The Best Review: Acer Predator Helios 300 (2020)
Acer Predator Helios 300 (2020): is it worth your purchase?
Acer tries to offer a perfect balance between value and performance with this configuration, which we see is difficult in gaming notebook environments. The Predator has upgradeable autonomy, low screen quality and an unfavorable design for mobility.
- Speed in the game
- Advanced graphics
- Keyboard versatility
- Battery duration
- Trackpad management
- Weight and thickness
Retail price (RRP)
The Best Review: Acer Predator Helios 300 (2020)
This Helios range notebook has been among Acer’s offering within the range of gaming enthusiast-focused notebooks for several years. Its evolution has been very favorable in terms of performance, with slight changes that can be a great asset.
As we will see next, aesthetically there are slight changes aimed at improving the cooling of the internal components, which are complemented by certain details that renew the company’s brand image.
A more powerful Nvidia graphics card has been installed, a new 10th generation Intel CPU, as well as a new screen with a refresh rate of 144 Hz. All of them are components very focused on improving the performance ratio in games.
And it is that the new model Helios 300 (2020) tries to make things difficult for its main competitors in this field, which are none other than the HP Omen X or the Lenovo Legion 7i whose configurations have also been recently renewed.
Design and build quality
As we anticipated, there have been no major visual changes from last year’s Helios 300, with a lid still displaying the illuminated blue logo between the two bars. You’ll find the vents with slightly different blue inner parts.
Taking a look at its front, the trackpad is now surrounded by metal so it can better match the front of the machine, which is built mostly of matte black aluminum material.
The final appearance is quite reasonable, although the competition is tightening in this regard, as is the case with the MSI GS66 Stealth practically in black, the Asus ROG Zephyrus 14, or the Gigabyte Aorus 7 that now seems to have a greater personality.
The Acer Predator Helios 300 weighs 2.2kg and is 23mm thick, making it larger than its rivals. The mentioned MSI model is slightly smaller and lighter, while the 14-inch Asus is much more compact to move around the house.
Build quality is just average – the base is sturdy, but the display has very sharp frames. It’s not worryingly weak, but its rivals are more robust, and wearing a protective case would be a great idea.
The Helios 300 has USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type A and Type C ports, and both connections support faster 10Gbps transfer and upload speeds. There are two slower USB 3.1 Gen 1 connectors, HDMI and mini-DisplayPort outputs, as well as a headphone jack next to the Gigabit Ethernet port.
Once again, the rivals are arguably better: the MSI has more faster USB ports and adds Thunderbolt, while the Asus subtracts Gigabit Ethernet and Thunderbolt but includes two USB-C connectors.
Keyboard and trackpad
The Helios, due to its physical dimensions, has a numerical keyboard that instantly and as a result of its use, we can well say that it is above its rivals. There is a dedicated button to launch Acer Predator software . The only problem could be the size of the ‘Enter’ key.
The WASD, Cursor and Predator buttons are highlighted with clear plastic so that each key is slightly concave in shape for better grip and use.
When it comes to RGB LED backlighting, while it’s not a key-by-key issue like the Gigabyte Aero, you can divide it by four different lighting zones. It is a reasonable compromise, with consistent lighting levels.
In fact, the keyboard offers a wide path for playing and typing, and its action is comfortable and fast, such as gaining speed on keystrokes and eliminating latencies. Indicate here that it is somewhat noisy, although much less than what you can experience with mechanical keyboards.
Display and speakers
For screen purposes, with dimensions of 15.6 inches, it offers a Full HD resolution, a not insignificant refresh rate of 144 Hz, as well as a response time of 3 msg, which guarantees enjoyment with first-class games .
However, this screen does not have synchronization to work with any platform, as is the case of the MSI laptop with a screen that scales to 240 Hz. However, the value of 144 Hz is feasible for all games with little difference with higher values.
Overall, the screen quality is average, with a brightness level of 329 nits. The 866: 1 contrast ratio is somewhat disappointing and, in real-world situations, this means that the colors are a little pale with darker areas that appear gray rather than black.
The color temperature is found to be 8,621K on the colder side, which also leaves the screen a bit faded. For games and movies, that’s not a problem, but other panels may have more visual acuity. The screen cannot handle DCP-P3 or Adobe RGB.
The bottom line here is that for gaming the Helios 300’s display is good enough thanks to its refresh rate and response time, even though you’ll find other models on the market with much higher refresh rates.
The speakers have enough volume for the games you play in your bedroom, but they have somewhat weak bass, a midrange with ups and downs, and an upper end that sometimes eludes metallic tones. You can always go for external speakers or premium headphones .
Specifications and performance
It is seen that opting for the Intel Core i7-10750H and the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 is a good combination, very popular among the best current laptops. The first is a tenth generation, while the second component is a solid graphics core with the latest Nvidia architecture.
The RTX 2060 included here has the usual 6GB of memory, and operates at base speeds of 1,005 MHz and 1,350 MHz, speeds that exceed its default specification.
The Predator Helios 300 also has fast and extreme overclocking modes that generally improve speed to 1,400 MHz and 1,450 MHz. The specifications are supplemented by 16 GB of memory and a 1TB SSD along with Gigabit Ethernet and Wi-Fi 6.
As we can see in terms of performance, the Acer Helios 300 is impressive in benchmarks. We’ve also included the Nitro 5 from the same brand to show what a cheaper option can offer.
The Helios 300 is slightly faster than its rivals in most gaming scenarios, and has enough speed to handle key situations: you’ll be playing high-end games with advanced graphics settings and the 144Hz display.
Don’t expect too much from Acer’s GPU overclocking though – these modes provided inconsistent results, with decreasing speeds in 3DMark and Far Cry along with modest gain in Wolfenstein.
Predator’s Geekbench 5 score of 6,022 is slightly ahead of the MSI, and those machines were virtually identical on PC Mark 10. However, the tiny Asus machine is better, thanks to its eight-core AMD CPU with 7,693 points in Geekbench 5 and 5,682 on PCMark 10.
Acer has the power to handle daily work, multitasking, office applications, and photo editing. However, the Asus AMD chip is much better if you need a laptop to tackle any game you throw at the team, no matter how advanced it is.
We also check that the Acer has no indoor or outdoor temperature issues, and its noise levels are fine when playing with conventional performance modes – there is fan noise, but it doesn’t get annoying.
The noise is louder when using the overclocking modes and the CPU stress rises to higher levels. However, both scenarios are easy to avoid, or they will be very punctual while your games last.
Within this autonomy section, the Acer cannot compete with any of the rivals when it comes to guaranteeing operation away from electric current. In a test of video playback with the screen at 120 nits, the Acer lasted 4 hours and 50 minutes, when its rivals both exceeded 8 hours of use.
With games running at full power, the Acer lasted an hour and fourteen minutes. So, you will have to stay next to the electrical network if you want to use this laptop during a prudent game session time.
Prices and where to buy
The Acer Predator 300 (2020) edition is relatively new, so you should pay attention not to buy an edition with previous generation processors, something that can happen to you with any other equipment that maintains the name and renews the components.
In the case of the Predator Helios 300 , the current price starts from € 1,799 for the current configuration with Windows 10 Home 64-bit operating system and 16 GB of RAM, in addition to 512 GB SSD storage.
You can take a look at our report on the best gaming laptops if you are determined to buy a current model.
The Predator Helios 300 comes at a somewhat high price, but its high CPU configuration, fast GPU, and 144 Hz high-frequency display justify it. Combine this with a good keyboard and you’ll have a system to deal with gaming. most current.
It is a well-manufactured machine and is cheaper than the MSI GS66 Stealth with very similar performance, although you lose display quality on the screen, since the MSI is 240 Hz, which may tempt you to spend a little more.
The biggest problem for Acer is that the excellent Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 is slightly cheaper (€ 300 less) offering incredible performance and a better screen. Both rivals also have a slimmer design.
For conventional games, the Acer Predator Helios 300 will guarantee you a computer for a while if the autonomy and battery data are not worrying for you.
- 15.6 inch IPS screen
- Screen resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 at 144Hz
- 2.6 GHz Intel Core i7-10750H processor
- Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 6GB
- Memory: 16GB Type 2. 933MHz DDR4
- Storage: 512GB or 1TB SSD
- Ports: 1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2, 1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C, 2 x USB 3.2 Gen 1, 1 x Audio, 1 x HDMI, 1 x Mini-DisplayPort
- Connectivity: Dual Band 6 WiFi, Gigabit Ethernet, Bluetooth 5.0
- Battery: 59 Wh
- Windows 10 Home 64-bit operating system
- Dimensions: 363 x 255 x 23 mm
- Weight: 2.2 kg