Acer Predator Helios 300 Gaming Laptop Review

The Acer Predator Helios 300 gaming laptop features a seventh generation Intel quad-core processor and a high-end NVIDIA GPU for ultra-smooth gaming performance.

Acer Predator Helios 300 Review

Features

Intel Core i7-7700HQ processor

The Intel Core i7-7700HQ is a 7th generation processor form Intel featuring Kaby Lake microarchitecture. Acer Predator Helios 300 sideIt’s a quad core processor with eight threads, and a 6MB cache. Processor base frequency is 2.80GHz while max turbo frequency is 3.80GHz. The processor graphics are Intel HD Graphics 630, and offers 4K support at 60GHz for smooth ultra-high definition quality. The i7-7700HQ can also support three monitors for next-level multitasking, making it a great processor for the Acer Predator Helios 300, so that gamers can take full advantage of these awesome specs.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 dedicated graphics

The Helios 300’s dedicated NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 graphics with Pascal architecture is a force to be reckoned with, delivering three times the power of previous generation GPUs. Pascal is lauded as the most advanced graphics architecture, period; you can expect Pascal-powered GPUs to be more power-efficient, VR-ready, and above all, smooth, visually breathtaking and reliable—the gamer’s dream GPU, essentially. Novel features unique to pascal include 360-degree image capturing, for a whole new experience. The GeForce GTX 1060 features a 6GB GDDR5 frame buffer and a memory speed of 8Gbps.

16GB DDR4 RAM

The Predator Helios 300 from Acer comes complete with 16GB DDR4 RAM. DDR4 provides a big improvement in both power usage and speed compared to DDR3/DDR3L. Meanwhile, 16GB is more than enough RAM to play today’s latest games on ultra settings. Thanks to the i7-7700HQ processor, and additional memory slots, you can always upgrade your memory later if futureproofing is a concern. (As of 2017, many experts and seasoned gamers still think 16GB is plenty and jacking up your RAM to a full 64GB is overkill—but you could still do it, which many find a comfort.)

256GB SSD storage

The Acer Predator Helios 300 uses 100% SSD storage.

For those unfamiliar with SSD, think of it as a bunch of flash drives, except they function as a true and awesome replacement for your hard drive. Acer Predator Helios 300 left sideSSD is a lot faster than traditional HDD; furthermore, it’s a lot sturdier physically in terms of build, so you’re less likely to get random crashes from typical wear and tear. While those used to HDD are used to storage being measured in terabytes, SSD is a newer technology and comparatively expensive. Therefore, SSD tends to hold less than HDD to keep it affordable. That said, with more and more people storing their most important stuff in the cloud, having less gigabytes of storage isn’t that big of a deal these days. And there is some good news for HDD lovers (or just those who need more onboard storage): The Helios 300 comes with an empty socket so you can install your own HDD, if you want to, though, again, it’s not necessary since you have a fully functional SSD.

Improved cooling

One of the biggest worries for gamers when it comes to the health of their gaming laptop is easily keeping it cool. The Helios 300 features a custom-built dual-fan cooling system designed explicitly for this laptop to optimize gaming performance. With a robust cooling system like this, folks who like it frosty won’t have to do much custom cooling, saving time and money.

First impression

First off, I gotta say, I’m really digging the look of the Predator Helios 300. It’s got its own unique style. Acer Predator Helios 300 keyboardThere are a lot of black laptops with red accents, but the unique lines of this model with the placement choices of the red accents, including the red backlit keyboard are really what makes this laptop stand out visually.

A for visuals, you can’t beat GTX 1060 graphics for the money. You get the benefits of Pascal architecture, VR-readiness and graphics that have depth, vigor and feel and look like they were meant to—especially when you ramp up the settings to Ultra. And on that note, the Helios 300 handles Ultra settings really well, thanks to having an ace of a GPU combined with the Intel Core i7-7700HQ processor, which play really well together. There’s no lag. The performance is remarkably smooth, even when you’re just running off the battery. And that’s something you don’t see very often, because running off battery can really slow things down. However, with the GPU boost compensating for that, plus other features of this Acer build in general, it’s just not a problem. In fact, I nearly got the full 7 hours of battery life as promised. I didn’t time it exactly, but judging by the hour hand on the clock, it was definitely close—and that was with varying degrees of gameplay intensity, but it was nice to actually test a laptop that lives up to its battery hype.

Warranty

The Acer Predator Helios 300 is supported by a 1-year warranty on quality and hardware and a 90-day warranty on software.

Final verdict

The Predator Helios 300 from Acer is a gem of a gaming laptop, providing everything a gamer needs to take their skills to the next level, including great graphics that make it feel all worthwhile—highly recommend.

Positives
  • Intel Core i7-7700HQ processor with Kaby Lake microarchitecture
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 dedicated graphics with Pascal architecture
  • Up to 7 hours of battery life for marathon gaming
  • 256GB SSD storage
  • 16GB DDR4 RAM
  • Tailored dual-fan cooling system for superior temperature control
  • Masculine angled lines and red accents for ultracool aesthetics
  • Textured black metal chassis
  • Black keyboard with red backlighting
  • 6-inch screen
  • 1920 x 1080 resolution
  • Windows 10 Home operating system

Negatives
  • There is no HDD storage included with the Acer Predator Helios 300. While some may view that as a good thing, since SSD is faster and less delicate, there are those who would still like the option of an additional HDD storage drive. The good news is HDD brackets are included, so you can add your own hard drive to create your own custom hybrid storage—the best of both worlds.Acer Predator Helios 300 review

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