Over the course of the past few years, the Acer Predator Helios 300 has demonstrated that it is one of the best choices available to gamers who are looking for a powerful laptop at a price that is within the average range. The most recent version of it has undergone some minor aesthetic revisions, but fundamentally, its purpose has not changed. You will purchase this laptop because it offers excellent value for the money. It has an excellent performance in terms of both processing and graphics, in addition to having a brilliant display. Just keep in mind that it won’t be of much use when you’re driving. Continue reading to find out more.
Acer Predator Helios 300
|Processor:||Intel Core i7-12700H|
|GPU:||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti|
|Display:||17.3 inch FHD 2560 x 1440 pixels, 165 Hz|
|RAM:||32 GB – DDR5-4800|
|Hard Drive:||1TB SSD|
|Speakers:||Dual Stereo Speakers|
|Dimensions:||15.72 x 11.63 x 1.09 inches|
pros and cons
- Largely sturdy metal construction
- With Wifi 6E Support
- A decent number of Ports
- Powerful laptop for gaming and heavy tasks
- Colorful, Bright & Clear display with 165Hz refresh rate
- Produce a lot of Noise
- Slightly Heavier compared to others in this range
- Upgradability & Maintenance is a little hard
Acer Predator Helios 300 Review
With a 165 Hz refresh rate and a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels (16:9), Acer employs a matte IPS display from BOE. There are just alternative choices for the 15-inch Predator (Full HD).
The display outperforms both the Blade 17 and its predecessor with a brightness of 340 Nits. At 85%, the brightness distribution is comparatively even.
A good class average can be inferred from the black value and contrast. The promised response time of under 3 ms, however, cannot be confirmed; instead, we see a delay of roughly 11 ms when switching from black to white. PWM doesn’t affect the panel.
The color space that is covered is decent and may compete with that of the Razer Blade. Besides covering the entire sRGB color space, DisplayP3 is also about 97% covered, and AdobeRGB is still only about 85%.
In its delivered state, the display is tuned rather well, and using our Portrait Display Calman color calibration tool only slightly improves things. Because of this, user calibration is actually unnecessary.
Design & Built
Even though there are some differences, the current Helios 300 nevertheless bears many similarities to its predecessor from two years ago. The matte-black hue and the components are the only things that haven’t changed. The display and the top of the base are constructed of metal, however, the bottom plate and display bezels are made of plastic.
The “Predator” marking on the display lid’s inside and exterior vanished, leaving simply the symbol in its place. The narrow LED bars that were on the display cover have also vanished.
Overall, the design is now a little bit more understated, even though the new Predator still doesn’t really conceal its gaming aspirations with its blue color accents, the thin LED bar in front, and the cooling system protruding in the back.
Because of the metal, the display and base are reasonably sturdy and both remain fairly rigid, only making a few creaking noises when we try to bend them. The display, however, groans a little louder.
The workmanship is of a high caliber, and we did not observe any odd gaps between the materials.
Naturally, the 17-inch laptop weighs more and is larger than the 15-inch model, but it is also over 5 mm (0.2 in) thicker. It has a lot more depth than comparable 17-inch gaming laptops and includes a cooling system that protrudes out the back like the Alienware models.
Keypad & Touchpad
The keyboard used by Acer features a number block and backdrop illumination called “Pulsar” that may be customized for each key separately. The Predator Sense Platform, which serves as a form of the control center, can only be launched using a specific key found in the number block.
Although the keys themselves have a short to medium stroke, they have a distinct pressure point that produces a positive sensation. With the help of the keyboard, you may type quickly and easily. The space key is slightly louder than the very mild typing noise.
The keyboard’s center can bend downward under pressure, although this won’t happen when you’re typing normally.
The touchpad had changed after our criticism from two years prior.
The touchpad, which measures around 12.15 x 8.3 cm (4.8 x 3.3 in), has good sliding qualities, and the integrated keys also provide a pleasant and obvious pressure point. Here, the click noises are likewise not too loud.
The Helios can be categorized as being in the upper midrange to the high end of the gaming class with a Core i7-12700H and RTX 3070 Ti. The processors come with a 1 TB storage option and a generous 32 GB of DDR5 RAM. With this, the laptop ought to be able to smoothly recreate nearly all of the most recent games at native resolution.
The control center software comes preconfigured with Predator Sense. We select the “Extreme” performance setting, where the CPU and GPU are likely significantly “overclocked,” for the best benchmark results. Beyond Extreme, there is also a Turbo mode, which may be activated or deactivated with a separate key. But since the fans are usually operating at full speed for this, the Extreme mode—which isn’t particularly quiet either—should be adequate for us.
In addition to adjusting the RGB backdrop illumination, the software also enables you to make a number of tweaks to the fan control, performance, etc. Therefore, users ought to examine this software more carefully.
In our tests for gaming laptops, the Intel Core i7-12700H frequently participates. The Alder Lake version of Intel’s CPU has 20 threads, 6 Performance cores, and 8 Efficiency cores with a clock speed range of 1.8 to 4.7 GHz. It ought to be competent at handling all of the games.
With the Extreme mode, the CPU performance is excellent and, at least in our Cinebench R15 loop, greatly exceeds that of an average i7-12700H. Also convincing is the performance’s consistency at a TDP of roughly 120 watts.
Only MSI Vector is able to stay up to a certain extent with our test unit’s performance when compared to the comparison devices. In the multi-thread tasks, Helios outperforms its predecessor with Comet Lake by approximately 100%. The single-core performance, however, is merely ordinary.
The TDP only reaches its maximum output of 120 watts on the first run if you opt for the more sound-deadening Standard mode. After that, it fluctuates more between 85 and 100 watts during a run. After a few runs, the Helios is unable to retain the maximum of 2,840 points as in the Extreme level and instead lowers to roughly 2,230 points.
The performance is severely constrained in battery mode. Even if the TDP temporarily hits about 40 watts, it always drops to only about 21 watts after one second.
Our Helios 300 PH317 test unit performs better in PCMark 10 than the mean of all notebooks with the same Processor in our database. There is a 3–10% performance advantage. The MSI Vector, though, manages to take first place, just ahead of the Helios.
An effective Samsung 980 Pro with 1 TB of storage and PCIe 4.0 x4 compatibility is used by Acer. The device is ranked 10th on our list of SSDs.
Despite the cooling pad and effective cooling performance, the SSD achieves good comparison values in our test but regrettably is unable to retain them under continual stress. We conducted the test three more times since we were surprised by the results, but we consistently got the same outcome each time.
Gaming & Graphics
An Nvidia Geforce RTX 3070 Ti is used as the graphics card, and it has a TGP target of 150 watts, including a dynamic boost.
The Helios is able to take first place in the overall 3DMarks rankings and is only surpassed in Fire Strike by the Vector 17 and the Blade 17 by 1 to 2%.
The Helios’ 3D performance suffers greatly when it is powered solely by batteries. Only 13,938 of the 28,088 GPU points from Fire Strike are left after that.
The Helios and MSI Vector compete against one another in The Witcher 3. Due to the Extreme mode, it performs quite well in general when playing games, averaging 10% better than a typical RTX 3070 Ti. When playing games, the approximate predecessor is outperformed by roughly 30%. (however: Extreme mode vs. Normal mode). Only DOTA 2 Reborn seems to be disliked by the device.
The Witcher 3’s frame rate in Standard mode is around 10 fps lower (110 vs. 100 fps).
The Witcher 3’s frame rate likewise stays fairly consistent over time, but the Helios doesn’t appear to have any distinct advantages over Blade 17 in this regard.
The GPU heats up to a temperature of 71 °C (160 °F) while maintaining a clock speed of roughly 1.6 GHz. The graphics card uses about 150 watts practically constantly, but this is also what it was made to do.
Connectivity & Upgradeability
The 17-inch Predator had no connections in the back two years prior. Now that this has changed, there is greater room on the sides. But the number of connections stays the same. The Thunderbolt USB-C connector now supports DisplayPort, while one of the USB-A ports received a minor update. SD card readers still aren’t available. Kensington, LAN, USB-A, a headphone jack, and a port are all on the left side. Additionally, it has two USB Type-A connections on the right side and Thunderbolt, HDMI, and Mini DisplayPort ports on the rear.
The device features a Killer Wi-Fi 6E AX1675i WLAN module in addition to a LAN connection, enabling you to browse on a 6-GHz network as well.
Even though the transfer rates are respectable, they are still roughly 10% slower than the maximum that this module is capable of. Additionally, the Blade 17 is about 10% faster. The performance, however, remains steady.
The 1080p webcam with facial recognition, which provides quite acceptable indoor images in favorable lighting circumstances, is another innovation. But the colors don’t really stand out.
The bottom of the case can be removed by unscrewing 11 screws of comparable lengths made of Philips. Even yet, the case bottom is incredibly difficult to force apart and continues to be glued very firmly. Since it is unclear where the bottom plate stops at the back, it is preferable to begin in the front corners. You must use appropriate prying tools carefully because of the fragile plastic bottom.
The SSD, fans, Wi-Fi module, and batteries may all be accessed after removing the bottom plate. It is also possible to reach the DDR5-RAM, however doing so requires removing a second metal cover that is attached with a screw.
In contrast, the power usage is a little bit higher than that of the rivals. The Helios, with its strong performance, also uses the most power when playing games, at the very least. When playing The Witcher 3, even the similarly quick Vector uses roughly 30 watts less power.
We record brief 290-watt usage peaks. The consumption when gaming is roughly 230 watts. The 280-watt power supply, which is both extremely wide and slim, should always be able to recharge the laptop.
With the exception of the Aorus, every competition uses a battery that is less powerful than the 90-Wh battery that Acer is using here.
The battery can support up to 6 hours of video playback or 5 to 6 hours of browsing, depending on the brightness of the screen. Only the HP Omen outperforms the rivals somewhat in this area, therefore the battery life is adequate. However, the Blade 17 also achieves a comparable battery life while using a smaller battery (82 Wh).
In addition, because neither the Standard nor the Silent modes automatically reduce the refresh rate to 60 Hz, our battery measurements are based on the standard refresh rate of 165 Hz.
Though large, the Acer Predator Helios 300 is a reliable laptop. It provides excellent value for the money. It certainly merits a deeper look if you don’t mind its enormous size.
The Final Verdict. Predator Helios 300 from Acer is still a fantastic deal among 15.6-inch gaming laptops, but it doesn’t stand out in a crowded market.
Because it should be able to operate at a maximum frequency of 3.6 GHz but immediately overheats, the Helios 300 is a complete rip-off and has a terrible design.
According to gamers, the Predator is big, heavy, and loud but it also has a lot of performance. The decent display also astounds us with 97% coverage of the DisplayP3 color gamut, so the good performance isn’t all. In Blade 17, it can also triumph over the panel.
The typical drawbacks we listed above must also be overcome by an overclocked gaming laptop or its user. On the other hand, overclocking is optional; users can alternatively switch to the noticeably mild Standard mode if they prefer it quieter and can deal with a few fewer frames per second. The Acer Predator Helios 300 won’t be any louder than its rivals at that point.
In addition to two overclocking modes with commensurately potent performance, the Acer Predator Helios 300 PH317 features a good display. Even though the normal drawbacks are used to do this, those are optional.
In comparison to its rivals, the Razer Blade 17 comes highly recommended. While it doesn’t provide the same level of raw performance, it is still rather quiet and cool. You might also take a look at the MSI Vector if the performance needs to be nearly identically high and power consumption is a concern.