2019 Acer Predator Helios 300 Gaming Laptop Review (PH315-52-78VL) - A great gaming machine
Our review of the Acer 2019 Predator Helios 300 Gaming Laptop won't leave you feeling surprised when we tell you this is a great gaming machine that will allow you to play most modern games at high settings. The Acer Predator brand has been a competitive gaming laptop for years since it first came out and the 2019 edition offers plenty of improvements over the 2018 version. Is it worth the better part of a grand and how well can it play games compared to other laptops in the market? Let's dive in and find out!
Review Of 2019 Acer Predator Helios 300 Gaming Laptop
- Acer Predator Helios 300 Screen
- Helios 300 Design and Feel
- Helios 300 Performance Review
- Every Day Use With The Acer Predator
Acer Predator Helios 300 Screen
We start our review with the screen of this gaming laptop. The Helios 300 gives you a big 15.6 inch screen and has a Full HD resolution of 1920 x 1080 (games which offer 4K options are becoming more popular but this laptop really doesn't have the hardware to push it beyond HD). The screen is an IPS LED for high-quality visuals and offers an incredible high 144hz refresh rate, perfect for running games that require great response rates like Fortnite and Call Of Duty.
If we get into the technicle details, this LED powered screen has a 300nit Brightness score, which is about what you want from a gaming laptop. In comparison, a Macbook Pro 2018 model offers 400 nit brightness but you're obviously going to have to pay extra for that amount and lose out on the processing power of the Helios 300.
Helios 300 Design and Feel
Gaming laptops tend to be shaped in a way which scream "THIS IS FROM THE FUTURE!". Whilst the Helios 300 does have some spacecraft-type cuts to it's edge-border, it generally could pass for a decent looking laptop that won't catch everyone's attention. The top panel behind the screen is made of metal whilst the bottom is plastic; opening and closing this laptop feels very smooth.
The keyboard on this laptop presents you with WASD keys having concaved for better grip and responsiveness, whilst also being backlit which can be customised through the on-board software that comes with the laptop. The keys on this keyboard are quiet and soft, which makes it perfect for typing without sounding obnoxious. There are two "special" keys added to the this laptop: The Turbo Key and The PredatorSense Key.
The Turbo Key allows the instant-overclocking, which will attempt to squeeze more juice out of your CPU and Graphics Card (You'd probably get more by modifying it directly yourself however, that can void the warranty). The PredatorSense key is a shortcut to the on-board software that allows you to customize the system.
The laptop is about an inch in size when the lid is shut and weighs approximately 5LBs, which isn't bad considering the hardware that has been tightly compacted into this machine. Most gaming laptops will range from 4-6LBs, so this one fits right in the middle.
The trackpad isn't anything special nor is it anything that will bring the laptop review down. It doesn't come with mouse buttons, but the bottom of the track pad is clickable for your left and right switches.
It has 3 USB ports, HDMI port and an ethernet port (RJ-45) for wired connections (perfect for gaming when you want to make sure your connection is solid).
Helios 300 Performance Review
Let's get into the meat of this review- the Helios 300 Performance is what you really should be focusing on when it comes to gaming.
First the CPU: this laptop comes equipped with a Intel i7-9750H processor, which has 6 cores and up to 12 threads. The base clock rate of this processor sits at 2.6Ghz and has a max turbo speed of 4.5Ghz, which is about half the speed of desktop CPUs made in 2019. The fact that it's got 6 cores/12 threads though will help with multitasking applications and most modern games are built to take advantage of these high-end processors.
The GPU in this laptop is the GTX 1660-TI card, which came out in Q1 of 2019. In terms of pure power, it's about equivalent to 1070 card (made in 2016 for Desktops), so you're not getting a powerhouse graphics card here. The 1660-TI card was made for the mid-tier market and it doesn't contain any of the RTX cores that the latest 200 RTX series have (thought with not many games using ray-tracing, this isn't too much of a hindrince anyway). You're still going to be able to run your favourite games at high settings and a decent framerates. Userbenchmarks put this card running games like Fortnite, Minecraft and CS:GO over 100 FPS.
The laptop does come with a generous amount of 16 GB DDR4 Ram, perfect for running any modern game today without feeling like you'll need to restart the laptop every couple of hours. The DDR4 ram is clocked at a respectable 2666MHz.
One thing we need to mention about the Helios 300 is it's amazing cooling system. This laptop is properly vented that makes it very rare to overheat, even when playing some of the most intense games on high-settings. This laptop has a custom-engineered 4th Gen AeroBlade 3D Fan Technology, which will keep performance of games running smoothly even after hours of play. The fan is quiet for the most part, but if you're using Turbo mode it does get quite loud.
Battery Life this laptop can offer up to 6 hours for light-processing work. Of course, once you start gaming, expect that number to go way down as your laptop pulls power from the GPU/CPU. But if you're buying a gaming laptop for its battery life, you're not going to find anything that lasts more than a couple of hours when processing high-quality games.
Overall this laptop's performance is good for it's price-point. The GPU could be better, perhaps one of the newer RTX 2070 cards so that you have that ray-tracing future-proof ability. The CPU is one of the best for 2019 for laptops too and with a decent amount of Ram at 16 GB it makes for a great little machine.
Every Day Use With The Acer Predator
The Acer Predator Helios 300 comes equipped with Windows 10 Home 64-Bit, which is the latest and best operating system out from Microsoft. 64-bit Architecture means you'll be able to run all the latest games without issue and maximise your laptop's performance for other areas, such as storing data, processing and make better use of that 16 GB Ram.
This laptop comes with 256GB of storage on a PCIe NVMe SSD, so you'll notice it loads up games, applications and boots up incredibly fast. Unfortunately, 256GB is a bit small, especially if you're downloading multiple games that these take up 50GB each at minimum. There is another slot for a second SSD, so if you find yourself running out of space you might want to invest in an extra SSD.
This laptop does come with Norton pre-installed, which is going to slow everything down overtime so we recommend just uninstalling it and using good old Windows Defender for your security needs.
The WiFi on this laptop is very fast too. It uses " Killer DoubleShot Pro " for both 2.5Ghz and 5Ghz bandwidth modes and don't forget this laptop also comes with an ethernet port for wired connection for more reliability.
The audio on this laptop uses " MAXXAudio technology " to delivery an immersive experience, though this is best used with a pair of headphones that can make use of this technology. Without headphones, the sound from this laptop isn't anything to write home about.
Conclusion: The Acer Predator Helios 300 Gaming Laptop Is A Decent Gaming Machine
We seem to be stuck in a transition phase in 2019 between HD gaming and 4K. Next year, the next-generation consoles will be launching and all of them will be promising 4K game quality and all those other buzzwords. HD gaming is surely having it's last days, but it's going to be harder and harder to convince everyone to upgrade to the latest hardware due to cost and the fact that most people are generally happy with HD quality. This laptop is great for HD gaming and is everything you could need in a gaming laptop. It's got a great graphics card and a hardened CPU that'll make running your favourite games smooth and reliable.
It's price-point is about right (sitting around the $1,000 mark) and this laptop should last at least 2 years before it becomes outdated in terms of hardware. 16GB of Ram is more than enough for gaming but the 256GB SSD is a little on the lower side for storing all your games on.