Acer Predator Helios 300 overview (PH315-52 2019 mannequin – RTX 2060)
For the previous couple of years, Acer’s Predator Helios 300s have been a few of the best-value mid-tier gaming laptops available on the market, providing stable efficiency and the proper options in an reasonably priced package deal, however its dated design was in dire want of a refresh.
Right here enters the mid-2019 replace of the Predator Helios 300 lineup: extra compact and sturdier, with up to date and redesigned internals, an RGB keyboard, a 144 Hz 3ms matte display and a bigger battery, amongst others, all nonetheless bundled in one of the crucial aggressively priced gives in its class.
The Helios 300 is available in each a 15 and a 17-inch model, and we’ve frolicked with each. We’ll cowl the bigger mannequin in one other article, as on this overview we’re focusing our consideration on the 15-inch Predator Helios PH315-52 mannequin, in a configuration with a Core i7 processor and Nvidia RTX 2060 6 GB GPU, maybe the higher worth configuration in all the stack.
We’ve gathered out impressions down beneath, with the robust factors and the quirks, so make sure that to undergo our findings in the event you’re all in favour of getting this pocket book, and get in contact within the feedback part on the finish if in case you have any questions or have something so as to add to the article.
The specs sheet as reviewed
|Acer Predator Helios 300 PH315-52|
|Display||15.6 inch, 1920 x 1080 px decision, IPS, 144 HZ, matte, AU Optronics AUO82ED panel|
|Processor||Intel Espresso Lake Core i7-8750H, six-core (i7-9750H on retail fashions)|
|Video||Intel HD 630 and Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 6GB 80W (GeForce 430.64)|
|Reminiscence||32 GB DDR4 2666 MHz (2x 16 GB DIMMs)|
|Storage||2x 512 GB SSD in Raid0(M.2 80 mm NVMe – WD SN720 SDAPNTW-512G) + 2 TB SSHD (2.5″ bay – WD20SPZX-21UA7T0)|
|Connectivity||Killer 1550i AC WiFi with Bluetooth 5.zero, Killer E2500 Gigabit LAN|
|Ports||3x USB-A Three.1, 1x USB-C gen 2 (?), HDMI 2.zero, miniDP, LAN, headphone/mic, Kensington Lock|
|Battery||58 Wh, 180 W energy adapter|
|Dimension||362 mm or 14.25” (w) x 254 mm or 10” (d) x 22.9 mm or .9” (h)|
|Weight||2.41 kg (5.Three lb), .55 kg (1.21 lbs) energy brick, EU model|
|Extras||RGB backlit keyboard – Four zones, NumPad, 2x stereo audio system, HD webcam|
Our review-unit is a pre-production pattern supplied by Acer for the aim of this text, that’s why it comes with an eighth gen Core i7 processor. Retail fashions can be out there with the ninth gen Core i7-9750H (which we’ve coated on this article), however given the truth that the 9750H is just about a better clocked 8750H, you shouldn’t anticipate any vital variations between our overview unit and the retail fashions.
It’s additionally price including that Acer gives the Predator Helios 300 PH315-52 in a bunch of various configurations, with numerous quantities of RAM, forms of storage and both GTX 1660 Ti, RTX 2060 or RTX 2070 Max-Q graphics. The perfect worth is within the RTX 2060 variant, the one we’re reviewing right here.
Design and exterior
The 2019 Predator Helios is a whole redesign and retains little in frequent with the earlier variations, other than some attribute Predator aesthetic strains and branding components.
For starters, that is rather more compact, with thinner bezels throughout the display. Acer didn’t go all-in on the ultra-compact form-factor, however at 366 x 255 mm, this Predator is definitely a little bit smaller than the primary opponents just like the Asus ROG Scar III, Lenovo Legion Y740 or the MSI GE63 Raider. It’s nonetheless a reasonably hefty laptop, although, weighing as much as 2.Three kg (5.Three lbs), primarily based on configuration. Our check mannequin will get triple storage, so it’s the heaviest potential variant.
The burden is backed up by the rise in construct high quality. The principle-deck feels sturdy and barely bulges when pressed tougher, so that you’re not truly going to note any give within the arm-rest or keyboard deck with day by day use. The display, alternatively, nonetheless flexes a good bit, so though there’s no impression on the precise panel when urgent on the lid, I’d counsel putting the laptop computer inside a protecting sleeve when carrying it round, simply to forestall any undesirable surprises.
Thick items of steel are used for the lid cowl, inside and sides, whereas the underbelly and bezels are produced from onerous plastic. The 2 supplies be part of properly collectively, however the design nonetheless leaves some sharp corners and gaps on the entrance, and even a reasonably sharp front-lip, though that’s beveled and shouldn’t trouble your wrists with day by day use. That proper nook, alternatively, it typically ended urgent simply on my veins when typing, and I positive want Acer would have in some way rounded up these entrance corners, as they do on the Triton 500.
So far as aesthetics go, the up to date Helios 300 is cleaner than it was. Acer went with a Black and Blue theme, and the inside is totally darkish and easy (when you peel off the stickers on the arm-rest), with the standing LEDs having been pushed to the perimeters. The lid nonetheless retains a panel-lit Predator emblem which can’t be switched off, in addition to two dark-blue design accents which can be fortuitously not lit, so this laptop computer would possibly nonetheless wrestle to get accepted in a few of the stricter work/faculty environments.
The up to date Helios 300 is in any other case a reasonably sensible laptop. The aluminum surfaces are softly coated and don’t present fingerprints and smudges as simply because the easier inside of the Nitro 7, but you’ll nonetheless need to rub this clear as soon as a few days, particularly because the plastic clickpad does retain a good bit of finger grease. Massive and grippy rubber ft hold the laptop computer excellently anchored on a desk, whereas the hinges are agency and clean on the identical time, permitting to simply raise up the display with a single hand, push it to as much as about 165 levels on the again, and preserving it as set-up even when shifting the laptop computer round.
The audio system are nonetheless positioned on the underbelly and bounce hold forth the desk, however Acer carried out a barely inclined angle to extend the hole to the floor beneath, in addition to make them a little bit harder to cowl whereas having the pc on the lap.
Loads of house is allotted to the cooling as properly, with admission grills on the underside and sides, and huge output cuts on the again. The truth is, all the thermal module has been redesigned, and we’ll discuss its efficiency in an extra part.
So far as the IO goes, you’ll discover most required ports lined on either side. The video output choices are on the proper, although, so cables will get in your method in the event you plan to hook up an exterior monitor, and the ability plug can be fairly inconveniently positioned in the midst of the left aspect, because of the truth that all the again is reserved for thermals. The up to date Helios lacks an SD card-reader, in addition to Thunderbolt Three help, which a few of you may want in a mid-tier efficiency laptop computer. It does get a USB-C port, although USB-C charging just isn’t supported.
All in all, Acer overhauled the 2019 Predator Helios 300 right into a pocket book that may proudly stand subsequent to any of the prevailing opponents. It’s constructed rather well and it’s sensible, however Acer saved their pretty aggressive branding components, and people might push some potential customers away.
Keyboard and trackpad
The up to date Predator Helios 300 will get a model new keyboard, which is, in actual fact, the identical as on the 2019 Nitro collection, however with Four-zone RGB backlighting this time round.
The structure is normal, with the primary deck of 15 x 15 mm keys, correctly sized directional keys, and a smaller NumPad on the proper. The Energy button continues to be a part of the keyboard, within the top-right nook, however Acer disables it by default in Home windows, so urgent it by chance received’t put the pc to sleep.
The keycaps are flat and clean and really feel good to the contact. The keys journey a good bit into the body and return agency suggestions, however they’re truly too stiff for my liking and require a heavy press to correctly actuate, which is one thing I’m not used to, coming from the softer keyboard on my XPS and different ultraportables. Because of this, I might both kind shortly and with an accuracy beneath 90%, or decelerate with the intention to considerably enhance accuracy. Both method, this isn’t my favourite typer, as I’m additionally not a giant fan of the left shifted typing place both, being accustomed to centered keyboards.
That’s nitpicking, although, as that is in all equity a reasonably good implementation and I’d anticipate most of you to get together with it simply fantastic, particularly in the event you’re coming from an older laptop computer. That is additionally a quiet typer, and players also needs to know that it helps Acer’s nKRO expertise, which is a flowery title for 26-key rollover, that may assist you to shortly hit the required key mixtures in video games.
So far as the illumination goes, Acer went with Four-zone managed RGB LEDs with Four depth ranges, and you’ll set a number of results within the Lighting subsection of the Predator Sense app. They get vivid, and the white/clear borders of the keycaps assist the sunshine shine by.
The LEDs aren’t instantly positioned beneath every keycap, although, and because of this, mild creeps from some the keys. My greatest gripes are with the truth that you may’t activate the backlighting by swiping your palms over the touchpad, you truly need to press a key to do it, and the truth that there aren’t any CapsLock or NumLock indicators. Acer does implement a CapsLock graphical toggle in Home windows, however that’s simply not adequate for me. So far as the illumination goes, by default, it turns off after 30 seconds, and there’s an possibility in Predator Sense that you may examine in the event you don’t need it to show off in any respect.
The clickpad hasn’t modified a lot over the generations. It’s an averagely sized plastic floor with Synaptics on our implementation, and Precision drivers, thus handles on a regular basis use easily and reliably. Simply be sure to set up the right drivers from Acer’s Assist website, as by default the expertise would possibly lack considerably in precision.
The bodily clicks are stiff and quiet, however that may differ between implementations, because the 17-inch Helios that we’ve examined felt fully totally different, with smoother and clunkier clicks. That one, nonetheless, rattled with faucets, whereas this one on the 15-inch mannequin doesn’t, and I’m simply undecided which is the one you need to anticipate on the ultimate retails models.
These apart, I’ll additionally add that there’s no finger-sensor on the 2019 Predator Helios lineup, or different biometric login choices.
For the display, Acer went with a matte IPS FHD 144 Hz panel made by AU Optronics, the favored B156HAN08.2 variant used on many different mid-tier gaming notebooks, together with the Acer Predator Triton 500 or the Asus GL504 SCAR editions.
This can be a fairly good panel for day by day use and an exceptionally good possibility for gaming, because of the quick response occasions and excessive refresh fee, even when GSync just isn’t supported right here (you’re probably not going to wish it on a 144 Hz panel and RTX 2060 configuration anyway). Alternatively, its colour protection, distinction and peak-brightness are solely above common, so you need to principally hold this pocket book indoors and hook-up an exterior display for color-accurate work.
Right here’s what we obtained on this implementation, in line with our Sypder4 sensor:
- Panel ID: AU Optronics AUO82ED (B156HAN08.2);
- Protection: 97% sRGB, 73% NTSC, 75% AdobeRGB;
- Measured gamma: 2.Three;
- Max brightness in the midst of the display: 291 cd/m2 on energy;
- Distinction at max brightness: 770:1;
- White level: 7700 Okay;
- Black on max brightness: zero.38 cd/m2;
- PWM: No;
- Response time: Three ms marketed, ~11 ms BTW.
The panel is well-calibrated out the field, however you may handle the skewed White Level and gray-level imbalances with this calibrated colour profile.
We haven’t observed any apparent light-bleeding on our pattern, whose panel illumination was additionally extra uniform than on different implementations. The sensor did document vital color-uniformity imbalances, although, a recognized quirk of this AU Optronics panel. That’s not one thing you could possibly simply see with the bare eye, however will be another reason why you’d need to use a greater show for color-accurate work.
Our check mannequin is a reasonably high-specced configuration of the Acer Predator Helios 300 PH315-52, with the Core i7-8750H processor, 32 GB of RAM, the RTX 2060 80W graphics chip, two M.2 PCIe SSDs connected in Raid0 and an additional HDD for mass-storage.
Earlier than we proceed to speak about its habits and efficiency you need to know that our overview unit is a pre-production mannequin with mature drivers from Nvidia (Model 430.64), thus it performs consistent with what you need to anticipate from the retail fashions. Closing models will, nonetheless, ship with the newer Intel Core i7-9750H processor, and you’ll learn what to anticipate from it on this article, as we’ll most definitely not going to get a 9750H overview unit for the Predator. The eighth and ninth gen i7s are related in most methods, although, that’s why I’d anticipate the 9750H variants to carry out very equally to our overview unit.
So far as the parts go, the CPU and GPU are soldered onto the motherboard, however the RAM, storage and the WiFi module are accessible. To get to them you’ll need to take away the again panel, maintain in place by a handful of Philips screws, which is a reasonably easy activity and provides unobstructed entry to all these parts, in addition to the cooling resolution, battery, and audio system.
The Predator Helios 300 is primarily marketed as a gaming and efficiency pocket book, and we’ll get to that in a second. It may well additionally deal with on a regular basis use simply fantastic, whereas operating cool, quiet and pretty environment friendly, because of having Optimus onboard, that switches of the devoted GPU when not wanted, with the intention to improve battery life.
Our early pattern struggled to maintain the Nvidia GPU at bay, although, because of some drivers inconsistencies, and because of this, I can not present you the logs for Netflix, Youtube and Shopping whereas operating on battery.
On to extra demanding duties, we’ll begin by testing the CPU’s efficiency in 100% hundreds, and we do this by operating Cinebench R15 for 10+ occasions in a loop, with 2-Three seconds delay between every run, with the laptop computer on the Most Efficiency Energy profile in Home windows and out-of-the-box settings. Most implementations of the i7-8750H CPU return high-scores for the primary Cinebench runs, after which settle a little bit decrease because the CPU heats-up and may not preserve its most Turbo speeds for various seconds.
Acer undervolts the CPU by-default on this laptop computer at -125 mV, and because of this, it performs higher than most traditional implementations, settling for speeds of three.Four-Three.5 GHz, a TDP of 45 W, temperatures of round 80-82 levels Celsius, in addition to scores of 1100+ factors. Energy Restrict Throttling kicks in and is the limiting issue right here, and there’s nonetheless some thermal headroom to permit the CPU to run at larger clocks.
We seemed to enhance this habits by additional undervolting the CPU to -150 mV, switching the Followers on Turbo Mode and rising the Turbo Enhance Energy Max restrict to 50W in XTU.
Nonetheless, the system has a baked 45 W TDP on this pattern and ignored the risen TDP restrict, nonetheless dropping to a 45 W TDP within the Cinebench loop and Energy Restrict throttling the efficiency. Because of the -150 mV undervolt, although, the CPU settles at Three.5-Three.6 GHz, temperatures of solely 73-75 levels Celsius (because of the sooner spinning followers), a TDP of 45 W and Cinebench scores of 1150+ factors. It does run considerably louder with the followers on Turbo, at as much as 55-56 dB at head-level, whereas on Auto the followers solely ramp as much as about 43-44 dB.
Maintaining the followers on Auto ends in roughly the identical efficiency, however larger temperatures of round 80-82 levels. It’s additionally price including that the Turbo Mode in Predator Sense doesn’t have any impression on the CPU’s settings, solely boosting the followers to most rpms and overclocking the GPU at +160 MHz Core / +320 Reminiscence Clocks.
Our pattern carried out alright on battery as properly, however on this case, the CPU is restricted to 25 W, which interprets in clock speeds of two.eight+ GHz, scores of 880+ factors and temperatures beneath 65 levels Celsius, with the followers on Auto.
Subsequent, we’ve included a set of benchmarks, for these of you curious about numbers. We ran a few of them on the Commonplace profile first, with out-of-the-box settings (which suggest a -125 mV undervolted CPU), the followers on Auto and Most Efficiency mode in Home windows. Right here’s what we obtained:
- 3DMark 11: 17378 (Graphics – 20037, Physics – 12721);
- 3DMark 13 – Fireplace Strike: 13804 (Graphics – 15193, Physics – 16139);
- 3DMark 13 – Time Spy: 6037 (Graphics – 5969, CPU – 6460);
- 3DMark 13 – Port Royal: 3200;
- Uniengine Superposition – 1080p Excessive: 3574;
- PassMark: Ranking: 6424, CPU mark: 14619, 3D Graphics Mark: 10572;
- GeekBench Four.1.1 64-bit: Single-Core: 5142, Multi-core: 19749;
- CineBench R15 (finest run): CPU 1193 cb, CPU Single Core 173 cb;
- CineBench R20 (finest run): CPU 2577 cb;
- x264 HD Benchmark Four.zero 32-bit: Move 1 – 206.456 fps, Move 2 – 72.86 fps.
We additionally ran a number of extra checks on what we’ll additional name a Tweaked profile, with the CPU undervolted at -150 mV and Turbo Mode on (followers on max, GPU on the Excessive setting in Predator Sense, which applies a +160 MHz Core, +320 MHz Reminiscence GPU overclock, in addition to raises its TDP to 90W). Right here’s what we obtained on this case:
- 3DMark 11: 17980 (Graphics – 21224, Physics – 12643);
- 3DMark 13 – Fireplace Strike: 14453 (Graphics – 15925, Physics – 16272);
- 3DMark 13 – Time Spy: 6413 (Graphics – 6387, CPU – 6565);
- 3DMark 13 – Port Royal: 3284 ;
- Uniengine Superposition – 1080p Excessive: 3804;
- PCMark 10: 5061;
- PassMark: Ranking: 6418, CPU mark: 14687, 3D Graphics Mark: 10995;
- GeekBench Three.Four.2 32-bit: Single-Core: 4166 Multi-core: 22822;
- GeekBench Four 64-bit: Single-Core: 5141, Multi-core: 22782;
- CineBench R15 (finest run): CPU 1230 cb, CPU Single Core 172 cb;
- CineBench R20 (finest run): CPU 2666 cb;
- x264 HD Benchmark Four.zero 32-bit: Move 1 – 210.17 fps, Move 2 – 73.36 fps.
The Tweaked profile results in insignificant CPU efficiency beneficial properties, because the GPU is already undervolted to start with, however the GPU scores improve by about 5-7%, because of the frequency increase (960 MHz default >> 1120 MHz on Excessive, and the identical +160 MHz OC applies to the Turbo Enhance speeds). It’s additionally necessary so as to add that the Tweaked profile does result in a major lower in CPU and GPU temperatures in demanding hundreds, as you may see within the following 3Dmark logs, in addition to down beneath, within the gaming efficiency part.
Additional CPU undervolting and GPU overclocking may be potential, however the beneficial properties can be small, so we didn’t pursue any additional tweaking, with the intention to stop stability and because of the excessive temperatures of our pattern.
With that out of the best way, let’s take a look at some gaming outcomes. We ran a few video games consultant for DX11, DX12 and Vulkan architectures, each on the Commonplace and the Tweaked profiles. Right here’s what we obtained:
|FHD Commonplace||FHD Tweaked|
|Battlefield V (DX 12, Extremely Preset, Ray-Tracing OFF)||74-96 fps||86-102 fps|
|Battlefield V (DX 12, Extremely Preset, Ray-Tracing ON, DLSS Off)||56-68 fps||62-74 fps|
|Far Cry 5 (DX 11, Extremely Preset, SMAA)||84 fps||91 fps|
|Center Earth: Shadow of Mordor (DX 11, Extremely Preset)||142 fps||154 fps|
|Rise of Tomb Raider (DX 12, Very Excessive Preset, FXAA)||74 fps||86 fps|
|Shadow of Tomb Raider (DX 12, Highest Preset, TAA)||71 fps||78 fps|
|The Witcher Three: Wild Hunt (DX 11, Extremely Preset, Hairworks On Four)||78-94 fps||86-100 fps|
- Battlefield V, The Witcher Three – recorded with Fraps/in-game FPS counter in marketing campaign mode;
- Far Cry 5, Center Earth, Tomb Raider video games – recorded with the included Benchmark utilities.
The HWinfo logs beneath present the CPU and GPU speeds and temperatures in Farcry 5, Battlefield V and Witcher Three on the Commonplace profile, with the followers on Auto, which retains them operating at about 3500-4000 rpm (60-70% of max capability) and about 43-44 dB at head stage on our overview unit. Don’t neglect that the CPU is undervolted at -125 mV by default on this normal profile. The parts attain excessive temperatures and drop down in frequencies, principally as a result of the fan profile just isn’t aggressive sufficient and fairly favors acoustics over thermals and efficiency.
Then, these footage present what occurs on the Tweaked profile, with the -150 mV undervolted CPU, and Turbo Mode on.
And right here’s what occurs when unplugging the laptop computer: the GPU averages round 1.1 MHz, however the CPU throttles right down to 900 MHz, which bottlenecks the efficiency in a few of the extra demanding titles.
In the event you don’t need to dig by the logs, that is what we obtained in Witcher Three:
- Commonplace profile (default -125 mV CPU/ GPU settings, followers on Auto): CPU: ~Three.6 GHz, 95 C; GPU: ~1.Four GHz, 80 C;
- Tweaked profile (-150 mV undervolted CPU, Turbo Mode GPU, +160 MHz Clock/ +320 MHz Reminiscence, followers on Max): CPU: ~Three.9 GHz, 86 C; GPU: ~1.55 GHz, 70 C.
Primarily based on our findings, the fan profile would want some additional tweaking. Gaming on Auto is feasible, however the CPU and GPU attain very excessive temperatures within the extra demanding titles and can’t carry out at one of the best of their skills. You may handle that by switching the followers to the Max setting, however that results in loud noise ranges (55+ dB), that’s why a few of you would possibly need to strike a stability between efficiency, temperatures, and noise by manually adjusting these followers.
The software program doesn’t permit to create a fan curve, however you may manually set the pace of every fan, and in the event you go for speeds of round 4500 rpm (about 80% of their max) paired with the Excessive GPU Overclocking mode (+160 MHz Clock, +320 Reminiscence) and the CPU undervolted at -150 mV, that interprets in CPU stats of ~Three.9 GHz, 86 C; GPU: ~1.48 GHz, 73 C in Witcher Three, in addition to noise ranges of round 46-48 dB at head-level, which is way simpler to cowl with headphones.
All in all, this laptop computer might do with a extra aggressive Auto fan profile that may guarantee decrease temperatures and improved efficiency with out the necessity for additional handbook tweaking. In fact, customers have the choice of shortly switching to Turbo mode with the intention to get improved efficiency and thermals, in actual fact, there’s even a devoted key for that, however that comes with a major improve in fan noise, which some would possibly discover tough to simply accept, even on a gaming pocket book. It’s necessary to say that on Turbo, the Helios 300 squeezes glorious efficiency out of the RTX 2060 GPU and retains it at snug temperatures of round 70 levels Celsius, however the CPU nonetheless runs pretty scorching at 85+ levels.
I need to warn you to take our findings with a grain of salt, as this laptop computer is pre-production I additionally counsel going by our overview of the 17-inch Predator Helios 300, simply to see how the identical and thermal module carry out in a bigger chassis.
Noise, Warmth, Connectivity, audio system, and others
The 2019 Predator Helios 300 will get a redesigned thermal implementation. Acer ditched their uneven design of the previous and went with a extra normal resolution, with a set of the AeroBlade followers flanking the parts, and a mess on heatpipes unfold over the CPU/GPU and VRM. It’s attention-grabbing that the 2 followers aren’t the identical and use a distinct blade design.
Primarily based on our findings to date, it is a correct improve, contemplating the thermal efficiency of the older Helios 300 modes, in addition to the upper energy and extra compact chassis of this new technology.
The followers get very loud (55-56 dB at head stage) on the Max settings, with Cool Enhance on, however hold the parts at bay. Nonetheless, a good bit of the warmth continues to be transferred out to the metallic inside shell, with the world on the high of the keyboard feeling extremely popular. Even supposing the readings solely measure temperatures within the mid-40s, the steel’s thermal conductivity makes the floor uncomfortable to the touch. Alternatively, the WASD and Arrow keys keep at round 35-37 levels Celsius, which is ok for on a regular basis use and received’t trigger sweaty palms in most environments.
The followers are nonetheless each energetic with day by day use on the Auto fan profile, at round 2000-2500 rpm and 38-40 dB at head stage. You may swap them off if you need a superbly quiet laptop computer, however that may considerably impression temperatures, particularly on our pattern that saved calling on the dGPU on battery. Retail models ought to keep cooler even with the followers switched OFF, so total I want Acer would permit customers to create a customized fan curve within the Predator Sense app, primarily based on temperatures brackets, because the Auto profile is a bit too aggressive on the backside and retains the followers spinning sooner than they should, and too lazy on the high, spinning the followers too slowly when larger speeds can be required. Hopefully, they’ll present that in a future improve, or higher but, enhance the Auto profile.
*Each day Use – streaming Netflix on EDGE for 30 minutes, followers on Auto (38-40 dB)
*Load Default – enjoying Far Cry 5 for 30 minutes, Default Profile, followers on Auto (43-44 dB)
*Load Tweaked – enjoying Far Cry 5 for 30 minutes, Tweaked profile, followers on Max + CoolBoost (55-56 dB)
For connectivity, there’s a Killer 1550i 2×2 Wi-fi AC implementation inside this laptop computer, with Bluetooth 5.zero, in addition to Gigabit Lan by a Killer E2500module. We’ve principally used our pattern on wi-fi, and it carried out flawlessly each close to the router and at 30+ ft away, with obstacles in between.
So far as the audio system go, there’s a set of them firing by cuts on the lateral sides of the underbelly, and so they’re about common. We measured most volumes of about 78-80 dB at head-level, with none distortions, however the sound continues to be a bit aggressive at most volumes, missing within the lows, that are noticeable from round 100 Hz. Peaking contained in the laptop computer, I’ve to say these don’t sound unhealthy in any respect, judging by the tiny dimension of these speaker chambers, which appear just like those on the lower-end Nitro fashions.
There’s additionally a 720p webcam on the Nitro 7, positioned on the high of the display and flanked by microphones. It’s grainy and fairly washed out, however truly a bit higher than what most different OEMs placed on their mid-tier laptops nowadays.
There’s solely a 58 Wh battery contained in the Helios 300, which is small for a 2019 full-size 15-inch pocket book. Paired with the highly effective , the 144 Hz display and Optimus, that may solely translate in common to quick battery life by right now’s requirements, of roughly Three to five hours of day by day use and a little bit longer for video streaming.
Our pre-production overview unit suffered from drivers points and saved calling for the Nvidia GPU, thus our daily-use battery life checks got here out skewed. We’ll replace this part as soon as we end up our overview of the 17-inch Helios 300, which works as anticipated.
I’ll additionally add that Acer bundles this laptop computer with a compact 180 W power-brick, adequately sized for the inside. There’s no fast charging, so the battery fills up in about 2 hours. This laptop computer solely costs through the proprietary barrel plug charger, and never by USB-C.
Value and availability
The Acer Predator Helios 300 is already available in shops in most areas.
The mid-range configuration, considerably just like the one examined right here, contains the Intel Core i7-9750H processor, the Nvidia RTX 2060 GPU, 16 GB of RAM and a 512 GB SSD, with an MSRP of $1599 within the US and round 1600 EUR in Europe, on the time of this text.
Decrease tier variants with Nvidia GTX 1660 Ti graphics are listed from $1200 within the US and 1300 EUR in Europe, with eight GB of RAM and a 256 GG SSD, whereas a higher-tier RTX 2070 Max-Q variant also needs to be out there within the close to future.
Count on reductions within the months to come back, so observe this hyperlink for extra particulars, up to date configurations and costs on the time you’re studying the article.
Acer did a superb job with this redesigned Predator Helios 300, just about creating a brand new laptop computer from scratch, with a smaller form-factor, newest technology and a lot of the trendy options potential patrons anticipate in a gaming laptop in 2019: RGB keyboard, loads of ports, a good-quality 144 Hz Three ms matte display and a thermal module that may squeeze the marketed efficiency out of the inside.
The truth is, this may be one of many higher performing compact RTX 2060 notebooks available on the market, however you’ll want to show up the followers with the intention to hold the parts at bay. Out of the field, Acer’s Auto fan profile permits excessive temperatures with the intention to hold the noise down, and also you simply have to modify to the higher-spinning and really loud settings with the intention to push that RTX 2060 to its Excessive. As soon as overclocked, this RTX 2060 implementation will get inside 5-10% of the efficiency of the costlier RTX 2070 Max-Q fashions, though these are often quieter.
Other than the loud followers, potential patrons would even have to simply accept the pretty aggressive Predator design components and branding components, the shortage of Thunderbolt Three or card-reader, in addition to the truth that this solely will get a 58 Wh battery, which is an improve over the earlier technology, however nonetheless smaller than you’ll get with a few of the opponents.
Talking of the competitors, there are a bunch of different mid-sized 15-inch gaming laptops you need to have in your record, just like the Asus ROG Scar II GL504 and the newer Scar III fashions, the MSI GL53 or the GE63 Raider, the Aorus 15 or the HP Omen 15, every with their professionals and cons. My consideration would particularly flip in direction of the Lenovo Legion Y740 and the Acer Predator Triton 500, although.
The latter is smaller and lighter, will get a bigger 82 Wh battery and sells for a $200 premium, as one of the crucial reasonably priced thin-and-light gaming notebooks available on the market. It’s not as sturdily constructed, although, and nonetheless will get loud followers in the event you’re after one of the best efficiency the can ship. The Legion suffers from the identical important difficulty because the Helios 300: quick battery life, but it surely performs properly and runs each cooler and quieter than the Predator, will get a cleaner design and Thunderbolt Three, in addition to Twin GSync/Optimus modes. On high of that, the Legion RTX fashions can get cheaper than the Predators with the prevailing reductions, not less than for now, though that’s most likely going to vary within the months to come back.
All in all, the 2019 Predator Helios 300 is a much-awaited replace of one of the crucial in style mid-tier gaming gadgets of the final years. The earlier technology has all the time had a worth benefit on its aspect, although, and if that applies to the up to date technology, I might anticipate the Helios 300 PH315-52 fashions to develop into simply as in style, if no more.
That wraps up our overview of the Acer Predator Helios PH31-52, however the feedback part down beneath is open on your questions, solutions, and suggestions, so don’t hesitate to get in contact.