Acer Predator Helios 500 review

A high-powered gaming computer in laptop form

Acer Predator Helios 500

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The Acer Predator Helios 500 is built to impress gamers with its performance.


Here’s how the Acer Predator Helios 500 performed in our suite of benchmark tests:

3DMark: Sky Diver: 37,665; Fire Strike: 14,692; Time Spy: 5,688
Cinebench CPU: 1,348 points; Graphics: 136 fps
GeekBench: 4,686 (single-core); 23,836 (multi-core)
PCMark 8 (Home Test): 5,077 points
PCMark 8 Battery Life: 1 hour and 54 minutes
Battery Life (techradar movie test): 1 hours and 56 minutes
Total War: Warhammer II (1080p, Ultra): 56 fps; (1080p; Low): 114 fps
Middle Earth: Shadow of War (1080p, Ultra): 78 fps; (1080p, Low): 148 fps

That’s not surprising considering our review configuration boasts an i9, which is the most powerful mobile Intel Core processor available; 16GB of RAM, which is as much as you would need for any games right now; a solid state main drive and a secondary hard drive combination; and an Nvidia GTX 1070 graphics card.

All that allows the Acer Predator Helios 500 to run smoothly, resulting it a gaming experience that looks appealing, is densely detailed and has zero lags or drops. Anything you want this laptop to do, it will do without a hitch.

We played the new Tomb Raider game on ultra settings, and it ran beautifully. Though not necessary, we did run the game’s own benchmarks and it did experience a bit of stuttering during this test. However, when we played the game, it loaded very quickly and didn’t have any issues – even after a couple hours of playing.

We also tested it with the latest Final Fantasy – which is a vastly detailed, open world game – and the laptop was able to keep up. We didn’t have any issues playing Call of Duty: WWII on max settings either.

Acer Predator Helios 500

Battery life

We wouldn’t expect a lot from the Acer Predator Helios 500’s battery. The battery life, unsurprisingly, sucks. While this is a gaming laptop and we don’t expect much as far as its battery life, we also didn’t expect for it to be profoundly weak.

You would think that, with all that power, Acer would compensate and equip it with a longer lasting battery. Of course, that’s assuming it wouldn’t just result in an even bigger laptop.

The Acer Predator Helios 500 battery clocks in at a little under two hours. That’s not even enough to watch the Guardians of the Galaxy movie in full.

Software and features

The Acer Predator Helios 500’s special features are mostly application or software-based. There is, of course, the Predator Sense program, which allows you to control the fans and cooling, the RGB keyboard lighting, the special hotkeys and overclocking. For sound, there’s the Waves MaxxAudio software, which boasts five presets, three of which are for gaming, and an EQ.

However, there are also the Killer Control Center app, which allows you to take control of your network to boost online performance; as well as the Predator Quartermaster app, which is for controlling other Predator devices. The Acer Predator Helios 500 is also VR-enabled.

Acer Predator Helios 500

Final verdict

As far as performance, we’re impressed. The Acer Predator Helios 500 is clearly designed for hardcore gamers who have zero tolerance for slow loading, frame drops, lags, stuttering and all other common gaming issues you might encounter with less power under the hood. 

The display is also breathtaking; there are a number of apps installed that allow you to improve your gaming experience; and you can connect up to three displays so you can multitask.

This gaming laptop is definitely worth the investment if you’ve got some cash saved up – or you’re just loaded. Just know that, for a truly immersive gaming experience with this laptop, you’ll need to invest in a better gaming mouse, and a gaming headset with a better sound quality and soundstage.

Michelle Rae Uy

Michelle Rae Uy is the former Computing Reviews and Buying Guides Editor at TechRadar. She's a Los Angeles-based tech, travel and lifestyle writer covering a wide range of topics, from computing to the latest in green commutes to the best hiking trails. She's an ambivert who enjoys communing with nature and traveling for months at a time just as much as watching movies and playing sim games at home. That also means that she has a lot more avenues to explore in terms of understanding how tech can improve the different aspects of our lives.