A GPU capable of overclocking isn’t something you’d normally see on a gaming laptop like this, especially when it comes to a slim Helios 300. If you’re looking for a value for money gaming laptop, then the Acer Predator Helios 300 will be one of your best bets! The Turbo button is enough for you to consider it, but there’s plenty more reasons for you to consider one!
The new Helios 300 – the model we tried is the PH315-53 – comes with plenty of possible configurations for incredible potential. It comes with 16GB RAM and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 (Max-Q Design), a 256GB SSD and 1TB HDD, so you’ll have both your game performance, and space to store all those massive game updates.
The design has been overhauled and looks quite different from its predecessors. It keeps the Predator logo that’s backlit with two dark blue stripes, but the name has been removed, leaving only the logo. Acer explains that many are already familiar with the Predator brand, and are now going for a neater image.
A CLEANER FINISH
With a focus on being “compact”, the Helios 300 sticks to its theme, with thinner bezels around the screen. Acer wants to highlight the thin form factor, with an estimated 366 x 255mm size. Despite being thin, the Helios 300 still weighs a bunch at 2.3kg.
For its lighting, four LED RGB zones are in place, at four different intensity levels. You can play around with the settings through Predator Sense, with it able to go white and be really bright. Connectivity remains a non issue, with 3x USB Type-A ver 3.1 Gen 2, Gigabit Ethernet port, Gigabit LAN (Killer E2500) and 3.5mm headphone jack available. The charging port has been moved to the back in order to make room for the rest of these connections.
A 240 Hz DISPLAY
The screen is a full HD IPS 15.6-inch panel with 240 Hz refresh rate and 3ms response time for a smooth and faster viewing experience. The AU Optronics panel is in use here, a highly popular panel used in many gaming machines including the Acer Predator Triton 500.
With that response time and refresh rate, this display will be more than sufficient for everyday use, and of course, for videos. The colours, contrast and brightness are on the more average side for the Helios 300, but it’s fair enough for its lower-end price. If you work in graphic design or video editing, a secondary screen will be recommended for better colours.
GAMING PERFORMANCE, BATTERY AND OVERCLOCKING
The best way to see how well a machine performs is to put it to the test, of course. Launching Call of Duty: Modern Warfare on Extreme with the fans on Turbo, here are the results:
It’s quite an impressive machine, able to achieve more than 60 frames per second on the game on high quality at 1920 x 1080 resolution. Titles like Need for Speed Heat, Battlefield V and Far Cry 5 won’t be lacking in the graphics department, with you able to crank up the quality and hit 240 FPS without problems. It won’t be a bad choice if you’re going to play more competitive games like Fortnite, Call of Duty: Warzone, Apex Legends and whatever else you choose.
Other games may need slightly lower settings for a smoother performance, but overall, it’d be just fine for a majority of titles except the really heavy duty ones. Granted, this kind of high performance does not translate to a good battery life – roughly 3 or 4 hours which is typical for a gaming laptop. It’s not a machine for continuous outdoor use.
Moving to the keyboard, it has a dedicated button for PredatorSense for you to fiddle with the various settings like the fans, power profile, system and the overclocking feature that will further boost the Helios 300’s performance. Audio profiles can also be configured for use in a variety of situations, from videos, music or film.
The keyboard itself is comfortable to use be it for gaming or typing, and the keys are easy to read without the backlighting. The WASD, arrow keys and PredatorSense are all transparent, for a touch of style. The touchpad is very responsive and accurate, though it’s unlikely to be something you’d use for gaming.
Acer’s always been a pretty solid choice for good gaming laptops to start out with, packing pretty good quality for a reasonable price. The PH315-53 is an upgrade to the Helios series, with features like the 240Hz display, GPU overclocking and more streamlined design. It may have shortcomings here and there, but as mentioned, it’s still a value for money choice. If you need a powerful gaming laptop on a tighter budget, you won’t go wrong with the Acer Predator Helios 300 (PH315-53).