The gaming notebook market has been growing year after year in Brazil, with more companies delivering the ability to enjoy heavy gaming on a laptop computer enough to be comfortable in your backpack. One of Acer’s latest models is the Predator Helios 300. It promises 100+ fps performance for competitive gaming and it all comes from an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 graphics card, along with a 10th generation Intel Core i7.
I’ve spent the last few weeks splitting my time between work and play on this notebook, to tell you in the next few paragraphs if it works in this world where paying bills is as important as getting first place in a Battle Royale of a lifetime.
Acer Predator Helios 300 review in video
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The Acer Predator Helios 300 was provided by Acer on loan and will be returned to the company after testing. For more information, visit tecnoblog.net/etica.
Design and Connectivity
No corner or inch of the Acer Predator Helios 300 tries to hide that this is a gaming notebook. The notebook uses straight-angled edges, even has a light on the company logo on the lid, and proudly displays where hot air comes out. It makes sense and has an extra detail not usually present on these notebooks: the finish is largely made of metal.
Even with so much pomp pointing to this type of use, the look of the computer can still have less flashy details for those who are working and still haven’t managed to get into the game. The only black color and the presence of just the logo illuminated outside the keyboard lights follow in this hybrid usage thinking.
In all, they are 2.2 kilos and the thickness is almost 23 millimeters. These numbers fit well into a gamer segment and reinforce the need to use the computer on a table, not on your lap. It’s too heavy for the legs and a very important part of the ventilation goes under the PC, so it’s good to keep it away from the body.
In connections, the Acer Predator Helios 300 has three USB 3.2 ports, one always powered, one USB-C without Thunderbolt, Mini DisplayPort output, RJ45 for networking and also a connector for headphones with microphone. I felt the lack of reader for memory cards, but this detail can even pass by being a gaming notebook.
Screen, audio and webcam
The screen is 15.6 inches in IPS LCD and Full HD (1,920 x 1,080 pixels), with a 144 Hz refresh rate and a very interesting anti-glare layer so as not to turn the display into a mirror. Even unnecessarily, the viewing angles are also satisfactory for those who are more to the side.
Color reproduction is very pleasing, but this cannot be applied to the sound experience. It is below basic for a notebook, but this is another point that may not even be noticed by the gamer public, who will usually play with headphones anyway. The webcam, on the other hand, is HD only, in 720p and does the basic good for anyone who is going to stream or attend a meeting. Just that.
keyboard and touchpad
The keyboard is backlit, with the black keys and the symbol of each one in white, which helps a lot when identifying each one even when the lighting is off. Plus point for Acer!
If you expect a mechanical keyboard, you will be disappointed, but at the same time I put it as another positive point precisely because of the smaller noise. Typing while working is comfortable by the space of each key and there is tactile and color highlighting for the W, A, S, D and arrows at the bottom.
The keyboard is ABNT2 standard, which is good, but I found it very strange that the volume control is on the arrows, not on top with the other functions. Okay, just get used to it and everything is fine. Finally, the touchpad is big and this is rare even on non-gaming notebooks. Well done, Acer!
The Acer Predator Helios 300 runs Windows 10 out of the box like almost any notebook and the hardware set makes the whole experience fast, very fast. The test model has an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q graphics card, 16GB of DDR4 RAM, along with an Intel Core i7 10750H processor.
In storage, the model offers a traditional hard drive for data and a 256 GB NVMe SSD in PCIe port from the factory. With the system on solid state disk and the programs there too, Windows starts almost instantly.
You came here for games, so let’s go to them. Just one thing to remember: like any gaming notebook, the Helios 300 is noisy when it needs to cool down the hardware and that happens during all gaming time, but playing with headphones made me not even notice all that noise. Well, for games.
Starting tests with a competitive title with overwatch, exactly the target of a 144 hertz screen. I put all the features in the Epic setting and turned on the light rays generated and tracked by the GPU, to get a spinning rate between 90 and 110 frames per second. Turning off ray tracing made the game gain more performance, sometimes reaching 140 fps.
Following this line of competitive games, I tested the Warzone in Call of Duty. The game is much, much heavier in all aspects and the hardware felt the difference. With all features enabled, along with DLSS, the frame rate per second was rotating between 60 and 80 fps. Even lowering the quality, it was difficult to reach the magic number of 144. Okay, this game demands a lot.
Moving on to the almost forgotten Heroes of the Storm, he is a MOBA along the lines of League of Legends and that it went back to running smoothly with all the graphics as much as possible. In it, the experience was between 90 and 130 frames per second, depending on the moment. Fun fact: in death, with the extra effects on screen, the hardware suffers a little more. Go figure.
Moving on to a more contemplative game and running away from the competitive, I put the benchmark of Shadow of the Tomb Raider. Putting everything to max, including ray tracing and DLSS, the experiment spun between 25 and 50 fps. Lowering antialiasing made the game gain about 5 fps. Putting the ray tracing at minimum made the game reach 50 fps on average, much better. With some adjustments it is possible to reach 60 frames even without a sharp drop in quality.
the old man of war GTA 5 entered the tests and showed that even though it is quite old, it still weighs a lot if you want everything at the maximum. In this configuration, performance rotated between 40 and 60 fps. Already Metro Exodus, in the PC-enhanced and recently released version, putting everything to Extreme and turning on ray tracing makes the game run at 30 fps.
I then put the settings down a notch, called Ultra and turned on DLSS, to get a game running close to 60 fps at all times. Going back to the competitive, Apex Legends managed to score between 90 and 110 fps with everything at maximum and without any choke.
Battlefield 5 with everything on Ultra and ray tracing enabled it was spinning just above 30 fps. Turning on the DLSS gave to hit 60 frames. Fortnite it looks light, but turning on all the light ray features and setting the graphics to maximum makes the game display 15 fps. Enabling DLSS, turning on little ray tracing and lowering a step from the extreme in graphics, made the title reach 60 fps.
As it is a competitive game and the reaction speed is better than the beauty of the game, so turning off ray tracing is the rule. In this scenario you can easily pass 100 fps.
Control with everything at maximum and DLSS enabled fixed at 60 fps, but if you turn off Nvidia’s artificial intelligence tool the performance drops and is between 35 and 40 frames. It’s enough for console gamers, but it can annoy PC gamers anyway.
Lastly, cyberpunk 2077. The controversial game ran at a high setting and without DLSS or ray tracing, generating an average of 40 fps. Turning on DLSS and ray tracing to something not reaching the maximum, you could see Night City at 50 fps average.
To help with all games, there is an app called PredatorSense and it is activated with a fixed keyboard shortcut. The program controls various points such as key lighting, allows overclocking, adjusts fan speeds and even monitors how the system is doing. It’s pretty complete.
Oh, of course, all tests were done in Full HD resolution (1,920 x 1,080 pixels), which is native to the Helios 300 monitor. The scale has always been at 100% of this total, never below or above that. Closing the games part, enjoying a game with the battery is not a reality either because of the meager time in this mode, not exceeding 45 minutes, or because of the hardware delivering less when it is out of the socket.
In normal working use, it is possible to be away from the socket for three hours. Little, but within the gaming notebook scenario.
Acer Predator Helios 300 with RTX 2070 Max-Q: is it worth it?
The Acer Predator Helios 300 is an intermediate gaming notebook, even when gaming results were promising, as they took place in Full HD and not in higher resolutions. The metal body is beautiful, but it makes the heat spread to some areas, at least not to the fingers on the keyboard.
Another detail of the body in this material is for the sharpest corners, especially the left one. In it, the wrist scrapes the corner and it’s annoying, it bothers a lot. I found the keyboard very comfortable to work or play and having the ABNT2 standard is a very interesting extra, not very common on this type of PC.
The current Brazilian scenario, together with the scarcity of chips around the world, makes this notebook cost more than R$ 10 thousand and this borders on twice the list price for an Xbox Series X or PlayStation 5, but within the range of other notebooks gamer. Even with values fluctuating, the Acer Predator Helios 300 can cost less than the few competitors in Brazil at times.
If you need a notebook now and want to ensure optimal performance for a few years in Full HD, along with strong hardware for heavy lifting during this same period, the Acer Predator Helios 300 is one of the best choices for those in Brazil. It’s expensive, very expensive, but the market remains like that. That’s what you have for today.
Acer Predator Helios 300 (RTX 2070)
- Runs everything (in 1080p) and without chokes
- 144 Hz screen is great
- Comfortable keyboard
- Trackpad great help at work
- Allows RAM and internal space expansion
- Left corner bothers the arm
- Webcam could be better
- Turbo mode is extremely noisy