For the last few years, Acer as a brand has been on fire. Their products were among top-selling units, and their Predator line-up was setting the new records of success.
Over time, the mild need for modification into the design turned into a dire need, and with Acer Predator Helios 300, they almost created a gaming laptop from scratch.
The mid-range gaming laptop integrates the latest generation hardware, modern features for the potential gamers, the smaller form factor for easier carrying and much more in the row.
Though there are some drawbacks, like lacks in the IO and battery life, or some mild issues with the display can steer the potential buyers away. I do not think, you can buy all the equipment in a gaming laptop on par, so these quirks can be compensated at an affordable price.
In this post, we are going to have an insightful review of the Acer Predator Helios 300. If you are interested in buying this affordable gaming laptop under $1000, the guide could help you better decide. So, without further ado, let’s get started.
|Acer Nitro 5 Hardware Specifications|
|Screen Size||15.6 inches|
|Max Screen Resolution||1920 x 1080 pixels|
|Processor||4.5 GHz Intel Core i7|
|RAM||16 GB DDR4|
|Hard Drive||256 GB Flash Memory Solid State|
|Graphics Coprocessor||AMD Radeon RX 560|
|Graphics Card Ram Size||6GB|
|Number of USB 3.0 Ports||4|
Design & Construction
The latest Acer Predator Helios is a completely redesigned model of the previous generation laptop. There are very few in common, such as signature predator aesthetics and some branding elements.
The gaming laptop is much more compact than other and its thinner bezels around the screen enhance its look. The laptop is smaller than the main competitors like ASUS ROG Scar II, Lenovo Legion Y740, MSI GE63 raider, and others.
Yes, it is hefty and weighs around 5.3 pounds, same as the other gaming machine on the same price bracket, but high-specced configuration it is bolstered with.
However, the weight is backed by sturdy construction; the top lid possesses a sturdy look and barely bulges when putting pressure on. The screen shows some flexes, a little bit. The flexes would be unnoticeable when typing, so do not worry about that.
As long as aesthetics are concerned, the Helios 300 is cleaner than we expected. It shows a black and blues them, while the interior is completely dark.
The laptop’s surface is softly coated and does not show the fingerprint and smudges sign, you should still clean it up after a couple of days.
The large and grippy rubber grips keep the laptop rightly anchored on the desk, with smooth and firm hinges. You would not see slipping it off the table or from the hands more often, it offers enhanced grips to help you carry it around.
The laptop’s front lid easily lift up with one hand, can push it about 165-degree on the back. The speakers are integrated underneath and bounce the sound off. The laptop has a slightly inclined angle to increase the gap of the surface, good for air-flow, but difficult to hold it up on the lap.
The display of the Acer Predator Helios 300 is a mixed bag. It is not very bright, yet it comes with enhanced frame rates. The display of the machine is boon and bane, as it offers good frame rates but due to lack of brightness, you would not enjoy the performance to the core.
The laptop comes incorporated with 15.6 inches IPS LCD panels. The IPS panel’s integration ensured superior performance, anti-glare coating onboard protects it from extra reflection when outdoor.
The display is impressive as long as you play games, binge watches indoor, for outdoor in sun-light, the display washed-off. The viewing angle is great, but at distance, you might find it difficult getting the right angle, it extends back up to 165-degree.
The display of the gaming laptop is better-optimized than most of the gaming laptop at the price bracket. It is a good replica of the money you are going to spend, a hands-down addition to an entry-level gaming laptop.
Did we mention the display supports 144Hz refresh rates? Ok, the refresh rates help you have most games run smoothly without any issue, as long as GPU is supporting them.
In a nutshell, the display is good for gaming indoor, little shaky, washed-off performance outdoor, with above-average viewing angle, and on par anti-glare coating.
Keyboard and Touchpad
The gaming laptop showcases a standard chiclet-style keyboard layout. The keys are well-placed and maintain the standard size. With a separate Numpad and backlight illumination, you are going to enjoy its performance even in low light conditions.
The keys travel speed is a little short, but the addition of the pressure point increases their effectiveness. The keys, as well as the entire keyboard, might take some time to get used to, once you get addicted to using, you will have spell-bound typing experience.
Yes, Acer has cut down some keys and it would have been better if volume controls and brightness could have their separate control arrow keys. These keys could have been easily placed on the place of Fn keys, or some other page, down, home, page up keys.
The Red backlighting lives up to the gaming expectation, and they are enough bright to visible under dim light ambiance. It would have been better if Acer had added an RFB backlight to the keyboard.
Again, at the $1000 price, it could not be possible. The edge of the keyboard deck is a bit sharp and can disrupt your typing experience, as long as I noticed that.
CPU, RAM & Storage
On the paper, the laptop incorporate everything a gamer would ever require. The hardware it comes integrated satisfies the gamer’s need and demand. At least to the extent the price bracket allows the brand.
The laptop is powered with a 9th generation Intel i7-9750H Hexa-core processor to skyrocket your gaming and casual computing needs.
The laptop also comes with a 16GB DDR4 RAM that is way bigger than you could ask at the price, and also holds your multitasking.
The added Storage size 256GB SSD is above average, though gamers always seek for enhanced storage size, having even this range is difficult in an affordable price bracket range.
These all specs join hands and deliver outstanding gaming performance and help you emerged victorious in online gaming battles.
If you feel that the laptop is power lacking, you can overclock the GPU a bit and Acer also managed it using the Sense app. Do not have to manually indulge into overclocking, just get the right use of the app and increase frame rates as per graphics performance.
The system comes integrates with a GTX 1660 Ti graphics card with a 6GB dedicated memory. The graphics card as per the stats and benchmark performs equitant to RTX 2060 graphics card and even in some cases lags the latter behind.
You can enjoy gaming performance using this, and outshoot, outrun and outplay other competitors in gaming. The laptop ensures buttery frame rates as much as 144 HZ, but playing games at 1080 at the mentioned frame rates would not be possible.
In a nutshell, with the added graphics card, you can enjoy playing any game you wish with average to high game settings.
The battery portion of the gaming laptop has always been a point to ponder. From top-notch premium 2 grand gaming laptop to affordable mid-range 1000 dollar gaming laptop, users seem unhappy with the power drains.
The same goes with the Acer predator Helios gaming laptop, it lasts around 3-4 hours on the heavy amount of work-load such as gaming. For casual computing, office work, and other things, you can have as long as 6-7 hours without any big hiccup.
Do not expect too high battery performance with the laptop, it comes with a small 48whr battery, with which you can play games like Dota 2, limbo, PUBG and many others.
In a nutshell, the laptop makes a good entry-level gaming laptop. You cannot award it with the best gaming laptop, as budget constraints did not let the brand go up one step ahead.
At the price it comes in hands, it is a good purchase and all features are on par. Yes, the display is not that good, ports selection is not that decent and at 1080P gaming, Still, the laptop is a good grab and worth the price.