Acer Predator Helios 300 (2022): One minute review
When it comes to more premium options, the Acer Predator Helios 300 (2022) embodies most of what you’re looking for in a laptop. It’s simple but has a well-designed chassis, with gorgeous RGB keyboard backlighting, packed with strong technology, and even comes with a Turbo button.
However, it is a hefty vessel with a weight of five and a half kilos. It’s not the heaviest gaming laptop out there, but it’s one that’s difficult to carry around.
The price reflects the quality, but it’s worth the splurge if you’ve got the cash as this is definitely one of the best Acer laptops for gaming, and Acer has a couple of excellent lines of gaming laptops, frankly, so it’s a tough competition.
The internal tech proves its quality, with the model we received featuring an Intel Core i7-12700H CPU and an Nvidia RTX 3070 Ti GPU, although you can upgrade it even further. So not only will it run some of the best PC games you throw at it, but it will run them well with fast frame rates at the highest settings.
Naturally, there is a trade-off for such excellent graphics, and that is the absolutely bottomless battery life, which barely lasts three hours. This is definitely a laptop you need to keep connected, especially for intense gaming sessions.
The range of ports on both sides and on the back of the laptop is one of the best we’ve seen. There are four USB ports alone, with several other mainstays such as the HDMI port, an SD card reader, an audio jack and even a Kensington slot for added security.
Opening it up reveals a gorgeous QHD panel display that doesn’t disappoint, with every game looking its absolute best between the vibrant colors and crystal clear display. And the refresh rate of 240Hz certainly doesn’t hurt either.
The bezels are nice and thin, giving us considerable screen real estate, although there’s no manual webcam jitter to cover it up when not in use. The keyboard is nice and spacious, includes a numlock pad, has plenty of key space to avoid most typos, and the RBG backlighting is positively stunning as it changes colors on the fly.
All in all, this isn’t as cheap as the best cheap gaming laptops, but it’s not such a premium piece of kit that it’s out of reach for most people, especially with the entry-level configurations. This might be a gaming laptop you end up saving up for over the next few months, but in the end you won’t be disappointed with its performance, although there are some more affordable options that could offer a better value.
Acer Predator Helios 300 (2022): Price and Availability
- The price can get pretty steep when you improve the specs
- Limited availability outside the US and UK
The Acer Predator Helios 300 is a fairly premium gaming laptop that starts quite reasonably at $1,200, with the rig we received priced at $2,100 (about £1,760 / AU$3,091). The laptop comes with plenty of features and some excellent specs, especially as you move up the configuration stack, making it more than worth the price. And honestly, compared to the best gaming laptops they compete against, this price is actually not very steep.
However, it is quite difficult to purchase if outside the US or UK, as the laptop is currently not available in Australia and other regions. Those living in territories that don’t have this laptop may have to import it from the US or UK, which will add quite a bit to the price of an already expensive gaming laptop.
Acer Predator Helios 300 (2022): Design
- Elegant and sexy
- Large port selection
- Fantastic screen and keyboard
The Acer Predator Helios 300 is the kind of gaming laptop that looks and feels like what you can imagine. While it’s admittedly much slimmer and sexier than the bulky and boring budget laptops, it’s still heavy and chunky – not the kind of machine you can casually sling over your shoulder in even the best backpack.
Here is Acer Predator Helios 300 (2022) configuration sent to TechRadar for review:
PROCESSOR: Intel Core i7-12700H
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti
RAM: 16 GB DDR5
Screen: 15.6-inch, QHD IPS, 240 Hz
Storage: 1 TB
Ports: 1 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A, 2 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A, 1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C, 1 x Thunderbolt 4, 1 x power port, 1 x HDMI 2.1, 1 x SD card reader, 1 x Combo Jack, 1 x Kensington Slot
Connection: Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2
Weight: 5.51 pounds | 2.5 kg
Size (W x D x H): 14.1 x 10.9 x 1.02 inches | 36 x 28 x 2.6 cm
The port selection is excellent, with three USB 3.2 Type-A ports, a USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C that doubles as a Thunderbolt 4, an additional power port with a charger included, an HDMI 2.1 port, an SD card reader , a combo jack and a Kensington slot that should honestly be a security standard for any laptop. Whatever your specific needs are, the Acer Predator Helios 300 has it covered.
The display is as impressive as you’d expect for a modern gaming laptop, as it’s a QHD IPS display with a 2560 X 1440 resolution and 240Hz refresh rate. You can see the quality while playing graphically demanding games, as gameplay is buttery smooth and colors are as vivid as possible, making this one of the best 15-inch gaming laptops you’ll find.
This also translates to the webcam, which also offers full HD resolution – perfect for streaming gaming sessions. Unfortunately, there’s no mechanical blind to cover the webcam, which is a little disappointing, but nowhere near a deal breaker.
The keyboard is also well built, with keys that have a good width and are spaced enough to avoid accidental typos and double keystrokes. The trackpad is also a nice size, although it could stand to be a little bigger. But the real showstopper is the RGB lighting which is integrated into each key and allows for some incredible light shows on your keyboard, and you can also customize the lighting if you prefer something more solid than the standard rainbow colours.
Acer Predator Helios 300 (2022): Performance
- Top shelf gaming performance
- Excellent air circulation
- The Turbo button activates overclocking immediately
For a premium gaming laptop, performance is king, or else why would you spend the big bucks for one in the first place? And the Acer Predator Helios 300 certainly blows almost every benchmark out of the water, nearly matching or even surpassing most of the other premium notebook models, including top picks from the likes of Alienware.
Here’s how Acer Predator Helios 300 (2022) performed in our series of benchmark tests:
3DMark: Night Raid: 36,199; Fire attack: 20,334; Time Spy: 10,263
Cinebench R23 Multi-core: 16,497 points
GeekBench 5: 1,763 (mononuclear); 12.231 (multi-core)
PCMark 10 (home test): 7,704 points
PCMark 10 battery life: 3 hours and 5 minutes
Battery life (TechRadar film test): 2 hours and 41 minutes
Total War: Warhammer III (1080p, Ultra): 76 fps; (1080p, low): 212 fps
Cyberpunk 2077 (1080p, Ultra): 51 fps; (1080p, low): 92 fps
Dirt 5 (1080p, Ultra): 44 fps; (1080p, low): 175 fps
This is due to the excellent specifications, including a 12th generation Intel Core i7 and RTX 3070 Ti, as well as DDR5 RAM. And with the option to step up to an RTX 3080, you get some top-tier specs like the ones we saw in our Razer Blade 15 review, but at a much better price.
If standard performance isn’t good enough, the Helios 300 (2022) also supports G-Sync and, thanks to its Nvidia Ampere mobile GPU, ray tracing and Deep Learning Super Sampling. There’s even a special Turbo button above the keyboard that can be activated at any time and puts both the fans and the GPU and CPU into overclocked mode.
This works in conjunction with the PredatorSense software that automatically comes with the laptop and allows you to customize RGB lighting, overclocking settings and fan settings.
The Turbo button is particularly useful as it allows you to instantly improve the already impressive airflow and almost instantly cool down an overheated laptop while boosting performance.
Ultimately, no matter how graphically intense or poorly optimized your AAA game of choice is, the Helios 300 (2022) will chew it up and spit it out with ease.
If you need it to also balance non-gaming tasks for work or school, this is certainly a solid choice for that as well. Obviously, it’s not going to have the portability of the best student laptops out there, but it’ll be great for those who need some downtime after long nights typing up papers in the library.
The powerful specs are more than sufficient for juggling multiple tasks like movie streaming, video calling, editing documents and more, and the dual speakers deliver superb sound quality that’s perfect for listening to Spotify or your music streaming service of choice while working on a task.
Acer Predator Helios 300 (2022): Battery life
- Terrible battery life
- Charging time is average at best
With all the positives of the Acer Predator Helios 300, there has to be at least one real negative, and in this case it’s the battery life.
As powerful as this gaming laptop is, it shows in the absolutely abysmal battery life, which is almost a throwback to the desktop replacements of five or six years ago that wouldn’t last an hour of idling away from an outlet.
While that’s not too bad, the Helios 300 (2022) only scrapes by to reach three hours in the PCMark10 battery test, but falls even short of its disappointing time in our looped HD movie test. This is a laptop that needs to be plugged in pretty much all the time, which means that if you’re carrying this around, you can’t be far from an outlet, adding even more weight to your backpack from the large power adapter.
Should you buy an Acer Predator Helios 300 (2022)?
Buy it if…
Don’t buy it if…
Acer Predator Helios 300 (2022) report card
|Value||While the price is reasonable, as any high-quality laptop will cost a pretty penny, availability at this time is very limited outside of the US. This means that import is the only option and will increase the price even more.||3.5 / 5|
|Design||The exterior chassis is beautiful in black, with an elegant and attractive design. The RGB backlighting on the laptop is gorgeous and the QHD IPS screen enhances any game played on it, as does the high refresh rate of 240Hz.||5/5|
|Performance||Gaming performance is top-notch even on basic settings, and tons of customization options enhance it even more, making this a top contender for one of the best gaming laptops out there. It also doubles as a solid work machine.||5/5|
|Battery life||If you need good or even average battery life, don’t even look this way. It struggles, and sometimes fails, to reach three hours under basic tasks. This is a machine that is meant to be tied to an outlet at all times.||1/5|
|Total||The Acer Predator Helios 300 (2022) is pretty much a PC gamer’s gaming laptop, from design and style to gaming performance. It’s expensive high-end configurations and terrible battery life hold it back from true greatness.||4/5|
- First revised August 2022