At Acer’s annual launch event in New York, it’s clear that the company is focusing quite a bit on gaming machines. Aside from the sleek white Predator Helios 300 Special Edition, the Taiwanese company also unveiled a larger, more powerful gaming laptop: the Acer Predator Helios 500.
Configurable with up to an Intel Core i9+ processor, the Helios 500 is without a doubt a capable gaming machine. It also has a a number of other interesting features too.
Touted as a gaming powerhouse, the Helios 500 comes with some impressive hardware. As mentioned, it can be equipped with Intel’s new Core i9 processor paired with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 GPU; no option for a GTX 1080, oddly enough. Aside from that, it also has a 17.3-inch display with two different options: a fast 1080p 144Hz panel, or a 4K screen. Both displays come with Nvidia’s G-Sync technology.
Other specifications of the Helios 500 include up to 64GB of RAM, a huge 1TB SSD, 2TB of hard drive storage, and not surprisingly, an RGB keyboard. Given the laptop’s large size, it also has very good selection of ports, which include two Thunderbolt 3 connections, three USB-A slots, a DisplayPort, and a HDMI 2.0 port.
Now that we’ve got its specifications out of the way, let’s get to other aspects of the Helios 500. For starters, this is a huge laptop. Tipping the scales at about 4kg, it’s pretty darn heavy too. However, this is really expected from a 17.3-inch gaming powerhouse; most laptops in this class are as heavy – if not heavier.
Much like the smaller Helios 300, the Helios 500 also features a 1080p 144Hz display, and it’s incredibly enjoyable to game with. I played a couple of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds matches with the laptop, and it’s extremely satisfying to see the game run so smoothly with the 144Hz display. Obviously, the Helios 500 has no issues running the battle royale game with the settings maxed out too.
And then we have the RGB keyboard, complete with hotkeys at the top left. There is enough key travel for a satisfying typing experience, and the keys are quite tactile as well. However, I find the Helios 500’s keyboard to be on the softer side of things. I’m personally not a fan of this, but certain consumers (especially gamers) may appreciate the lighter actuation force.
Surprisingly enough, the Helios 500’s trackpad is very good too – a rarity for gaming laptops. The trackpad’s smooth surface makes it easy and pleasant to use, and it is very accurate.
The Acer Predator Helios 500 is without a doubt a capable gaming laptop. While I would’ve liked the option for a GTX 1080 model, the GTX 1070 GPU should still be more than capable at running most modern games well. This, coupled with Intel’s powerful Core i9 processor, make for a pretty darn complete gaming laptop. Let’s not forget the Helios 500’s G-Sync support and fast 1080p 144Hz display too, and if this isn’t quite your speed, there’s also the 4K option.
But all of these good stuff come at a price: the Helios 500 retails from $1,999, which comes up to about RM7,965. It’s a high price to pay, but the gaming laptop’s feature set may justify it. If you’re eyeing to get the Helios 500, it’s expected to be available here in Malaysia very soon.