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- Convincing performance
- Low temperatures
- Good keyboard and touchpad
- Stylish and quite portable
- Color slightly off
- SSD speeds
- The sound isn’t convincing
- Fingerprint magnet
The Acer Predator Helios 300 ($949.95) is an “honest” gaming laptop. It will not try to amaze you with a bold design, nor with useless specifications. And it won’t even drain your wallet. So let’s see how good this new notebook from Acer really is.
Build and portability
With its 2.7kg, the Acer Predator Helios 300 cannot be considered a featherweight. But at least it doesn’t have an exaggerated size. Beyond its rather aggressive design, the shape is similar to that of a traditional laptop, which makes it easy to carry around.
The lid is made of brushed metal and reminds a little of certain MSI laptops. The base of the keyboard is also made of metal, which is a great choice and aids in terms of solidity. The bottom cover is made of plastic, which proves functional and allows for easy access to the expansion bay.
Overall it has a rather attractive design albeit not particularly original.
Keyboard and touchpad
The keyboard and touchpad of the Helios 300 continue on this same logic. They are not premium but are extremely functional. The keyboard is suitable for gaming, its keys are soft and not noisy. Too bad for the backlight that can’t be adjusted and only glows red. Still, it gets the job done.
We would like for the touchpad to be a little bigger. At least it is also quite elegant, with a shiny metallic profile and a red line that highlights it. You rarely find such a satisfying touchpad in a gaming laptop. Pity that very few will even notice it.
There are various models of the Acer Predator Helios 300. The one we tested is summarized below:
- Screen: 15.6” full HD (1,920×1,080 pixels)
- CPU: Intel Core i7-7700 HQ
- GPU: Intel HD Graphics 630 + NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060™ 6GB
- RAM: 16GB LPDDR4
- Internal memory: 128GB SSD SATA + 1TB HDD
- Wireless connectivity: Wi-Fi ac dual band, Bluetooth 4.1
- Ports: 1x USB 3.0, 2x USB 2.0, 1x USB Type-C (not Thunderbolt), HDMI, 1x audio jack, 1x microSD, Battery: 50Wh
- Weight: approx. 2.7 Kg
- OS: Windows 10 home
The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060™ GPU proved to be a winning choice. To date, it is probably the best compromise between price and performance. The rest of the hardware makes it possible for this Acer Predator Helios 300 to run anything at 60 fps. Considering that this is a gaming laptop, we can only say: mission accomplished.
Of course, there are flaws. For example, SSD speeds sometimes fluctuate, both in reading and writing. This can be a bit of a problem if you use this gaming laptop also as a workstation. Considering the gaming nature of this laptop, it is something that can be forgiven, but it is still worth noting.
The speakers are also calibrated in a bad way. They choke the bass and do not have a high volume. Many gamers use their preferred headphones anyway, but considering the size of this thing, the speakers are a letdown.
On the other hand, the device does an excellent job of containing the temperatures. Acer’s fan and heat pipe system really work, and even after a very long gaming session, you will arrive nowhere near 90°C. The keyboard never warms up, and apart for the fan exhaust on the back, that is a bit noisy, this is a job well done.
The screen is perhaps the weakest point of the Helios 300. It is a matte full HD IPS panel, so it has good viewing angles. Maximum brightness is high, but on a black background, you will notice bleeding on the sides. On the other hand, the colors do not stand out and are a bit off. The color spectrum is not wide enough and the images struggle to pop as they could, even more, if you use it for multimedia. It is certainly not a screen we would recommend for professional use. For games it is fine, but other laptops have better ones.
The autonomy of Acer Predator Helios 300, is in line with other gaming laptops. You get less than 2 hours with intensive use, or 4-5 hours of internet browsing and multimedia consumption, with the brightness set at 50%. Like all gaming laptops, you’ll need to plug it in for maximum performance.
The Acer Predator Helios 300 has a price that starts from $949.95 and goes up depending on the configuration. Considering the overall quality of the product, it can be considered a bargain.
If you are looking for a low key gaming laptop the Acer Predator Helios 300 is the one for you. It is not perfect, but it delivers on the promise of gaming without costing an arm and a leg. There are very few gaming laptops that can top this.
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