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Acer Predator Helios 300 review: Game performance remains the star

At a glance

Expert’s Ranking

Pros

  • Sharp 1440p 240Hz display screen with wide color gamut
  • Fantastic wired and wi-fi connectivity 
  • Outstanding processor overall performance
  • Great activity functionality

Disadvantages

  • Mediocre make top quality
  • Tiny, cramped touchpad
  • Show brightness, distinction could be greater
  • Small battery lifestyle

Our Verdict

Acer’s most up-to-date Predator Helios 300 receives a new look, but solid match overall performance at a realistic rate continues to be its most captivating trait.

Price When Reviewed

$2,099.ninety nine

Ideal Costs Currently: Acer Predator Helios three hundred (2022)

Retailer
Price
Best Buy
$1799.ninety nine

The Acer Predator Helios 300 has, for the earlier number of many years, proven itself among the the improved possibilities for avid gamers who want a strong notebook at a mid-selection price tag. Its newest iteration gets a slight visual refresh, but it continues to be accurate to the core mission. This is a laptop computer you’ll get because of its bang for your buck. It provides solid processing and graphics functionality as nicely as a vivid screen. Just really do not hope it to be of substantially use on the highway. Examine on to learn additional.

Acer Predator Helios three hundred specs and attributes

Acer’s Predator Helios three hundred is now many several years previous. The design I analyzed was its most new iteration, which equips 12th-gen Intel Core processors. It also would make the leap to DDR5 memory, an update from the DDR4 memory on prior variants. 

  • CPU: Intel Main i7-12700H
  • Memory: 16GB DDR5
  • Graphics/GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti @a hundred and fifty Watts
  • Exhibit: 2,560 x one,440 240Hz IPS Lcd
  • Storage: 1TB PCI Categorical Reliable Point out Drive
  • Webcam: 1080p
  • Connectivity: 1x HDMI, 1x Mini-DisplayPort, 1x USB-A three.2 Gen one, 2x USB-A three.two Gen two, 1x USB-C 3.two Gen two with Thunderbolt four, a hundred-watt Power Shipping and delivery, DisplayPort Alternate Mode
  • Networking: Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2, Gigabit Ethernet
  • Biometrics: None
  • Dimensions: 14.one x 10.nine x 1.02 inches
  • Body weight: five.fifty one
  • MSRP: $2,099.ninety nine (presently $1,799 at Very best Purchase)

The model I analyzed is the most costly Predator Helios 300 variant to offer you 12th-gen Intel Core processors. Acer gives an entry-level model with the exact Core i7-12700H processor and Nvidia RTX 3060 graphics for $one,549.ninety nine. 

Layout and develop good quality

Acer Predator design

IDG / Matthew Smith

The Acer Predator Helios three hundred refreshes the look of the Predator line-up with a two-tone layout first viewed on Acer’s Predator Triton 300 SE OLED. It interrupts the flat, matte texture of the display lid with streaks of glowing, electrical strength that cover all but the quite top rated. I’m happy to see Acer spice up this design soon after various years of in close proximity to-identical layout. The design and style is otherwise workmanlike, however handsome, with really hard edges and major, garish vents.

Having said that, like most Predator gaming laptops, the satan is in the facts. There’s a refined mismatch in coloration and texture among panels that would be far better off matching, these types of as the rear vents and the chassis suitable. I’m not a lover of the keys, possibly, which are a diverse shade of black than the surrounding interior. Specifics like this different the Predator Helios 300 from much more quality possibilities, these kinds of as the Alienware x15 or Razer Blade. 

The Predator Helios 300 has a massive, thick chassis that feels sturdy in most cases. There is extremely tiny flex across the chassis even when keeping it from a solitary corner. That is spectacular for a significant, weighty gaming laptop computer, which the natural way has additional weight to resist. The display lid does enable important flex, while, and appears skinny. It’s enough to make me truly feel leery about inserting significant objects, like textbooks, on best of the laptop computer.

It’s a mix, then, and just one that doesn’t operate in Acer’s favor. The company’s design gains are gradual in coming although new opponents, like Lenovo’s Legion sub-brand, have noticeably enhanced more than just a several several years. That’s not to say the Predator Helios three hundred feels affordable: it doesn’t. But it does fall short to stand out from the crowd. 

Keyboard and trackpad

Acer Predator keyboard and trackpad

IDG / Matthew Smith

Acer matches a significant keyboard with numpad into the Predator Helios 300’s sufficient body. The keyboard is edge-to-edge and runs proper into the numpad, which offers a spacious format. Most keys are comprehensive-sized or near to it. Numpad keys are a bit smaller sized than some others, but it does not experience especially cramped (for a laptop computer numpad, at least). 

The keyboard feels enjoyable but does not stand out from the crowd. Essential come to feel is basically enough and keys base with a sensation that is firm, however not definitive. It lacks a telltale tactile bump or click on to generate residence the sensation of a key reaching its restrict. 

The Predator Helios 300 product I analyzed had a entirely backlit keyboard with for each-critical RGB color customization. Colors and patterns are managed by way of Acer’s PredatorSense application. This design also has a new “light bar” that shines downward from the entrance-bottom of the laptop computer for extra ambiance. It is a bit of a gimmick, to be sure, but I like the appear. 

Whilst the keyboard is big, the touchpad is cramped. It steps significantly less than four inches vast and about 3.25 inches deep. That would really feel modest on a thirteen-inch laptop, nevermind this fifteen.six-inch beast. The tiny touch surface area can make broad, sweeping moves across the desktop uncomfortable. Windows multi-touch gestures, these kinds of as the five-finger pinch used to open up or near all lively windows, need each individual millimeter of the touchpad.

Display screen, audio

Acer Predator display

IDG / Matthew Smith

Acer provides a range of shows for distinctive Predator Helios three hundred versions, but the product I tested had a fifteen.6-inch non-contact exhibit with two,560 x one,440 resolution and a 240Hz refresh amount. It provides regular effectiveness for an IPS Lcd screen, with all the perks and challenges envisioned.

Shade effectiveness is a highlight. The show can manage the total sRGB and DCI-P3 color gamuts, furthermore ninety % of the AdobeRGB coloration gamut. That’s outstanding functionality for any laptop computer screen and, in reality, beats quite a few gaming and experienced screens. The end result is a punchy, colorful impression that seems to be outstanding when exhibiting vivid game titles like Overwatch or Cyberpunk 2077.

The exhibit also has superior, if not exceptional, colour accuracy. Technically talking, its impression is a bit much too awesome and sterile, and also a bit much too dark, but not so much that most homeowners would see a issue. 

Brightness is so-so at a maximum of 324 nits. That is nowhere in close proximity to the Lenovo Legion five Pro, which strike 549 nits, and also at the rear of the Acer Predator Triton 300 SE OLED, which obtained 448 nits. HDR is not supported, both. The Predator Helios 300 positive aspects from a matte display coat, however, which shows far much less glare than a glossy alternative. 

Contrast is the Predator Helios 300’s weak level. I measured a most distinction ratio of only 820:one, which is not a excellent outcome for any modern-day notebook. Even the HP Victus 15, a gaming notebook from time to time marketed for fewer than $600, scored improved in contrast. The Helios 300 lacks depth when as opposed to displays with greater contrast. It also appears to be like hazy and grey in scenes that must show up dark and foreboding. 

Avid gamers might excuse this, on the other hand, when they see the 240Hz display’s motion effectiveness. Fine aspects are preserved in rapidly movement when taking part in at 240Hz, and proceed to search rather sharp down to 120Hz, earning it possible to see subtleties in textures or select up the distant silhouette of a foe. The display screen doesn’t assistance G-Sync, however, so frame pacing and display screen tearing difficulties may perhaps surface.

The Predator Helios 300 has upward-firing speakers previously mentioned the keyboard. They offer strong audio excellent with a direct route to the listener’s ears, although protecting against the audio from starting to be muffled. There is a trace of bass that features a a lot more comprehensive-bodied audio in tunes and games. The speakers typically carry out greater than Lenovo’s Legion 5 Professional, and are on par with the Alienware R15, but really don’t match sound excellent leaders like the MacBook Pro sixteen or Microsoft Floor Notebook Studio.

Webcam, microphone, biometrics

The Predator Helios 300 has a surprisingly great 1080p webcam. It appears to be like apparent and vivid, specially in a place with average to dazzling lighting. It is not as superior as a standalone webcam, like the Logitech C920 collection, but a definite move over a more regular 720p built-in webcam.

Microphone quality is first rate, much too, with fantastic volume and crisp presentation. Qualifications noises will be current if they are loud or intermediate, but minimal, persistent hums are tame or eliminated. 

Biometrics, on the other hand, are missing entirely. There’s no fingerprint reader or IR camera for Home windows Hello there login. This is not uncommon for a gaming notebook, and I question most homeowners will skip their absence. 

Connectivity

Acer Predator ports

IDG / Matthew Smith

Acer spreads the Predator Helios 300’s connectivity throughout 3 of its 4 flanks. The still left aspect hosts USB-A, Ethernet, and a three.5mm headphone jack, when two added USB-A ports are discovered on the suitable. The rear consists of a USB-C port with Electrical power Delivery and DisplayPort Alternate Mode, Mini-DisplayPort, HDMI, and the barrel plug energy adapter. 

This generally functions. I like that the electrical power connector and movie outputs are at the rear, as this makes routing cables to an exterior screen less complicated. It would have been awesome to also see just one or two USB-A ports about back, having said that. Their latest posture would make cable routing complex if you insert a wired mouse and keyboard. 

Wireless aid features the most up-to-date Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth five.2 standards. The existence of Wi-Fi 6E is great as it can, in ideal situations, reach speeds in extra of Gigabit Ethernet (when used with a high quality Wi-Fi 6E router, which can be high priced). That is best when it comes time to down load a significant, hefty patch or a enormous, 100GB+ activity like Overall War: Warhammer III

Functionality

The Acer Predator Helios 300 PH315-55-795C has an Intel Core i7-12700H processor with a total of fourteen cores: six Effectiveness cores and eight Successful cores. It pairs that with 16GB of DDR5 5200MHz RAM and a 1TB Micron 3400 PCIe NVMe sound point out generate.

Acer Predator PCMark

IDG / Matthew Smith

The Predator Helios 300 begins powering the pack with a PCMark ten score of 7,086 which, nevertheless respectable, is behind the aggressive set. This test hints the laptop computer might not be a best performer for basic productiveness. 

With that said, all laptops in this group carry out notably much better than a conventional midrange notebook. The reasonably priced HP Victus 15, for case in point, scored only 5,551 in PCMark 10. 

Acer Predator Cinebench

IDG / Matthew Smith

Cinebench R20 turns in a improved outcome for the Predator Helios 300, which scores a incredibly outstanding six,483. This is technically the finest end result amid the laptop’s competitive established, while the Alienware X15’s rating of six,479 is fundamentally a tie. 

Acer Predator Handbrake

IDG / Matthew Smith

The HandBrake was finished in about twelve minutes, which is certainly among the the fastest results we’ve found from a twelfth-Gen Intel Core laptop so far. It’s remarkable to see the notebook take care of this degree of performance at its default energy profile. 

General outcomes, then, clearly show that processor performance is a toughness. The Acer Predator Helios 300’s Intel Main i7-12700H processor is not the major of Intel’s product or service stack, but it appears to complete just as very well some Core i7-12800H and Main i9-12900H processors in genuine-globe assessments – among this established of competitive laptops, at the very least.

The Predator Helios 300’s graphics overall performance is furnished by Nvidia’s RTX 3070 Ti cell discrete graphics. This is a mighty variant of the RTX 3070 Ti with a utmost graphics ability of a hundred and fifty watts—higher than some competition with RTX 3080 graphics. 

Acer Predator 3DMark

IDG / Matthew Smith

3DMark provides a simply very good outcome of nine,790. This is in essence the similar as the Razer Blade fifteen with RTX 3080, but it falls at the rear of the Lenovo Legion five Professional with RTX 3070, as very well as the Alienware X15 with RTX 3080. A satisfactory result, then, but not an excellent a person. 

Acer Predator Tomb Raider

IDG / Matthew Smith

The Acer recovers in Shadow of the Tomb Raider, on the other hand, with an typical of 141 frames per second at 1080p resolution and Best depth. This ties the Lenovo Legion five Pro for the maximum final result among the the Predator Helios 300’s rivals. The Predator Helios 300 also defeats the two RTX 3080 laptops listed here nevertheless, in the case of the Alienware X15, the margin is not sizeable. 

Acer Predator Metro Exodus

IDG / Matthew Smith

Metro Exodus supplies an even better outcome, achieving an regular of 53 frames for each second at 1080p resolution and Severe element. Which is a terrific result and places the Predator Helios three hundred forward of its competitors. The RTX 3080 solutions after once more drop a tad behind in this activity. 

I also tried out the Predator Helios 300 in numerous other online games. It realized an average of 71 frames per 2nd in Total War: Warhammer III at 1080p resolution and Extremely element. Cyberpunk 2077 was also fulfilling, and I was pleased to locate the match averaged 34 frames for each second at 1080p resolution and Ultra ray-traced options (DLSS was off). That is practically identical to the Lenovo Legion five Pro, which averaged 35 frames per next.

The Predator Helios 300’s efficiency is not extraordinary in all predicaments, but it’s potent additional normally than not and provides in what matters most: game titles. Most titles will very easily exceed 60 frames for every 2nd, and even ray traced titles are playable, albeit at 1080p resolution or with a couple of cutbacks to excellent. 

Battery life

The Acer Predator Helios 300 has an remarkable ninety watt-hour battery. Which is a lot of juice—but the laptop’s powerful hardware can place it to the examination. 

Acer Predator battery life

IDG / Matthew Smith

Our battery daily life rundown exam, which loops a 4K online video file, depleted the battery in four several hours and nine minutes. That’s towards the small stop even for a large, potent fifteen-inch gaming laptop computer, and it’s much short of the battery lifetime needed to endure an eight-hour operate day. Even visits to a nearby coffee store may well depart you with a battery that’s virtually flat by the time you have completed your second cappuccino.

Conclusion

Acer’s most recent Predator Helios 300 is an beautiful selection for players who want a mid-assortment gaming laptop computer that can tackle the latest titles, and even accomplish thirty frames-for each-2nd (or superior) with ray tracing on. The design I analyzed, which retails for $two,099.99, can satisfy or beat extra expensive competition like the Alienware R15 and Razer Blade fifteen. 

Avid gamers should compromise on develop good quality and portability to snag the laptop’s alluring functionality. The Predator Helios three hundred is heavier and thicker than an Alienware R15 or Razer Blade 15, and it does not previous as long on a charge. It also feels and seems less premium irrespective of Acer’s small layout refresh.

The Predator Helios 300 is not impressive, but it’s respectable and very well well worth its price. Avid gamers who almost never journey with their notebook or do not brain its cumbersome body will glimpse earlier the laptop’s constrained portability and take pleasure in its best-notch effectiveness. 

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