CONS: Thick , High-end price tag.
The Acer Predator Helios 500 is different from the general gaming laptop trend. Unlike the sleeker designs of its competitors, Acer Helios 500 is a massive gaming laptop under 2000 which has a large screen and is equipped with the latest in CPU tech (Both i7 and i9). Newer designs in the market are going for sleeker and lighter designs costing the machine in terms of performance and flexibility. However, Acer Predator Helios 500 has a heavy metal body of almost four Kg in mass. There are many ports and good lighting options available as well.
What is good about Acer Helios 500? You get the full power of both Graphics and CPU, unlike the sleeker models. A little bit of performance and flexibility is compromised while making all the components sleek to fit design specs. Predator Helios went old school with the heavy metal loaded design with a thick body to incorporate all the full-sized elements. It isn’t overly expensive either.
What you are not getting with the Predator Helios 500, it’s not top of the line in gaming laptops. There are more powerful combinations available with better options. But they are expensive. Overall, Predator Helios 500 is somewhere in the middle of the ladder.
Acer Predator Helios 500 Review & Overall Specs
|CPU||Intel Core i7-8750H|
|Display||17.3 inches FHD IPS (144Hz, 3ms)|
|Storage||256GB NVMe SSD+1TB|
|GPU||GeForce GTX 1070|
|Battery Life||3.5 hours|
|Size||11.73 x 16.85 x 1.52 (inch)|
|Connectivity||4 standard USB 3.1, USB-C 3.1, HDMI, USB 2.0, ThunderBolt 3|
You might be asking yourself, why did Acer go with a dense design in times of mobility and sleekness? The Predator Helios 500 is designed to hold a full-sized GPU. Unlike slimmer models that use the Max-Q versions. The Max-Q versions meet the compact design specs but carry less power. However, this makes the Predator Helios 500 almost 2 inches thick at the rear. It uses up a great deal of table space as well.
The thick body design also holds 5 pipes for heat ventilation and two fully metal fans. Predator Helios is elevated from below to keep the air circulation well. Also, there are two colossal heat exhausts at the back that keep Helios 500 much more chill than many of its rivals. Besides, CoolBoost tech allows you to increase the fan speed whenever you feel like you want extra performance.
Also Read: Dell XPS 15 9570
Predator Helios 500 is a mid-level gaming laptop with a few customizable features available.
The screen is a massive 17.3” and is available both in 4k and 1080p. Night-gamers are sure to love the bright, vivid displays of the large screen. In addition, it has a customized four-point RGB keyboard lighting system. The lights are not as customizable to the point of individual keys, yet provide good flexibility. The RGB mix allows you to customize the color to your likings. Also, larger size means that the keyboard is a gaming edition. Anti-ghosting tech does not let you miss a keystroke, which could be life-saving in the heat of battle.
In addition, the huge body design allows extra ports. As a gamer, you always want room for more connections. Acer Predator Helios 500 provides you with them. 2 USB-C, 3 USB-A, Ethernet port, HDMI, and Displayport outputs for videos are included on the body. Being the powerhouse that the Predator Helios is, you won’t be surprised by the low battery timings.
You have the right combination of the GTX 1070 8 GB GPU, with either the I7, 8th gen processor. Otherwise, you could opt for the top of the line I9 with a $500 bump in the price. It is a rather powerful processing combination; however, it is not top of the line. The processor is 2.2 GHz, but with turbo-boost technology, it tops out at 4.1 GHz, and the Video memory is GDDR5 overclockable.
There is a 17.3” Full HD (1920 x 1080) display, also available in 4k. In addition, it has NVIDIA G-Sync technology. It offers a color gamut of 72% NTSC with a refresh rate of 144 Hz. Also, it supports two extra monitors for all you hard-core gamers out there.
Additionally, powerful DDR4 technology has been used for RAM. It is clocked at 2666 MHz and 16 GB in size. The Hard Drive is 1TB with a rotational speed of 5400RPM. You will also get a 256 GB Solid State Drive to boost your boot speeds and normal Windows operations.
As already mentioned, the keyboard is backlit in four zones. It provides a wide range of colors with an RGB combination. Predator Helios 500 comes with two thunderbolts and three USB Type C 3.1 ports. Also, one of the type-C ports features power-off charging as well. The battery is a four-cell, Lithium-ion with an average life of about 3.5-hours with a full charge.
Helios 500 features two built-in speakers and a subwoofer. Also, it employs Waves MaxxAudio sound technology. The Wi-Fi is 2×2 MU-MIMO technology with dual bands (2.4 and 5 GHz). The HD webcam is 1080 x 720p allowing you good streaming quality while gaming.
Also read: Huawei MateBook X Pro
Acer Predator Helios 500 is a medium level performer in the gaming world. It might not be an ideal choice for those who can afford to spend a little higher. However, the medium budget gamers get an excellent deal out of it. The overall look is extraordinarily muscle-like. The Predator 500 could probably bench press more than you.
Coming to the screen, 17.3” is a handsome amount good for gamers. Also, it features the G-Synch technology refreshing the screen at 144 Hz. However, the G-Synch feature requires the GPU to be operating all the time. Unlike traditional laptops, where it switches to basic graphics when there is no demand. G-Synch results in a greater drain on the battery.
Some essential benchmark test performances for Acer Predator Helios 500 is as under:
The 3DMark Fire strike gives it a score of 14056, whereas the competitors’ average score was 14853.7. When you look at the Alien ware and Aerus ratings, 14056 is classified as a high average rating. The hard drive speed, also, rates somewhere in the average line. With rivals rating 449.52 as an average, 391.48 for Acer Helios 500 is just about acceptable.
Some benchmark performances for games in Frames per second (FPS) are given here as well. And just as promised, Helios 500 is not bad at all for the price tag. The famous GTA V clocked an acceptable 57 fps on very high graphics. Middle Earth, however, rated much better with an average of 82 fps.
As you can see that Acer Helios 500 is a giant of a machine. I have already mentioned that Acer installed the full-sized GPU increasing the laptop’s power. But to generate such power, you need much more power. Even though the company claims a 3.5-hour working, in reality, even watching a movie on the Helios 500 runs it dry in about 2 hours 15 minutes due to the G-Synch feature. This time is cut in half if you start gaming and increasing the machine’s temperature.
However, battery timings are least of a gamer’s considerations while picking a powerhouse machine that meets all the high demands. Low battery timing is, therefore, expected. Yet, due to its massive size and performance specs. Helios 500 is among the weakest performers in battery timings.
The basic package with an I7 processor and full HD screen costs around $1950 at the time of this review. However, if you add the full power, i.e. core I9 with 4k display. You’ll be paying a hefty $2500. Keeping other high-end machines available in the market in view, this is a bargain. Also, it is perfect for gamers who have a rather tight budget.
To sum it up, Predator Helios 500 is a mid-level gaming machine with considerable power at its disposal. It is perfect for on budget gamers who cannot depend upon a static PC. That being said, Helios 500 itself is also not exactly a lightweight machine. It weighs around four kilograms and will take up much of your desk space. For high-end gamers who can afford to spend big bucks, NVIDIA has dropped the latest in its generation of GPUs that will be coming to laptops soon. So watch out before you invest thousands in a gaming laptop.