Gaming Laptops

Acer Predator Helios 300 Laptop Review & Specifications (15 inch, updated April 2018)

The Acer Predator Helios 300 Gaming laptop is one of the most preferred and most powerful budget gaming laptops. It has already been featured as one of our top 4 picks in the list of best gaming laptops under $1000 , but we are going to be doing a detailed review of this gaming laptop today, on public demand 🙂 .

Ofcourse, there have already been a few reviews of this gaming laptop model, but we are trying to do a final, authoritative and updated review once and for all, which talks about all aspects of this laptop model, especially how it handles gaming.

Let’s look at the specifications first.

Screen Size15.6 inches
Max Screen Resolution1920 x 1080 pixels
Processor2.8 - 3.8 GHz Intel Core i7
RAM16 GB
Hard Drive256 GB SSD
Graphics CoprocessorNVIDIA GTX 1060 6 GB
Card DescriptionDedicated
Wireless Type802.11 A/C
Ports1 - USB 3.1 (Type C) port (Gen 1 up to 5 Gbps), 1 - USB 3.0 Port , 2 - USB 2.0 Ports, 1 - HDMI 2.0 Port with HDCP Support
Average Battery Life (in hours)7 hours

With the specifications out of the way, now let’s review the various features of the Acer Predator Helios 300 Gaming Laptop which make it so special. Bear in mind that we’re reviewing the base configuration but higher end configurations are available (higher RAM , Storage) on Amazon for this model.

1. Looks and Exterior of the Acer Predator Helios 300

Predator Helios 300 back view
Acer Predator Helios 300 Front View

Acer Predator Helios 300 Front View

The Acer Predator Helios 300 comes with a sleek aluminium & plastic design exterior. The bottom panel is constructed out of a hard, grainy plastic though. Its exterior is mostly black, but has sharp beveled edges, red accents and embossed stylish looking logo.

The overall design looks a bit similar to Acer’s Aspire VX 15. One can notice two red accent bars running diagonally on each side of the logo. These accent bars are merely plastic decorations and don’t glow. But the Helios 300 is sturdier than the Aspire with its brushed metal lid construction, which provides the lid and the display, more stability. At 5.5 pounds and 15.4 x 10.5 x 1.5 inches, the Predator Helios 300 is a little larger than other mainstream gaming notebooks but still lighter. Overall, sturdy and well styled.

2. Display of Predator Helios 300

The Display is 15.6″ 1080p with an average screen brightness of 226 nits. The brightness is decent and around the category average. The colour isn’t the most accurate with the Delta-E score at 4.7, worse than the average. In terms of sRGB Colour Gamut, at 81%, it surpasses models like the Legion but is lower than the Asus Strix. Although the display is average, it does have HD resolution and does the job.

3. Graphics Handling & Performance of the Acer Helios 300

The Predator Helios 300 comes with a VR-ready Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 GPU which is upgrade-able as well. IN the budget gaming laptop world, this is one of the best graphics card – more advanced than the GTX 1050, 1050Ti. The GPU comes with 6GB dedicated RAM which is above and beyond the 4GB RAM generally provided in the budget gaming laptops. All this makes the laptop extremely responsive, able to handle high settings and render high frame rates. It has perhaps the best Graphics handling configuration in all budget gaming laptops.

4. RAM provided in the Acer Predator Helios 300

A powerhouse of 16 GB DDR4 RAM is provided on this laptop which enables it to multi-task as well as give great performance in gaming. The RAM is up-gradable to 32 GB but even 16 GB should be enough, considering most models in this range come in 8 GB.

5. Processor of the Acer Predator Helios 300

Acer Predator Helios 300 houses the 7th generation Intel Intel Core i7-7700HQ CPU. This is a Quad Core processor with 6M Cache and Turbo speed available to 3.8 GHz. It contains both hyper-threading and virtualisation technologies and has a pretty high 3D Mark score. This makes it one of the best processors for Gaming.

6. Ports & Keyboard of the Predator Helios 300

Let’s look at the ports first. We have an Ethernet jack, a USB Type-C port, HDMI output, a USB 3.0 port and an SD card slot on the left side. A headphone jack and a pair of USB 2.0 ports are located on the right side of the laptop. This is pretty OK, but an extra USB 3.0 port would’ve been better.

Predator Helios 300 another side view
Predator Helios 300 keyboard

Keyboard: The keys are well spaced and comfortable to type with, and the bumpy actuation is satisfying. The keycaps feature white text, with the WASD keys containing red text and borders. The keycap text is translucent so that the red back-lighting shines through when the system is powered. Overall pretty standard.
The keys have 1.6 mm of vertical travel, so they don’t feel like bottoming out. And they do need a bit of pressure which is good in a way, giving a gaming console feel.

7. Storage options in the Acer Predator Helios 300

The default storage comes as 256 GB SSD storage in the Acer Helios 300. An SSD provides for higher speed for graphic rendering, is quicker in booting up, r/w operations; and is quieter than normal HDD’s. Predator Helios 300 also provides storage bay for installation of a secondary HDD, or even SSD if so required. Installation kits can be requested from Acer support if needed.

8. Audio Quality of the Helios 300

Acer’s Helios 300 provides decent audio quality through Dolby Atmos support and its TrueHarmony speakers. Although it lacks sub-woofer, the stereo sound is quite good, especially with headphones. This makes the gaming experience immersive and realistic. It has a Dolby Audio app offering a series of profiles such as: Music, Movie and Game modes.

9. Battery & Cooling in the Acer Predator Helios 300

For cooling, it has the AeroBlade-3D cooling fans to count on. The Helios 300 has a large heatsink for the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 and a smaller heat-sink for the Intel Core i7-7700HQ. A good Cooling system is crucial for a budget gaming laptop and the Predator Helios 300 does not disappoint. When you are not gaming, the laptop stays nice and cool. Things do heat up when you start playing – example when playing Watch Dogs 2, Watch Dogs 2, it reached around 85°C on the CPU and 74°C on the GPU. But this is well within the tolerances of these parts. Moreover the fans are not very noisy and using their PredatorSense software you can also play around with fan speeds and many other settings.

10. Software, Drivers & Other Aspects of the Acer Predator Helios 300

The Helios 300 comes bundled with Windows Home 10 which is the default OS for Home use. It also provides the PredatorSense software for fine tuning fan speed, other gaming settings. There is some bloatware bundled as well such as Facebook, Candy Crush etc. but nothing to be worried about.
This may change from time to time, but it appears that currently the Helios 300 offers 2 year warranty which is clearly a big plus.

11. Price & Value of the Acer Predator Helios 300

Last but not the least, let’s talk about the price and this is really the thing which makes this laptop special. the Acer Predator Helios 300 retails just about the $1000 mark and is likely to be available under that on Amazon etc. , especially with seasonal offers. So you are getting something pretty exceptional considering the price you are getting it at.

How the Acer Predator Helios 300 measures up as a Gaming Laptop ?

Overall, the Acer Predator Helios 300 stacks up pretty well as a Gaming Laptop and the best thing going for it is it’s pricing. At the $1000 mark, it has pretty decent specifications and delivers impressive benchmarks. Reviews on shopping sites such as Amazon show generally satisfied customers. This makes it one of the top 3 budget gaming laptops to consider in our opinion.

So let’s look at the Benchmarks.

Benchmarks of the Acer Predator Helios 300

How does the Acer Predator Helios 300 fare in benchmarks ?
– Brightness – 226 nits
– Colour Accuracy – 4.7
– Colour Gamut – 81% of sRGB
– Battery (Browsing on Wifi continuously) – Almost 7 hours.
– GeekBench 4 – Scored 13,587
– 3D Mark Fire Strike (Measures Gaming GPU, video Handling): 9910. [Above similar or many higher end laptops ]
Gaming Performance
GTA V (1920 x 1080 on Very High) – 49fps
Hitman (1920 x 1080 on Ultra with DirectX 12) – 64fps
Rise of the Tomb Raider (1920 x 1080 on Very High) – 67fps
(All of these are at the higher end compared to similar or even higher end laptops)

How the Acer Predator Helios 300 measures up as a Multi-use Laptop ?

With a 2.8-GHz Intel Core i7-7700HQ CPU (boost speed to 3.8 GHz), 16GB of RAM, 256 GB High speed SSD for I/O operations and data transfers, this is great in terms of performance and opening lots and lots of windows, while doing video editing etc. work. The look, keyboard, specs and everything else of-course screams gaming but that doesn’t mean it can’t be used for home and office use. Even the battery life is pretty decent.
The only weakness could probably be the lack of HDD storage but you can surely install one if needed.

Verdict of our Review of the Predator Helios 300

In terms of value, its probably in the top 2-3 budget gaming laptops in our list. The specs aren’t perfect but for the price, they are pretty close to as good as it can get. If you’re looking to buy a gaming laptop around the $1000 price range, do include the Predator Helios 300 in your shortlist.

Want to see more options as well ?
You can check out the complete range of Best Gaming Laptops under $1000 (updated for 2018) if you wish. There we have already shortlisted the Helios 300 and 4 other top budget Gaming Laptops in our opinion.

2 Comments

  1. Jeremy April 19, 2018
  2. Sam Sethi April 22, 2018

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