Acer Predator Helios 300 review
The Acer Predator Helios 300, by all reports, a budget gaming laptop. With that, you will find a couple blemishes about the system which are too clear and too important to ignore, and there are a number of subtle corners cut also. However, as is due to several budget gaming laptops, cutbacks and compromises are anticipated. If you'd like the very best, after all, you need to cover the ideal.
Nevertheless, we're pleasantly amazed with this version's performance for the purchase price. This is a powerful device to get a budget gaming laptop. It can handle the toughest games at moderate to high settings. It's a refresh rate of 144Hz, which you will seldom find in gaming laptops of its own type. Plus it's a crisp, 1080p display using a true-to-life colour palette.
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Would you do better? When you've got enough money, undoubtedly. However if you are a bit strapped for money, it can be as good as it is possible to get for the cost.
Price and availability
The simple configuration for Acer Predator Helios 300 in the United States will just set you back $1,000, which includes a 2.8GHz, quad-core Intel Core i7-7700HQ processor, an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 (6GB GDDR5) graphics card, 8GB of RAM along with your selection of some 256GB solid state drive or 1TB hard disk.
This configuration isn't available in the United Kingdom. The version there puts back you #1,000, has a powerful processor and graphics card. This simple configuration in the United Kingdom includes 2.5GHz, quad-core Intel Core i5-7300HQ processor and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti with 4GB of video memory, even though it will boast equally a 1TB hard disk plus a 128GB solid state drive.
The top notch configuration in the usa will put you back $1,500 with a 2.2GHz, hexa-core Intel Core i7-8750H processor, 16GB of RAM, a 1TB hard disk in addition to a 128GB solid state drive, along with the exact same graphic card since the simple configuration. Even the UK's highest configuration boasts exactly the very same specs nonetheless, the cost isn't accessible at the time of composing.
In Australia, on the other hand, just 1 configuration can be obtained. It boasts the very same specs as the United States and also the UK's highest-end models and prices AU$2,499.
Which configuration is best for you depends, obviously, on your requirements. The device we tested, which fits specs of the maximum configuration but for the 1TB hard disk, functions well enough with the toughest games, and it is $200 cheaper. But you're restricted to just about three or two set up AAA games with only the 256GB solid state drive; and paying $200 more for the capability to set up additional games is something to think about.
We can not find fault at the Acer Predator Helios 300's design. It is nothing amazing and barely a stand-out, however it is not poor .
This gaming laptop does attempt to abide by the gamer aesthetic using its metal chassis at a gun-metal complete, black colour with red accents, and geometric cuts and tapered edges. The Predator ribbon and emblem in silver adorn the best cover, whereas the base plastic cover includes 2, easy-to-remove compartments to the hard disk and the RAM, which you can update.
We appreciate the amount of available ports on this laptop, also. Along with 2 USB 2.0 ports and a headphone jack, in addition, it boasts a USB 3.0 port, a USB 3.1 port, an HDMI port, Ethernet and an SD card reader, which certainly comes in handy if you are using this to your budding photography and such.
The laptop is midsize -- definitely not modest but also not overly bulky, and slightly milder than it seems. Though our review unit is lacking a hard disk, and we all wonder just how much thicker it gets if there's one.
You might state that the design is a symptom of this gaming laptop is complete: it is not the very best and it's a few defects, but it does well enough in other regions you'll find hardly any reason to whine.
Display Screen and Hardware
We really like the keyboard with this particular gaming laptop. It is not just comfortable, ergonomically speaking, with great enough rebound, adequate traveling, and a matte texture to keep your hands from slipping; but additionally, it is accurate and responsive. Such as the design, the keyboard does not have some extraordinary characteristics that stand out and offer it a gaming advantage.
Nevertheless, the Function shortcut keys handle things such as turning the touchpad off and on, picking different display options and adjusting quantity -- and at the WASD keys have been emphasized. But it's as powerful as most of keyboards must be.
Our only criticism is that the underside keys are somewhat taller than others. We find that if we are using the arrow keys for gaming, we often overlook the'Up' arrow key since the'Down' arrow is taller than we are utilized to.
The touchpad is a somewhat different story. Like most gaming laptop touchpads, this one is certainly not great for gaming, even though it's receptive enough for productivity tasks. You will want a mouse if you would like precision and responsiveness, like with most gaming laptops. The touchpad is also somewhat tight once you're pressing . Plus, we've run into the matter of this being non-responsive or unpredictable while we have a mouse . This matter usually fixes itself if we restart the laptop and disconnect the mouse.
Here is another case of the inherent theme within this gaming laptop. The camera could be much better and the noise... let us just say there is definitely a great deal of room for improvement. However the Full HD display is suddenly fantastic to get a laptop of this type. Let's break down these.
We can do with the thick, thick 1-inch bezels. Other than this, we are fairly happy with the 1080p display. It's true-to-life color reproduction, with more powerful blue and magenta colors we like better than warmer tones for gaming and watching films. The display also boasts a 144Hz refresh speed, which you do not typically find in budget gaming laptops. This is a significant update from the 2017 version to assist minimize blur and compensate for lost frames.
The camera is only OK. Even the 720p resolution is noticeably grainy, but it is great enough for making video calls and conferences.
Alas, the pair of speakers is among those laptop's two big flaws. Regrettably, the speakers are subpar at best. They have hardly any output signal on the low end and also their high end is cut off, leading to a sound that's dull, flat, muddled and hollow.
If you are using the laptop for gaming, you probably won't observe this inadequate sound -- or, in least, get overly bothered by it and you always have the choice to use headphones. But if you are watching movies or listening to audio, music will seem unprofessional and thin, even when you create equalizer alterations through the enclosed Dolby Atmos software.
A dedicated graphics card that has mere measures below the very best, 16 GB of memory (greater than you will need for almost any sport right now), the solid state drive along with also an 8th generation Intel Core processor, create this budget gaming laptop a impressive one as it comes to performance.
Obviously, this is not the very best gaming laptop available on the industry. But, its performance is merely a step below the top, which says a good deal about how successful this very affordable gaming system is. To get to 60 frames per second (fps) on tougher games, you'll need to step it down a notch from the greatest settings -- on ultra, these games run well but under 60 fps.
A dedicated graphics card that has mere measures below the very best, 16GB of memory (greater than you will need for almost any sport right now), the solid state drive along with also an 8th generation Intel Core processor, create this budget gaming laptop a impressive one as it comes to performance.
Obviously, this is not the very best gaming laptop available on the industry. But, its performance is merely a step below the top, which says a good deal about how successful this very affordable gaming system is. To get to 60 frames per second (fps) on tougher games, you'll need to step it down a notch from the greatest settings -- on ultra, these games run well but beneath 60fps.
But everything loads fast, and we've not noticed any feel drops. The gaming performance is smooth, uninterrupted and reactive while the graphics are crisp and clean. We analyzed the laptop with a couple extreme games that require rapid responses, such as Call of Duty: WWII, and it functions well, managing everything how every gaming laptop needs to.
The battery life with this laptop is adequate for such a gadget. Again, it is nothing great, but the Predator managed to perform a full run of the Guardians of the Galaxy film at 50% brightness and roughly 48 minutes into another run before it closed down.
In comparison to other gaming laptops, this is an adequate number. Obviously, it is nowhere near what you would expect from an Ultrabook or alternative hyper-portable laptop. That is not that laptop's function, and therefore don't leave the home with no power cord in case you go for this laptop.
The one thing which actually influences gaming performance is your enthusiast. On account of how the cooling and fan system with this gaming laptop are not great, you may experience thermal throttling, which consequently causes stuttering and framework drops every time the CPU or GPU overheats. But, setting your lover to maximum and turning Cool Boost puts a halt to the stuttering, and also the performance yields to as it ought to be.
This thermal throttling problem is, undoubtedly, Acer Predator Helios 300's weakest link. Even with Acer positioning its heating as something amazing -- it's site boasts the"ultrathin (0.1mm) all-metal Aero Blade 3D Fans" within this gaming laptop"offer innovative aerodynamics and superior venting to keep the machine clean and cool" -- the implementation falls flat.
Sad to say, the double fan cooling process is not quite as impressive as it seems. Leaving the enthusiast car (from the Predator Sense applications ) if running a demanding match causes thermal throttling, impacting the laptop's gaming performance. The laptop also becomes too hot for comfort.
Thankfully, that the Predator Sense program permits you to place the fan on maximum and trigger Cool Boost. This does relieve thermal throttling and efficiently fixes the stuttering and frame drops. On the other hand, the fan does get fairly loud and bothersome. Additionally, regardless of the 'Cool Boost', the laptop still feels fairly hot to touch at about 97°F.
Considering all the processing power it includes, it is not surprising that the laptop creates a great deal of heat. It honestly seems like Acer desired to provide all that electricity without increasing the price tag, failing to compensate for it with all the heating system. This can be actually the gaming laptop's most glaring flaw.
We have mentioned it a few times and we are going to say it again: the Acer Predator Helios 300 is a powerful gaming laptop in the budget range. Yes, there are a couple apparent signs where Acer apparently cut corners, especially the pair of speakers which are unimpressive and the dual-fan cooling system which does little to decrease heat unless tuned to the maximum. However, while those are glaring defects, they're not full deal-breakers -- invest in a fantastic set of headphones and set a desk fan beside the laptop.
The most important point to concentrate on here is this gaming laptop packs a while for the cost, enough to deal with the toughest games at ultra settings. The laptop also boasts a 144Hz refresh speed, which you just see in more expensive versions, and a gorgeous color reproduction, which lend to its magnificent display.
The Acer Predator Helios 300 might not be the best on the market, but it is only a step below the ideal. If you are on a budget, you can not ask for a much better deal.