The Acer Predator Helios 300 is widely regarded as a great budget laptop for gamers, as it comes in at a great price with fairly powerful hardware, capable of playing modern games with high settings at 1080p 60 FPS, so let’s put it to the test and find out just how well it performs.
. I’ve had a lot of requests to review this laptop and it’s finally here, so let’s start by checking out the hardware specs, it’s got an Intel 7700HQ quad core CPU running at 2.8GHz which can turbo upto 3.
8GHz. There’s a single stick of 16GB of DDR4 memory running at 2,400MHz, although the two slots can support up to 32GB. For storage there’s a 128GB M.2 SATA3 SSD and a 1TB 5,400 RPM hard drive installed.
For the graphics we’ve got Nvidia’s 1060 with 6GB of memory in combination with a 15.6 inch 1080p 60Hz IPS panel, and we’ll see how this performs later in the benchmarks. For the network connectivity there’s a gigabit ethernet port, and 802.
11AC WiFi as well as Bluetooth 4.1. The lid and interior are a brushed black aluminium, and the lid features the silver Predator logo. Overall I think it looks fairly nice, but it does attract fingerprints easily.
There’s red accents all around the laptop, giving you that classic gaming laptop look. The physical dimensions of the laptop are 39cm in width, 26.6cm in depth, and 2.6cm in height, so it’s not too thick.
The total weight is listed at approximately 2.7kg, and I found mine to weigh just under 2.6kg, and this increases to just under 3.3kg when you include the power brick and cable for charging, so still fairly portable.
As mentioned the screen is a 15.6 inch 60Hz 1080p IPS matte panel, no G-Sync here unfortunately. The viewing angles are really good, the colours are still clear even on sharp angles. I’ve also measured the colours produced by the screen using the Spyder 5 Pro, and my results returned 63% of sRGB, 45% of NTSC and 47% of AdobeRGB, so compared to other laptops I’ve tested it’s on the lower side.
However with that said, I think it’s perfectly acceptable for a gaming laptop, as it helps to reduce the overall cost and I didn’t have any issues with it while playing games, but I probably wouldn’t want to use it for content creation.
I’ve also performed my usual backlight bleed test, which involves having the screen completely black in a dark room to help emphasize any bleeding around the edges. I then take a long exposure photo to display any bleed, so this is a worst case scenario test.
Although the image shows a little different in the top right corner, I couldn’t see anything with my own eyes, to me it was flawless in this regard, although this may of course vary between laptops.
While moving the display there was just a little bit of flex, it was fairly sturdy thanks to the corner hinges, and you can just open the laptop with one finger, demonstrating a fairly even weight distribution, perhaps with slightly more in the back.
Above the display is a HD camera capable of 720p video. The camera looks pretty blurry, even with some decent lighting, although the microphone sounds alright, but you’ll be able to judge both for yourself.
I liked typing with the keyboard, no problems at all there. The keys were a little clicky sounding, with red backlighting and clearly marked WASD keys. The lighting can be turned on or off via the keyboard, but red is the only colour available, matching the overall red and black theme of the laptop.
There was only a little bit of keyboard flex while pushing down fairly hard, it wasn’t an issue while typing normally. The touchpad has a smooth surface, and for the most part it was alright, although I felt like I had to push a bit harder than I’m used to to click, I’d probably stick to a mouse when possible.
Moving onto the I/O on the left there’s a kensington lock, ethernet port, USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C port, no thunderbolt support though, HDMI port, USB 3.0 Type-A port, and SD card reader. Over on the right there’s a 3.
5mm audio combo jack, two USB 2.0 Type-A ports, and power input. There’s nothing at all on the front, and on the back there’s just some air exhaust vents with more red accenting. Underneath there’s some air intakes, as well as the speakers.
There’s some rubber feet which help prevent the laptop from moving around on flat surfaces when in use, and also rise it up slightly to help let cool air in. There are also two panels which can easily be removed with a single screw to reveal the 2.
5 inch hard drive bay, and two RAM slots, allowing for quick and easy upgradeability. The speakers are on the left and right sides, and I found them to sound alright, there wasn’t really any bass, and they sound a little tinny at higher volumes, but not too bad.
Powering the laptop is a 48 Watt hour 4 cell battery, and with a full charge and just watching YouTube videos with the screen on half brightness, keyboard lighting off and background apps disabled, I was able to use it for 3 hours and 58 minutes.
While playing the Witcher 3 with medium settings and Nvidia’s battery boost set to 30 FPS the battery lasted for 1 hour and 12 minutes, although it seemed to run at 20 FPS. Overall I thought the battery life was pretty good, I was surprised as on paper it’s not actually that big, however it does seem that it may be limited in the amount it can discharge, which would explain why games were running slow on battery, allowing it to last longer.
When not gaming it swaps over to the Intel integrated graphics, saving even more power. During normal use with an ambient room temperature of 24 degrees celsius, the CPU and GPU both idled at around 40 degrees.
Here are the external temperatures of the laptop where you’ll actually be putting your hands, getting to around 36 degrees in the center. With the CPU and GPU maxed out for half an hour with the automatic fan profile using the heaven benchmark and Aida64 stress test at the same time with the same room temperature, the CPU reached its hottest at 86 degrees, and no thermal throttling was observed even with the GPU load.
The keyboard area got a fair bit warmer, again in the center, up to around 49 degrees towards the back. The included Predator Sense software allows us to manually max out the fans, and in doing so with Heaven and Aida64 still running the temperatures drop by just 1 degree, and this seems to be reflected on the keyboard area which is about the same as before.
The gaming result was from playing PUBG at high settings with the automatic fan profile, and we can see that the GPU is slightly warmer when playing a real game compared to running a benchmark tool, and the temperatures of the keyboard area reflect this, getting up to 52 degrees.
This wasn’t too noticeable though, as the wrist rest areas stayed fairly cool in comparison. As for the fan noise produced by the laptop, I’ll let you have a listen to each of these tests. At full load and while gaming it was sitting around 54 decibels, which is around the same as many other gaming laptops I’ve tested.
If we max out the fans though, which only gave a small thermal improvement, this rises quite a bit more to 59 decibels and is quite loud. Overall the temperatures were quite good, it didn’t get too hot under full load and there was no throttling, so it seems to have a decent cooling solution.
Finally let’s take a look at some gaming benchmarks. All tests were run at the 1080p resolution with all Windows and Nvidia updates to date installed. Overwatch ran well here, averaging over 100 FPS with 1% lows above what the 60Hz display can output.
CS:GO also runs great, even on max settings we’re getting frame rates well above what the display is capable of producing, while the 1% lows at minimum settings are almost 60 FPS. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds was tested with the latest 1.
0 version using the replay feature, and it felt nice and smooth at high or lower settings, where we still had fairly decent 1% lows, however this will depend greatly on what’s actually going on in game.
Battlefield 1 also played great regardless of the setting level used, even the 1% lows at any setting level are fairly high considering the 60Hz display. Shadow of war was tested with the built in benchmark and it’s going alright, I’d argue that you don’t really need a high frame rate to enjoy this game, it played great at high or lower settings.
The Witcher 3 is another game I’d say runs well without a high frame rate, and I personally thought it was nice and smooth at high settings or lower. Watchdogs 2 is a fairly resource intensive game, and another that I think doesn’t need a high frame rate to enjoy, however even at ultra settings it still felt about the same as the others, as the 1% lows didn’t change much.
Rise of the Tomb raider was tested with the built in benchmark tool, and even at max settings we’re able to average above 60 FPS. Ghost recon was also tested with the built in benchmark and is another fairly resource intensive game, not something I’d want to play at max settings, however it seemed to work fairly well at very high or lower.
Dota2 isn’t too demanding but I’m testing with a fairly intensive replay, and we’re only just under 60 FPS at max settings. DOOM was tested with Vulkan, and even at max settings the averages are more than enough, the game played smoothly regardless of setting level.
In the past I’ve said the 1060 is a great option for 1080p 60FPS gaming at high settings, and as we’ve seen here in many of the games this remains true. Combined with the 60Hz screen this is a good combination, if you want to take advantage of the higher frame rates in E-sports titles like Overwatch or CS:GO you’ll need to use an external monitor with a higher refresh rate, keeping in mind you’re limited to using HDMI.
Now onto the benchmarking tools, we’ll start with the Unigine benchmarks, here’s how the laptop performed in Heaven benchmark with the tessellation set to extreme, and anti-aliasing set to x8, here’s how Valley benchmark performed with anti-aliasing on x8 at various graphics settings, and finally these are the results from their newest Superposition benchmark.
For the final graphics benchmarks I ran Fire Strike and Time spy from 3DMark, as well as VRMark and got some decent scores with the 1060. In Crystal Disk Mark the 128GB SATA based SSD got around 450MB/s in both sequential reads and writes, while the 1TB 5,400RPM hard drive sat in the 90s for both read and write.
I’ve also tested the SD card reader, and we got around 70 MB/s for both. As for the price the Acer Predator Helios 300 comes in at $1,899 AUD here in Australia with a 256GB SSD, or about $1,399 USD for my international viewers, however the cheapest option available without the extra hard drive starts at $1050 USD, which is what makes this such a competitive option for the price.
So what did you guys think of the Predator Helios 300 gaming laptop from Acer? I can see why I’ve had so many requests to review this laptop over the last few months, it’s offering a lot of value at a great price.
It does appear to sacrifice on some things, such as screen quality, and overall the build quality wasn’t quite as nice as other laptops I’ve tested, however it makes up for this where it counts, with decent battery life and excellent hardware that will allow you to play basically any modern game at 1080p 60 FPS with high settings.
Let me know what you guys thought down in the comments, and leave a like if you found the review useful. Thanks for watching, and don’t forget to subscribe for future tech videos like this one.