Acer Predator Helios 300 evaluation
The Acer Predator Helios 300 is the primary mid-range laptop computer within the Predator vary. This collection was once full of laptops designed to point out off the most recent , full with trackpads and keyboards designed for the hardcore crowd.
This new Helios 300 mannequin tones every thing 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’d like a house gaming laptop computer with which you’ll use a mouse, the Helios 300 is a superb alternative.
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 laborious drive. You should purchase it for US$999 from Amazon.
The most effective UK deal on the time of evaluation was £899 from Amazon.
As you improve the graphics to a GTX 1060 and the CPU to a Core i7 and the value steadily rises to £1399. Asus at present expenses roughly £200 extra for an Asus ROG GL702VM with an identical spec.
Our evaluation pattern is not one you’d purchase in case 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 fairly 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, examine our record of the perfect 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 crimson strips throughout the again. Nevertheless, the construct is stable fairly 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 a little bit greater than a top-tier gaming laptop computer and there’s a touch of flex to the encompass under the keyboard. There aren’t 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 conveyable gaming laptop computer. However what 17in mannequin is?
Chopping out the optical drive is one purpose the Acer Predator Helios 300 is loads slimmer than its huge brother. And the connections are additionally cut-down, primarily in spec fairly 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 case 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 customary fairly than the a lot quicker Thunderbolt three.zero.
Different connectors embrace an RJ45 Ethernet port, HDMI and SDXC card reader. There’s every thing the common gamer wants, however if you’d like top-spec ports you’ll have to have a look at a dearer mannequin.
Keyboard and touchpad
Among the key appeals of the full-fat Predator laptops embrace a reasonably chunky keyboard and an excellent 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 wonderful.
Motion isn’t super-deep or notably well-defined amongst gaming laptops, but it surely’s comfy to make use of. Just like the USB 2.zero ports, the prosaic keyboard is simply one thing it’s important to weigh up towards the comparatively aggressive value.
There are additionally some typical gamer elements to the keyboard too, together with a crimson backlight and highlighted WSAD keys.
We’re much less eager on the trackpad. Its motion is simply 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 type of aggressive gaming. Acer in all probability thinks most will plug in a mouse.
Predictably, given the give attention to affordability, it’s a plastic pad fairly than a textured glass one too. This gives a much less easy really feel, but it surely’s not gentle years away from a glass pad in use.
The show is without doubt one of the Acer Predator Helios 300’s strongest components, and a strike towards a well-liked smaller-screen different just like the Dell Inspiron 15 7000 Gaming (which has a reasonably poor TN display). This can be a 17.3in 1920 x 1080 IPS LCD display with a matt end.
Viewing angles are good, color copy is stable and distinction is commendable in a mid-range mannequin too. Whereas the massive floor space reveals off the restricted pixel density of the 1080p panel, making textual content look a bit blocky, it is a display that might’t look misplaced in a top-end gaming laptop computer.
The display covers 85.three p.c of the sRGB color spectrum, and has distinction of 838:1. These will not be good scores, however to the bare eye are ok to make the display seem wealthy and well-saturated.
For the display obsessives, it manages 62.four p.c of Adobe RGB and 71.7 p.c of DCI P3, the cinema customary.
Most brightness is sort of unnecessarily excessive too, at 385cd/m². To get to the 120cd/m² we use for display testing, because the sort of brightness you would possibly use indoors, you solely have to set the brightness to 25 p.c.
This is without doubt one of 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 at the beginning of this evaluation, 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 advisable.
There’s additionally a 1TB 5400rpm laborious drive, however as that is fairly sluggish in contrast with the SSD you’ll need to set up video games within the SSD in case you can to keep away from lengthy load occasions.
Complaints about this specific 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 shall be comparable with an Alienware 17. A Geekbench four rating of 14479 flattens any slim and light-weight laptop computer. Such a punchy CPU makes this a really versatile machine, capable of tackle severe jobs like video enhancing.
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 prone to be all the way down to a minor software program difficulty.
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 case you can afford the GTX 1060 mannequin, get it. Nevertheless, as-is that is nonetheless a really succesful 1080p gaming machine.
It sails via Alien:Isolation, managing a median 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 effective 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 loads decrease.
Nevertheless, the 720p Low outcome reveals the laptop computer can nonetheless deal with nearly any recreation so long as you’re prepared to sacrifice the odd component of visible gloss. Deus Ex runs at a median 92.3fps at this setting, so that you simply must discover a center floor that you simply, and the laptop computer, are comfy with.
The Helios 300 doesn’t have fairly as massive a cooling system because the Predator 17, however we haven’t seen any significantly 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 nice sufficient to let the followers swap off when the laptop computer is idling or performing ultra-low demand jobs.
Underneath stress the fan noise naturally turns into fairly apparent: time to place the headphones on. Nevertheless, the noise is just not obnoxious.
As with most gaming laptops, the audio system haven’t fairly made the identical sort of enhancements we’ve heard in some a lot thinner life-style laptops. Whereas there’s bulk to the sound, it lacks readability or any actual bass energy, as a substitute counting on the mids to make it seem “full”.
Dolby Atmos software program is used to bolster this additional, though the audio typically appears congested. You may swap to the “speech” mode to tone down the consequences of the sign processing, however this additionally lowered perceived loudness.
The audio system are simply satisfactory however battery life is de facto fairly poor, and nowhere close to the claimed seven hours. Enjoying 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 outcome so poor we ran the check a number of occasions simply to verify one thing hadn’t gone unsuitable on the preliminary try. You’ll get nicely below an hour of GPU-testing gaming out of a cost.
You’ll must weigh up the significance of this your self. It’s a poor outcome however because the Helios 300 is clearly a considerably inexpensive gaming laptop computer not a conveyable one, we haven’t let it affect the general rating an excessive amount of.