+ Bright, colorful 144Hz display
+ Good array of ports
+ Solid 1080p gaming with GeForce RTX 3060 GPU
– Wi-Fi 6, not 6E
– No SD or microSD card slot
– Noisy cooling fans
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|Processor||Intel Core i7-11800H|
|Processor Speed||2.3 GHz|
|RAM (as Tested)||16 GB|
|Boot Drive Type||SSD|
|Boot Drive Capacity (as Tested)||512 GB|
|Screen Size||15.6 inches|
|Native Display Resolution||1,920 by 1,080|
|Variable Refresh Support||None|
|Screen Refresh Rate||144 Hz|
|Graphics Processor||Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060|
|Graphics Memory||6 GB|
|Wireless Networking||802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6)|
|Dimensions (HWD)||0.9 by 14.3 by 10 inches|
|Operating System||Windows 10 Home|
|Tested Battery Life (Hours:Minutes)||Tested Battery Life (Hours: Minutes)|
In both 2020 and 2021, we bestowed Acer’s Predator Helios 300 gaming laptop with an Editors’ Choice award and a rating of 4 stars. However, our latest encounter with the device wasn’t as impressive. The Helios 300 comes in a broad range of 15.6-inch and 17.3-inch configurations, with a starting price of $1,199.99. For our review this year, we tested the least expensive unit, priced at $1,246.99, with a 15.6-inch, 144Hz display instead of the previously tested 240Hz refresh rate. While it is comparable to the excellent MSI Katana GF66, the Helios 300 has a smaller solid-state drive and costs an additional $100.
Acer Predator Helios 300: Design and Display
The Helios 300’s design remains unchanged, featuring an aluminum black finish with a stylized illuminated Predator logo on the lid. It weighs 5.5 pounds, but is actually lighter, weighing in at 4.8 pounds, the same as its Nitro 5 sibling, with dimensions of 0.9 by 14.3 by 10 inches (HWD). The 15.6-inch display offers a 144Hz refresh rate and a resolution of 1,920 by 1,080 pixels, with fairly thick bezels surrounding the screen. The display is more impressive than the Acer Nitro 5’s, offering higher brightness and better colors.
Acer Predator Helios 300: Performance and Gaming Experience
The Predator Helios 300 (2022) delivers impressive performance for a mid-range gaming laptop. During our testing, we played games like Battlefield V, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, and Cyberpunk 2077, and the laptop delivered smooth frame rates at high graphics settings.
The Helios 300 is powered by Intel’s eight-core, 2.3GHz Core i7-11800H processor, 16GB of RAM, and 512GB of storage. It comes with a 6GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 GPU, which is an upgrade from its previous version’s 4GB RTX 3050 Ti. The laptop offers a multi-zone RGB keyboard, which is an improvement over the Nitro 5’s plain red backlit board. The keyboard is responsive, and the RGB lighting adds a touch of style to the overall design. However, the keys are not very clicky, and the shallow key travel may not be ideal for those who prefer a tactile typing experience. The touchpad is decent, but the lack of physical buttons may be a turnoff for some users.
The Helios 300 offers the same ports as the Nitro 5, with the addition of a mini DisplayPort and a USB-C port that supports Thunderbolt 4. It runs on Windows 10 Home, although Acer now sells the system with Windows 11.
The Helios 300’s performance is impressive, matching the MSI Katana GF66’s performance, which is priced similarly. The PredatorSense utility, launched with a special key, allows users to monitor system temperatures and toggle performance modes, such as Quiet, Default, Extreme, and Turbo. The Extreme and Turbo modes offer CPU and GPU overclocking, although Turbo increases cooling fan noise to a deafening roar.
Acer Predator Helios 300: Keyboard and Touchpad
The Helios 300’s keyboard features a soft, shallow typing feel and dedicated Home, End, Page Up, and Page Down keys, along with a numeric keypad. The keys are puny, and the typing feel isn’t particularly responsive. The touchpad is buttonless, with a chrome-trimmed design that glides and taps smoothly, but it’s difficult to click except at the very bottom.
Acer Predator Helios 300: Webcam and Audio
The webcam on the Helios 300 captures fairly colorful and well-lit images with noticeable noise or static. The 720p resolution and lack of privacy shutter are underwhelming. The laptop’s speaker grille produces a relatively soft, somewhat hollow sound, with nonexistent bass. However, the DTS:X Ultra software offers an equalizer and presets for music, movies, voice, and gaming genres.
Acer Predator Helios 300: Price and Availability
The Acer Predator Helios 300 is available in a wide array of 15.6-inch and 17.3-inch configurations, starting at $1,199.99. This year’s test unit is the least expensive at $1,299.99, with a 15.6-inch, 144Hz screen. The top-of-the-line version costs $2,299.99 and comes with a GeForce RTX 3080, 240Hz screen, 32GB of memory, and a 1TB SSD.
Acer Predator Helios 300: Thermal Performance
One potential drawback of the Predator Helios 300 is its thermal performance. The laptop can get quite hot under heavy load, and the cooling fans can get quite loud. During extended gaming sessions, the bottom of the laptop can become uncomfortably hot, which can impact the user’s experience. However, the PredatorSense utility allows users to adjust the fan speed and thermal settings to help manage the laptop’s temperature.
Acer Predator Helios 300: Ports and Connectivity
The Predator Helios 300 offers a good selection of ports and connectivity options. The laptop features two USB 3.2 Type-A ports, Ethernet, audio jacks, and a security lock slot on the left side. On the right side, there is a third USB-A port, a Thunderbolt 4 port, a mini DisplayPort, an HDMI port, and an AC adapter. The USB-C port also supports Thunderbolt 4, which is a nice addition for users who need to connect multiple devices.
Acer Predator Helios 300: Battery Life
The battery life of the Predator Helios 300 is average, which is not surprising for a gaming laptop. During our testing, we got around 5 hours of battery life with light use, such as web browsing and document editing. However, during gaming sessions, the laptop lasted around 1.5 hours, which is not ideal for those who need to use the laptop on the go.
Overall, the Acer Predator Helios 300 (2022) is a solid mid-range gaming laptop with powerful hardware and a sleek design. It offers good value for money, considering its price range, and delivers smooth performance for demanding games and heavy workloads. However, the laptop’s thermal performance and battery life may be a concern for some users, and the keyboard may not be ideal for those who prefer a tactile typing experience. Nonetheless, if you’re looking for a reliable and affordable gaming laptop, the Predator Helios 300 is definitely worth considering.
Frequently Ask Questions (FAQs)
Can the Acer Predator Helios 300 handle VR games?
Yes, the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 graphics card on the Acer Predator Helios 300 can handle VR games with ease.
Does the Acer Predator Helios 300 have a backlit keyboard?
Yes, the Acer Predator Helios 300 has a backlit keyboard with four-zone RGB customization.
Can the RAM on the Acer Predator Helios 300 be upgraded?
Yes, the RAM on the Acer Predator Helios 300 can be upgraded up to 32GB.
Does the Acer Predator Helios 300 come with a warranty?
Yes, the Acer Predator Helios 300 comes with a one-year warranty.
Is the Acer Predator Helios 300 good for video editing?
Yes, the powerful specs on the Acer Predator Helios 300 make it a great choice for video editing.
Named by the CTA as a CES 2023 Media Trailblazer, Allisa is a Computing Staff Writer who covers breaking news and rumors in the computing industry, as well as reviews, hands-on previews, featured articles, and the latest deals and trends. In her spare time you can find her chatting it up on her two podcasts, Megaten Marathon and Combo Chain, as well as playing any JRPGs she can get her hands on.