The name Predator Helios conjures images of an action-packed, high on sci-fi action game. And that’s exactly what the experts at Acer were gunning for. Acer gaming series has a new name added to its ranks called Predator Helios 300. This was launched few weeks ago in India and we got our hands on the 15.6-inch version. We ran our usual tests on it and found out some great pros and a few cons.
Out of the box the Acer Predator Helios 300 looks a lot like the Acer Predator 17, but slimmer and lighter. Wrapped in brushed metal chassis, the top lid has the predator logo along with striking red streaks. Flip it open and you are greeted by a large backlit keyboard with a separate numeric pad and a large trackpad. The placement of the trackpad is towards the left, which at times does come in the way (when you game). So, our suggestion is to turn it off when gaming.
Yes, the keyboard is spacious, however we did not love the keys’ tactile feel. The keys are slightly thin and do take a bit of getting used to, especially when you are accustomed to mechanical keyboards. The usual array of multimedia and function keys are available here as well (on top), except for volume and brightness options. Instead, these are placed on the arrow keys at the bottom.
One USB 3.0, Ethernet, HDMI, SD Card slot and mini-USB ports are placed on the left side of Acer Predator Helios 300 laptop. While 2 USB, audio and power ports are available on the right. The front has dual front firing speakers, while the rear has air vents again dressed in striking red colour.
While most of us are waiting for the 8th generation of the Intel Core CPUs to make an appearance on laptops, all the current gaming notebooks have been fitted with 7th generation of Intel Core processors. Acer Predator Helios 300 carries 7th generation Intel Core I7 Quad-core CPU (7700 HQ) with clock speed of 2.8 GHz. With it Acer supplies 16 GB DDR4 RAM, 1 TB HDD + 256 GB SSD as storage and a dedicated NVIDIA GeForce 1060 (with 6 GB memory) graphic card.
The combo makes up for a mean configuration, which every gamer would want to get their hands on. We put it to test, to find out how it faired. On PC Mark 8 Home Accelerated assessment it scored a nice 3,770 points and on 3D Mark Sky Diver tests it scored 23,599 points. Both put this laptop in the higher end of gaming notebooks.
To qualitatively evaluate the performance, we ran popular games like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, DOTA 2 and CS GO on it. What we saw were crisp graphics, exceptional frame rates and literally burning performance. Yes, it is so hot that the machine will burn your fingers. To keep the form factor thin, the graphic and other heat syncs are quite close to the top part of the shell (from the inside). This makes the upper part of the laptop extremely hot when in use; especially the keys from T to O and the numeric/function keys above them. Our suggestion is to turn on the air conditioner if you are planning to game for long.
Coming to the program side, Acer Predator Helios 300 comes with 64-bit Windows 10 Home edition out of the box. There is no bloatware and we did not find the initial setting up process hard. In a matter of few clicks we were up and ready to play our favourite games on this machine. Sound is nice as well. Supported by Dolby, the game and multimedia experience was amazing.