Acer Predator Helios 300 : Still worth to Buy in 2020?
This is Acer predator Helios 300 (2019) a fantastic gaming laptop. This one is a banger and better Helios than the previous one.
So what makes this thing special is not just this price point but it’s also what you’re getting for that money it’s so much better than I thought.
The only laptop that brings GPU overclocking in this price range.
|Hard Disk:||1 TB HDD + 256 GB SSD|
|RAM:||16 GB DDR4|
|Processor:||Intel Core i7 – 9750H|
|Display:||15.6 inch 1920 x 1080 Pixel|
|Graphics:||NVIDIA Geforce GTX 1660 Ti (6 GB)|
|Software:||Windows 10 Home|
|Warranty:||1 Year International Travelers Warranty (ITW)|
Acer Predator Helios 300 – Full Review
Design of Helios 300
The lid of this Helios 300 laptop is a matte black aluminum with blue accents and a predator logo in the center.
The interior is also all matte black metal with more blue accenting, while the bottom is plastic.
The edges of the front and corners are smooth. But it is absolutely fine during the normal uses.
The dimensions of the laptop are 36 cm in width, 25.4 cm in-depth, and just under 2.3 cm in height, about average for a 15” machine.
This smaller build gives us 7.9 mm thin side bezels with a 79% screen to body ratio, making it much less chunky looking and smaller in every dimension compared to last years model.
Backlight bleed wasn’t too bad, some slight imperfections around most sides, but they were extremely subtle while viewing darker content.
There is some screen flex, but that isn’t too bad due to the lid being metal. The hinges at far corners make it sturdy.
Absolutely no problems at all opening it up with one finger, it felt quite well balanced and no problems using it on my lap.
The weight is around 2.5 kg of this Helios 300. With the 180-watt power brick and cables for charging the total rises to just under 3 kg.
The Acer Predator Helios 300 is powered by an Intel Core i7-7700HQ processor, has 16GB of DDR4 RAM and a powerful NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660Ti GPU.
For storage, you have a combination of 1TB HDD from Toshiba and a 128GB SSD from Intel. The 15.6-inch IPS LCD supports 1080p resolution with 60/144 Hz refresh rate variants.
All this combines to offer a decent 1080p gaming experience across all kinds of gaming titles in medium/high settings.
If you find the power lacking, you can overclock the GPU a bit from the Predator Sense app.
This does increase the frame rates and the in-game graphic performance, but the difference is not very drastic.
Still, sometimes you might need just those extra frames to hit the sweet spot, which should be possible with the overclocking functionality.
Helios 300 Screen
The 15.6-inch FHD IPS-panel screen with a 60 Hz refresh rate has bright and color sharp. no G-Sync available here though. Again don’t panic, it’s available with a 3ms 144 Hz option.
I’ve measured the color gamut using the Spyder 5 Pro, and the results returned 96% of sRGB, 67% of NTSC and 73% of AdobeRGB. At 100% brightness in the center, I measured 312 nits with an 890:1 contrast ratio, so overall above average results for a gaming laptop at this price point, but expect different results with the 144Hz panel.
The top bezel isn’t too thin, so plenty of room to fit the camera. The 720p camera is about average, it looks OK but still a bit blurry, and the microphone.
New Helios 300 comes with 4 zone RGB lighting. But I saw all the blue lighting keyboard as well.
So basically I’m still not sure, but it seems to vary by region, so just double-check the listing when you’re buying or ask the seller to confirm when in doubt.
Anyway lighting aside, the WASD and arrow keys have blue accenting, and all the lighting comes through all keys and even secondary functions.
I liked typing with the keyboard and didn’t have any problems using it, it worked well for me.
On the right above the num pad, there’s a dedicated button for opening the predator sense software.
The power button is in the top right corner. Personally I much prefer having the power button separated from the keyboard to avoid accidental presses.
Above the keyboard on the left, we’ve also got the turbo button. Pressing this will boost fan speed, raise the CPU power limit, and overclock the graphics for increased performance.
Unfortunately, this button does need the predator sense software installed to work, and sometimes while pressing it I did find there could be anywhere from a one to five-second delay before turbo mode would enable.
The Touchpad of Helios 300 has precision drivers. it was smooth to the touch and worked well.
It clicks down anywhere, though the area at the top was pretty much impossible to press down, and it supports all the usual gestures.
Fingerprints and dirt show up quite easily on the black finish, but as it’s a smooth surface they’re easy to clean.
Port Selections on Helios 300
This Acer Predator helios 300 comes with good selection of ports.
On the left from the back, there’s a Kensington lock, air exhaust vent, power input, status LEDs, gigabit ethernet, two USB 3 Type-A ports and 3.5 mm audio combo jack.
On the right from the front there’s a USB 3 Type-C port, no Thunderbolt support though, a third USB 3 Type-A port, mini Display Port 1.4 and HDMI 2.0 outputs followed by another air exhaust.
The two speakers on the front left and right corners. They sound about average, alright but not amazing, fine for a laptop with minimal bass and they seem to get loud enough at max volume with music playing.
Helios 300 comes with a 58-watt hour battery. Although battery in this is a little bit bigger battery than the last year’s version it’s still a very short battery life I’m getting around 4 hours of battery life.
When you unplug the laptop from the power you won’t be able to use turbo mode or the overclocking features.
I’ve tested it with the screen brightness at 50%, background apps disabled, and all RGB lighting off.
While just watching YouTube videos it lasted for 5 hours and 52 minutes, a great result for this test, and it was using the Intel graphics with Nvidia Optimus.
So, overall above-average battery life compared to other gaming laptops in this segment.
In Helios 300 Air comes through the vents on the bottom and is exhausted out the two vents on the back, and there are two more exhausts on either side up the back for a total of four exhausts.
I noticed that the power cable has a thick head, and when running it out towards the back it does partially block some of the exhaust on the left, though I didn’t find this to practically make a difference.
In terms of heat pipes, there’s just one shared between the processor and graphics, so it doesn’t look like much in the way of cooling compared to what we usually see, though there are four heat sinks in total, two for each fan.
The fan on the left has metal blades, while the one on the right is plastic. By default, Acer has actually undervolted the laptop by -0.125v, so we are expecting above average results.
I’ve tested with both the default settings and with the turbo profile. The turbo profile will max out the fans, increase the power limit of the CPU and overclock the graphics.
The CPU is undervolted out of the box regardless of what mode you use, so it’s always enabled.
Thermal testing was completed at an ambient room temperature of 25 degrees Celsius, so expect different results in different environments.
Overall I was very impressed with the thermal performance from the Helios 300, granted most of this is down to the out of the box stock under-volt.
This is still great to see, and I hope more companies start doing it in the future.
Should I buy the Acer Predator Helios 300?
The new Acer Predator Helios 300 gaming laptop is a very impressive machine at this price point. It exceeded my expectations in pretty much every aspect.
The CPU under-volt out of the box allows it to outperform the competition in many workloads, which is great for the majority of people who buy a laptop and either don’t know how or aren’t willing to tweak it.
Game performance with turbo mode was excellent, thanks to the boosted fan speed, raised CPU power limit, and GPU overclock.
Gaming laptops around this price range usually cheap out on the screen, but even color gamut and brightness were good here with minimal backlight bleed.
The battery life was above average for a gaming laptop, the keyboard and touchpad worked well, and in my opinion, overall it just looks better when compared to the older 2018 model, with slimmer bezels and ditching the red color scheme for blue.
Sometimes there was a delay when pressing the turbo button above the keyboard before the changes would actually activate, but that could likely be fixed with future software updates.
The power button is on the top right corner of the keyboard, so you could potentially misclick it, but these things honestly aren’t deal breakers for me.
Overall the build quality of the machine was good, and it’s an upgrade over the older model in basically every aspect.
Outside of these minor issues this is a very impressive machine for the money and based on my testing here I can easily recommend this Helios 300 laptop.