Dedicated gaming laptops are no longer the preserve of avid players with money to burn. They’re increasingly affordable, surprisingly powerful, and provide a real alternative to a desktop PC system.
Take the Acer Predator Helios 300. Top of the four-model range is the £1,400 G3-572 gaming notebook, a 15.6-inch powerhouse portable that packs in everything you need for PC gaming on the go.
“The Predator is armed with a 2.8GHz Intel® Core™ i7-7700HQ CPU, 16GB of RAM and a 256GB solid-state drive,” writes Laptop Magazine in its review, “which is more than enough for some serious multitasking. I had 30 tabs open in Chrome while I watched a 1080p stream on Twitch, and didn’t see any lag.”
It’s a great start. The i7-7700HQ boasts four Hyper-Threaded cores and, alongside the 16GB of DDR4 memory (you can max this to 32GB), it’s a speedy solution whether you’re playing, browsing, streaming or working. Add in the 6GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 GPU and you can bring 1280 stream processors to bear when playing games in 1080p.
Assassin’s Creed: Origins in a coffee shop? Oh, go on then.
The G3-572 comes with a 15.6-inch Full HD (1920 x 1080) display, but you can opt for a roomier 17.3-inch screen with the similarly-specced (and similarly-priced) PH317-51 model.
The difference is marginal, but you might notice the extra bulk. Where the 15.6-inch G3-572 measures 390 x 266 x 26.8 mm and weighs 2.7kg, the PH317-51 is a little bigger (432.3 x 289.9 mm), a tad fatter (29mm) and 300g heavier.
WASD-friendly and long-lasting
The rest of the specification is the same — a 1TB HDD in combination with a 256GB SSD, an HDMI port, a pair of USB 2.0 connections and one USB 3.0 slot. The keyboard is sturdy (note the WASD keys picked out in red), while the twin speakers are decent enough whenever you’re not playing PUBG with headphones on.
“The final surprise from this machine is its battery life,” says Trusted Reviews, who tested the Acer Predator Helios 300 PH317-51. “In the low-intensity PowerMark test, it lasted for a couple of minutes beyond five hours – a great result for a gaming laptop.”
As mentioned previously, there are four models of the Acer Predator Helios 300. The cheapest is a £1,200 version with a 2.5GHz Intel Core i5-7300HQ processor, GTX 1060 and a 128GB SSD. A mid-range £1,300 option ups the processor to a Core i7 and the SSD to 256GB, but features a 4GB GTX 1050 Ti GPU.
Built with a black metal chassis, slashed with red accents, the Acer Predator Helios 300 is a good-looking gaming laptop that delivers performance at an attractive price. If you’d like to see more of it up close, check out what happened when Intel sent one to pro streamer Sacriel. You can watch the video here.