The Acer Predator Helios 300 PH315-53-71HN is a stellar, mid-tier gaming laptops that looks futuristic and delivers good gaming and overall performance for a solid price
- Edgy, futuristic design
- Good overall and gaming performance
- Comfortable, customizable keyboard
- Cleaner design than its predecessor
- Subpar battery life
- Tinny audio
The Acer Predator Helios 300 gaming laptop looks great on paper and form. Our review model, the Helios PH315-53-71HN packs some extremely powerful hardware, along with class-leading hookups to connect with bigger displays, a bright screen with a fast refresh rate and a full-size keyboard with a number pad. Of course, productivity is held back by some loud fans and a middling battery, but it does indeed run modern games very well.
At the end of the day, the Acer Predator Helios 300 specs are tuned to play games very well, and the series offers a wide range of configuration options. In the same category and price range, you can get some of the best gaming laptops, including the much better Razer Blade 15.
Learn more in our full Acer Predator Helios 300 review.
Acer Predator Helios 300: Price and configuration options
The Acer Predator Helios 300 is available in very many configurations. If you check the Acer website alone, you’ll count upwards of 24 different configurations.
In that list, the cheapest model we found was the Predator Helios 300 PH317-52-716C, that costs around $1,000, ad features an Intel Core i7-8750H, 2.2 GHz processor, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 1050Ti GPU, 8 GB RAM, a 256 GB SSD and a 17.3-inch screen with a 1080p display and 144 Hz refresh rate.
At the other end of the spectrum, there’s a newer Predator Helios 300 PH315-53-78XB, which costs around $1,700. This model features Intel Core i7-10750H, 2.6 GHz processor, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 GPU, 16 GB RAM, a 512 GB SSD and a 15.6-inch screen with a 1080p display and a 144 Hz refresh rate.
Our review model, the Predator Helios 300 PH315-53-71HN, rocks an Intel Core i7-10750H, 2.6 GHz processor, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 GPU, 16 GB RAM, a 512 GB SSD and a 15.6-inch screen with a 1080p display and a 144 Hz refresh rate.
If these specs give you the impression that Acer’s Helios 300 configuration options are mind boggling, you’re correct. There’s no much clear description of the pricing and it’s not clear how many more variations – like the one we’re reviewing would be in line. Since you can’t customize any of the models, it’s important that you choose one that suits your needs upfront.
Looking at the Acer Predator Helios 300, you first notice it resembles many other Predator laptops. It’s cut from a black metal chassis with a pair of reflective strips and a Predator logo on the back, all set in blue. Measuring 14.3 x 0.9 x 0.9 inches, this laptop is pretty compact, given the screen size. But at 4.8 pounds, it’s a little heavier than the competition (similarly priced Acer and Alienware laptops weigh around 4.5 pounds).
It has enough ports to get the job done, but the configuration may not thrill everybody else. The left side has a headphone jack, two USB-A ports and an Ethernet port; the right side has a USB-C port, a USB-A port, an HDMI port and a mini DisplayPort. The power port is on the back of the machine, out of everything else’s way.
We could be fine with less than 1-inch screen bezels. Other than that, we’re quite happy with the 1080p display. It has true-to-life color reproduction, with very good blue and magenta hues that are pretty warm for gaming and watching movies.
The display also boasts a 240Hz refresh rate, which you rarely see in budget gaming laptops. This is a major upgrade from last year’s Acer Predator Helios 300 model, and it helps minimize blur and makes up for dropped frames. It averages 278 nits of brightness, which is slightly below the 295-nit average, coming short of its closest competitors – the Zephyrus G14 (323 nits), the MSI Raider (300 nits), but better than the Aorus (243 nits).
Keyboard & Touchpad
The Predator Helios 300 has always been my favorite keyboard, hands down. It gets a spacious deck that gives way to a comfy Chiclet keyboard featuring 4-zone RGB backlighting, that is customizable via the Predator Sense application. The Predator Sense app is accessible by simply pressing the Predator logo key, and you’re good to go.
As for the keyboard, it has well laid keys that are clicky with appeasing feedback. The highlighted WASD keys, arrow keys and hotkeys have a slight concave shape, which is just perfect during intense gameplay sessions.
Below the keyboard is a 4.2 x 3.4-inch touchpad that’s an ultimate stand-out. Windows 10 gestures are very precise, even when performing three or four-fingered gestures, you simply feel the nice response. The bottom corners on the touchpad are responsive and have a solid click when you press them.
Acer Predator Helios 300: Performance
When buying a gaming laptop, more emphasis is on playing games and less on productivity – the Acer Predator Helios 300 PH315-53-71HN scores well on that count. The system paces well on modern titles including, Doom (2016), Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition, Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales and World of Warcraft, and the Helios 300 runs each one at Ultra graphical settings at 1080p resolution, often with 100+ frames-per-second frame rates.
Luckily for those looking for a capable gamer, the specs translate incredibly well to real-world performance. For instance, Metro Exodus, a graphically demanding game, runs at an average 63 on Ultra settings, which is more that enough to enjoy the game with a butter-smooth gaming experience.
Then there are the usual Nvidia RTX benefits to consider, this being a GeForce RTX 3060 (6GB) graphics card. The overclockable RTX 3060 is a capable card, and with ray tracing effects being available in supported games to boast your experience, your gaming is enhanced. Also, you’re also getting the benefit of DLSS support, so with the help of machine learning AI, you’re assured of improved graphics without worrying about the impact on actual gaming experience.
The 16GB RAM feels sufficient for anyone who’s solely buying this laptop for gaming, but if you’re in a creative profession then the memory makes it a good choice for anyone in need of a device for remote working.
In fact, because that 16GB of RAM makes this a good multitasking machine, this is one of the few gaming laptops that can handle live streaming while gaming with ease, so this is also worth considering if you’re a content creator.
Gaming laptops are rarely great when it comes to retain power, and the Predator PH315-53-71HN is no different, lasting on 3 hours 14 minutes on a single charge. That’s below the mainstream gaming laptop average of 6:15, but it’s still acceptable for what it is. The MSI Raider maxes out at 4:58 while the Aorus clocks 6:18, but the undisputed winner is, without a doubt, the Asus Zephyrus G14 at 11:31.
The Acer Predator Helios 300 is a solid performing mid-tier gaming laptop. Not only does it offer lots of value for your dollar, but the Helios 300 is a stellar machine that will impress your friends. It delivers good graphics ad overall performance and also stays very cool while gaming. All you need to do is have it plugged in because the battery life isn’t great.
If you need something with longer battery life and the same great gaming performance, you should check out the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14. You will lose some little screen real estate, but it’s lighter ad has a brighter, more vivid display and peppy performance.
Overall, the Acer Predator Helios 300 PH315-53-71HN is a great choice for gamers looking for a mid-tier system that looks good and plays hard.