1,899.
Within the US, you’ll need to pay $1,599 in order for you a Core i7 CPU and an RTX 2060. There are additionally two 17.3in fashions with the GTX 1660 Ti and RTX 2070 priced at $1,499 and $1,799.
Take a look at our chart of the finest gaming laptop computer.
Design & Construct
The Helios 300 could also be reasonably priced, however Acer has finished an excellent job of creating it look respectable.
The physique is essentially made out of metallic, and it appears to be like good: the cliché black-and-red color scheme has been changed by black with a sexy shade of blue. The blue highlights the trackpad and the WASD keys, and the keyboard additionally has a blue backlight. It additionally illuminates the emblem on the lid.
Apart from these highlights, the Helios is restrained – the angled air vents aren’t too large, and there isn’t any extravagant design elsewhere.
Construct high quality is middling – not stunning given the worth. There’s slightly give within the wrist-rest, and the display strikes an excessive amount of. It’s not a ruinous problem – simply use a protecting sleeve if you happen to depart the home. Equally, the 23mm thickness and a pair of.4kg weight are solely mid-range figures.
It’s an excellent invoice of well being at this value, although, and also you’d need to pay a lot extra to get one thing higher.
Take the Alienware m15, which is slimmer, lighter and sturdier, with higher design and extra options – and accessible with the identical CPU and GPU because the Helios. The value for a similar specification, although? A cool £1,649.
The port choice is one other space the place the Acer is ok however not ground-breaking. It’s bought three USB three ports, a Kind-C connection and HDMI and mini-DisplayPort outputs. It doesn’t have sooner USB three.1 ports, although, and there’s no Thunderbolt or card reader.
Keyboard & Trackpad
The keyboard has an excellent format, with massive keys, full-size cursor buttons and a numberpad. Plus there’s additionally a devoted button to launch Acer’s PredatorSense app.
The metallic beneath the keyboard is sturdy, so it’s straightforward to hammer the buttons down. They’ve bought an affordable quantity of journey, too. Nevertheless, the buttons are quiet and delicate – so that they don’t have the crisp, inflexible typing motion that’s preferable on gaming laptops.
It’s not an enormous problem. The keys are nicely laid-out, and so they nonetheless have the velocity and consistency to deal with mainstream gaming and esports. Nevertheless, severe gamers will choose the elevated velocity and firmness of the Alienware’s keyboard.
The trackpad’s floor is ok, and the 2 built-in buttons are snappy, however they nonetheless push down too far. When you’re in any respect severe about gaming, join a USB gaming mouse.
Display & Audio
The 15.6in display has a Full HD 1080p decision, which implies that video games will look crisp with out straining the GPU. It’s an IPS panel with a 3ms response time, which bodes nicely for all gaming eventualities.
The 144Hz refresh charge is sweet, too, and it means video games that may run easily at as much as 144fps – nice for aggressive eventualities that want lightning-fast reactions. Single-player video games will even look higher once they run easily at excessive framerates.
In fact, the 144Hz refresh charge comes with caveats. The GTX 1660 Ti received’t run all video games at triple-figures with out some graphical cut-backs. This display additionally doesn’t have Nvidia G-Sync, so there should still be occasional tearing. Nevertheless, video games will nonetheless look very clean on this panel.
High quality is sweet too. The Acer’s brightness degree of 343cd/m2 is spectacular and the black level of zero.28cd/m2 is deep sufficient to correctly render darkish areas. The distinction ratio of 1,225:1 is excessive sufficient to ship a great deal of punch and vibrancy.
Colors are correct, and uniformity is sweet – the backlight power and color accuracy barely deviate throughout the display.
The Acer’s poorest benchmark result’s an 84.9% sRGB gamut protection degree. This display received’t render each color within the sRGB gamut, nevertheless it’s nonetheless excessive sufficient to make video games look good.
When you’re involved about display high quality, then Alienware’s machines are higher. Nevertheless, the Acer’s display remains to be simply adequate for gaming at a lower cost. It received’t disappoint.
The audio system are acceptable – they’ve sufficient quantity, and the high-end is crisp. Treble noises are muddy and bass is weak. A gaming headset could be higher, however the package right here can be utilized in a pinch.
Specs & Efficiency
The GTX 1660 Ti is one among Nvidia’s more moderen releases. It makes use of the most recent Turing structure, nevertheless it cuts prices by eliminating devoted cores for Ray-Tracing and DLSS.
You won’t get entry to these applied sciences, however not many video games really assist them – so it’s not an amazing loss proper now. The GTX 1660 Ti nonetheless has a stable spec for 1080p gaming, although, with 6GB of reminiscence and 1,536 processing cores.
And, if you happen to’re nonetheless eager, the RTX 2060 fashions can be found.
The Acer zipped via Whole Warfare: Warhammer 2 and Ghost Recon: Wildlands at medium settings with averages of 105fps and 79fps, and it dealt with Extremely settings at 58fps and 46fps.
The Helios is quick sufficient to deal with immediately’s high video games at good graphical settings. And, fortunately, there’s simply sufficient tempo to run esports titles and less-demanding video games at triple-figure framerates – so the 144Hz display can be utilized to its full potential.
Acer’s machine additionally has two overclocked modes, and these choices noticed gaming outcomes enhance by a few frames. It’s not a transformative improve, nevertheless it’s welcome.
The GPU does include caveats, although. At Extremely settings, minimal framerates generally dipped to round 33fps, which implies that powerful video games – and video games sooner or later – might stutter at their highest settings.
If you’re involved about future playability and excessive settings, then the RTX 2060 is healthier. That GPU delivers a sizeable improve: it scores round 34,500 factors in 3D Mark Sky Diver. That’s round 5,000 factors greater than the GTX 1660 Ti.
The GTX 1660 Ti’s lack of Ray-Tracing is apparent, too. In 3D Mark’s devoted Port Royal benchmark, the weaker GPU scored 1,555 factors. An RTX 2060, with its devoted cores, is twice as fast.
You may see all the outcomes under, additionally in contrast with the Alienware m15, Razer Blade 15 (2019) (RTX 2070), Asus RoG Scar 2 (GTX 1070) and Aorus 15 X9 (RTX 2070).
The Core i5-9300H processor has 4 Hyper-Threaded cores that assist eight simultaneous threads. It has stable speeds, too: it begins at 2.4GHz and accelerates to a peak of four.1GHz. It’s paired with 8GB of reminiscence.
It received’t trigger any gaming bottlenecks, however it may well’t compete with the i7-9750H that’s showing in rival machines – and in pricier variations of the Helios. That half has six cores that assist twelve threads and it runs at 2.6GHz and four.5GHz.
The Core i5’s Geekbench rating of 13,211 is sufficient to run video games, deal with day-to-day looking and multi-tasking, and to run mainstream work instruments – so it means the Acer is flexible.
It’s stable, nevertheless it’s unable to compete with Core i7 chips and machines with 16GB of reminiscence. These elements are round 10,000 factors sooner in Geekbench. The distinction might be seen in PC Mark 10, too: the Acer scored an affordable four,834 factors, however beefier laptops are round 500 factors faster.
The true-world influence of a Core i7 CPU and 16GB of reminiscence received’t be felt badly in video games, however these parts will ship higher multi-tasking and productiveness efficiency.
The Helios has no actual thermal points. There’s noise when gaming, nevertheless it’s no louder than anything, and simple to masks with audio system or a headset. The temperatures are fantastic too – the CPU and GPU peaked at 80°C and 71°C, and the outside remained cool.
Elsewhere the Helios delivers Killer-branded Gigabit Ethernet and 802.11ac wi-fi, each of that are optimised for gaming. The SSD delivers learn and write outcomes of two,863MB/s and 1,000MB/s, which implies quick boot and recreation load occasions, and there’s a 1TB exhausting disk.
In a video playback take a look at with the display at 120cd/m2 brightness the Helios lasted for simply over six hours. That’s additionally the lifespan we’d anticipate when phrase processing or web-browsing, and it’s about degree with Alienware’s machines – a stable outcome for a less expensive choice.
Nevertheless, throughout a gaming the Helios barely made it previous an hour. If you wish to play video games, push the parts or run the display at full brightness, you may want to remain plugged in.
The Acer Predator Helios 300 is a formidable, reasonably priced choice for a gaming laptop computer. Its GPU has the ability for 1080p and esports gaming, and its Core i5 processor is ok for on a regular basis use. Its SSD is fast, and the display gives good high quality.
Elsewhere, Acer’s machine has affordable ergonomics and design – it’s not too thick or heavy.
In fact, the low value does imply compromise. The GPU is ok for 1080p gaming, nevertheless it’ll battle with powerful titles now and sooner or later. The Core i5 CPU isn’t nice for more durable software program, and we’d have most well-liked 16GB of reminiscence.
Equally, panels in pricier portables have wider color gamuts and higher distinction ranges, and it’s straightforward to seek out rivals which can be slimmer, lighter and with higher ergonomics – for a value.
Lots of people received’t be fussed about that, although, particularly when the Acer is a whole lot of kilos cheaper than rivals. When you’re after an excellent gaming laptop computer and don’t wish to bust your funds, the Helios 300 is nicely value contemplating.