Acer Predator Helios 300 PH315-52-710B Gaming Laptop comes with these high level specs: 9th Generation Intel Core i7-9750H 6-Core Processor 2. 6 gramHz with Turbo Boost Technology up to 4. 5 gramHz, 15. 6" Full HD (1920 x 1080) widescreen LED-backlit IPS display, 144Hz Refresh Rate, 16: 9 aspect ratio, 3ms Overdrive Response Time, 300nit Brightness, 72% NTSC, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti with 6 GB of dedicated GDDR6 VRAM, 16 GB DDR4 2666MHz Memory, 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD (2 x PCIe M. 2 Slots | 1 Slot Available), 1 - Available Hard Drive Bay, Waves MaxxAudio sound technology, featuring MaxxBass, MaxxVolume, MaxxDialog and hyper-realistic 3D Audio using Waves Nx, Acer True Harmony Technology, Two Built-in Stereo Speakers, Acer Purified. Voice technology with two built-in microphones, Killer Double Shot Pro Wireless-AX 1650 802. 11ac WiFi 6 featuring 2x2 MU-MIMO technology (Dual-Band 2. 4 gramHz and 5 gramHz), Killer Ethernet E2500 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet LAN, HD Webcam (1280 x 720) supporting Super High Dynamic Range (SHDR), 1 - USB 3. 1 Type C Gen 2 port (up to 10 Gbps), 3 - USB 3. 1 Gen 1 Ports (One with Power-off Charging), 1 - HDMI 2. 0 Port with HDCP Support, 1 - Mini Display Port 1. 4, Backlit Keyboard, Lithium Ion Battery, Up to 6-hours Battery Life, 5. 07 lbs. | 2. 3 kg (system unit only) (NH. Q53AA. 003)
This machine does a pretty good job based on its advertised capabilities. This review is based on my impressions after a few days with the unit - I can update it later if something relevant comes up in the long run.
Its true brightness, color gamut, etc.I don't have a lot of sophistocated instruments to measure... Overall, I stuck to software-based testing and a bit of subjective eyeballs.
The top (back of the screen) is metal, as is the keyboard and palm rest area, while the screen frame and bottom are plastic. That was a pretty good design decision, because it prevents the base from turning into a burner on your lap. The hinge feels solid and moves very smoothly.
The screen is rated at about 300 nits. Based solely on comparisons with others with similar ratings, it seems that this screen may actually be slightly brighter than the one rated. It is perfectly visible outside in daylight unless there is direct sunlight on the screen. The 144Hz refresh rate is a really nice feature and allows for some rock-solid movement. The contrast and colour gamut is very effective and pleasing to the eye. I don't have a tool to measure colors, so this might just be clever engineering, but nothing here seems like a compromise. The screen suffers from irregular backlight flowering, so in a completely dark image, there are bright spots around the margin, but this is quite typical for an IPS LCD.
The GPU seems to be able to take pretty much anything I throw at the craziest settings, and I haven't noticed any performance issues. The Witcher 3 and Darksiders Warmastered Edition look great on the go, with the latter running at V-Sync'd 144Hz with no problems at all. Final Fantasy XIV received a very respectable 14,000+ score in the Stormbringer benchmark, and everything went to maximum and every optimization went off. The laptop comes pre-configured with an overclocking setting called "Turbo" Mode, which is activated by a button in the upper left corner of the keyboard. Of course you can create your own overclocking profiles.
As with most modern gaming laptops, The Predator Helios 300 uses the Intel Optimus to use power more efficiently, save battery power and reduce fan noise. In a nutshell, the Intel Optimus dynamically switches between the integrated Intel GPU and GTX-1660ti, which are less powerful and consume less power. The system will try to guess which GPU should be used for a particular process, but you can deliberately control it in several different ways. From the Nvidia Control Panel, you can set the GPU to use for a specific application, so that this program always (i.e. your games) runs automatically under the Nvidia card. Alternatively, you can tell the system to opt for the Nvidia card for everything (it's not a great idea unless you want to listen to the fan all the time and watch your battery level drop in front of your eyes). And finally, there's a context menu item called "Run with graphics processor" that lets you choose which one to use by right-clicking on an app before launching it. So Optimus is quite handy for balancing performance, but somes with a few unfortunate tradeoffs. There is no "display" option on the Nvidia Control Panel, because Optimus manages these settings dynamically, and although technically the GPU can use them, the G-Sync and Fast Sync options are not possible.
The keyboard, for the most part, is great. The keys are reasonably spaced, a bit convex, quiet and just have a pleasant feel. I'm used to pressing harder, so my fingers tend to bounce and sometimes I type double letters, but it's not something I can adjust. (This setting in Windows help for "Filter Keys" I've tried using, but there is an accessibility option too restrictive) on the right the width of the keyboard 10-key keypad allows for the merger, but the keys of the keyboard arrow keys and the 0 key is narrower than the rest to accommodate the center column shifted, so has been a bit of a compromise. It's really annoying when you're trying to type a big array of numbers, like when entering a license key.
The Trackpad is generously large and very sensitive. There is no mouse button, but the bottom of the pad can be clicked with the right and left corners representing the right and left mouse buttons.
The laptop comes with a pair of down-firing stereo speakers that are good for what they are. They can't be loud enough to beat the fan noise when playing tin and games. Noise-cancelling or noise-insulated headphones are pretty mandatory for gaming or anything that runs the GPU. However, the virtual surround effect is surprisingly convincing.
They turned last year's red backlight into blue, which I think is a bit more pleasing to the eye, but it's a deal breaker in the use-in-bed scenario because the blue light spectrum hinders your ability to get REM sleep. It's something, look it up.
It is powered by a 3720mAh battery with about 25% more capacity than last year's model. Trying to give it a" it takes so many hours " number is pointless in my opinion, because of the background processing, the screen brightness, what you do with it, the age of the battery and so on.he'll be impressed. Let's be honest, no one is buying this laptop for battery life. Nvidia has several settings aimed at improving battery life while playing games, but they all involve reducing frame rate. If you want to play when you're not connected to mains power, you're playing games that will probably work well on a laptop with a fraction of the power of this thing.
Webcam / Microphone
The webcam maximizes at 720p30. This resolution also applies to still images, so it seems to be the geometry of the sensor. It works well in relatively low light-when the brightness gain is fully elevated, the glare of the screen is enough to allow it to capture a usable amount of detail in a dark room. In a normally illuminated room, the image is a little darker than you would see with your eyes, and as with most webcams, the colors are very little washed away. And like most pinhole cameras, the brighter the lighting, the clearer the picture and the more faithful the colors. This illuminated office will be well served perfectly, whether outside. The Stereo microphone captures sounds clean and clear.
The" killer " WiFi chip on this machine is incredibly fast. My Internet service ends at about 25MB / s, and this Wi-Fi card easily reaches 23MB/s (not bits, not bits) when downloading GOG Galaxy games. I was pleased to see that the laptop also retains an RJ-45 for a wired ethernet connection - it uses a smart hinged port to maximise space when there's nothing plugged in.
Hardware accessibility / upgrade challenge:
Unlike last year's model, there are no fast - access ports- Wi-Fi, M. 2, if you want to reach the memory or SSD space, you need to remove the entire bottom of the shell. Fortunately, after removing the 10 philips screws and removing the bottom cap, everything that matters is at hand.
This is the best ventilated laptop I've ever seen. The cooler fins and fans are clearly visible from the numerous slits on the bottom, side and back. Fans, it's as loud as any laptop I have ever used, but it's worse not to kick the turbo overclock profile when you press the button and crank the fans when it sounds like a jet prepared for takeoff, so if you are doing any medium or heavy gaming, noise isolation or noise-canceling headphones are not optional.
256GB PCIe M. 2 drive attached. It exceeds about 1.5 Gbps, which is a fairly respectable speed and quite efficient. There's not a lot of space though, so it's another M. to attach another card later It has 2 slots. There's also a compartment for the 2.5 " drive, but the bracket and SATA connector kit come with a warning that Acer no longer sees this as a user serviceable process, implying that your warranty may be void by trying to install it yourself.
Instructions / Documentation:
The documentation for the hardware was a bit disappointing to be honest. It gives you a tour of the ports and the keyboard, but M. It contains nothing about how to install 2 devices, upgrade memory or install a 2.5" drive - these aren't exactly rocket surgery, but it still feels like an oversite that Acer doesn't want to show you what it is. The SATA adapter for the 2.5 " drive requires connecting to a dedicated ribbon socket, which they cannot tell how to find on the motherboard.
I had to laugh when I saw the" Turbo " button. I'm old enough to remember when something happened on Intel 386 CPUs, and unironically it does pretty much the same thing here.
The BIOS is about the most bare-bones issue I've seen recently, with no option but to check and/or disable the integrated GPU.
The system came with Norton Ultimate installed. Fortunately, it's the only piece of garbageware installed by Acer. Microsoft's default "Windows Defender" is far superior to Norton, and unlike Norton, it doesn't waste a ton of CPU cycles without good reason. Windows Defender is already part of Windows 10-just uninstall Norton and restart it to activate it. It's a better protection and it doesn't expire in a year and it doesn't beg for more money.
I've added an image of the installed apps to this review so you can see what it comes with.