Acer Predator Helios 300 review: A well-rounded gaming laptop at a great price

    With the monstrous Predator 21 X and modern Predator Triton 700, Acer staked a compelling declare on the high-end market, loading its notebooks with extravagant options and essentially the most highly effective transportable gaming obtainable. The Acer Predator Helios 300 doesn’t concern itself with fanciful bells and whistles. It’s an easy, no-nonsense gaming laptop computer that delivers a refreshing quantity of bang to your buck, beginning at $1,100 on Amazon with a Core i7-7700HQ processor and a GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card.

    The Acer Predator Helios 300 isn’t fairly excellent. The show runs dimmer than its rivals, and the storage is cramped. However past these minor grumbles, this machine checks all of the bins you could possibly ask for in an inexpensive gaming laptop computer. It’s even straightforward to restore!

    Acer Predator Helios 300 specs, options, and worth

    Acer presents the Predator Helios 300 in several configurations spanning each 15.6-inch and 17.Three-inch show sizes. We’re reviewing the entry-level 15-inch model. Right here’s what’s inside:

    • CPU: Core i7-7700HQ
    • GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 6GB
    • RAM: 16GB DDR4/2400
    • Storage: 256GB M.2 SSD
    • Wi-fi: 802.11ac Wi-Fi
    • Show: 15.6-inch 1920×1080 60Hz IPS
    • Ports: 2x USB, 1x USB, 1x USB Three.1 Sort-C, HDMI, SD card reader, ethernet, headphone jack, lock slot
    • Weight: 5 kilos, 7.9 ounces, or 7 kilos with energy brick
    • Dimensions: 15.four x 10.5 x 1.1 inches
    • Webcam: 720p
    • Worth: $1,100

    Round this worth vary, you’ll usually discover gaming laptops outfitted with a lesser-powered GeForce GTX 1050 or GTX 1050 Ti graphics card, or a middling Core i5 CPU. Not right here: The Predator packs the identical quad-core Core i7-7700HQ processor present in laptops that price two or thrice extra, together with a full-fat 6GB GeForce GTX 1060—no dialed-back Max-Q version right here. Regardless of the inexpensive worth, Acer didn’t skimp on the reminiscence, stocking the Helios 300 with 16GB of DDR4 RAM.

    The one ho-hum ? Storage. This entry-level configuration consists of an SSD with a scant 256GB capability that’ll refill quick in this era of plus-sized games. It’s good and quick in observe, although. Acer presents one other configuration that dietary supplements the SSD with a 1TB mechanical laborious drive, however at a steep $300 premium. Given how straightforward it’s to crack open the Predator Helios 300—the empty laborious drive bay is secured shut by a single Phillips screw—I’d suggest going the DIY route so as to add extra storage to the laptop computer.

    Dan Masaoka/IDG

    The laptop computer chassis consists of loads of plastic, as you’d count on in a gaming pocket book on this worth vary, however Acer augments it with a modern, brushed-metal lid and keyboard deck. Two angled crimson stripes flank the Predator brand on the lid, guaranteeing everybody within the espresso store is aware of you’re utilizing an Acer. It’s a fingerprint magnet, although. With 5 kilos, 7.9 ounces of heft and a 1.1-inch thickness, the Helios 300 is pretty compact for a gaming rig. You’ll really feel it in your backpack however received’t break your backbone lugging it round.

    acer predator helios 300 2 Dan Masaoka/IDG

    The inputs really feel snug and responsive, too. The chiclet-style keys have loads of journey and aren’t overly loud in use. Fetching crimson backlights increase the keyboard and look good towards the black keys. They are often turned on or off manually, however not dimmed or custom-made on a per-key foundation. The clickpad-style touchpad handles very easily and precisely. I’d have most well-liked devoted left- and right-click buttons, however hey, I’m a purist. The Helios 300’s keyboard and touchpad excel total.

    I want I might say the identical for the 1920×1080 IPS show. It’s good and sharp with extensive viewing angles, however far too dim. In actual fact, at 230 nits most, it doesn’t even hit the minimal brightness stage we use for our battery run-down checks, which run at a standardized 250 to 260 nits to simulate snug indoor viewing. Some colours lack pop and really feel washed-out in consequence, particularly vibrant hues. Don’t get me fallacious: The Predator Helios 300’s show is serviceable total. It’s simply lackluster in comparison with rival screens.

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