Regardless of the poor progress of the South African financial system of late, there are nonetheless a couple of industries which are seeing nice returns in income, with an equally constructive outlook on their forecasts heading into the Christmas interval and past into 2019. One such business is the gaming sector within the nation, extra particularly that of gaming laptops.
One of many main drivers of this uptake has been the speedy progress of eSports within the nation, in addition to the adoption of many manufacturers to again a few of the greatest eSports gamers within the area. It’s straightforward to see the attract of many kids aiming to turn out to be the subsequent international eSports star, much more so once you view a number of the prize cash on supply throughout a number of recreation genres and a number of video games inside every of these genres.
As such, producers proceed to launch new and improved gaming gear within the nation, bringing in a number of the greatest hardware that’s on supply. A number of weeks again, we managed to evaluate the Acer Predator Helios 300, a really strong mid-range unit, with an amazing worth in addition. This time round, it’s the flip of its huge brother, the Acer Predator Helios 500, to be put beneath the microscope. How a lot better is it that the extra reasonably priced Helios 300 and is the worth of the Helios 500 backed up by the extra performances and options?
Construct and Design
Once you market a top-tier gaming laptop computer, it virtually has to already do a lot of the be just right for you. Relating to the design, you shouldn’t need to marvel if the unit is a gaming laptop computer or whether or not even when it’s one of many flagship merchandise. It must be screaming this at you from the second you take a look at it. And that’s precisely what the Helios 500 is about.
Sure, it stays true to the design aesthetics of the opposite Predator gaming models, as with the Helios 300, nevertheless it stands out from the gang simply as simply. One of many extra outstanding options of the design is the air flow system. The vent grille design continues to the edges of the unit as properly for extra air flow, tying within the look all throughout the body. This has turn out to be somebody of an influence assertion by producers when designing their gaming models, because the outsized, jet engine type vents aren’t actually a necessity by at present’s requirements.
…it stays true to the design aesthetics of the opposite Predator gaming models… however it stands out from the gang simply as simply…
Not solely do the CPU and GPU models run much more environment friendly and require much less cooling, there’s additionally a small matter of liquid and heatsink cooling that has additionally turn out to be widespread in 2018. The protruding rear on the Helios 500, then, is nothing greater than showboating. However I adore it only for that objective.
The premium design parts proceed to the internal aspect of the unit as soon as the lid has been lifted, which incorporates individually highlighted WASD keys and trackpad, in addition to an over-sized energy button, resembling some sort of high-tech, spaceship ignition. Talking of the lid, it’s not able to opening past the 135° mark. It isn’t a lot of a problem, however would have been appreciated if it might prolong slightly additional. The hinge on the rear doesn’t really feel as agency because it did on the Helios 300, though it’s not a worrying situation, with solely a creek or two to talk of. Whereas there are rubber ft on the within of the lid to guard the display from scratching on the keys, there aren’t any rubber ft beneath the unit to stop it from slipping on surfaces.
The Helios 500 isn’t about being the slimmest and sleekest unit, measuring 428x298x38.7mm.
The unit, nevertheless, doesn’t have a metallic body or end. As an alternative, Acer choosing a plastic construct. Because the unit is pretty hefty as it’s already when it comes to weight, at three.8KG, having included an aluminium metallic end might have pushed the load up even additional. The Helios 500 isn’t about being the slimmest and sleekest unit, measuring 428x298x38.7mm. To place that into perspective, you might virtually match two Razer Blade laptops inside the similar thickness 38.7mm thickness. The unit has an angled end from whichever perspective you’re taking a look at it. The lid and physique are angled on the edges, as with many different models, together with the Helios 300.
On the left-hand aspect, the unit options an RJ45 port, x1 USB three.zero (with always-on charging) and x2 USB three.1 Sort-C ports. Switching to the right-hand aspect, the unit features a Kensington lock slot, x2 USB three.zero ports and x2 jacks for a headphone and microphone. There’s additionally room between the grilles on the rear, the unit additionally sports activities an influence jack, a Show Port and an HDMI 2.zero port with HDCP help.
Audio and Inputs
Most of the time, I don’t spend an excessive amount of time utilizing the onboard audio system on laptop computer, principally as a result of I can’t deal with the tinny sounds for too lengthy at a time. Both I exploit the audio system on the related monitor or TV utilizing an HDMI connection or the encompass sound system if I’m in a position. On the Helios 500, the staff has fitted a pair of audio system together with a pair of subwoofers to accompany them. That is fairly a powerful feat, which put the unit’s thickness into perspective.
The audio system are powered by Dolby Audio software program, which offers good audio high quality.
The audio system are powered by Dolby Audio software program, which supplies good audio high quality. Sounds are clear, with a distinction between many devices when listening to music. The bass is somewhat smooth on the entire however nonetheless so much higher than many different models that don’t typically embrace a woofer, not to mention two. There’s an excellent mixture of low, mid and excessive frequencies represented, with the midrange struggling probably the most general. Regardless of all of the branded audio system and partnerships we’ve seen on different models through the years, the Helios 500 has a ok system to beat most of these.
When it comes to the keyboard, regardless of the separate color allocation, the WASD keys aren’t any totally different than the opposite chiclet keys. The fitting-hand aspect of arrow keys are shifted decrease than the remainder of the keys and, as talked about beforehand, they’ve separate colors (with the WASD keys) than the remainder of the keyboard. There are a further six perform keys above the traditional perform keys, which might be customised with shortcuts and macros on your private use, particularly helpful in video games.
The touchpad can also be highlighted in LED lights as with the WASD and arrow keys. In contrast to many modern-day pads, this one consists of two distinct left and proper buttons, making it simpler to make use of general. The touchpad is clean to the touch on its matte gray end. The accuracy was good and together with different touch-based gestures.
Display and Show
The Helios 500 sports activities a 17.three” measurement display with an 1920x1080px decision show. The FHD panel has a 144Hz response time and in addition helps G-Sync. The display itself has a matte end, which diminishes the color saturation, low distinction ratio and general brightness consequently. Taking the unit outdoor, you’ll nonetheless have the ability to view the display completely nicely, regardless of the brightness.
The Helios 500 sports activities a 17.three” measurement display with an 1920x1080px decision show.
The color spectrum produces pretty low outcomes with 91% sRGB and 59% Adobe RSGB. It doesn’t matter an excessive amount of on the subject of gaming, however extra of a problem for designers, editors and the likes. Relating to the response occasions, the unit has a powerful 9ms for monotone colors and round 14ms when operating throughout the full-colour spectrum. The latter isn’t that nice for skilled players, nevertheless it’s greater than enough for normal utilization.
Efficiency and Battery
There are numerous variants of the Helios 500 to select from, ranging all the best way from entry-level specs, to the newest hardware. The unit we acquired, the Predator PH517-51, sported an Intel Core i9-8950HK with 32GB RAM, which is sort of a strong mixture. The efficiency is sort of spectacular, to say the least, principally because of its overclocked 2.9Ghz CPU. Boot occasions have been immensely fast, which was aided by the use of the 256GB m.2 SSD, which recorded learn and write speeds properly above the 350MBps mark. In isolation, these speeds are nice, however doesn’t match a number of the main models which push speeds nearer to the 500MBps mark. There’s additionally a further 1TB HDD for storage of music and different media you don’t typically have to entry at lightning speeds.
For a lot of video games, the GPU managed body charges in extra of 140fps on Excessive to Extremely settings.
Along with the outright computing performances, the Helios 500 additionally sports activities a Nvidia GTX 1070 graphics card with 8GB VRAM and G-Sync. The GPU is overclockable, which makes it fairly useful when referred to as upon. This function may be accessed by way of the included PredatorSense software program, which comes preinstalled on the unit.
For a lot of video games, the GPU managed body charges in extra of 140fps on Excessive to Extremely settings. For extra graphics intense video games resembling Tomb Raider, GTA V and the likes, the body charges dropped to across the 55fps mark, which continues to be greater than admirable. Throughout a lot of the benchmarks for gaming models in the identical class, the Helios 500 was capable of attain body charges between 10 and 20fps higher on common.
As talked about beforehand, the unit features a few preinstalled purposes. A few of these are Acer’s Predator software program, that are fairly helpful. The complete record of put in software program consists of Killer Management Centre, Nvidia GeForce Expertise, PredatorSense, Netflix, eBay, Acer Assortment, Translator, PowerDirector for Acer, PhotoDirector for Acer, Adobe Photoshop Parts 2018, Workplace 365, LinkedIn and Norton Safety. Most of those may be uninstalled if you want, as you wouldn’t essentially require half from the record.
With regards to battery efficiency, the Helios delivers a combined bag of products. From our checks, the unit was capable of eke out a mean of round 140 minutes for steady net searching, roughly 300 minutes of steady video playback after which right down to about 90 minutes of gameplay. One of many points with the G-Sync is that it’s battery intensive, because it doesn’t permit the unit to modify to the onboard GPU to save lots of on energy.
The Acer Predator Helios 500 is a superb unit when you think about all that it has to supply. What’s fascinating concerning the unit, nevertheless, whereas it might be an awesome gaming laptop computer, it’s not an ideal cellular gaming laptop computer. With a scarcity of color spectrum and brightness on the display and comparatively low battery life, for greatest outcomes, customers can be higher off having a separate display and a steady energy supply. When you managed to get handed these lowlights, the unit steps up its recreation and delivers a number of the greatest benchmarks throughout the board. Because of its Core i9 processor and Nvidia GTX 1070 graphics card, the unit is greater than able to dealing with any problem thrown at it.
With an RRP of R39,999, the unit is dear, whichever method you take a look at it. When you catch your breath if you realise the worth, you’ll realise that the unit is well-deserved of its worth. Aside from the 2 points talked about above, the unit packs fairly a punch. It’s value noting, nevertheless, that since its preliminary launched in Q3, it is possible for you to to identify a couple of offers heading into the festive season across the R30,000 mark.
Acer Predator Helios 500
- Immense computing energy
- Nice graphics efficiency
- Beastly design
- Poor battery life
- Common display
- Ease of Studying zero%
- Ease of Use zero%
- Enjoyment zero%
- Design zero%
- Efficiency zero%
- Worth for Cash zero%