For the past couple of years, the Predator Helios 300 laptop series of Acer is one of its best sellers on the gaming stage. And quite honestly, it provided probably the best bang for the buck of almost any gaming laptop out there, regardless of the manufacturer.
With the PH315-53, Acer is introducing the 10th Generation Comet Lake-H processors and offers it with the familiar GeForce graphics cards. By the way, last year’s device was able to win our Editor’s choice award with its great performance, quality of build, and cooling capability. However, we still had something to say against it, especially since it lacked an SD card reader and Thunderbolt 3 support. Apart from the obvious hardware, this notebook comes with Ethernet and Wireless adapters from Killer, providing its users with the latest Wi-Fi 6 standards and low latency.
Acer recently announced an update to the Helios 300 that bumps up some of its most important specs, including the display, graphics, and the processor. The result should be better gaming performance at the same affordable price.
The Acer Predator Helios 300 hasn’t changed its design this year. It’s still a somewhat bulky 15.6-inch gaming laptop, coming in a standard black finish with blue accents. It weighs 5.3 pounds and is 0.9-inches thick.
While it’s a bit thick, its build quality is strong. There’s little flex in the chassis or the lid. It feels sturdy and well-built to hold or carry.
Where gaming brands like Asus and Razer have transitioned to a more minimalist aesthetic, the Helios 300 maintains Predator’s old-school gaming design. The backside sports some aggressive silver vents, and the lid has an angular design. It’s nothing obscene, but it’s clearly built to call attention to itself.
Acer has trimmed the bezels a bit in the past couple of years, however. While the top and bottom bezels are still thick, the side bezels are slim enough to provide a more modern feel.
Display- The Best Part Of The Laptop.
he new Acer Predator Helios 300 upgrades from a 144Hz refresh rate to 240Hz. The faster refresh rate is useful for fast-paced online games, whether you play Counter-Strike:Global Offence or Overwatch. While 240 frames per second might sound out of the league of laptop gaming, players who enjoy highly competitive games are often willing to lower settings for better performance. You can still opt for the 144Hz screen, however, which comes in the base $1,200 model.
The screen also has a 3ms response time, which provides fast and fluid input. The Helios 300 does not support G-sync, however, so you might see frame-tearing, an ugly visual artifact that occurs when a game’s framerate doesn’t line up with a display’s refresh rate.
The screen has 1080p resolution and uses IPS technology. It has a blue-ish tint, though the screen handled the dark shadows of Battlefield V quite well. It’s not the brightest or most colorful screen in the world, but it doesn’t stand out as poor, either. That’s good. Budget gaming laptops with high refresh rates sometimes push visual quality .
Performance And Configuration
The Helios 300 does upgrade from Intel’s ninth-generation chips to 10th-gen chips. These are Intel’s Core i7 H-series – 45-watt CPUs with up to six cores and 16 threads.
My pre-production unit of the Helios 300 also came with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q. Note this isn’t the RTX-2070 Super Graphics that recently launched, but instead the previous generation.
I wasn’t yet able to test the pre-production system in benchmarks, but I booted up a game of Battlefield V and experienced some deliciously smooth gameplay. The RTX 2070 Max-Q has proven a solid mid-range laptop graphics chip in other systems we’ve reviewed that equip it, and I doubt that’ll prove different here.
My configuration also came with 32GB of RAM and a 2TB SSD. The system includes an extra PCIe NVMe SSD slot in RAID 0 configuration for future upgrades.
The base configuration comes with an Nvidia RTX 2060, 16GB of RAM, and a 512GB SSD. The previous Helios 300 started with just a GTX 1660 Ti, so the new base model a substantial upgrade to game performance for the same price. That’s important. My decked-out review unit had all the tricks, but the base model is the one most people will buy.
Unlike many affordable gaming laptops, the Predator Helios 300 has a great keyboard and touchpad. The touchpad, in particular, is surprisingly good. It has a quiet click mechanism and quick, responsive tracking. The chamfered aluminum edge surrounding the touchpad adds some panache to the look of the gaming laptop.
The keyboard keeps things simple. It offers a standard layout with only a single Turbo button at the top. There’s no macro keys to program, though Acer does include a number pad to the right of the device. Its RGB backlighting is handled by Acer’s PredatorSense software, which is offered in a four-zone setup.
Unlike Asus’ recent ROG gaming laptops, the Predator Helios 300 does include a 720p webcam above the screen. It does not support Windows Hello login, though, in the form of a fingerprint reader or an IR camera.
Acer Predator Helios 300 review: Excellent gaming performance at the push of a button. With its overclockable graphics chip and 144Hz display, the Helios 300 is built for a great gaming experience — all at a reasonable price. Acer’s Predator Helios 300 has power to spare for gamers on a budget.