The Acer Predator Helios 300 is a great gaming laptop that packs some considerable horsepower under the hood, combining it with a responsive high-refresh rate display and packing it all into a relatively good-looking chassis.
Of course, better gaming laptops exist and some improvements could be made, but at this price point, we feel that the Helios 300 offers performance-minded users great value for their money.
- Great-looking 144 Hz IPS display
- Powerful CPU
- Excellent GPU for 1080p gaming
- Decent battery life
- Can get loud and hot
- Limited SSD storage
- GPU superseded by a newer model
The Acer Predator Helios 300 is a very popular gaming laptop, and for a number of good reasons. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at it, discussing its advantages, disadvantages, and just why it is such an appealing product for many gamers who like being able to take their gaming machine wherever they go.
So, let’s dive right into our Acer Predator Helios 300 review!
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One look at this laptop, and you can tell that it’s a gaming product right away. The red highlights, which almost seem mandatory with anything that has the word “gaming” attached to it, are what gives it away at first, but even if we were to take those out of the equation, the laptop still boasts an angular design that cements its identity as a gaming product.
In any case, it is the kind of design that you will either love or hate. Many gamers appreciate a detail-heavy exterior, while many others feel that it makes a product too conspicuous and can make it seem somewhat cheap and plastic-y.
Understandably, the Helios 300 is a bit bulky, though it isn’t overly heavy, weighing in at roughly 5.95lb (about 2.7 kg). Granted, it’s a far cry from an ultralight, ultrathin notebook laptop, but as far as gaming laptops are concerned, the size and the weight are perfectly reasonable.
While the design may be important (especially when it comes to portable products), you’re not buying a gaming laptop because it looks pretty. So, what’s under the hood?
The CPU is the impressive Intel Core i7-8750H, a powerful and efficient 8th gen processor with six physical cores and a total of twelve threads. It can reach considerable clock speeds, though the cramped chassis of the laptop is hardly ideal for overclocking. In any case, the i7-8750H is an excellent CPU both in regards to single-core and multi-core tasks, making it not only more than adequate for gaming but also viable for use with CPU-heavy professional software.
As for the GPU, it is the excellent Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060, a great mid-range Pascal GPU which masters 1080p gaming and is wholly capable of taking on 1440p or even 4K in some cases, something worth noting if you intend on connecting the laptop to an external display with a resolution higher than 1080p.
On the memory front, we have 16 GB of DDR4 RAM, which is the ideal amount of RAM for gaming in 2020. Plus, as mentioned above, you’ll definitely appreciate the extra RAM if you plan on using any professional software.
And when it comes to storage, the laptop comes with a snappy 256 GB NVMe SSD. Naturally, it is extremely fast, though some may find the storage capacity somewhat lacking. In any case, it’s not a problem that an affordable external HDD or an external SSD can’t fix, though if you really want a more spacious internal NVMe SSD, upgrading shouldn’t be too much of a hassle.
The Acer Predator Helios 300 is a 15.6-inch laptop and features a beautiful 1080p IPS display with an impressive refresh rate of 144 Hz. That said, it should be fairly obvious that this laptop does a good job of balancing visuals and performance.
With a 72% NTSC color gamut and a brightness of about 300 nits, the display of the Predator Helios 300 produces vibrant and lifelike colors, as well as good viewing angles. What’s more, with a 144 Hz refresh rate, it offers a fluid and highly responsive gaming experience, too. Thus, it efficiently combines the most important traits of IPS and TN panels in one display.
Of course, it is by no means perfect. Even though there are IPS displays out there with better color reproduction, VA displays with better contrast, and TN displays with faster pixel response time, we feel that this laptop’s display is quite remarkable, considering both the price tag and the fact that it’s a laptop display.
|CPU Model||Intel Core i7-8750H|
|CPU Core Count||6|
|CPU Thread Count||12|
|CPU Base Clock||2.2 GHz|
|CPU Boost Clock||4.1 GHz|
|GPU Model||Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060|
|GPU VRAM||6GB GDDR5|
|RAM||2×8 GB DDR4|
|Storage||256 GB SSD|
|Display Type||IPS LCD|
|Color Gamut||72% NTSC|
|Refresh Rate||144 Hz|
|Battery Capacity||3320 mAh|
|Ports and Connectors||2x USB 2.0 1x USB 3.0 1x USB 3.1 Gen1 1x HDMI 2.0 1x SD Card Reader 1x Ethernet port|
|Weight||5.95lb (2.7 kg)|
All things considered, we think that the Acer Predator Helios 300 offers good value for your money, especially if you can catch it at a discount.
As mentioned in the article, it has a great display, a fast CPU, a powerful GPU that is a great fit for the 144 Hz 1080p display. The touchpad and the keyboard are both very responsive and comfortable to use, and the keyboard also has a red LED backlight – though, sadly, there is no RGB.
Then there’s the battery, which is usually a weak point for all gaming laptops, and the Helios is no exception. With its power-hungry hardware and with the screen brightness turned up, the laptop burns through the battery very quickly. However, with power-saving on, the laptop could easily last a whole day if used for less demanding tasks such as web browsing or multimedia.
But needless to say, no product is perfect, and there are some issues with this laptop. First and foremost, there’s the problem that virtually all gaming laptops share: they can get very hot, and by extension, the fans can get quite loud as well. A laptop cooling pad can help with this, though not to any drastic degree.
Other than that, when the hardware is concerned, we’ve already pointed out that we would have preferred seeing a larger SSD. Honestly, 256 GB is virtually nothing if you’re the kind of person who likes to keep many games installed at once, especially now that games are taking up more space than ever. Besides, multimedia libraries are also a factor, and there’s always the question of resource-hungry professional software that some people might want to use.
And finally, there’s the fact that the GTX 1060 has now been superseded by the GTX 1660. And while the new model isn’t that much faster, those who want to get the absolute most out of their investment may want to wait until Acer releases a model equipped with a newer GPU.