The Acer Predator Helios 300 is, by all accounts, a funds gaming laptop. With that, there are a few blemishes concerning the machine which might be too apparent and too essential to disregard, and there are some delicate corners lower as nicely. However, as is anticipated of many funds gaming laptops, cutbacks and compromises are anticipated. If you need one of the best, in spite of everything, you need to pay for one of the best.

That mentioned, we’re pleasantly impressed with this mannequin’s efficiency for the value. It is a highly effective machine for a funds gaming laptop computer. It could possibly deal with essentially the most demanding video games at medium to excessive settings. It has a refresh fee of 144Hz, which you’ll hardly ever see in gaming laptops of its variety. And it has a crisp, 1080p show with a true-to-life colour palette.

Are you able to do higher? You probably have the cash, undoubtedly. However, in the event you’re slightly strapped for money, that is pretty much as good as you will get for for the value.

Spec Sheet

Right here is the Acer Predator Helios 300 configuration despatched to TechSwitch for overview: 

CPU: 2.2GHz Intel Core i7-8750H (hexa-core, 9MB cache, as much as four.1GHz)
Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 630; Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 (6GB GDDR5)
RAM: 16GB DDR4 (2,666MHz)
Display screen: 15.6-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,zero80) ComfyView IPS (144Hz refresh fee)
Storage: 256GB PCIe SSD
Ports: 1 x USB-C three.1, 2 x USB 2.zero, 1 x USB three.zero, HDMI 2.zero, RJ-45 Ethernet, SD card reader, three.5mm headphone jack
Connectivity: Intel 802.11ac Wi-Fi; Bluetooth
Digicam: HD webcam (1,280 x 720) with 2 x mics
Weight: 5.95 kilos (2.7kg)
Measurement: 15.four x 10.5 x 1.1 inches (39.1 x 26.7 x 2.8cm; W x D x H)

Worth and availability

The essential configuration for Acer Predator Helios 300 within the US will solely set you again $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 and your selection of a 256GB strong state drive or 1TB onerous drive.

This configuration just isn’t obtainable within the UK. The mannequin there units you again £1,000, has a much less highly effective processor and graphics card. This primary configuration within the UK has 2.5GHz, quad-core Intel Core i5-7300HQ processor and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti with 4GB of video reminiscence, although it does boast each a 1TB onerous drive and a 128GB strong state drive.

The highest-of-the-line configuration within the US will set you again $1,500 with a 2.2GHz, hexa-core Intel Core i7-8750H processor, 16GB of RAM, a 1TB onerous drive in addition to a 128GB strong state drive, and the identical graphic card as the essential configuration. The UK’s highest configuration boasts the identical specs; nonetheless, the value just isn’t obtainable on the time of writing.

In Australia, however, just one configuration is obtainable. It boasts the identical specs because the US and the UK’s highest-end fashions, and prices AU$2,499.

Which configuration is greatest for you relies upon, after all, in your wants. The unit we examined, which matches specs of the very best configuration apart from the 1TB onerous drive, works nicely sufficient even with essentially the most demanding video games, and it’s $200 cheaper. Nevertheless, you might be restricted to solely about two or three put in AAA video games with simply the 256GB strong state drive; and paying $200 extra for the power to put in extra video games is one thing to contemplate.

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Design

We will’t discover fault within the Acer Predator Helios 300’s design. It’s nothing superb and hardly a stand-out, however it’s not poor both.

This gaming laptop computer does attempt to keep on with the gamer aesthetic with its steel chassis in a gun-metal end, black colour with purple accents, and geometric cuts and tapered edges. The Predator lettering and brand in silver adorn the highest cowl, whereas the underside plastic cowl has two, easy-to-remove compartments for the onerous drive and the RAM, which you’ll be able to improve.

We recognize the variety of obtainable ports on this laptop computer, too. On high of two USB 2.zero ports and a headphone jack, it additionally boasts a USB three.zero port, a USB three.1 port, an HDMI port, Ethernet and an SD card reader, which undoubtedly is useful in the event you’re utilizing this in your novice images and such.

The laptop computer is mid-sized – undoubtedly not small but additionally not too cumbersome, and surprisingly lighter than it seems to be. Though our overview unit is lacking a tough drive, and we marvel how a lot heavier it will get if there may be one.

You would possibly say that the design is a sign of how this gaming laptop computer is general: it’s not one of the best and it has a few flaws, however it does nicely sufficient in different areas that you just’ll discover little or no purpose to complain.

Acer Predator Helios 300

Keyboard and touchpad

We really just like the keyboard on this gaming laptop computer. It’s not solely comfy, ergonomically talking, with adequate bounce, enough journey, and a matte really feel to maintain your fingers from slipping; however it’s additionally responsive and correct. Just like the design, the keyboard doesn’t have any unbelievable options that stand out or give it a gaming edge.

That mentioned, the Perform shortcut keys handle issues like turning the touchpad on and off, selecting totally different show choices and adjusting quantity – and at the very least the WASD keys are highlighted. Nevertheless, it’s as efficient as all keyboards must be.

Our solely criticism is that the underside keys are taller than the others. We discover that once we’re utilizing the arrow keys for gaming, we regularly miss the ‘Up’ arrow key as a result of the ‘Down’ arrow one is taller than we’re used to.

The touchpad is a barely totally different story. Like with most gaming laptop computer touchpads, this one’s undoubtedly not good for gaming, although it’s responsive sufficient for productiveness duties. You’ll desire a mouse if you need accuracy and responsiveness, like with most gaming laptops. The touchpad is  additionally slightly tight once you’re urgent down. Plus, now we have run into the problem of it being non-responsive or erratic when now we have a mouse put in. This concern often fixes itself once we restart the laptop computer and disconnect the mouse.

Acer Predator Helios 300

Show, digicam and sound

Right here’s one other instance of the underlying theme on this gaming laptop computer. The digicam could possibly be higher and the sound … let’s simply say there’s undoubtedly loads of room for enchancment. But the Full HD show is unexpectedly improbable for a laptop computer of this sort. Let’s break these down.

We might do with out the thick, 1-inch bezels. Apart from that, we’re fairly pleased with the 1080p show. It has true-to-life colour copy, with stronger blue and magenta hues that we like higher than hotter tones for gaming and watching films. The show additionally boasts a 144Hz refresh fee, which you don’t sometimes see in funds gaming laptops. It is a main improve from the 2017 mannequin to assist reduce blur and make up for dropped frames.

The digicam is simply OK. The 720p decision is noticeably grainy, however it’s adequate for making video calls and conferences.

Sadly, the set of audio system is without doubt one of the laptop computer’s two main flaws. Sadly, the audio system listed here are subpar at greatest. They’ve little or no output on the low finish and their excessive finish is lower off, leading to a sound that’s uninteresting, flat, muddled and hole. 

While you’re utilizing the laptop computer for gaming, you in all probability received’t discover this poor audio – or, on the very least, get too bothered by it; and also you at all times have the choice to make use of headphones. Nevertheless, in the event you’re watching films or listening to music, audio will sound skinny and lackluster, even after you make equalizer changes via the included Dolby Atmos software program.

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