Today we are going to review a compact and robust gaming notebook with GTX 1060 sold for about 1300 euros.
The gaming notebook market is extremely vast at present, with solutions for every price. Today, after having talked about different top-of-the-range products, we go down a bit with the price and test a mid – range notebook . In this target market, all configurations aim to keep costs relatively low without going too heavily on performance. With such a product, therefore, it is possible to run practically all the current titles in Full HD with high details. The notebook that we are preparing to review is the ‘ Acer Predator Helios 300 , arrived in Europe last August and sold for a price of about 1300 euros .
Predator Helios 300 boasts a sophisticated and aggressive design , typical of a gaming notebook. However, this type of product has always distinguished itself through particularly lively inserts and square outlines, while this model presents a right combination of refinement and aggressiveness . Thus we find geometric lines, with silver Predator inscriptions and two oblique lines slightly colored red on the lid. The black satin-finished body is very robust and finished with a metal cover both in the upper part of the cover and in the main area where the keyboard and the touchpad are placed. Constructive solidity which, however, inevitably goes against one anotherdimensions not really contained . These, in fact, are 390 x 266 x 27 mm, for a weight of about 2.7 kg . Dimensions that, of course, go to undermine its portability, making it more a home replacement desktop that a notebook to carry around.
The red-bordered touchpad is a good size while the island keypad is fully backlitin red and with the “WASD” keys highlighted, which proved to be very useful during our nighttime gaming sessions. Then we move to the back, where we find the grid dedicated to the ventilation of the notebook. This is black, but surrounded for all its length with red plastic inserts, which bring out the gaming nature of the product. Turning to connectivity, on the left side we find the Kensington Lock, a USB Type C 3.1 port, a USB 3.0 port, HDMI output, an Ethernet port and an SD memory card reader. On the right side, instead, besides the power input and the two LEDs that signal the activity of the disks and the battery, there are two standard USB ports and the
ACER Predator Helios 300 has a very respectable hardware equipment for the mid-range. The model we reviewed (the G3-572-763V ), is equipped with a 15.6-inch IPS LED display , with brightness and contrast and a fidelity in the reproduction of the colors all in all good. As for the processor, we find a quad-core Intel i7-7700HQ operating at a frequency of 2.8 GHz, which in Turbo mode can go up to 3.8 GHz. It is one of the most powerful processors currently available in the notebook market (if we consider those with blocked multiplier).
The GPU, however, is the classic NVIDIA GTX 10606 GB that is mounted in many configurations of this type because of its reliability and its excellent performance in relation to price. For complete information, the notebook in question also has an integrated Intel HD Graphics 630 video card . Then we have 16 GB of DDR4 RAM (expandable up to 32 GB), a 1 TB hard disk and a 128 GB SSD . In short, we are faced with a configuration designed to play high details in Full HD.
The operating system is Windows 10 Home 64-bit with pre-installed the usual app app, a custom in the gaming notebook market. First, we find Acer Care Center , which allows you to take a quick look at the technical specifications of the notebook, monitor the health of the components and the battery, manage applications at startup and restore points and update the operating system and the main drivers . In short, a sort of central hub. The audio is instead given to the Dolby software , which allows the user to customize the audio equalization or assign an automatic profile that dynamically changes the sound range according to the activity performed (between film, game, sport and VoIP).
Then we move to Acer Collection , a selection of the best apps and games in the catalog of the Windows Store that we found rather futile. Different speech for PredatorSense , which came in handy several times as it allows you to monitor the temperatures of the processor and the video card, or change the profiles of the fans to improve cooling at the cost of a few decibels of noise.
Experience of use
Our test has shown performance in line with the mid-range both for everyday use, with Windows 10 to run flawlessly, as well as for gaming. The latter remains, of course, the main use of the machine, with performances that have allowed us a good gaming experience in Full HD even with the latest titles released on the market. We tested the notebook with both recent titles and some a bit ‘more dated but still defend well in terms of graphics or are among the most played on Steam . Middle-earth: The Shadow of War runs on average at 62 FPS with the Alto preset. Battlefield 1at maximum settings with each active effect, HBAO + and anti-aliasing on TXAA recorded an average of 60 FPS stable, while Ryse: Son of Rome runs at an average of 61 FPS with oversampling deactivated and Metro: Last Light Redux reaches 134 FPS with SSAA deactivated in the internal benchmark. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive , on the other hand, runs at an average of 140 FPS. Particularly positive numbers that do nothing but confirm the gaming nature of the product.
Regarding the audio , despite the speakers in the lower part of the notebook in front position are deliberately contained in the dimensions, the overall quality is good and the sound is clean and perfectly able to cover the noise produced by the cooling system, equipped of AeroBlade 3D fans . The temperatures in the most “agitated” situations for the CPU and GPU reach respectively 80 and 70 degrees , normal values but that feel on the body, especially if you play with the notebook on your lap. The classic problem of this type of products, however, is autonomy. In this case, we tested the notebook for a long time with various titles (we completed the end-game of La Terra di Mezzo: L’Ombra della Guerra , for example), finding an autonomy in line with the energy demands of the product . In particular, with Metro: Last Light Redux the laptop stopped just over 50 minutes of use . It seems clear then how this Helios 300 is more suitable for home use, with a socket always at hand.