Acer Predator Helios 300 overview
The Acer Predator Helios 300 is the primary mid-range laptop computer within the Predator vary. This collection was full of laptops designed to point out off the newest , full with trackpads and keyboards designed for the hardcore crowd.
This new Helios 300 mannequin tones every part down a bit, primarily for individuals who don’t have a few thousand to spend on a brand new laptop computer. The trackpad is disappointing and the battery life poor, however if you would like a house gaming laptop computer with which you’ll use a mouse, the Helios 300 is a superb selection.
How a lot does the Helios 300 value?
The Predator Helios 300 slides in just below the £1000 mark with a mannequin that has a GeForce GTX 1050 Ti graphics card, Core i5 CPU, 128GB storage and 1TB arduous drive. You should buy it for US$999 from Amazon.
The most effective UK deal on the time of overview was £899 from Amazon.
As you improve the graphics to a GTX 1060 and the CPU to a Core i7 and the worth steadily rises to £1399. Asus at the moment prices roughly £200 extra for an Asus ROG GL702VM with an identical spec.
Our overview pattern is not one you’d purchase in the event you care extra about gaming than productiveness energy, although. It has a Core i7 CPU, 16GB RAM and a GTX 1050 Ti, and prices £1299.
We’d suggest placing your cash into the GPU slightly than CPU at this degree: one thing to keep in mind.
These laptops include a 2-year return-to-base guarantee.
For extra alternate options, verify our listing of the very best gaming laptops.
Acer Helios 300: Design
The Acer Predator Helios 300 has quite a lot of the design motifs of the full-blooded Predator fashions, such because the gamer give-away Predator emblem and pink strips throughout the again. Nevertheless, the construct is strong slightly than bomb-proof.
That is an all-plastic laptop computer, together with the brushed metal-effect lid. To confuse issues, Acer makes variants of the Helios 300 laptop computer with a metallic lid, though on the time of writing these are solely obtainable within the US.
The lid flexes somewhat greater than a top-tier gaming laptop computer and there’s a touch of flex to the encompass beneath the keyboard. There are not any shortfalls that actually have an effect on use, although, because the keyboard itself is stiff.
It’s additionally round 9.5mm thinner and 1.2kg lighter than the Predator 17, however at 3cm thick and 3kg, this isn’t a transportable gaming laptop computer. However what 17in mannequin is?
Slicing out the optical drive is one cause the Acer Predator Helios 300 is so much slimmer than its massive brother. And the connections are additionally cut-down, primarily in spec slightly than quantity.
There are three standard-size USBs, solely one in every of them is a USB three.zero. It appears odd to have a £1000-plus laptop computer that also has USB 2.0s, however in the event you’re plugging in a mouse the added bandwidth of USB three.zero is wasted anyway.
The 300 additionally has one USB-C port, which is specced to the USB three.1 Gen 1 commonplace slightly than the a lot sooner Thunderbolt three.zero.
Different connectors embody an RJ45 Ethernet port, HDMI and SDXC card reader. There’s every part the common gamer wants, however if you would like top-spec ports you’ll have to take a look at a dearer mannequin.
Keyboard and touchpad
A few of the key appeals of the full-fat Predator laptops embody a reasonably chunky keyboard and a superb trackpad with buttons that aren’t constructed into the pad. With a Acer Predator Helios 300 the setup is extra standard.
There’s a soft-action chiclet keyboard freed from macro buttons and a trackpad with built-in buttons. The hardcore gamer crowd might flip their nostril up at these, however we expect the keyboard is usually high quality.
Motion isn’t super-deep or notably well-defined amongst gaming laptops, however it’s snug to make use of. Just like the USB 2.zero ports, the prosaic keyboard is simply one thing you must weigh up in opposition to the comparatively aggressive value.
There are additionally some typical gamer points to the keyboard too, together with a pink backlight and highlighted WSAD keys.
We’re much less eager on the trackpad. Its motion is just too deep and the texture of the pad too stiff. It’s not nice for quick-fire double faucets, which is unhealthy information for any form of aggressive gaming. Acer most likely thinks most will plug in a mouse.
Predictably, given the deal with affordability, it’s a plastic pad slightly than a textured glass one too. This provides a much less clean really feel, however it’s not gentle years away from a glass pad in use.
The show is among the Acer Predator Helios 300’s strongest components, and a strike in opposition to a preferred smaller-screen various just like the Dell Inspiron 15 7000 Gaming (which has a reasonably poor TN display screen). This can be a 17.3in 1920 x 1080 IPS LCD display screen with a matt end.
Viewing angles are good, color replica is strong and distinction is commendable in a mid-range mannequin too. Whereas the big floor space reveals off the restricted pixel density of the 1080p panel, making textual content look a bit blocky, this can be a display screen that will’t look misplaced in a top-end gaming laptop computer.
The display screen covers 85.three p.c of the sRGB color spectrum, and has distinction of 838:1. These might not be excellent scores, however to the bare eye are adequate to make the display screen seem wealthy and well-saturated.
For the display screen obsessives, it manages 62.four p.c of Adobe RGB and 71.7 p.c of DCI P3, the cinema commonplace.
Most brightness is nearly unnecessarily excessive too, at 385cd/m². To get to the 120cd/m² we use for display screen testing, because the type of brightness you may use indoors, you solely must set the brightness to 25 p.c.
This is among the higher screens you’ll discover in a mid-tier gaming laptop computer. Like different fashions on this class, although, it doesn’t have a touchscreen.
Acer Helios 300: Efficiency
As we famous in the beginning of this overview, the Acer Predator Helios 300 spec we’re reviewing might be not the one we’d purchase. It has a barely odd mixture of a high-end Intel Core i7-7700HQ CPU with a small 128GB SSD and an entry-level Nvidia GTX 1050 Ti.
Those that care about gaming efficiency above all else could be higher served by a Core i5 Acer Predator Helios 300 with a GTX 1060 GPU. And a 128GB barely leaves room for one very storage hungry video games after a Home windows 10 set up, resembling Deux Ex: Manking Divided, which we use for testing. A 256GB SSD is really useful.
There’s additionally a 1TB 5400rpm arduous drive, however as that is slightly sluggish in contrast with the SSD you’ll need to set up video games within the SSD in the event you can to keep away from lengthy load occasions.
Complaints about this explicit spec apart, the Acer Predator Helios 300 will get you superb efficiency to your cash.
The Core i7 CPU ends in a PC Mark 10 rating of 4206, which will likely be comparable with an Alienware 17. A Geekbench four rating of 14479 flattens any slim and lightweight laptop computer. Such a punchy CPU makes this a really versatile machine, capable of tackle severe jobs like video modifying.
We did discover that occasionally components didn’t pop up within the Home windows 10 Begin menu as fast as anticipated. However with this scale of PC it’s extra more likely to be right down to a minor software program problem.
The Acer Predator Helios 300’s GTX 1050 Ti is about as low-end a card we’d suggest for a big gaming laptop computer like this. And in the event you can afford the GTX 1060 mannequin, get it. Nevertheless, as-is that is nonetheless a really succesful 1080p gaming machine.
It sails by way of Alien:Isolation, managing a mean 95fps with all of the graphical results switched on and backbone at native 1080p. This rockets as much as 209fps at 720p, low graphics.
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is an efficient argument for that GTX 1060 improve, because the Acer Predator Helios 300 averages 26.5fps at 1080p, Extremely settings. That’s too low for a super expertise when the “min” body charges are going to be so much decrease.
Nevertheless, the 720p Low consequence reveals the laptop computer can nonetheless deal with nearly any recreation so long as you’re keen to sacrifice the odd component of visible gloss. Deus Ex runs at a mean 92.3fps at this setting, so that you simply need to discover a center floor that you just, and the laptop computer, are snug with.
The Helios 300 doesn’t have fairly as giant a cooling system because the Predator 17, however we haven’t observed any notably worrying warmth issues when gaming with the laptop computer. Its underside tends to get heat, because of the one mid-size “exhausts” on the again. However the passive cooling is sweet sufficient to let the followers swap off when the laptop computer is idling or performing ultra-low demand jobs.
Below stress the fan noise naturally turns into fairly apparent: time to place the headphones on. Nevertheless, the noise isn’t obnoxious.
As with most gaming laptops, the audio system haven’t fairly made the identical type of enhancements we’ve heard in some a lot thinner way of life laptops. Whereas there’s bulk to the sound, it lacks readability or any actual bass energy, as an alternative counting on the mids to make it seem “full”.
Dolby Atmos software program is used to bolster this additional, though the audio usually appears congested. You possibly can swap to the “speech” mode to tone down the results of the sign processing, however this additionally diminished perceived loudness.
The audio system are simply satisfactory however battery life is admittedly fairly poor, and nowhere close to the claimed seven hours. Taking part in a 720p film on loop, the laptop computer solely lasts 2 hours 30 minutes. That is with the brightness at simply 25 p.c too.
It’s a consequence so poor we ran the check just a few occasions simply to ensure one thing hadn’t gone fallacious on the preliminary try. You’ll get nicely below an hour of GPU-testing gaming out of a cost.
You’ll need to weigh up the significance of this your self. It’s a poor consequence however because the Helios 300 is clearly a considerably inexpensive gaming laptop computer not a transportable one, we haven’t let it affect the general rating an excessive amount of.