THE ACER PREDATOR HELIOS 300 review | The Best Gaming Laptop

This image shows the Acer Predator Helios 300.

Acer Predator 300: Description

All gamers will benefit from Acer gaming laptops‘ superior performance. The Predator gaming PCs and accessories are designed for ordinary gamers that want powerful hardware that can withstand daily use and overclocking. The latest 11th Generation Intel Core i7 CPU powers the Acer Predator Helios 300 PH315-54, providing power, speed, and intelligent processing when you need it most. The award-winning Ampere architecture powers the new NVIDIA GeForce 30 Series graphics card, which has new Ray Tracing cores, Tensor cores, and streaming multiprocessors for realistic graphics.

For high-octane games, the extraordinarily fast 144Hz refresh rate will keep up with your stunning Full HD graphics. When playing online, Intel Killer DoubleShot Pro allows your Predator laptop to use both Ethernet and Wi-Fi at the same time, keeping you connected to your match or chatroom.

This Predator gaming notebook also has hardware that can keep up with the high internal specifications. Our 5th Generation AeroBlade 3D Fan uses wind-guiding Vortex Flow to enhance airflow and cooling from intake to exhaust, ensuring that your computer stays cool no matter what you’re doing.

With see-through concave-shaped WASD keycaps and specific keys for Turbo overclocking and PredatorSense, our customized keyboard stands out. PredatorSense is the perfect tool for customizing and controlling your gaming laptop, including overclocking, fan speed, game profiles, and more.

What We Enjoy

For The Price, It Is The Best Gaming Laptop

We found the Acer Predator Helios 300 to be a good choice for 1080p gaming. In most of the games we tried, it topped 60 frames per second, and in many cases, it was much above that level.

Our test setup included an Nvidia RTX 3060 dedicated graphics card with 6GB of GDDR6 VRAM and a power draw of up to 105 watts. Because the RTX 3060’s maximum GPU power is 115 watts, the Helios 300 comes close to matching the RTX 3060’s performance.

In Shadow of the Tomb Raider at 1080p resolution and highest graphics settings, the Nvidia RTX 3060 averaged 94 frames per second. In Total War: Warhammer II, it averaged 85 frames per second at 1080p on the highest graphics settings.

The laptop was pushed to its limits by Control, the most demanding game in our test suite. With ray-tracing enabled on the High setting, the game averaged 38 frames per second at the same graphics settings and resolution. It was enjoyable to play, but not perfect. Gamers who want the best ray-tracing performance will have to spend more money on a laptop.

Nonetheless, the Acer Predator Helios 300 is more than capable of handling recent games. The most demanding games, such as Control, will not achieve 60 frames per second at their top settings, but the great majority of games will. Gamers who want to play popular games like Grand Theft Auto V, Call of Duty, or Valorant on the maximum settings will have a smooth experience.

It’s a fantastic processor for both business and enjoyment.

bEst gaming laptop

There are no surprises with Intel’s new Core i7-11800H. It’s quicker than previous 10th-generation hardware, but it’s on par with AMD’s rivals. We were most impressed with Acer’s cost rather than Intel’s performance.

The architecture of the processor does not differ significantly from that of 10th-generation Intel Core processors, yet the Core i7-11800H is a powerhouse. That’s the same as the Asus ROG Strix G15 and a second faster than the Lenovo Legion 5 Pro, and Gen 6, all of which used AMD Ryzen 5000 CPUs. Because the Helios 300 is the cheapest of the three, it gives you the most bang for your cash.

In terms of raw performance, the Helios 300 achieved a Geekbench 5 single-core score of 1513 and a multi-core score of 7971, which is faster than the Asus and Lenovo laptops we discussed earlier. The Lenovo Legion 5 Pro, for example, scored marginally lower than the Acer when tested with an AMD Ryzen 7 5700H processor.

It scored 1472 in single-core Geekbench 5 and 7477 in multi-core Geekbench 5. Other benchmarks, such as Cinebench and the Basemark browser benchmark, were won by AMD-powered Lenovo. In practice, this means the Helios 300 will complete some things faster, but you won’t notice a difference unless you time how long they take.

The Helios 300’s numbers are among the most impressive we’ve seen from recent Intel laptops. Only the MSI GE76 Raider, a more expensive laptop with a Core i9-11980H processor, had a higher score. In Geekbench 5, it scored 1632 in the single-core test and 9118 in the multi-core test. The Helio 300’s performance demonstrates that it’s not only a fast gaming laptop, but also a reliable budget workstation for content makers, developers, and digital artists.

What we don’t care for

Acer’s design might be improved.

The Acer Predator Helios 300 provides excellent performance for a reasonable price, but at the cost of the laptop’s overall design and feel. Although the Helios 300 isn’t cheap or flimsy, it does appear to be outdated. Acer has been using the same chassis for a few years and it’s time for a change. For example, Lenovo’s Legion 5 Pro Gen 6 has lower display bezels that make the laptop look more modern while also minimizing its total footprint.

The interior of the laptop is dominated by a keyboard with a Numpad. The existence of a Numpad leads the keyboard to be displaced to the left, despite the spacious layout. This design choice bothers me since it compels your wrists to adopt an uncomfortable position. The keyboard has RGB backlighting, but you can only change the colors across four zones, not each key.

When touch-typing at high speeds, the key feel is mushy and ambiguous, giving little confidence. When rapidly tapping the same button, the keys also lack a snappy, sharp feel. This might be aggravating in fast-paced games where just a few keys are used.

Most competitors have minor touches that the Helios 300 lacks. The display bezels are three-eighths of an inch thick on each side and about an inch and a half thick on the bottom. In low-cost Helios 300 configurations, such as our test laptop, we can forgive despite these flaws, Acer sells more costly Helios 300 models with the same chassis. The attraction of Helios 300 models that cost more than $1,500 is diminished as a result.

The battery life isn’t very good

The battery in our test arrangement was 59 watt-hours. This is a little battery for a gaming laptop, and it only lasted a few hours in our tests. In our regular benchmark, which loops a variety of websites to replicate everyday web browsing, we recorded three hours and 46 minutes of endurance.

The real-world use was much less impressive. Even a couple of hours of light use might deplete the battery by 70 to 80 percent. The bright display, we believe, is to blame. The display is calibrated to a brightness of 200 nits in our benchmark, but we prefer to use it at about 75% of its maximum brightness, which is just north of 300 nits. A brighter display is more enjoyable to use, but it quickly depletes the battery.

Whereas the Acer Predator Helios 300’s battery life isn’t particularly long, it’s typical of a mid-range gaming laptop. Gamers who want more battery life might consider the Razer Blade 15 Advanced or the Rog Strix G15, which are both more expensive. These alternatives come with larger batteries that can last a few hours longer.

Should you buy it?

Yes, the Acer Predator Helios 300 is a budget-friendly desktop choice.

Over the last two years, we’ve looked at a variety of Acer Predator Helios 300 setups. The price has a significant impact on our evaluation of the laptop. The keyboard, hefty design, and poor battery life of the Predator Helios 300 don’t hold up in more expensive configurations. Fortunately for Acer, the configuration we used for this review was reasonably priced.

It has a starting price of $1,199, which is extremely low for a laptop with an Intel Core i7-11800H processor and Nvidia RTX 3060 graphics card. There aren’t many similarly configured laptops in its class that can compete at that price.

The Acer Predator Helios 300 laptop is a great desktop replacement for gamers and content creators. Its price is cheap enough to compete with desktops, yet it has enough cable connectivity to attach a display and wired peripherals. The laptop’s bulky design and short battery life limit its portability, but this is less of a problem if you just use it occasionally.

This highlights the peculiar status of PC gaming gear in 2021: supply restrictions have resulted in high costs and infrequent availability. Buying a laptop as a desktop replacement in a regular year would entail paying a premium for subpar performance. The Helios 300 demonstrates that, in the weird year of 2021, a big laptop might be the best option.