Acer Predator Helios 300 Gaming Laptop, Intel Core i7, GeForce GTX 1060 6GB, 15.6" Full HD, 16GB DDR4, 256GB SSD, G3-571-77QK - VR Ready
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( stars, based on 144 reviews)
Acer Predator Helios 300 G3-571-77QK Gaming Notebook comes with these high level specs: 7th Generation Intel Core i7-7700HQ Processor 2.8GHz with Turbo Boost Technology up to 3.8GHz, 15.6" Full HD (1920 x 1080) widescreen LED-backlit IPS display, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 with 6 GB of dedicated GDDR5 VRAM, 16GB DDR4 2400MHz Memory, 256GB SSD, Acer TrueHarmony Technology Sound System, Two Built-in Stereo Speakers, Secure Digital (SD) card reader, 802.11ac WiFi featuring 2x2 MIMO technology (Dual-Band 2.4GHz and 5GHz), Bluetooth 4.0, 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet LAN (RJ-45 port), HD Webcam (1280 x 720) supporting High Dynamic Range (HDR), 1 - USB 3.1 (Type C) port (Gen 1 up to 5 Gbps), 1 - USB 3.0 Port (featuring Power-off Charging), 2 - USB 2.0 Ports, 1 - HDMI 2.0 Port with HDCP Support, 4-cell Li-ion Battery (3220 mAh), Up to 7-hours Battery Life, 5.95 lbs. | 2.7 kg (system unit only) (NH.Q28AA.001)
- Amazon Sales Rank: #80 in Personal Computers
- Color: Black
- Brand: Acer
- Model: NH.Q28AA.001
- Aspect ratio: 16:9
- Number of items: 1
- Dimensions: 1.05" h x 10.47" w x 15.35" l, 5.95 pounds
- CPU: Intel Core i7 2.8 GHz
- Memory: 16GB DDR DRAM
- Graphics: Dedicated 6GB
- Processors: 4
- Battery type: Lithium Ion
- Display size: 15.6
- Amazon's Choice for a gaming laptop
- 7th Generation Intel Core i7-7700HQ Processor (Up to 3.8GHz)
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 with 6 GB of dedicated GDDR5 VRAM
- 15.6" Full HD (1920 x 1080) widescreen IPS display
- 16GB DDR4 Memory & 256GB SSD
- Up to 7-hours of battery life
Most helpful customer reviews
181 of 193 people found the following review helpful.
Best gaming laptop in the $1000 price range
By D. Hofford
I had been looking around for a while at many different gaming laptops, planning to get one for sure, but was really on the fence about which one to get. I looked at all of the MSi, Asus, Acer, Dell, HP, Lenovo, Sabre, etc. and to be honest, all these companies had great gaming laptops to offer for around the $1000 price point I was looking for. And I would hope that anyone looking for a gaming laptop in this price range would understand that companies are going to make compromises to reach that price range. All of the gaming laptops from all of these companies are great for this price range, and they all make their compromises in different areas of their laptops to reach that point. Ultimately though, most all of the other ones I looked at for this price were making their compromise in the the form of the GPU, stepping them down to the GTX 1050ti instead of the 1060 to try and cut costs. This was the only one that I found that still included the GTX 1060, and a 6gb one at that! No, it doesn't have the Aeroblade fans like some of the more expensive Predator line, and doesn't have a Thunderbolt port, but it does still have a USB-C 3.1, and the dual fans that it does have are still very good. I'll try to spare the more specific details on the specs on the laptop, as you can simply read those yourself on the main page here for the Helios 300, so I will move on to the concerns I had and what I think of the laptop so far now that I've had it for a few weeks and had plenty of time to run it through the mill.
There was another reviewer on here that had purchased the Helios 300 as well, and in his review stated that once he got it, Acer did not have the current driver software update on their site for the GPU, so his GTX 1060 in it was useless at that time. He updated his review a few weeks later stating that Acer did finally update their driver software support to the most current version, but I was still concerned about this at the time of my purchase. Needless to say, my concerns about this were immediately alleviated once I got the laptop, as I opened the GeForce Experience program the laptop comes installed with and was easily able to update the driver software within the first 10 minutes of turning it on. Now to my second concern I had, which was heat and cooling
I do plan to use this laptop for gaming, and although I don't plan on doing extremely heavy gaming on it, as I have a PS4, Xbox 360, 2 ps vitas, and a Nintendo Switch, all with plenty of games on them to which are my primary gaming platforms, there are just some games you cannot get on consoles, especially indie games that are offered on Steam, and this is my main use for this laptop, but I did want to see what this thing is capable of, so I purchased The Witcher 3 and Far Cry 4 to really test what it can do. I'll say, between those two games, and above all my other indie games and older, easier to run games that aren't near as taxing on the hardware, The Witcher 3 is the ultimate test to see what a system can do, as it runs it HARD, pushing the CPU and GPU to their limits as is, but it does run the game EXTREMELY well, keep in mind you HAVE to be plugged in to the power supply for these particular heavy running games to perform adequately, as if you try and unplug and run them solely on the battery power, both Witcher 3 and Far Cry 4 will instantly cut down to 9fps and are completely unplayable in that manner, and this is NOT something that can be changed, it is just the way the BIOS is set up. Trust me, I tried messing with all of the regular settings to which none of them changed this at all, the only way I found that you could possibly get those type of games to run at full 60+fps on the battery alone would be to go into the BIOS and turn up the voltage, but I DO NOT recommend even trying that, as it is just not worth potentially melting your computer just to do this, so settle on knowing you will need to be plugged in when playing PS4-era games. All of my other games, however that are xbox 360-era games, such as dark souls and payday 2, and ALL of my indie games, run a smooth 30-60+ fps in battery only mode. So, back to the heating and cooling, even though it doesn't have the Aeroblade 3D fans, the dual fans it does have work very well and are much quieter than I expected them to be, only really being noticeably audible when turned up to max speed. The rest of the time, they are barely a whisper. I want to note, that I HIGHLY recommend always running the PredatorSense application that comes built in to the laptop, as it is very simple and works great, giving you a very nice window that gives you a live feed of your individual CPU and GPU fan speeds, as well as current temperature/loading monitoring for both the CPU and GPU as well, and records all of that data on a second-by-second basis from the time you open the app to current. It also has very easy settings to use, have Auto, Max, and Custom fan speed controls, as well as having something called CoolBoost which I will get into in a moment.
So, while running either The Witcher 3 or Far Cry 4, I noticed that after extended periods of play (1+ hours), on the auto setting and with CoolBoost off, CPU temp was staying around 90 Celsius, and 80 Celsius for the GPU, and there were short spikes that would last a few seconds at a time where the CPU would actually jump up to 97 Celsius, which was enough to concern me, so I tried messing with the settings more, and concluded that if you are going to play any heavy games that tax the hardware this much, I HIGHLY recommend that you turn CoolBoost ON, as once this was on, on the Auto fan setting, playing The Witcher 3 or Far Cry 4 for extended periods, it considerably helped to cut down these max temperatures, where now the CPU max was at 87 Celsius, and the GPU at 78 Celsius max. Much better. Now, as for all of my indie games and Xbox 360 era games, this ran considerably cooler, with Dark Souls pushing the CPU to 72 Celsius max, and GPU 61 Celsius max. So, in conclusion, cooling is definitely more than adequate for light to medium gaming, but to remain adequate cooling on heavy games, I recommend you always turn on CoolBoost first, but once you've done so, it is adequate.
In conclusion, I am extremely happy with the performance of this laptop! It hits all of the right marks for someone like me who does do medium and some occasionally heavy gaming on it. As far as all other uses, for web browsing, video streaming and similar tasks, it is more than enough to easily perform well, with web browsing specifically being very fast. It may even be enough to say it is overpowered for such tasks, which is fine by me. The ISP screen is beautiful to say the least, with very good viewing angles, having a VERY slight loss in brightness at about 50+ degrees onward, but it is so slight it is still viewable. The keyboard is very solid, and the keys have good travel and resistance, not too much, not too little. The only qualm I might have regarding the keyboard is the fact that you only get one color on the back lighting for it, red, as I understand that may bother some people, but again for the price point, some compromises are to be expected, and the red backlighting really does not bother me, and actually has really good lighting, not being too overpowering but giving you enough light to be able to easily see all keys well. The touchpad is very good, having smart gesture capability, and the left and right clicking work well on it, as well as tapping the touchpad to click. Battery life overall is actually much better than I anticipated for all the hardware it has, being able to get upwards of 8 hours with light to medium use for surfing the web and doing other things, with gaming obviously draining it much quicker, but I've been able to get up to 2 hours on some games on just the battery alone without even trying to turn any of the settings down and actually having the screen brightness all the way up. The 256gb ssd that it comes with is blazing fast and I absolutely love it, but I do recommend you consider getting an additional hard drive for it as I did, as it does come with an extra 2.5" slot on the bottom to put an additional drive in it, which I ended up throwing my old 500gb PS4 hard drive in, which was an extremely easy thing to do since they made a simple door on the back that comes off after just removing one screw and is super easy to do yourself, just don't forget to make sure the hard drive you put in it is already formatted or empty, as I forgot to erase all my old PS4 data off the one I put in it, and ended up having to go into the Disk Management settings and delete all the partitions (save files essentially) one at a time before the computer would even recognize the hard drive, but once I deleted all of the partitions, it easily recognized it.
In summary, I would definitely recommend this laptop for anyone that is looking for something similar to what I was looking for that wants to get the absolute most performance they can for a price point of $1099 and that isn't concerned too much about being bothered by having a laptop that looks like a gaming laptop.
50 of 53 people found the following review helpful.
It's a beast!
By Gavin Scott
Update: This morning the Nvidia 1060 seems to have failed (turns out not to be true, see below) less than a month after getting the laptop. It runs fine on the integrated Intel graphics, but it no longer thinks the 1060 even exists, so that's disappointing. I will now see what Acer's fancy Predator support will do for me.
Update to Update: After trying lots of things, I looked at the event log in Device Manager, and it showed a driver install event two days ago (two entries in the Event log: "Driver service added (nvlddmkm)", "Device installed (nvac.inf)") so something updated something automagically. Now looking at Windows Update, Update History, under Driver Updates it shows "NVIDIA - Display - 5/1/2017 12:00:00 AM - 22.214.171.12405, Failed to install on 5.31.2017" . I used the Roll Back Driver option in Device Manager and it started working again! So not a hardware issue at all, but some issue with Windows Update screwing with drivers for it for some reason.
So, it's here! I got one through Vine to play with before they're officially released. It seems to be full and final retail construction and packaging, though versions of included software (and everything else of course) are probably subject to change by the time they hit the retail channel.
So far I love it. The IPS screen is extremely sharp. It's a matte screen surface too which is nice.
There are two internal fans, one for the CPU and one for the GPU, and a simple "PredatorSense" application is provided to monitor temperatures and control the fan speeds (one oddness is that when the GPU load is 0% it shows 0 degrees). Fan speeds run from around 2K RPM to 5K RPM. Below 3K they're silent. When you start pushing the system they make a pretty quiet whisper of airflow which is not disturbing at all. The exhaust is directly out the back just to the right of center. So far the rest of the case has all remained cool under load, and the overall thermal management seems excellent.
The system came with little or no crapware installed (just the standard Windows 10 stuff), and showed 209 out of 237GB free out of the box on windows 10 build 14393. After Windows Update and installing The Windows 10 Creators Update (and not yet deleting the previous version) it's at 186GB free. If I can find anything to complain about on this model it's the limited 256GB SSD that it comes with, but exploring the access panels on the bottom (see photos) it appears there's an empty 2.5" drive bay so I can see an additional 512GB SSD or something similar in my future. I have not yet found where the presumably M.2 Micron 256GB drive is actually located. It might be under the silver foil seen in the drive bay photo, but I didn't try to pull it up before reassembling it.
Came with 2x8GB memory config and DDR4 2400 memory DIMMs I believe. There are no manuals available for the system as of this writing, so I don't know what the maximum supported memory is. I'm going to guess it's at least 32GB (which is my preferred memory config for WIndows 10 these days) and I'll probably upgrade it at some point if that's confirmed.
Packaging was very nice in the "premium device" style with the laptop itself in a custom foam-padded box inside the packaging. The hefty power brick, a basic setup guide, and a set of four tiny screws (probably for mounting a 2.5" drive?) completed the contents (as shown in the pictures).
It came with BIOS 1.01 and I flashed it to the 1.02 available off the Acer support site. There seems to be a complete set of drivers etc. available with a May 5th date. Mine came with nVidia 376.89 Acer drivers and I have not yet tried installing the May 5th ones to see if they're a different nVIdia version, and I have not tried installing nVidia reference drivers yet either. So far the 1060 behavior and performance is as expected (excellent, and a nice step up over the more common 1050Ti hardware common in this price range).
The keyboard feels good, fairly similar to my Lenovo Y series. It has a red backlight (only one brightness level vs. off that I've found) with little light bleed around the keys. The key top graphics are a different font than usual but look nice. The WASD keys have a translucent border letting them light up with a red outline in case somehow your fingers aren't already permanently programmed to seek out their location. The keyboard lighting can be turned off, but when it's on it does not time out and stays on.
The "Predator" branding below the screen, on the back, and in the firmware boot display looks pretty good (it doesn't actually say Acer anywhere). Nothing is illuminated though.
The trackpad requires a bit more force to physically press it than is typical. I plugged in a Logitech mouse and configured it to disable the trackpad when the mouse is connected, because I hate trackpads generally.
Otherwise all specs and behavior are as described/expected. This is a good midrange gaming laptop with up to date hardware at a good price. The screen looks great, the keyboard feels good, it doesn't weigh too much, and it remains pretty calm under load.
The power connection is on the right side, with a right-angle power plug. You have to be a little careful when setting it down so that it's not pointing down and trying to rest on the connector. There are two LEDs next to the power jack for AC and battery state which are both blue when charged/connected.
The two USB 2.0 ports are on the right close to the power connection along with the single headset (combined mic/speaker) jack. The left side has the USB 3, USB C, HDMI, LAN, and SD slots. The SD card only goes in about halfway, so half of it is left protruding from the case. The LAN jack has a spring-loaded fold-down component to open it to accept the plug. The hinge/spring on it feel good, unlike some that feel like you're bending the plastic to get it open.
The top (back of the screen) is (somewhat thin feeling) metal. The rest of the construction is plastic. The screen hinge works smoothly. There is no touch screen, however the screen surface is relatively sturdy (does not deform and go all rainbowy on you if you poke at it).
Audio/speakers seem excellent.
Memory and disk expansion is available under dedicated access panels, so you can easily access them without having to disassemble the whole thing, a nice feature on recent Acer models.
So far it has been just as hoped in every respect, and it's and easy five-star product. I'll updare this review is I encounter any problems or learn anything else interesting.
Pictures attached. (I have no idea how they ended up upside down, they're right side up here)
Updates: Have started doing some unscientific benchmarks with various things I have laying around. Looking for some more up to date games to try out. These are not super controlled tests, just reporting various experiences. All tests done on AC power with the default power profile and no attempt to OC the 1060 or anything like that. Ambient room temp around 73F.
Guild Wars 2 with the best appearance graphics preset wants to put out about 90fps. I enabled VSync and locked it at 60fps and the game is buttery smooth with no glitching or lagging and looks stunning and runs with only slight fan noise. My old Lenovo Y with nVidia 850M would struggle to consistently get above 30fps on best performance settings.
Blender 2.78c BMW27 rendering benchmark, 04:19 GPU mode, and 11:24 on the CPU. In CPU mode all 8 threads running 100% utilized, Task manager reports 3.19GHz actual clock speed, 161F CPU temp, and barely a whisper 3700 RPM fan speeds. GPU rendering got the fans up to 4200-4600 RPM or so, GPU 100% utilized, 150F, and at the same time CPU at 20% busy, 170F, and 3.56GHz.
I'm more and more impressed by the 1060 performance, and the thermal control of the system. The entire bottom of the laptop remains cool even at full load. The area on top above the keyboard gets warm across its width, but the keyboard/trackpad and everywhere you would come into contact with the case all stays cool. There are air intakes covering about 40% of the back half on the bottom so you want to not block them, but otherwise this is a laptop you could actually use comfortably on your lap while gaming.
Also 100% stable so far, no crashes, glitches, or other disturbing behavior.
150 of 168 people found the following review helpful.
Edited, because it could be better after 10 days...
By John Robert Crist
EDIT: I've owned the laptop for 10 days now and have put it through it's paces. I did end up coming up with a few points everyone should know that I'll list below.
The first thing to know is that you're going to need to update your laptop's firmware. Go to the Acer support site and download the 1.2 AND 1.3 updates for your firmware (which they incorrectly label as a BIOS update). Update to 1.2 *first*, then update to 1.3. That'll solve a lot of stuttering and freezing you will come across, for example when a UAC prompt comes up.
Next, I did reinstall a fresh copy of Windows to help with the stability of the system. I did this by using Rufus to make a Windows 10 installer USB (use Google for instructions). I then had to hit Start, Settings, Update, Recovery, and reboot into UEFI Settings mode. I disabled SecureBoot so I could boot the USB media, installed a fresh copy of Windows 10, then went back into the UEFI settings to re-enable SecureBoot using the .efi file in my new install. I then updated everything, installed the drivers from the website, and my laptop is far more stable than it's ever been.
I feel like this is an inconvenient step to have to take. I also feel that Acer should be more up to date with it's graphics drivers. The Nvidia drivers that they're running were released in December 2016, and you can't install the latest drivers directly from Nvidia because the graphics card will then fail to start.
For these I'm docking off two stars from my original 5-star review.
For reference, my comparisons are based on my previous laptop, an HP Elitebook 8760w that I upgraded with a GTX 980, 32GB of DDR3 RAM, a 2nd generation i7, and 3 SSDs in a RAID0 configuration
I originally wanted this laptop because of the price point it was sitting at -- it was the only laptop available with a 1060 at such a low price point. My first concern during purchase was the build quality followed by the thermal design.
The body feels aluminum but clearly is made of plastic internally. The finish is incredibly nice though it is absolutely an oil magnet. The joints on the screen feel extremely solid and the body shows no sign of flex. The power connector is at a 90° angle which I love.
Next is the thermal design. The photos show large vents in the back of the laptop, but only half of those vents are open (the right-most side of the laptop). The other side is filled in. I'd have liked if Acer spent more time making the left side match but I suppose it'll do. During burn-in and at stock speeds the CPU maxes out 81°C and the GPU seems to top out at 67°C and doesn't appear to throttle back. The fans are configurable but on the stock automatic settings spin up to just over 6k RPMs. With such a wide exhaust in the back and what appears to be very large cage fans it's hardly audible at full speed. The chassis (besides the exhaust port, obviously) doesn't perceptibly feel any hotter during full load than it does at idle.
My laptop shipped with UEFI Firmware v1.1 and 1.3 was available. I wasn't able to install 1.3 directly and had to install 1.2 first, then 1.3. With my HP I'm able to install the stock NVidia drivers but with this laptop I'm not able to, which I assume is caused by customizations allowing for changes in screen brightness and whatnot. This isn't a deal breaker, though it's bothersome that the driver Acer provides is over 3 months out of date.
The backlight on the keyboard is *just* bright enough to be effective and no more, which I prefer in contrast to the backlit keyboard on my HP which is blindly bright at maximum.
My 3DMark Basic scores at stock speeds were 3621 for graphics and 3822 for the processor, at an average of 3 runs. I've not yet played with overclocking.
I would absolutely buy this laptop again and have no regrets. I'm incredibly impressed with what I've gotten for the price I've paid. I do intend to max out my RAM at 32GB and I've thrown in a Corsair Force LE SSD into the spare 2.5" drive bay, but other than that, it's perfect as is.