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Acer Predator Helios 300 review: A well-rounded gaming laptop during a good price

With a grievous Predator 21 X and neat Predator Triton 700, Acer staked a constrained explain on a high-end market, loading a notebooks with impracticable facilities and a many absolute unstable gaming hardware available. The Acer Predator Helios 300 doesn’t regard itself with illusory bells and whistles. It’s a straightforward, no-nonsense gaming laptop that delivers a lovely volume of crash for your buck, starting during $1,100 on Amazon with a Core i7-7700HQ processor and a GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card.

The Acer Predator Helios 300 isn’t utterly perfect. The arrangement runs dimmer than a rivals, and a storage is cramped. But over those teenager grumbles, this appurtenance checks all a boxes we could ask for in an affordable gaming laptop. It’s even easy to repair!

Acer Predator Helios 300 specs, features, and price

Acer offers a Predator Helios 300 in several configurations travelling both 15.6-inch and 17.3-inch arrangement sizes. We’re reviewing a entry-level 15-inch version. Here’s what’s inside:

  • CPU: Core i7-7700HQ
  • GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 6GB
  • RAM: 16GB DDR4/2400
  • Storage: 256GB M.2 SSD
  • Wireless: 802.11ac Wi-Fi
  • Display: 15.6-inch 1920×1080 60Hz IPS
  • Ports: 2x USB 2.0, 1x USB 3.0, 1x USB 3.1 Type-C, HDMI, SD label reader, ethernet, headphone jack, close slot
  • Weight: 5 pounds, 7.9 ounces, or 7 pounds with appetite brick
  • Dimensions: 15.4 x 10.5 x 1.1 inches
  • Webcam: 720p
  • Price: $1,100

Around this cost range, you’ll routinely find gaming laptops versed with a lesser-powered GeForce GTX 1050 or GTX 1050 Ti graphics card, or a intermediate Core i5 CPU. Not here: The Predator packs a same quad-core Core i7-7700HQ processor found in laptops that cost dual or 3 times more, along with a full-fat 6GB GeForce GTX 1060—no dialed-back Max-Q version here. Despite a affordable price, Acer didn’t skimp on a memory, stocking a Helios 300 with 16GB of DDR4 RAM.

The usually ho-hum hardware? Storage. This entry-level pattern includes an SSD with a meagre 256GB ability that’ll fill adult quick in this epoch of plus-sized games. It’s good and quick in practice, though. Acer offers another pattern that supplements a SSD with a 1TB automatic tough drive, yet during a steep $300 premium. Given how easy it is to moment open a Predator Helios 300—the dull tough expostulate brook is cumulative close by a singular Phillips screw—I’d suggest going a DIY track to supplement some-more storage to a laptop.

acer predator helios 300 3 Dan Masaoka/IDG

The laptop framework includes copiousness of plastic, as you’d design in a gaming cover in this cost range, yet Acer augments it with a sleek, brushed-metal lid and keyboard deck. Two pointed red stripes side a Predator trademark on a lid, ensuring everybody in a coffee emporium knows you’re regulating an Acer. It’s a fingerprint magnet, though. With 5 pounds, 7.9 ounces of heft and a 1.1-inch thickness, a Helios 300 is sincerely compress for a gaming rig. You’ll feel it in your trek yet won’t mangle your spine lugging it around.

acer predator helios 300 2 Dan Masaoka/IDG

The inputs feel gentle and responsive, too. The chiclet-style keys have copiousness of transport and aren’t overly shrill in use. Fetching red backlights enlarge a keyboard and demeanour good opposite a black keys. They can be incited on or off manually, yet not dimmed or customized on a per-key basis. The clickpad-style touchpad handles really uniformly and accurately. I’d have elite dedicated left- and right-click buttons, yet hey, I’m a purist. The Helios 300’s keyboard and touchpad surpass overall.

I wish we could contend a same for a 1920×1080 IPS display. It’s good and pointy with far-reaching observation angles, yet distant too dim. In fact, during 230 nits maximum, it doesn’t even strike a smallest liughtness spin we use for a battery run-down tests, that run during a standardised 250 to 260 nits to copy gentle indoor viewing. Some colors miss cocktail and feel washed-out as a result, generally colourful hues. Don’t get me wrong: The Predator Helios 300’s arrangement is workable overall. It’s usually muted compared to opposition screens.

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