Acer Predator Helios 300 (G3-571-77QK) Gaming Laptop Review

     
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Acer, the company that has been spitting out affordable and decent quality laptops, have noticed the attractiveness of gaming notebook market a long time ago. With their new model, the Acer Predator Helios 300 (G3-571-77QK), they try to become the leader in this fiercely competitive market – just in time to challenge the new Dell Inspiron gaming rig with attractive price tag. Admittedly, the beginning looks good, as the company includes the dedicated GTX 1060 graphics card and Core i7 processor in this not-so-expensive gaming rig. What is more, this new Acer has raised hundreds of questions around the Internet, demonstrating the hype around the Predator laptop. In this blog post, I will answer these various questions as best as I can.

Decent Performance, Top Shelf Graphics Card

The main function of Acer Predator Helios 300 (G3-571-77QK) is to run games smooth, clean, without interference. With the dedicated GeForce GTX 1060 card this task becomes rather easy. The GTX 1060, with 6GB GDDR5 memory, is on the upper echelon of graphics cards and it tackles all games there currently are. From popular Triple A titles to older classics all are within the GTX 1060’s reach – you can expect frame rates above 60FPS using higher settings! Also, the graphics card works with Oculus Rift and other Virtual Reality devices. The only bad thing is, you are not able to upgrade it as the card is soldered on the mainboard.

Truly, the performance does not end in the graphics section. The processor selection follows the usual trend to include something heavyweight there; this time, it’s Intel Core i7-7700HQ that has been chosen as the commander of the Acer. This is the essential heavyweight processor, operating on four cores and minimum clock speed of 2.8GHz. The turbo boost actually takes the clock frequency even higher, to 3.8GHz. The i7-7700HQ is in the top 10% of processors, it being easily enough for multitasking or complex applications, such as editing videos.

A real gaming laptop has a solid-state drive for performance increase. This Acer doesn’t lack one as it sports Micron 1100 256GB M.2 SSD in the storage section. You can further expand the storage, a free 2.5″ 7mm / 9.5mm slot resides inside, with bracket and cable already in place and screws in the shipping box. Also, if you want to replace the M.2 drive, it will support both SATA and NVMe drives. In any case, the current SSD will be enough for the performance-minded, and same can be said about the included 16GB (2x8GB) DDR4-2400 memory. That can be upgraded to 32 gigabytes if you think that will be beneficial. Accessing the components should be rather straightforward, they are behind doors that just require a couple of screws to be removed.

Video Demonstration

Display Good in Real Life, Worse on Paper

The thing with gaming laptop screens is, they should be fast enough so no lagging will occur. When I was reading the specifications on the display I got a little discouraged: the screen has no G-sync, just 60hz refresh rate and 45% NTSC color gamut. The first two points could translate to screen tearing, whereas the low color gamut might mean washed out colors. Are we in deep **** here?

Not really. As far as I know, there is no single complaint about the display from the users. People are saying the colors are good and there are no problems with response times either. I guess the 15.6″ IPS 1080p display is a decent at least, and this is proof that numbers don’t always tell the truth. In essence, I will not badmouth the display but regard it a quality piece thanks to the various user reports on Amazon.com.

Selection of Ports Mixes New and Old

I can’t find anything bad in the ports and interfaces section. Surely, the laptop doesn’t come with an optical drive, but in this streaming and downloading era that won’t be a problem at all. Indeed, you are having easy times connecting the Predator laptop to networks as it sports a Gigabit Ethernet circuit, or a dual-band A/C Wireless adapter if you want the freedom of WiFi. As a bonus, also Bluetooth devices can be hooked up to this rig.

If you find yourself with some peripherals that you want to connect, know that the notebook has a few USB ports. In addition to one USB 3.0 and two older USB 2.0 ports, there is also the new USB Type-C present. While it doesn’t support Thunderbolt 3 the Type-C port still offers a hassle-free way to connect things with the reversible cable. Furthermore, the Acer has one dedicated video port. The HDMI output supports 1080p resolution and should be good with up to 144hz monitors, allowing you to connect one external gaming display to the laptop.

Other Features You Might Find Interesting

The battery giving power for Acer Predator Helios 300 (G3-571-77QK) contains four cells and it’s sealed in the chassis. It is not a bad battery at all, with enough power to keep the system running for five hours under productive, non-gaming use. When you fire up a game your sessions will last around two hours before the battery is empty. The charger supports 100-220v – end of the power cord needs to be replaced with adapter for some EU countries if you are planning to use this Acer overseas.

This model sports a backlit keyboard with red (non-changeable color). If you don’t like the color you can turn it off altogether by pressing Fn+F9 simultaneously. The notebook has two fans with AeroBlade technology. Those are very thin metal blades that supposedly keep the system running at low temperatures. The notebook shell is made of metal, which to my eye looks very sleek, although be careful not to scratch the surface too much.

Pros:
Performance for the money - The GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card is excellent even though on paper, a few others can surpass it. You're looking at an engine fully supporting 1080p gaming and keeping high frame rates no matter the game. The other side, the price, is still kept at tolerated levels.

Battery life - Yeah, it's only 5 hours or so for non-gaming purposes, but remember the context. We are talking about a gaming laptop whose batteries almost exclusively suck. Surely, under gameplay, you will get much less than five hours but we're still looking at a decent gaming notebook battery.

Cons:
Integrated battery - Even though the battery life itself is good, it will take effort to change the unit if you ever need to. The battery is integrated on the laptop so you'll need some tools and time to upgrade it. No G-Sync - G-Sync, the Nvidia's technology to prevent screen tearing, is not supported on this system. Some gamers find this a disadvantage; however I haven't read complaints from users about the screen.

The gaming laptop market is all about offering a less pricey, more performance notebook than the competitor. In Acer Predator Helios 300 (G3-571-77QK), the gaming performance does not stand out from the main competitors, but the main selling point would be the price. For what you are paying, you are getting a full-blown gaming rig with dedicated graphics, Core i7 processor and solid-state drive. The notebook also has a modern ports selection thanks to USB Type-C. Furthermore, it is possible, and not too tough, to upgrade some aspects of this Acer – however, if you just want a plug and play option, you’ll be sure to get a no-fuss, high quality gaming notebook should you go for it!

    1 Comments until now.

  • julie (#)
    August 15th, 2017

    Acer Predator Helios 300 (G3-571-77QK),the main selling point would be the price.It is the good news for all the gamer who have not enough money for the machine.

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