Acer Predator Helios 300 overview: A well-rounded gaming computing device at a fine expense
With the monstrous Predator 21 X and sleek Predator Triton seven-hundred, Acer staked a compelling claim on the excessive-conclusion market, loading its notebooks with extravagant facets and the most powerful moveable gaming hardware available. The Acer Predator Helios 300 doesn't concern itself with fanciful bells and whistles. It's a straightforward, no-nonsense gaming laptop that promises a clean quantity of bang for your buck, beginning at $1,one hundred on Amazon with a Core i7-7700HQ processor and a GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card.
The Acer Predator Helios 300 isn't quite perfect. The reveal runs dimmer than its competitors, and the storage is cramped. but beyond those minor grumbles, this computing device tests all of the boxes you might ask for in a cheap gaming laptop. It's even convenient to fix!Acer Predator Helios 300 specs, elements, and value
Acer presents the Predator Helios 300 in a number of configurations spanning each 15.6-inch and 17.3-inch display sizes. We're reviewing the entry-level 15-inch edition. right here's what's inner:
round this budget, you'll invariably discover gaming laptops equipped with a lesser-powered GeForce GTX 1050 or GTX 1050 Ti snap shots card, or a middling Core i5 CPU. no longer here: The Predator packs the equal quad-core Core i7-7700HQ processor present in laptops that can charge two or three times more, along with a full-fats 6GB GeForce GTX 1060—no dialed-back Max-Q version right here. despite the cost effective cost, Acer didn't skimp on the memory, stocking the Helios 300 with 16GB of DDR4 RAM.The highest quality SSD for most people
The simplest ho-hum hardware? Storage. This entry-level configuration includes an SSD with a scant 256GB capacity that'll replenish quickly during this era of plus-sized video games. It's quality and quick in practice, although. Acer offers an additional configuration that dietary supplements the SSD with a 1TB mechanical difficult power, however at a steep $300 top rate. Given how handy it's to crack open the Predator Helios 300—the empty hard power bay is secured shut by way of a single Phillips screw—I'd suggest going the DIY path to add more storage to the desktop.Dan Masaoka/IDG
The computer chassis comprises numerous plastic, as you'd predict in a gaming computing device in this funds, however Acer augments it with a graceful, brushed-metal lid and keyboard deck. Two angled red stripes flank the Predator emblem on the lid, making certain everyone in the espresso shop is aware of you're the usage of an Acer. It's a fingerprint magnet, notwithstanding. With 5 kilos, 7.9 ounces of heft and a 1.1-inch thickness, the Helios 300 is relatively compact for a gaming rig. You'll consider it on your backpack however received't destroy your backbone lugging it round.Dan Masaoka/IDG
The inputs consider comfy and responsive, too. The chiclet-fashion keys have quite a lot of go back and forth and aren't overly loud in use. Fetching crimson backlights increase the keyboard and seem high-quality in opposition t the black keys. They can also be turned on or off manually, but no longer dimmed or customized on a per-key foundation. The clickpad-style touchpad handles very easily and precisely. I'd have favourite dedicated left- and correct-click buttons, but good day, I'm a purist. The Helios 300's keyboard and touchpad excel typical.
I wish I could say the identical for the 1920x1080 IPS display. It's excellent and sharp with vast viewing angles, however some distance too dim. really, at 230 nits maximum, it doesn't even hit the minimal brightness level we use for our battery run-down assessments, which run at a standardized 250 to 260 nits to simulate comfy indoor viewing. Some colorations lack pop and feel washed-out subsequently, exceptionally shiny colors. Don't get me wrong: The Predator Helios 300's reveal is serviceable usual. It's just lackluster compared to rival displays.Dan Masaoka/IDG
here's a glance on the computer's port alternative. The USB three.1 type-C port is a nice touch that you just continuously do not see during this cost bracket.Acer Predator Helios 300 efficiency mentioned in this article
The Acer Predator Helios 300 packs tons of punch for its cost. We'll be evaluating it against several similar methods in our checks, together with the $950, GTX 1060 Max-Q-geared up Dell Inspiron 15 7000 Gaming, the thin-and-gentle, $2,200 Gigabyte Aero 15X with a GTX 1070 Max-Q, and the $1,250 Microcenter PowerSpec 1510 with a full-fat GTX 1070.Brad Chacos/IDG
Maxon's Cinebench R15 measures uncooked CPU efficiency, and will happily use as many threads as that you would be able to throw at it. all the gaming laptops being in comparison today use the quad-core Intel Core i7-7700HQ except the Dell Inspiron, which uses a Core i5 chip as an alternative. because the chip lacks hyper-threading assist, Dell's computing device brings up the rear in Cinebench's multi-threaded benchmark by way of a huge margin. The others convey pretty much identical efficiency outcomes.Brad Chacos/IDG
but Cinebench's benchmark runs in a short duration. The file we encode in our CPU-intensive HandBrake check (which makes use of an older version of the utility) takes around forty five minutes on a quad-core processor. The prolonged duration exhibits how a computing device's temperature throttling impacts performance over time. as soon as once again, the Core i7-7700HQ laptops flip in similar results, with the Core i5-fitted Dell Inspiron lagging a ways at the back of.Brad Chacos/IDG
Gaming laptops want potent photographs capabilities, of path. We look at various their visible chops using the photographs sub-ranking in 3DMark's fireplace Strike excessive benchmark, a synthetic benchmark that makes a speciality of pure GPU efficiency. This look at various illustrates how Nvidia's effective Max-Q GPUs achieve their power savings partially through dialing again performance. once again: The Inspiron has a GTX 1060 Max-Q, the Predator Helios 300 being reviewed packs a full GTX 1060, the Gigabyte Aero 15X holds a GTX 1070 Max-Q, and the chunky PowerSpec computer continues the pedal to the medal with a full-fats GTX 1070.
however enough synthetic benchmarks. Let's get to the games! We examine computer gaming performance at 1080p decision to standardize consequences throughout the board, the use of the in-video game benchmarks blanketed with each and every title.Brad Chacos/IDG Brad Chacos/IDG Brad Chacos/IDG
The GTX 1060 inside the Predator Helios 300 excels at this resolution, with body prices surpassing monitor's 60Hz pace across the board. These gaming consequences as soon as once more reveal the change with Max-Q types of Nvidia's GPUs. the full-blown GTX 1060 is solidly ahead of the Max-Q variant in the Dell Inspiron. moving up to a GTX 1070 offers a huge jump in efficiency as you'd are expecting, with the GTX 1070 Max-Q splitting the difference.
We additionally ran the upward push of the Tomb Raider benchmark consistently for an hour, and the most effective efficiency drop-off observed fell inside the margin of error—round a frame per second. The Acer Predator Helios 300's cooling does its job, and it does so without being overly loud. this is a gaming desktop, although. are expecting to nevertheless hear the fans in the event you fire up games or in any other case put the Predator beneath load.Brad Chacos/IDG
Acer's laptop offers powerful patience for a gaming computing device, clocking in at very nearly 7 hours in PCWorld's battery run-down verify, which includes looping a 4K video in the home windows 10 motion pictures and television participant with audio at 50 p.c until the computer gives up the ghost. That's related with the Gigabyte Aero 15X, a laptop we praised for its battery life.
Two elements play strongly into the outcome. First, the Helios 300 does not include a G-Sync screen, so it's able to change to the integrated photos within the Intel CPU to shop power in case you're not gaming. The display's dim in comparison to its rivals, too. We standardize our battery existence consequences via surroundings computing device brightness to 250 nits, a cushty stage for indoor viewing. Acer's desktop maxes out at 230 nits. That skews the outcomes in this benchmark—notwithstanding it additionally capability that the Predator essentially lasts longer out within the true world.in case you purchase the Helios 300?
The reveal isn't dark satisfactory to dissuade, notwithstanding, and it's the most effective semi-difficulty of observe within the Acer Predator Helios 300. here is a very good notebook.Dan Masaoka/IDG
You don't see gaming laptops this well-rounded going at the sort of competitive price very commonly. Acer loaded the Helios 300 with stronger hardware than normal for this charge tier, paired it with a comfortable keyboard and touchpad combo, then pulled it all collectively into a reasonably transportable kit that received't smash your lower back.
[ Further reading: Best gaming laptops: Know what to look for and which models rate highest ]
as far as alternatives go, the PowerSpec 15 moves as much as a full-fats GTX 1070, a G-Sync reveal, and a supplementary 1TB hard force for less than $200 extra. That's a hell of a deal too, but it surely makes some compromises to hit that expense. It's a large, heavy, ugly laptop that's best accessible in-keep at Micro center, plus you should bounce via arcane hoops to set off G-Sync (which nukes the computer's battery existence). The $900 Dell Inspiron 15 7000 is one more alternative, nonetheless it uses a lesser-powered CPU and GPU to hit its sub-$1,000 cost point. The GTX 1050 Ti inside will run most games at 1080p, however no longer at maxed-out snap shots alternatives, and or not it's not very future-proof.
This relaxed-to-raise computing device grants a very good 1080p gaming adventure and fully oozes price. If I necessary to purchase a gaming desktop these days, the Acer Predator Helios 300 would get my money (although I'd increase its paltry 256GB of storage with an additional SSD or exterior force). tremendously suggested.To comment on this text and other PCWorld content material, discuss with our fb web page or our Twitter feed.