Acer Predator Helios 300 Score
Pricing is confusing, to say the least, but ignoring that this is another superb laptop from Acer and depending which spec you choose this is a fantastic buy (just not the spec I was sent)
Overall - 90%
Priced at £1,099.00 is the Acer Predator Helios 300 better than Acer Nitro 7 which is the same price.
- CPU: 9th gen Intel® Core™ i5-9300H quad-core
- Memory: 8GB of DDR4 RAM
- GPU: GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB graphics
- Display: 15.6″ Full HD IPS 144Hz Screen
- Storage: 1TB hard drive with a 256GB SSD
- Dimensions: 361mm x 254mm x23mm
- Weight: 2.1KG according to my scales, PC World lists it as 1.9KG
The model I have been sent to review is the 15-inch Intel i5-9300H and GeForce GTX 1660Ti variation priced at £1,199.00 or specifically the PH315-52-52ZM.
This includes a 1TB hard drive with a 256GB SSD, and the display runs at Full HD 144Hz.
One of the differences between this and the Nitro 7 I reviewed is the 4-zone RGB customised keyboard, whereas the Nitro had static red LEDs.
It is worth noting that there is a better-specced model available with an Intel Core i7-9750H CPU and Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 for £1,349.99 or less money than this there is the Intel Core i5-9300H with RTX 2060 6GB and 512GB NVMe for just £1,149.97.
Price and Comparisons
The immediate comparison is the Acer Nitro 7, which I found to be a superb laptop, technically they both have the same RRP it is just the Nitro 7 is currently available for £100 cheaper. It is easier to compare the specification with the table below, you can draw your own conclusions, but for me the Nitro 7 is the clear winner. Same price bugger NVMe, and better CPU.
At the time of writing, there is no point buying this exact model, when you can get the Intel Core i5-9300H with RTX 2060 6GB for £50 less! From what I can tell, there is no other laptop with a comparable configuration on the market, and this is the cheapest RTX 2060 6GB laptop available.
I would also consider the i7-9750H/RTX 2060 model a decent buy. On Scan, the cheapest laptop with the RTX 2060 and i7-9750H is the Gigabyte AORUS 15″ priced at £1499.99, though that has more RAM, and the Acer Predator Triton 500 is £1,799.99, again with more RAM.
Build and Design
It is not quite as impressive as the Predator Triton 500, which is understandable as they are at different price points.
However, the Acer Predator Helios 300 is a well made and designed laptop, not dissimilar to the Nitro 7. So much so I had to go back to my photos of the last review to see how they differ, apart from the fact the Predator uses blue colours for the LEDs and vents, compared to red, a passing glance, they look identical. The dimensions are different though, this is marginally larger and heavier.
If you are a fan of RGB then the Helios 300 will be more to your liking with 4-zone RGB backlighting on the keyboard.
The keyboard itself is excellent as far as you can get with a laptop, there is good key travel, and this is comfortable to work or game on. It is a full-sized keyboard with number pad, so the keys go nearly the full width of the chassis
For the display, there is a reasonably large bezel, I think this is more of a result of the overall laptop size and its cooling, in comparison the Dell XPS is smaller overall and has questionable cooling abilities. The quality of the display appears to be good too, apart from the 144Hz refresh rate it has decent viewing angles and in my opinion good s colour accuracy.
I chose not to poke around on the inside of this laptop due to time constraints, but due to all the similarities with the Nitro 5 I would assume a very similar layout with some easy upgrade options.
The Helios performs well, as you would expect, the GTX 1660Ti provides a good balance of power and affordability. There appears to be a discrepancy in my benchmarks, and it is too late to retest, it looks like I ran these tests with the GPU overclocked slightly vs normal on the Nitro 7; hence this laptop has performed batter for some of the GPU based results.
For the CPU scores, there is quite a large difference, though I am not sure how noticeable this would be in day to day use.
Overall though, this performs perfectly well as a gaming PC and all-round laptop – however as previously stated, you would get more performance for less with the RTX model.
- 3DMark 13 – Fire Strike: 12683 (Graphics – 15366, Physics – 11371);
- 3DMark 13 – Time Spy: 5857 (Graphics – 6398, CPU – 3962);
- PassMark: Rating: 4585, CPU mark: 12728, 3D Graphics Mark: 10256;Disk Mark 2357
- PCMark 10: 4585;
- Far Cry 5 Benchmark Ultra– 75 FPS avg – 90 FPS High, 60FPS min
- Battlefield V – 89 FPS
- Just Cause 4 – 62 FPS
- The Division 2 – 63 FPS
- Metro Exodus – 37 FPS
The product listing states 256GB SSD plus 1TB hard drive, thankfully, the SSD is actually a Western Digital PC SN720 NVMe with rated speeds of 3,000/2,400MB/s though CrystalDisk shows 2689/1606MB/s
Just like both the Nitro 5 and Triton 500, the fans are always on, but with a light load, they are barely audible. It is possible to set them to the max, and on this level, they are loud and annoying, easily audible between rooms. During most gaming sessions it sits somewhere between this, bearable and certainly not as loud as the Triton 900.
Battery life is subjectively good, I got through almost a full day of office work on a charge, but I wouldn’t want to game on a battery. When using the battery things like overclocking become disabled.
While the model I have been sent is a great laptop, based on current specs and price, it is redundant, you can save money and get a better laptop with the Core i5-9300H/RTX 2060 6GB variant.
So, based on this, my current recommendation would be dependant on your usage and budget. For around £1100 you have two choices, one with a better GPU one with a better CPU
- Acer Nitro 7 with Intel Core i7-9750H and GeForce GTX 1660Ti 6GB for £1,099.97
- The Acer Predator Helios 300 Intel Core i5-9300H with RTX 2060 6GB and 512GB NVMe for £1,149.97
Alternatively, for around £200 extra there is the Acer Predator Helios 300 with an Intel Core i7-9750H and Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 at for 1,349.99.
[Update] Literally as I posted this, the price changed on Scan. Such is the nature of internet pricing
However, these prices can and will change at a moment’s notice so if you are about to buy it is always prudent to check on the prices and specification at the time and see what the best deal is. All three options will be superb, so I would pick whatever is priced best and that you can afford at the time.
Apart from some minor improvements such as RGB, but some minor downsides such as being slightly heavier, the Helios 300 is strikingly similar to the Acer Nitro 7, and I thought that was a superb laptop. The RTX 2060 6GB based model of this is currently an amazing buy, and I would thoroughly recommend it.
The below score is on the assumption you buy the RTX 2060 model.
Last update on 2021-09-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API