The field of entry-level gaming laptops is full of fierce competitors: Blades, Predators and Strixes as well as Stealths. Modern graphics chips are now affordable for these machines, and Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1660 Ti GPU provides great value. Acer is known for its powerful laptop, and the Acer Predator Helios 300 (tested price $1,199.99) meets all expectations. If you are looking to save money on a new computer that still has amazing specs like midrange laptops at higher prices this may be perfect for you. In the end, gaming laptops are all about gaming and when it comes to the entry-level segment of this market, Acer’s Helios 300 does a better job than any current competitor. It earns our Editors Choice award for this category.
1. Acer Predator Helios 300
2. Manufacturers Description
3. Performance Analysis
4. Benchmarking, Fram rates and Regulation Methods
5. Metrics of the GPU Model
6. Graphics Processing Features Turnkey Integrated Solutions
7) Thermal performance evaluation 8) Noise level testing 9) All metrics
Table of Contents
- New Best Deals for All Type of Laptop
- Get Huge Discount on Acer Predator Helios 300 in Amazon (Black Friday & Cyber Monday Sales + Deals)
- Entry-Level Pricing Conceals a Powerhouse
- Ports and Configurations
- In to the Testing Ring…
- Productivity and Storage Tests
- Media Processing and Creation Tests
- Synthetic Graphics Tests
- Real-World Gaming Tests
- Battery Rundown Test
- Rival Gaming Laptops? Fear This Predator
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Entry-Level Pricing Conceals a Powerhouse
Acer seems to have avoided the typical, overdone red-and-black color scheme for Helios 300s sleek and modern design.
Not surprisingly, this laptop’s lid features the Predator logo and a gaming aesthetic.
The chassis itself is durable, with a metal lid and keyboard deck that makes it seem more premium. The screen bezels and the bottom are made of plastic, so you lose some durability because it s not as strong material. The dimensions of this ACER are nothing special: It is 14.2 x 0.9 x 10 inches and weighs 5.1 pounds, but despite its thickness, it’s surprisingly lightweight.
-Sarah H Again, for the purchase price: sufficient hardware.
The Helios 300 is not the thinnest or lightest of laptops, nor was it the cheapest. However, when compared to Dell’s G5 15 SE which measures 0.95 by 14.0 by 10.8 inches and weighs 6 pounds, and Lenovo’s Legion Y530 which measures 0.95 by 14. The Acer Predator Helios 300 fit the bill inside our test model and offered a slightly nicer design than the Y530, but because we praised that system for its size, it earns the same accolades. Our Editors Choice among midrange gaming models, the MSI GS65 Stealth measures just 0.69 by 15.1 by 10.2 inches and 4 If you upgrade to the Helios 300 you get a lot of cutting-edge hardware for an extremely fair price.
This is a gaming laptop with slim bezels, but not as slim as those of the latest models. The Helios 300 has some thin side bezels, but the top and bottom are more traditional.
The base-level display on this gaming laptop is average, with 1080p resolution. The high refresh rate makes it ideal for gamers, and the quick response time helps with motion blur. These features will not be as important to those who are not gamers, and the 1080p resolution may prove the best for the graphics chip (more on that below).
The Predator Helios 300’s visual performance ranks roughly as you would expect from an average laptop, and is noticeably improved by a matte finish. As of this price, it’s a win if the screen is not a demerit. The Helios 300 offers a serviceable display with useful features for gaming.
For the physical build, both the keyboard and touchpad are surprisingly good. The keyboard has a good amount of key travel without being too tricky to use, giving it a satisfying feel that makes for an enjoyable typing experience. Our test unit, sold on Amazon, had only blue backlighting as an option. Other models enabled customizable lighting, which could be set by zones for the touchpad-top was constructed with plastic and did not have a rough texture.
This is also where inputting text can become difficult—both from a technical perspective when it comes to spacing The touchpad is quicker and smoother than other laptops in its class, such as the Dell G7 15.
That Dell G7 model, incidentally, is a rival of the Predator Helios 300 s. Even so, a major takeaway is that while the Helios 300 s’ build quality may appear nice on paper and even feels nicer in-hand than that of the budget-feel Dell G7 15 (that’s enabled to be upgraded fairly far without feeling The base Helios 300 offers above average quality at the starting price, so it scales well to accommodate an increased price through customization.
The notebook computer has Acer s PredatorSense software suite, which includes component-temperature monitoring, fan control, and per-game settings profiles. Also included is GPU overclocking, which comes with three presets: Extreme (overclocked), Normal (default clock speeds), and Fast.
A dedicated button above the keyboard summons PredatorSense, but you can also access it through your desktop, too. Similarly, a Turbo button at the top left corner of the computer switches fan speeds between automatic and maximum; this is available in both manual and custom settings using PredatorSense.
Ports and Configurations
The Predator Helios 300 has an assortment of ports, packing a little bit of everything and anything practical. The left flank holds two USB 3.0 ports, an Ethernet jack, and a headset jack. The right side has another USB 3.0 port, a Type-C USB 3.1 connection (which supports both data transfer and power),
There are many configurations of this model available, and identifying last year s version may be necessary. The model reviewed here, which is PH315-52-78VL, is roofed in Acer?s product line of configurations but can be purchased exclusively from Amazon. Other models are available either directly on Acer?s website or through retailers (such as for example Amazon and Newegg).
The Acer Predator Helios 300, which sells for $1,199.99, features a high-performance Intel Core i7-9750H processor and Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti graphics.
The laptop is one of several models in the new lineup: others include varying combinations of components like GeForce RTX 2060 graphics and 512GB storage Acer offers 17-inch versions of their laptop, but these are limited to GeForce RTX 2070 and 32GB of memory.
In to the Testing Ring…
For testing comparisons, I gathered several recent gaming laptops that have an identical price or offer similar performance. These laptops are either designed for the same price point or offer comparable performance, to provide a side-by-side perspective of what you get for your dollar.
Developer: Background story The table below summarizes each system s components.
The newer Lenovo Legion Y530 ought to be better than the last generation edition of itself, but it’s placement here gives some perspective as to what this generational jump can do. The Dell G5 15 SE is another entry-level gaming notebook computer that will show you what a step down in specs and price costs. The MSI GS65 Stealth and Dell G7 15 are midrange gaming laptops, nevertheless these are included to display how the Helios 300 stacks up against more expensive machines.
Productivity and Storage Tests
PCMark 10 and 8 are holistic performance suites that measure a PC’s performance in various workflows. With PCMark 8, we can see the performance of an entire system, examining how the CPU and GPU work in tandem to handle all sorts of tasks. The storage test is specialized for testing mechanical hard drive speeds and whether or not your SSDs are properly configured on a RAID array.
The Helios 300 does more than hold its own when it comes to processing power. It holds the top spot on PCmark 10 and is in the cluster of emails that also share a CPU with midrange laptops, but it still beats out both the 17” Predator and its related cousins.
Still, with margins so slim, there is not much to take away other than these gaming laptops are a lot more than capable of taking care of day-to-day home and office tasks with snap. Both Core i5 systems do lag behind the Core i7 laptops, even though that means a bit less for gaming, consider it if you intend
PCMark 8 email address details are a lot more clustered, as they are all quick SSDs that deliver snappy boot and load times.
Media Processing and Creation Tests
Next are the synthetic benchmarks, namely Maxon’s CPU-focused Cinebench R15. It’s fully threaded to make use of all available cores and threads on the chip. This test stresses the CPU as opposed to the GPU and outputs a proprietary score indicating its suitability for processor-intensive tasks such as rendering videos or photo editing.
We also ran a custom Adobe Photoshop image-editing benchmark. Using an early-on 2018 release of the Creative Cloud version of Photoshop, we apply a number of 10 complex effects to a typical JPEG test image. Before each experiment we record the time it takes to run. By the end, we’ve added up all of the individual times to find out how long each experiment took.
This stresses CPUs, storage devices and RAMs as well as any graphics processor (GPU) – but in fact lifts process speeds for applying filters. (Systems with powerful graphics cards could see an increased boost.)
These demanding media tests additionally demonstrate the difference between Core i5 and Core i7 CPUs, with the latter falling notably behind on Cinebench. The superior multithreading capacities of the Core i7 CPU permit them to higher handle these workloads, thus the results here.
The Acer Predator Helios 300 is perfect for both professional and casual media work with its Core i7-powered performance. Specifically, the 2nd best Cinebench score and the fastest time on Photoshop proved it to be a great device for these tasks. Again, being the second-cheapest machine in this group reflects well.
Synthetic Graphics Tests
Next up: UL’s 3DMark suite. 3D Mark measures relative graphics muscle by rendering sequences of highly detailed, gaming-style 3D graphics that emphasize particles and lighting. We run two different subtests, Sky Diver and Fire Strike, which suit various kinds of systems. Both are DirectX 11 benchmarks, but Sky Diver is better for laptops and midrange PCs, while Fire Strike is best for high-end PCs. The email address details are proprietary scores.
The next chart is another synthetic graphics test, this one from Unigine Corp. Like 3DMark, the Superposition test renders and pans through an in-depth 3D scene and measures the way that system copes. In cases like this, it’s done within the company’s eponymous Unigine engine, which presents another view on
$1,199.99 Predator Helios 300 is great for the price. The 3D tests only made it better before I really dig into it, but there are other notebooks on the market at a similar price that can compete in performance (e.g., GS65 Stealth). The $1,803.99 Dell G7 15 and its own RTX 2060 are the only laptops to outperform it on benchmark tests, but this is limited to just-over-one-grand pricing where there s a big difference between comparable devices like the GTX 1660 Ti at far less cost.
It would be interesting to see if this rings true in actual games.
Real-World Gaming Tests
The synthetic tests in the above section are useful for gauging general 3D aptitude, but full retail video games like Far Cry 5 and Rise of the Tomb Raider are far better at telling you a system’s gaming performance. These test are run in 1080p on both moderate and maximum quality, with graphics set to Normal or High (depending on the game) to get a rough idea of what performance is expected. The benchmarks for Far Cry 5 were done on DirectX 11, and Rise of the Tomb Raider could be transitioned to DX12.
the GeForce GTX 1660 Ti and Helios 300 prove their worth. Running at full settings, these notebooks observe an average of 81 fps (fps) and 90fps on these titles. You’ll be able to play AAA games at above 60fps and take advantage of the 144Hz screen’s fast refresh rate. Additionally, if you’re willing to lower settings or play less demanding competitive multiplayer titles, you can really see what this monitor has to offer.
For instance, Rainbow Six: Siege, a successful multiplayer game of lighter-lift. In the benchmark built into Siege the Helios 300 averaged 165fps topping out the panel refresh rate. Furthermore, in every test, activating the turbo mode has been worth a minimum of few frames (varing by game). The fans do get quite loud forcingl to maximum rpms. Nevertheless, because laptop jeps already hitting its target frame ratesis probably not worth the noise and heat.
This notebook computer falls just one frame behind much pricier P15 on each test, regardless of the roughly $600 price difference. Other features lend to the P15’s markedly higher sticker price, too, but if you are looking for a great deal on power alone, the Helios 300 is one worth watching out for. The Dell G2 15 Touch and G7 15 could be configured with a GTX 1660 Ti, but the GTX 1660 Ti configs that match the Helios 300 cost more.
Elsewhere, the Helios 300 remains ahead of the pricier GS65 Stealth. Compared to that machine, it feels about as fast – while being much slimmer. The Dell G5 15 SE demonstrates how big of a step-down you take in going from a GTX 1660 Ti to a GTX 1650, though it will save some money
The Predator Helios 300 may not be the thinnest or most lightweight design, but it offers more power than other laptops in this price range, and that’s what matters when shopping for a gaming laptop.
Battery Rundown Test
Our battery-life testing is of the utmost importance. After fully charging our laptop, we setup it to power saving mode (instead of balanced or high-performance mode). We also made additional preparations in order to do our unplugged video rundown test.
Result: Best Acers Predator Helios 300 For this test, we loaded a 720p video of the Blender Foundation short film Tears of Steel on loop with display brightness set at 50% and volume turned down to 0%.
Indeed, battery life proves to be this laptop’s Achilles’ heel. Just over three hours of runtime may be the shortest in this group and among the shortest of any gaming notebook in this class we’ve tested lately. The battery only lasts three hours and the heavy use was diminished to less than that, making it not very practical for travel or even just sitting at home.
This is not the most lightweight laptop, but it’s man enough to be carried around for a while. However, its battery life doesn’t make up for this as it lasts just short of three hours before requiring charging. The rest of the laptop can’t compensate for that flaw and you’ll think twice about carrying often since it’s otherwise competent throughout
Rival Gaming Laptops? Fear This Predator
Put simply, the Acer Predator Helios 300 is a exceptional value. The build and design are solidly-built, but it’s the performance which makes this model standout. Thats largely down to the GeForce GTX 1660 Ti itself, and Acer s pricing of this particular model helps make it stand out from others on offer. Alternately, you can upgrade to the 512GB SSD (at $1,449.99), which sates some storage concerns while prolonging battery life.
The Acer Predator Helios 300 is an excellent value in its price range.