REVIEW: The Acer Predator Helios 300 Is Deafeningly Powerful

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Rating
7.5

There really is a lot to love about the Acer Predator Helios 300. It has an amazing display, great customizability and tons of power. However, the squished keyboard layout and horrendous fan volume with Turbo Mode enabled do soil what is otherwise a great machine.

- Stunning Display
- Brilliant Gaming Power
- Customization with PredatorSense
- Reasonable Price
- Great Build Quality

- Disgustingly Loud Fans With Turbo Mode
- Squished Keyboard Due To NumPad
- Flimsy Screen

The Predator Helios 300 is Acer’s top dog gaming laptop, backing up its Greek God moniker with matching power and performance. Updated with a 12th Gen processor and some of the best graphics cards on the market, Acer’s latest gaming titan is set to be a major contender, taking on the likes of Razer, Alienware and MSI.

Whilst a little rough around the edges in some aspects, and even rougher in others, the new and improved Helios 300 is a force of nature capable of taking on even the most demanding games with ease.

First Glance and Feel

First impressions of the Helios 300. Appearance wise I found it a little underwhelming on the outside, and the monitor was a little flimsy at the back where the logo sits. That all changed however once I opened it up, where the rest of the body was solid as a rock and the sharp angles made the device look agile and sleek.

The keyboard uses up every single bit of real estate it can, cramming in a full-sized keyboard and numpad.

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Now don’t get me wrong, I am just as much of a fan of a good numpad as the next guy, but I did find it to be an odd choice for a laptop, a device designed to be small and portable. Straight away when setting up the device, I found myself accidentally hitting the wrong keys, as the whole keyboard has been shifted left to make room for the num pad.

They keyboard itself feels great, whilst not a mechanical, it has a subtle tactile click that is rather pleasant to type and game with.

What the Helios 300 does better than pretty much any of it’s competitors is it’s RGB. Completely customizable with PredatorSense, colours pop against the navy blue body.

Display

The display on the Helios 300 is an absolute gem. Pairing it’s QHD (2560×1440) IPS picture with a rapid fire 165Hz refresh rate and nimble 3ms response time, you’re treated to a tiny slice of gaming heaven with this. Finding the perfect balance between quality and speed isn’t straightforward, but necessary when it comes to games such as DOOM Eternal, where gameplay is fast and needs to be responsive, but is set in a picturesque and detailed world that leaves no guts or gore unturned.

As expected, the Helios 300 excelled in this environment. The foot to the floor gameplay was as rapid and smooth as it should be, whilst the graphic and detailed blood and guts were exactly that – graphic and detailed.

Performance

The Predator Helios 300 can be configured with up to a 12th Gen Intel Core i9 CPU, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti, up to 32GB of DDR5 RAM and 2TB of SSD Storage. The model I tested sat in the middle of the range, sporting a 12th Gen Intel Core i7-12700H, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070Ti GPU, with 16GB of DDR5 and 1TB of storage.

With Doom Eternal, the game ran super smoothly, sitting mostly around the 100 to 140-fps mark (depending on the environment) with all settings on the highest level possible – ‘Ultra Nightmare’. This was an absolute dream to play, gliding around a map at the speed of sound ripping and tearing through demons without even the slightest stutter.

Doom 1 REVIEW: The Acer Predator Helios 300 Is Deafeningly Powerful

The ‘Turbo’ button did exactly what you would think it would and upped the frame rate by about 10. However, as I will touch on later, the frame boost might not be worth the trouble.

Forza: Horizon 5 was a similar story. Starting with a benchmark test with all graphics settings at Extreme, the Acer Predator Helios 300 received a more than respectable 59 fps. Driving around most of the world, frame rates sit considerably higher in the mid-60s, as the test runs a race through a city, requiring more assets to load.

No Turbo REVIEW: The Acer Predator Helios 300 Is Deafeningly Powerful

These are great numbers for a very recent and very graphically demanding driving game, making it more than playable.

Once again, I turned on the Turbo button and ran the benchmark. Fps only jumped up to 64, meaning there was next to no visual difference.

Turbo REVIEW: The Acer Predator Helios 300 Is Deafeningly Powerful

Driving and racing was a dream on the Helios 300, ticking the performance box with flying colours.

Fans and Cooling

Remember how I mentioned the issue with the Turbo button? Well, it’s a big one, and one that would turn me off buying the Helios 300.

It is catastrophically loud. I already was a bit shocked at how loud the standard fan setting was, but the turbo button had me laughing. I simply cannot imagine playing a laptop with fans this loud, it is utterly jarring.

In my review of the Alienware M15 R7, I said that the fans were next level loud. After hearing this monster I take it all back. The Acer Helios 300 is unbearably loud with Turbo on, especially considering how small the frame rate boosts are.

The metal around the top left of the keyboard also became incredibly hot to touch, with and without turbo mode.

Unless you have headphones with industrial hearing protection, the Turbo button is worth just leaving off.

Battery

Gaming laptops aren’t devices you should expect a long battery life on. To me, the only reason a gaming laptop needs a battery is so that it can be taken from place to place or quickly unplugged and plugged back in without turning off.

The Acer Helios 300 has pretty poor battery life, but with powerhouse specs like these, who can blame it. It barely scrapes past the three-hour mark, but to me that isn’t an issue.

PredatorSense

PredatorSense is the devices one stop tuning shop, where you can adjust the clock of your GPU and CPU, fan speed, RGB lighting and more. I really loved PredatorSense, as it was a super simple way for me to tune the Helios 300 to my liking.

Ports and Other Features

The Acer Predator Helios 300 comes with a smorgasbord of ports, making it perfect for connecting to external devices and monitors.

Ports include a DC-IN charger port, a Type-C Thunderbolt 4 port, an HDMI-2.1 port, a Mini DisplayPort 1.4m two USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports, one with PowerOff charging, a K-Lock (Kensington Security Slot), an RJ-45 Ethernet port, a USB3.2 Gen 1 port and a headphone jack.

Options and Pricing

The Acer Predator Helios 300 starts at $3,999, sporting an Intel i7-12700H, a 15.6-inch QHD display, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti GPU, 16GB of RAM and 512GB of SSD storage. Local availability is yet to be revealed.

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Rating
7.5

There really is a lot to love about the Acer Predator Helios 300. It has an amazing display, great customizability and tons of power. However, the squished keyboard layout and horrendous fan volume with Turbo Mode enabled do soil what is otherwise a great machine.

- Stunning Display
- Brilliant Gaming Power
- Customization with PredatorSense
- Reasonable Price
- Great Build Quality

- Disgustingly Loud Fans With Turbo Mode
- Squished Keyboard Due To NumPad
- Flimsy Screen