The gaming PC phase is at all times an thrilling place, be it on the desktop or laptop computer facet, with OEMs always refreshing their choices to maintain clients . In truth, gaming is among the few vibrant spots within the PC market, which has been in decline for some time, however appears to be now faring a bit higher.
Acer added some new fashions to its Predator gaming lineup this April, as the corporate hopes to consolidate its portfolio and focus totally on gaming and VR. It took some time for Acer to convey its new gaming fashions to India, however the Predator Helios 300 is lastly right here and right now we’ll be testing it. With costs beginning at $1996, let’s see the way it fares.
Acer Predator Helios 300 design and construct high quality
The design of the Helios 300 is just like that of Acer’s earlier Predator fashions, considered one of which we examined over a 12 months in the past, however with some new design cues and a decrease weight. The 15.6-inch mannequin is now slimmer than earlier than and in addition lighter at 2.7kg (in comparison with three.6kg). The physique remains to be made largely of plastic however Acer has present some steel reinforcements for the lid and keyboard space. The design is aggressive like earlier than, with supercar-like exhaust vents across the again and reflective particulars on the lid. Nonetheless, the Predator brand isn’t backlit. The bottom is made from plastic, and there are massive vents on the underside.
We discovered a small diploma of flex with the lid, however the steel plate ensures it doesn’t have an effect on the the display screen as there’s no seen pixel warping once you apply stress. There’s a single, lengthy hinge, operating throughout the size of the laptop computer that retains the display screen in place. The display screen tilts again about 160 levels and the hinge affords good torsion. The 15.6-inch panel has a non-reflective floor, which is nice once you’re sitting below synthetic lighting. It has a 1920×1080-pixel decision so visuals are sharp. Colors are additionally good, this being an IPS panel. Nonetheless, the brightness doesn’t get excessive sufficient for us. We discovered ourselves maxing out the brightness stage more often than not, and it was nonetheless nearly satisfactory.
The keyboard space feels vey sturdy, as soon as once more, due to using an aluminium plate. There’s no flex when typing and there’s loads of room even for big palms. The trackpad is pretty massive too, with clean monitoring and clicky buttons. The keys are decently spaced however aren’t very snug for typing. Acer has made house for a quantity pad however in doing so, it compromised on the spacing for the route keys in addition to the correct Shift and Enter keys. Throughout common typing, we regularly discovered ourselves fumbling and hitting the mistaken keys. The Energy button is a part of the cluster too, which we don’t fairly like, and there’s solely a single stage of pink LED backlighting for all keys.
Bodily connectors embrace a complete of 4 USB ports, of which, there are two USB 2.zero ports, one USB three.zero port, and one Kind-C port (USB three.1 Gen1). There’s additionally an HDMI output, Gigabit Ethernet port, SD card slot, and headphones/mic combo socket. The Helios 300 has two LEDs on the correct, to indicate the charging and energy standing. Like every fanatic PC value its salt, the Helios 300 has two quick-release hatches on the underside permitting you to entry the RAM and arduous drive. nonetheless, there’s no option to get to the SSD with out opening up all the base.
Acer Predator Helios 300 specs and options
The Helios 300 relies on Intel’s seventh Gen ‘Kaby Lake’ Core i7-7700HQ CPU, and never a more recent ‘Kaby Lake Refresh’ or eighth gen mannequin, just like the one we not too long ago noticed in Acer’s Aspire 5 and within the not too long ago launched Nitro 5 Spin laptop computer. Acer India has knowledgeable us that the Helios 300 gained’t be getting the newer CPUs anytime quickly. Different specs embrace a single 8GB stick of DDR4 RAM, a 128GB M.2 SSD from SKHynix, and a 1TB 5400rpm arduous drive from Western Digital.
Graphics processing is dealt with by the onboard HD Graphics 630 GPU for on a regular basis duties and Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1050 Ti for demanding video games. The discrete GPU has 4GB of GDDR5 RAM and helps Optimus know-how, which implies it switches itself off when not wanted. There’s additionally Bluetooth Four, Wi-Fi 802.11ac with MIMO antennas, stereo audio system, and an HD webcam.
Acer ships the Helios 300 with Home windows 10 Dwelling 64-bit, and its personal normal applications referred to as Care Centre and Fast Entry. The laptop computer additionally has Acer’s PredatorSense software program, which helps you to management the fan pace for the CPU and GPU, and toggle Acer’s CoolBoost function which will increase the utmost fan pace throughout heavy use. The followers used listed here are custom-designed with steel blades for higher airflow. This system additionally exhibits you a graph of the temperature and cargo of the CPU and GPU. You’ll be able to overclock the GPU utilizing two presets. This solely works when the facility adapter is plugged in and the laptop computer’s battery stage is above 40 %.
The default clock pace of the GTX 1050 Ti at full load is 1708MHz, which bumps as much as 1746MHz once you select the ‘Sooner’ setting. Switching to ‘Turbo’ mode will increase that even additional to 1797MHz.
Acer Predator Helios 300 efficiency and battery life
The laptop computer has no hassle operating common Home windows 10 apps and boot instances are fairly fast, due to the SSD. The laptop computer runs silently once you’re shopping the Net or engaged on Workplace paperwork because the onboard GPU is used for many of those duties. Nonetheless, hearth up any utility that taxes the CPU or GPU an excessive amount of, and the followers develop into simply audible. Throughout gaming, the followers are working time beyond regulation to maintain temperatures down, and it appears like a jet preparing for take off. The bottom will get a bit sizzling, close to the consumption vents and you may really feel a little bit of the warmth by way of on the left portion of the keyboard. The keyboard keys have first rate journey for gaming.
The Helios 300 remains to be a heavy laptop computer although it has shed a number of weight in comparison with older Predator fashions. It’s not the best to hold round and is finest used on a desk. When it comes to efficiency, Intel’s final gen flagship CPU remains to be a stable performer. In PCMark eight, we acquired scores of 3720, 4558 and 3342 for the Dwelling, Artistic and Work take a look at suites respectively. In different artificial exams comparable to 3DMark, we acquired 6734 factors within the Hearth Strike take a look at and a rating of 18,796 factors within the Sky Diver take a look at.
Coming to real-world gaming, the Predator Helios 300 performs effectively. Because the SSD isn’t massive sufficient for large titles, you’ll have to make use of the 1TB drive for set up. We examined all video games on the monitor’s native decision of 1080p, with various levels of eye-candy, relying on the sport. In Rise of the Tomb Raider’s built-in benchmark, we averaged round 55fps on the Excessive preset utilizing DX12. Bumping the standard as much as the Very Excessive preset dropped the typical body fee to 41fps, which is definitely playable. Precise gameplay was largely clean however we encountered intermittent freezes, the place the sport would get caught for a second after which resume at Very Excessive, however this went away when utilizing the Excessive preset.
Metro: Final Mild Redux is a taxing recreation, and averaged round 10fps with the standard preset at Excessive and different settings comparable to Movement Blur and Tessellation set to Regular. Sadly, Doom refused to run correctly as textures on the weapons and environment did not load, regardless of a number of makes an attempt. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is one other taxing recreation, and we managed to common 35fps utilizing the Excessive preset.
The without end gorgeous-looking FarCry Four was no hassle in any respect for the Helios 300, even utilizing the Very Excessive preset. We managed to common 59fps, which is superb. Final however not least, we tried the overclocking settings. In artificial exams like 3DMark, we noticed in enchancment of round six %, whereas throughout precise gameplay, comparable to within the case of Rise of the Tomb Raider, we noticed a lift of 12 % in framerates. Whereas this can differ from recreation to recreation, it’s good to know you could squeeze a little bit extra efficiency out of the GPU when wanted.
Audio from the stereo audio system can be good, and sound may be additional enhanced with the Dolby Audio Premium software program. The audio system are loud and the sonic signature is nice. The IPS show is appropriate for video playback as colors are punchy and viewing angles are pretty huge. The HD webcam doesn’t produce very noisy photographs below synthetic gentle when indoors, which is nice.
We managed to get a median runtime of roughly Four hours with the Four-cell battery, after we used the Helios 300 primarily for Net browsing. Battery Eater Professional ran constantly for 1 hour 23 minutes, utilizing the built-in graphics. This laptop computer gained’t final a whole workday on a single cost, so that you’ll must have the charger with you.
The Acer Predator Helios 300 is unique to Flipkart within the on-line house, and it’s now out there for Rs. 89,990, in comparison with the launch value of Rs. 1,29,999. Remember that this isn’t an official value discount from Acer, solely Flipkart’s pricing. For those who’re on the lookout for beefier internals then Acer has a Core i7 model of this laptop computer in retail shops which has 16GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD and an Nvidia GTX 1060 (6GB) for Rs. 1,35,550 (plus GST).
The closest competitors to the mannequin we reviewed is Dell’s Inspiron 15 7567, which shares an analogous configuration however lacks an SSD at this value. The Lenovo Legion Y520 (Overview) is obtainable in a variant that comes very near the Helios 300 when it comes to specs and value however sports activities a regular GTX 1050, so that you get a bit much less graphics horsepower. Lastly, there’s HP’s Omen line of laptops, which is able to value you greater than Rs. 1 lakh in order for you an analogous configuration because the Helios 300.
As soon as once more, Acer hsa managed to supply a great set of specs at an aggressive value (going by the web value). If we might enhance something, we’d ask for much less noisy exhaust followers, as this stuff are a useless giveaway that you just’re sneaking in a fast spherical of Doom at your office. The brightness stage of the show might have been higher too and we didn’t actually just like the keyboard structure for critical typing. Total, the Acer Predator Helios 300 affords good bang for the buck, in case you can reside with its little flaws.
Worth (MRP): $1996
Performs effectively in video games
Aggressive avenue value
Exhaust followers get noisy
Display screen is not at all times vibrant sufficient
Keyboard structure could possibly be higher
Scores (Out of 5)
Software program: Four
Worth for Cash: Four.5