Review: Acer Helios 300 – The Insanely Powerful Predator
Games are becoming more and more realistic than ever! The quality of design for some of the biggest games of the year are so refined and beautiful, that a person can immerse themselves into them without realizing how much time they’ve been playing. That is, until the hardware hiccups and reminds us that we are playing a video game. This is why we need the most powerful computers on the market to keep up with the insane amount of detail. Meet the very powerful Predator Helios 300 Laptop.
The Predator Helios 300 Laptop is an incredible piece of hardware! From COD Warfare to Microsofts Flight Simulator running in Ultra Graphics settings, this machine can handle it! Whether users go for the base model or splurge for the upgrades, Acer’s New Years star performer fulfills. The model specifically being tested here is the PH315-54-760S for reference.
Type of Review
Since most reviewers tend to focus on the internals and elaborated specs contrasting other brands, we like to keep things a little more personal. Don’t get me wrong, these details are important, however the everyday consumer looking to buy a gaming laptop may find it a bit confusing. This overload of geek-benching comparisons lead to frustration and a possible snap purchase at a local electronics store. Many times these quick decisions are made because technology changes daily and the store rep seemed more knowledgeable than the customer. They even go as far as getting another co-worker to agree that it is an amazing product and someone close to them owns it as well. The issue presents itself when the user gets home and the product they purchased doesn’t work like promised. They end up returning it and starting over. This is what we do not like seeing. So the attempt is to express enough information to our readers that can help them reasonably decide to purchase or possibly avoid any specific product. Our team likes to find products that delivers unexpected home runs that we can showcase to the world.
The Predator Helios 300 is a powerful gaming laptop period! Of course, it can handle all the basics for everyday use. This shouldn’t be in question when it comes to a machine made specifically for gaming. The Predator Helios 300 features an 11th Gen Intel Core i7-11800H processor with a dedicated 5.0 GHz Turbo button which can be turned on whenever needed. The base model comes with a 512 solid state drive but can be upgraded to a 1TB SSD and can be configured with 16GB or maxed at 32GB of DDR4 SDRAM. Both memory and storage can be upgraded manually by removing the bottom cover to gain access.
The outlined silver logo on the lid dances with turquoise light as the computer boots up. Its 144Hz monitor gives users a silky-smooth picture and is equipped with an anti-glare coating. Some people may not like the anti-glare coating, because it shows fingerprints easily and colors aren’t exactly accurate for video or photo editing. Personally, having no glare or light reflecting back means not seeing a mirror image in the screen. That to me is a definite plus when it comes to gaming and movies from any angle.
Reasons for an Anti-Glare Screen
- Improved Comfort and Visual Clarity
- No Mirror Reflections
- Better Overall Appearance
- UV Protection
- Advantage in Sports Performance
- Highly Rated for Movies and Gaming
- Reduced Eye Strain
- Easier to Clean
- Less Blue Light Exposure
Browsing Chrome, watching Youtube videos, running Xbox Cloud gaming, all keep the fans at a minimal low rate. When loading graphically intense games, this is when the noise of the fans really kick on. Obviously this is expected and needed, but it is definitely something that had to be mentioned since they are a bit loud. The fans purpose is to maintain constant air flow to keep the internal cards cool. Acer’s onboard software allows users to adjust the fan settings depending on the workload and preferences.
We installed Microsofts Flight Simulator, including all its updates, as our first real test. The settings were all set to High (not Ultra yet) and played for about 2 hours with no noticeable issues. No screen tearing or hardware issues running the game. Obviously, anytime a game needs downloadable content while streaming, it can show some sort of stuttering due to download speeds or connectivity, but the game ran solid.
Changing over to all Ultra settings required a restart of the game. Microsofts Flight Simulator booted up the same speed and the fans did not sound much louder. It’s incredible to see how much more detail the game produces with these added shaders and extra textures. The game went from amazing to WOW! We did notice a few screen tears while flying over the ocean, but couldn’t tell if it was due to the live streaming of weather or actual stutters with the graphics card.
Our team then switched over to Call Of Duty Warfare in the same Ultra settings. The game looks incredible! It runs fluidly and sharp with no hesitation within the hardware. Obviously with all of the COD updates and changes, we know there are bound to be issues. However this gaming laptop definitely does a great job at hiding the possible software problems.
As a fun test, we ran Xbox’s New Forza Horizons cloud streaming game. Although you can see less detail due to the streaming, it still ran surprisingly well and was an enjoyable racing game!
Ports and Layout
Like most laptops, there are a minimal amount of peripherals which cannot be compared to a desktop setup. Manufacturers have to be mindful of keeping laptops slim enough for easy usage, but also have enough ports to be used as a users main PC. The Predator Helios 300 has the following layout. (copied directly from manual)
1 – USB Type C supporting Gen 2 (up to 10 Gbps) DisplayPort over USB Type-C Thunderbolt 4 & USB charging
1 – USB 3.2 Gen 2 (featuring power-off charging)
2 – USB 3.2 Gen 1
1 – HDMI 2.0 w/HDCP support
1 – Mini Display 1.4
1 – Ethernet (RJ-45)
1 – headphone/speaker/ line out 1 – DC-in jack for AC adapter
1 – Kensington lock slot
Rock Solid Gaming Laptop
For those of us that really just want to know how good or bad it is, this laptop is amazing! Coming from a console gamers standpoint, the Predator Helios 300 runs every bit as fast and as well as the new Xbox. It’s portable, easy to configure, and gives off a stealth like appearance. It weighs 5.51 lbs and the screen is bright and beautiful! For those of you who like a unique looking laptop, this is definitely the one you should pick up. The noise of the fans get drowned out after a few minutes of playing, especially if you connect directly to a TV and use a wireless controller. The base model starts at $1,249 and can be found HERE or on Amazon. Once you have the opportunity to test this monster, you will find that it keeps up with whatever is thrown at it, and you will want to take it home!