Acer Helios Predator 700 convinced us subjectively with its extraordinary design and objectively with its high-end gaming power, very good workmanship and a gaming experience that is almost reminiscent of a classic gaming desktop computer. The weight is also reminiscent of a gaming PC, because with almost five kilograms in addition to the charging adapter weighing more than one kilogram, the 17-inch device is anything but mobile. The smart hardware can be overclocked for beginners and additional coolers are hidden under the sliding keyboard.
Acer Predator Helios 700 Review: Acer fable for unusual gaming notebooks
In Greek mythology, Helios is the sun god, and at Acer it is a worthy name for the current flagship of the Predator gaming brand. The high-end gaming laptop Acer Predator Helios 700 not only impresses with its almost divine performance, it also shows once again the clever and sometimes crazy design ideas with which Acer is driving gaming hardware. This is how we remember Acer € 10,000 gaming laptop with the not so huge name Acer Predator 21X. At first glance, a completely exaggerated device and at the same time a good example of how the boundaries between classic desktop computers and mobile devices are disappearing more and more.
Then there was the gaming laptop in an almost ultrabook format, named after the father of Ariel the mermaid or the god of the sea in Greek mythology, the Predator Triton 700 , the stark opposite of the 8.5 kilogram Predator 21X, and an example of this that a gaming laptop can also be elegant and quite inconspicuous. But let's concentrate on the unique selling point of the Helios 700, because here Acer has turned or pushed and pulled something on the keyboard. The keyboard can be easily slid away, revealing an additional fan duo. At the same time, the computer switches to overclocking mode, which tickles even more performance from the built in hardware.
Acer Predator Helios 700 - Pull my keyboard!
One thing ahead: The processing of the plastic housing is, as usual with Predator devices, at a very high level. This also applies to the keyboard with the sliding mechanism just mentioned. It runs very smoothly, and although it doesn't take a great deal of effort to pull the keyboard, it locks perfectly. The position of the touch pad, which is strangely offset downwards, reminds us of 10 year old notebooks, but can still be used in the extended mode and even if the angle takes some getting used to. Since you can't do without a good gaming mouse with a gaming laptop anyway, we generously overlook this small design flaw.
The typing feel is nice and crisp, with good counter pressure and a good stroke, making it ideal for prolonged typing and gaming. The WASD buttons can even be exchanged. Acer supplies special gaming switches called MagForce for this purpose. They have a small spring mounted on the underside and therefore offer stronger resistance with a softer pressure point when pressed. This allows you to walk and navigate more precisely.
As befits a gaming keyboard, the built-in RGB lighting can be customized according to your own colorful taste. For this you use the pre-installed Predator Sense app, with which you can also adapt the overclocking mode to your own gaming needs. Because as soon as you pull the keyboard down, the computer switches to a preset mode that overclocks the processor and graphics card. The fans turn up a lot and at the latest now, as a passionate gamer, you also need a good headset. The percentage by which the CPU and GPU should be overclocked and how far the fan should turn up can also be adjusted. The Predator Sense app also takes overclocking beginners by the hand, so there is no need to worry about thermal damage to the hardware.
Of course, you don't need this performance boost for pure office use, and the standard performance of the Helios 700 is completely sufficient for most current games. But especially with extremely performance-hungry games and VR gaming, switching on the ventilation and switching to overclocking mode is worthwhile.
The turbo button for Acer Predator Helios 700
The clock is set by the Intel i9-9980HK Processor. The eight-core has a base frequency of 2.40 GHz and can be driven up to 5 GHz in turbo mode. That's right: turbo mode. In addition to the already mentioned options for individual overclocking, Acer also offers a quick push of the turbo button. Then the CPU, GPU and all fans go to their maximum.
Speaking of GPU: an Nvidia Geforce RTX 2070 with eight GB GDDR6 ensures that you can enjoy all the details at the highest level including ray tracing. The whole system is supported by 32 GB of RAM, which can be upgraded to up to 64 GB. With this setup, the Acer Helios breaks the previous scale for gaming laptops in our benchmark test (3 DMark Fire Strike) with 18,297 points. And all of this without pressing the turbo button.
What else is in the gaming monster? A 1 TB SSD, a Bluetooth 5.0, Killer Gigabit Ethernet E3000 and WLAN-802.11ac. A Thunderbolt and USB-C input as well as a USB 3.0 socket are available on the right. On the left there are two more USB 3.0 ports and an audio input and output as well as a LAN port. In addition to an HDMI and display port, the power connection is also installed at the rear.
Acer Predator Helios 700: Fast screen
So that you can also enjoy the performance visually, the screen of the Predator Helios 700 is 17 inches and has a resolution of Full HD (1,920 x 1,080 pixels). The fast refresh rate of 144 Hertz together with a three millisecond response time ensures wonderfully smooth paddling. We did not notice the very low maximum brightness of only 265 candelas per square meter and the not exactly intoxicating checkerboard contrast of 165 to 1 particularly negatively. Nevertheless, we would have expected better values at a price of around 3,000 euros, similar to what the competition from Dell does with the Alienware 15 R4 (2FXWX) and a brightness of 375 cd/m².
As far as the battery life is concerned, you shouldn't expect any miracles from the 17 incher. 17-inch gaming laptops should be understood more as a desktop replacement for everyone who cannot or does not want to afford a permanent place for a gaming desktop computer. This means that these laptops are mobile enough for different locations in your own home, but are not really suitable for mobile computer games on the go. After all, the battery life of almost two hours is not enough for this and the noise development when gaming, especially when the Helios 700 is overclocked, should cause great displeasure among fellow travelers.
Acer Helios Predator 700 Pros:
- Strong hardware
- Preset overclocking
- Very good keyboard
- Smart fan system
Acer Helios Predator 700 Cons:
- Very loud under full load
- Heavy power supply