Many companies have entered the arena of Gaming Laptops and battled each other out with their offerings at different levels. Acer is no stranger and has been displaying its fiercest predators in the field. Today we are going to take a deep dive at Acer Predator Helios 300 (2019 Edition). It has managed to please many audiences/users and has climbed to the top of its rank. The successor to its previous model, this machine is no joke and looking at its price it nearly dominates its opponents with the specs packed inside. Acer is a renowned brand in the laptop market with its business and gaming lineup, and this device breaks all expectations looking at its performance. No wonder it is the best Entry-Level Gaming Laptop.
The Helios 300 ships with the black and teal color scheme. The device has a matte black finish attracting fingerprints on the keyboard deck and the lid. The body is sturdy with a metal lid and keyboard deck though screen bezel and back-plate made from plastic. The device overall looks like a standard laptop housing 2.286 by 36.068 by 25.4 cm (HWD) dimension.
Trimming bezels on the edge of display gives it an overall sleek and slim looking display. The top and bottom screen bezels are significant, as the top bezel houses the 720p webcam, which is average and the bottom has the predator logo. The bezels nestle a 15.6-inch 1920*1080p display with a 144hz refresh rate and 3ms response rate. It’s the best looking 1080p display at this price point. Acer has just raised the expectation for the gaming display for the entry-level gaming laptop.
Compared to its predecessor (Acer Predator Helios 300 2018), typing on the keyboard feels good with lesser travel distance, back-lighting (RGB back-light in the higher-end model). Identical to Acer Nitro 5 but the track-pad has improved a lot. It’s made of plastic and uses the windows precision driver, which is a slight bit better than its predecessor. The keyboard deck has some small flex, but it shouldn’t be noticeable.
Looking at the I/O selection, Acer has gone with the same route as its predecessor 3xUSB 3.0, Gigabit Ethernet, Kensington Lock, Combined headphone jack, Mini Display port, HDMI port, and USB type C port. Lack of thunderbolt three-port and SD card reader might be its downfall. A Turbo button included in the top of the keyboard for giving the laptop an extra edge on performance. The laptop ships with a 180W power-brick for charging and powering the internals. Overall the laptop looks clean and pleases every gamer on the market looking for a gaming laptop.
UNDER THE HOOD:
Looking further inside, its equipped with the latest 9th Gen Intel Core i7 – 9750H Hexa-Core Processor clocked at 2.60Ghz paired with NVIDIA’s latest GTX 1660ti. It can easily handle the most recent games at 1080p 60FPS at medium-high settings. Storage expandability for this laptop on this laptop looks like a win-win situation as it has 2xNVMe ports and 2.5inch HDD bay. The Package includes an SSD adapter bracket if you want to add a 2.5inch SSD in the laptop. The device ships in various configurations, RAM can be configured from 8gb to 32gb. Plus, the higher-end models also offer higher graphics card upgrade to NVIDIA RTX 2070 MAX-Q.
This impressive hardware comes with 2 Aero Blade Fans for cooling purposes. Unlike the predecessor, the CPU and GPU get their separate cooling fans and copper heat pipe to radiate heat. The heat is exhausted by four metals fins located at the side and the back of the laptop. It’s a vast improvement as the CPU and GPU get their independent cooling fan. On the old model, CPU and GPU shared the same copper pipe to exchange heat, causing the temps to reach 90C on gaming. Powered by a 58WH four-cell battery, lasts 4hrs while surfing the internet and 1hrs 30mins while gaming. Connectivity is handled by the Killer Wireless adapter 802.11ac WIFI adapter and supports Bluetooth 5.0. Speakers located at the bottom of the laptop; the quality is average and needs a lot of improvement. Overall the laptop holds big hardware under a small chassis with future upgradability.
Acer Helios 300 is no stranger to this department as it performs better than what it’s competitors are selling and outperforms its older brother (Helios 300 2018 Version). The laptop is under-clocked -.125v from the factory, as it improves the thermals without compromising on the performance. We will be comparing the Acer Helios 300 (2019) with Acer Helios 300 (2018).
The Thermals have improved from the last generation. Under Load, there is quite a vast improvement due to the new thermal design and under-clocking of the CPU. The highest it reached during the test was 90 Degree for the CPU and 70 Degree for the GPU.
Benchmark score also reveals improvements in the new generation due to the new hardware packed inside it. The new Helios 300 beats the old Helios 300 by a huge margin and looks like Acer has done some great work on configuring the laptop. The Helios 300 2019 surpasses the old Helios 300 2018 in every game thrown at it. There is no need to describe as the charts show how the new Helios 300 2019 dominates its older brother.
The Laptop base model starts at $1200 (Price may vary according to region). Looking at the previous pricing and availability the Helios 300 2019 will be priced at Nrs. 170,000. Acer also offers other configurations on this laptop ranging its price to $2500. Buyers can configure their laptops at the Acer website or buy the pre-configured laptop online or at their local retailers.
VERDICT AND RECOMMENDATION:
She looks gorgeous, but looks can be deceiving as she packs in some heft of performance. She tops her class and beats most of her competitors.
Acer has improved a lot on this device and has pleased us all with an overall best performer. Not only the thermals but extra M.2 NVMe slot, easier upgrade, improved looks, gaming experience, are great, the only downside for this device is lack of thunderbolt 3 port and an SD card reader.
Looking at the specs, the single laptop which stands neck to neck is the Legion Y540, Lenovo’s answer to Acer. They trade blows in gaming and workload aspect, but Acer wins as the upgradability and software experience gives it a higher edge than Legion Y540. If questioned about which laptop to buy, the Acer Predator Helios 300 gets a recommendation from us.