Home / Laptop Reviews / Acer Predator Helios 300 hands-on review: More power, same price

Acer Predator Helios 300 hands-on review: More power, same price

Acer Predator Helios 300 hands-on evaluate: Extra energy, similar worth

Acer Predator Helios 300 hands-on evaluate: Extra energy, similar worth

  • As much as Nvidia RTX 2070 graphics
  • Nice keyboard and touchpad
  • Quick 240Hz show
  • Nonetheless a bit clunky
  • Makes use of previous-generation GPU

The Acer Predator Helios 300 is among the many hottest gaming laptops of the previous few years. It’s a constant bestseller on Amazon, for 2 easy causes. It’s reasonably priced, and it’s dependable.

Acer just lately introduced an replace to the Helios 300 that bumps up a few of its most necessary specs, together with the show, graphics, and the processor. The consequence needs to be higher gaming efficiency on the similar reasonably priced worth.

Design

The Acer Predator Helios 300 hasn’t modified its design this 12 months. It’s nonetheless a considerably cumbersome 15.6-inch gaming laptop computer, coming in a regular black end with blue accents. It weighs 5.three kilos and is zero.9-inches thick, which is sort of a bit bigger than choices just like the Asus Zephyrus G or Razer Blade. A great comparability by way of measurement is the Alienware m15, which weighs 5.5 kilos and is zero.Eight-inches thick. The Dell G5 SE Gaming Laptop computer can be the same measurement.

Whereas it’s a bit thick, its construct high quality is robust. There’s little flex within the chassis or the lid. It feels sturdy and well-built to carry or carry.

The place gaming manufacturers like Asus and Razer have transitioned to a extra minimalist aesthetic, the Helios 300 maintains Predator’s old-school gaming design. The bottom sports activities some aggressive silver vents, and the lid has an angular design. It’s nothing obscene, nevertheless it’s clearly constructed to name consideration to itself.

Acer has trimmed the bezels a bit previously couple of years, nevertheless. Whereas the highest and backside bezels are nonetheless thick, the facet bezels are slim sufficient to supply a extra fashionable really feel.

Show

The brand new Acer Predator Helios 300 upgrades from a 144Hz refresh charge to 240Hz. The sooner refresh charge is beneficial for fast-paced on-line video games, whether or not you play Counter-Strike: International Offensive or Overwatch. Whereas 240 frames per second may sound out of the league of laptop computer gaming, gamers who take pleasure in extremely aggressive video games are sometimes keen to decrease settings for higher efficiency. You possibly can nonetheless go for the 144Hz display screen, nevertheless, which comes within the base $1,200 mannequin.

The display screen additionally has a 3ms response time, which supplies quick and fluid enter. The Helios 300 doesn’t assist G-Sync, nevertheless, so that you may see frame-tearing, an unpleasant visible artifact that happens when a sport’s framerate doesn’t line up with a show’s refresh charge.

The display screen has 1080p decision and makes use of IPS know-how. It has a blue-ish tint, although the display screen dealt with the darkish shadows of Battlefield V fairly properly. It’s not the brightest or most colourful display screen on the planet, nevertheless it doesn’t stand out as poor, both. That’s good. Funds gaming laptops with excessive refresh charges generally push visible high quality apart.

Ports

The Predator Helios 300 has a stable mixture of ports that can please avid gamers. On the left facet is an Ethernet jack, two USB-A ports, and a headphone jack. The proper facet consists of an extra USB-A port and a USB-C port.

The proper facet affords two choices for show output: An HDMI port or mini-DisplayPort. There’s loads of ports on your keyboard or mouse, with additional if you wish to dock your laptop computer to an exterior display screen. Mini-DisplayPort is an odd selection in 2020, although, and Thunderbolt three just isn’t included.

The facility jack is on the again. I’d want the show output to be positioned within the again for a cleaner setup, however that’s not the case right here.

Keyboard and touchpad

Not like many reasonably priced gaming laptops, the Predator Helios 300 has an amazing keyboard and touchpad. The touchpad, specifically, is surprisingly good. It has a quiet click on mechanism and fast, responsive monitoring. The chamfered aluminum edge surrounding the touchpad provides some panache to the look of the gaming laptop computer.

The keyboard retains issues easy. It affords a regular format with solely a single Turbo button on the prime. There’s no macro keys to program, although Acer does embody a quantity pad to the appropriate of the system. Its RGB backlighting is dealt with by Acer’s PredatorSense software program, which is obtainable in a four-zone setup.

Not like Asus’ current ROG gaming laptops, the Predator Helios 300 does embody a 720p webcam above the display screen. It doesn’t assist Home windows Good day login, although, within the type of a fingerprint reader or an IR digital camera.

Efficiency and configurations

The Helios 300 isn’t essentially the most highly effective gaming laptop computer you should buy. Nonetheless, it does improve from Intel’s ninth-generation chips to 10th-gen chips. These are Intel’s Core i7 H-series – 45-watt CPUs with as much as six cores and 16 threads.

My pre-production unit of the Helios 300 additionally got here with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q. Notice this isn’t the RTX 2070 Tremendous graphics that just lately launched, however as an alternative the earlier era.

I wasn’t but capable of take a look at the pre-production system in benchmarks, however I booted up a sport of Battlefield V and skilled some deliciously clean gameplay. The RTX 2070 Max-Q has confirmed a stable mid-range laptop computer graphics chip in different programs we’ve reviewed that equip it, and I doubt that’ll show completely different right here.

My configuration additionally got here with 32GB of RAM and a 2TB SSD. The system consists of an additional PCIe NVMe SSD slot in RAID zero configuration for future upgrades.

The bottom configuration comes with an Nvidia RTX 2060, 16GB of RAM, and a 512GB SSD. The earlier Helios 300 began with only a GTX 1660 Ti, so the brand new base mannequin a considerable improve to sport efficiency for a similar worth. That’s necessary. My decked-out evaluate unit had all of the methods, however the base mannequin is the one most individuals will purchase.

The Helios 300 does have one harmful competitor, nevertheless. The Dell G5 SE, which comes with all-AMD parts inside. It begins at simply $862, regardless of having a brand new Ryzen 4000 processor and Radeon 5600M graphics inside. It’s a worth chief, and whereas it doesn’t assist RTX ray tracing, its in-game efficiency was stable. The Helios 300 can be hard-pressed to finest it.

The Predator Helios 300 can be out there in July, beginning at $1,200.

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