Acer Predator Helios 300 (2022): One minute review
As far as more premium options go, the Acer Predator Helios 300 (2022) embodies most of what you’re looking for in a gaming laptop. It’s simple yet has a well-designed chassis, with gorgeous RGB keyboard backlighting, outfitted with some strong tech, and even comes with a Turbo button.
It’s a hefty fellow, though, with a weight of five and a half pounds. It’s not the heaviest gaming laptop out there but it’s one that’s difficult to carry around.
Its price reflects its quality, but it’s worth splurging on if you have the money since this is definitely one of the best Acer laptops for gaming, and Acer has a few excellent gaming laptop lines, honestly, so there's stiff competition.
The inside tech proves its quality, with the model we received sporting an Intel Core i7-12700H CPU and an Nvidia RTX 3070 Ti GPU, though you can upgrade it even further. So not only will it run any of the best PC games you throw at it, but it will run them well at fast frame rates on the highest settings.
Naturally, there’s a tradeoff for such excellent graphics and that’s the absolutely abysmal battery life, which barely lasts three hours. This is definitely a laptop that you need to keep plugged in, especially for intense gaming sessions.
The selection 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 each game looking its absolute best between the vibrant colors and crystal clear display. And the 240Hz refresh rate certainly doesn’t hurt either.
Its bezels are nice and thin, giving us some significant screen real estate, though there’s no manual webcam shudder to cover it up when not in use. The keyboard is nice and roomy, includes a numlock pad, has plenty of key space to avoid most typos, and the RBG backlight 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 so premium a piece of kit that it is out of reach of most people, especially with the starting 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 the performance, even if there are some more affordable options that might provide a better value.
Acer Predator Helios 300 (2022): Price and availability
- The price can get pretty steep as you improve the specs
- Limited availability outside of US and UK
The Acer Predator Helios 300 is a fairly premium gaming laptop that starts out pretty affordable at $1,200, with the rig we received priced at $2,100 (about £1,760 / AU$3,091). The laptop does come with a lot of features and some excellent specs, especially as you move up the configuration stack, making it more than worth the cost. And honestly, compared with the best gaming laptops it's competing against, this pricing isn’t actually very steep. It could be more affordable once you factor in any eligible Acer promo codes around right now.
However, it’s rather difficult to purchase it outside the US or the UK, as the laptop isn’t currently 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 would bump up the price of an already expensive gaming laptop quite a bit.
- Value: 4 / 5
Acer Predator Helios 300 (2022): Design
- Sleek and sexy
- Great port selection
- Amazing display and keyboard
The Acer Predator Helios 300 is the kind of gaming laptop that looks and feels like what you’d imagine one to be. Though it’s admittedly much sleeker and sexier than the bulky and boring budget laptops, it’s still weighty and thick — not the type of machine you can haphazardly sling over your shoulder in even the best backpack.
Here is the Acer Predator Helios 300 (2022) configuration sent to TechRadar for review:
CPU: Intel Core i7-12700H
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti
RAM: 16GB DDR5
Screen: 15.6-inch, QHD IPS, 240 Hz
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
Connectivity: 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
Its 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 that comes with it, an HDMI 2.1 port, an SD card reader, a combo jack, and a Kensington Slot which should honestly be a security standard for any gaming laptop. No matter what your specific needs are, the Acer Predator Helios 300 has it covered.
The display is just as impressive as you’d expect for a modern gaming laptop, as it’s a QHD IPS screen 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 the vibrancy of the colors is as clear as can be, making this one of the best 15-inch laptops for gaming that you're going to 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 said webcam which is a little disappointing but nothing close to a deal-breaker.
The keyboard is well-built as well, with keys that have good width and are spaced out enough to avoid accidental typos and double-key presses. The trackpad is also a nice size, though it could stand to be a bit bigger. But the real showstopper is the RGB lighting that’s integrated into each key and allows for some incredible light shows on your keyboard, and you can customize the lighting as well if you prefer something more solid over the default rainbow colors.
- Design: 5 / 5
Acer Predator Helios 300 (2022): Performance
- Top-shelf gaming performance
- Excellent air circulation
- Turbo button instantly activates overclocking
For a premium gaming laptop, performance is king, or why else would you spend the big bucks for one in the first place? And the Acer Predator Helios 300 absolutely blows nearly every benchmark out of the water, nearly matching or even surpassing most of the other premium laptop models including top-tier picks from the likes of Alienware.
Here is how the Acer Predator Helios 300 (2022) performed in our suite of benchmark tests:
3DMark: Night Raid: 36,199; Fire Strike: 20,334; Time Spy: 10,263
Cinebench R23 Multi-core: 16,497 points
GeekBench 5: 1,763 (single-core); 12,231 (multi-core)
PCMark 10 (Home Test): 7,704 points
PCMark 10 Battery Life: 3 hours and 5 minutes
Battery Life (TechRadar movie 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 its excellent specs including a 12th-gen Intel Core i7 and RTX 3070 Ti, as well as DDR5 RAM. And with the ability to step up to an RTX 3080, you’re getting some top-tier specs like those we saw in our a Razer Blade 15 review but at a much better price point.
If the 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 which can be activated at any time and which puts both the fans and GPU and CPU into overclocked mode.
This works along with the PredatorSense software that’s automatically included with the laptop and which lets you customize RGB lighting, overclocking settings, and fan settings.
The Turbo button is especially useful as it allows you to instantly improve the already impressive air circulation and near-instantly cool down an overheated laptop, while simultaneously bumping up its 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 absolutely a solid choice for that as well. It's not going to have the portability of the best student laptops out there, obviously, but it'll be great for those who need some downtime after long nights writing up papers in the library.
Its powerful specs are more than sufficient for juggling multiple tasks like movie streaming, video calls, 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 an assignment.
- Performance: 5 / 5
Acer Predator Helios 300 (2022): Battery life
- Terrible battery life
- Charge 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 from five or six years ago that wouldn't last an hour idling away from an outlet.
While not quite that bad, the Helios 300 (2022) scrapes by just to reach three hours in the PCMark10 battery test but falls even shorter than that disappointed timein our looped HD movie test. This is one laptop that must be plugged in at pretty much all times, which means if you’re carrying this around you cannot be far away from an outlet, adding even more weight to your backpack from the sizeable power adapter.
- Battery Life: 1 / 5
Should you buy an Acer Predator Helios 300 (2022)?
Buy it if...
You value performance above all else
This laptop sets out to be a top-tier performing machine and accomplishes that in spades. Even at the laptop's lowest performance settings, it can handle any AAA game at max graphics preset with few issues.
You want a machine that can easily overclock
The Turbo button allows you to overclock this laptop with ease while upping the air circulation’s intensity. And once it starts, you can instantly see the FPS jump up in real-time.
You need a quality display
This is one of the best displays we’ve seen on a gaming laptop, it’s absolutely premium quality that shines through in any game.
Don't buy it if...
You’re looking for a budget price
As with most premium gaming laptops, the price often reflects its performance and features, and while the Helios 300 starts fairly affordable, it can get pretty expensive really fast.
You need a solid battery life
The battery life on this laptop is bad, plain and simple. If you’re carrying this machine around, you need to plug it into an outlet pretty much at all times.
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Acer Predator Helios 300 (2022) Report Card
|Value||Though the price makes sense, as any high-quality gaming laptop will cost a pretty penny, its availability at this time is very limited outside the US. Meaning that importing is your only option and will increase the price even more.||4 / 5|
|Design||The outside chassis is lovely in black, with a sleek and attractive design. The RGB backlighting on the laptop is gorgeous and the QHD IPS display enhances any game played on it, as does the high 240Hz refresh rate.||5 / 5|
|Performance||Gaming performance is top-tier even on basic settings, and a ton of customization options enhances 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 a good or even average battery life don’t even look this way. It struggles, and sometimes fails, to even reach three hours under basic tasks. This is a machine meant to be tethered 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 it's design and style to its gaming performance. It's expensive high-end configurations and terrible battery life hold it back from true greatness though.||4 / 5|
- First reviewed August 2022