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Acer Predator Helios 500 The Heavy Tank of Gaming Laptops

Acer Predator Helios 500 The Heavy Tank of Gaming Laptops


Gaming laptops have become more and more popular these days and from the looks of it the trend continues. Gaming laptops are usually beasts and the Acer Predator Helios 500 makes no exception from the general rule. We call the Helios 500 the heavy tank of gaming laptops and you will see why in the lines bellow.

Let's take a look at the design first. When I first opened the box, the beast emerged, the design is old-school, heavy and very well done.

Acer Predator helios 500 Design

The laptop weighs about 4Kg. Obviously, such a beast needs a feeder as well and it comes with a no less than 1Kg 330W Delta Charger. In short, we have an unusual gauge for 2019 if you ask me. Helios 500 is part of the heavyweight category, and certainly my back and backpack will not look good if I carry it all day. By the way, the Helios 500 does not even fit in any backpack. Its dimensions are not modest at all, and apparently, not even wanted. This is machine built for those who want more editing power and rather want a replacement desktop, not an ultra-portable, and the Predator Helios 500 is the answer of the Taiwanese from Acer.

The screen does not have thin frames. Not at all. The housing is not made of aluminum, magnesium and other filaments. It's old-school plastic and even an older school look from like the 2000s.

The laptop recovers the lost points to materials and aesthetics, however, by the good quality plastic - the one on the cover, not a dust and finger vacuum cleaner, and the palm rest made of plastic. And it's also pleasant to touch, it does not feel like a cheap plastic. The rest of the palm, because the base of the laptop is very thick - almost 3cm (27mm to be exact), I had to change my usual working position to work more comfortably on this laptop: I sat on a chair higher, bar type, so that my wrists sit as correctly and naturally as possible horizontally on the rest of the palm. If you can not find a higher position, either use a normal keyboard, or you will feel the need for a well-earned break after a few hours of typing.

If you keep your laptop directly in the lap, then the keyboard becomes very nice, you will no longer feel the thickness of the base of the laptop. BUT I do not recommend using this laptop in your lap, especially if you are male (clear, I do not go into details - it's about temperature, not radiation). If you really want to use it on your lap, look for a laptop metal case.

Speaking of the keyboard let's have a better look at it.


The keyboard comes with an illuminated background, it includes a numeric pad and it is very soft to the touch.


I like when I see that the standard dimensions of the directional keys have not been sacrificed, and more like the WASD keys have received a more special color, a blue contour as the theme of the whole laptop. The switches are of rubber-dome type, but they have a fairly long (~ 1.5mm) stroke, longer than many other keyboards, especially ultra-compact laptops. The keyboard was a real pleasure, especially after a few days in which we got to know each other better and became friends.

Cooling the beast 


The cooling system is good but for an i7 and not for an i9. Believe me, I felt during the tests that the Intel Core i9-8950HK processor, 6 cores, 12 threads, 45W TDP, with frequencies between 2.9 - 4.8GHz needed more cooling. This is not a normal processor, folks. If the system builders would have stopped at a normal processor like the i7-8750H, the cooling system would have been flawless - two large metal fans, called Aeroblade 3D, and a rather stormy heatpipe system.

But for i9, it takes more. First, the fan on the processor is smaller than the one on the video card. The first mistake. Well, in theory, it's OK, because it cools an object with a 45W TDP over the GPU - the NVIDIA GTX 1070 Laptop - which has 120W TDP in theory. But theory differs from practice, as the temperature logs show. Then I'd rather see independent heat-pipes, not some that help each other both on cooling and on heating.

There are four large ventilation openings for hot air evacuation, two on the side and two on the back of the laptop, and cold air is pulled directly by the two large fans directly through the bottom of the laptop through generously dimensioned grilles.

Screen and Display

The 17.3' display is of good quality, especially for gamers: it is matte, it is bright enough (300cd / m2), contrast 700:1. Full HD, 144Hz G-Sync. Although we have a high performance laptop NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070, the presence of the G-Sync is especially welcome in games where the frame rate drops below 60 frames/second to get fluent images without tearing

Storage

For storage we have a small Intel 760p 256GB SSD  and a 1TB 5400rpm standard drive. There is nothing more to say here, I would have liked to see a bigger SSD but it is what it is.

Connectivity

It is already becoming a trend, yet another Intel-based WiFi Wireless-AC 1550i Wireless Network Adapter from 9560NGW. Extraordinary speeds, even through a wall, at 5m of the router. For LAN Parties, where the wire is base, the Helios 500 also provides a Gigabit, Killer E2500 connection from Rivet Networks.

Battery Life

The battery is 74Wh, and although we're looking at the two high-appetite components (the Intel i9 8950HK processor and the NVIDIA GeForce 1070 video card, let's not forget the G-Sync module), we can say that the battery is actually, well small. The laptop did not last for 3 hours (165 minutes until it went out) in my working mode with 30-40 Chrome tabs opened, Youtube and Google Docs editing tabs, with the screen at 50% brightness.

Before I end this, I'm going to stop for a minute and mention the audio system that the Predator Helios 500 comes with, because I think it's a lot over the average I've encountered on laptops. Two side speakers and a subwoofer on the bottom of the laptop complete the audio experience. It was really a pleasure to listen to a decent volume.


Conclusion time then

Helios 500 is the laptop that can do everything from gaming, to video editing, rendering, etc. Obviously, I firmly believe that if they stopped at an i7, they could have offered a laptop that was almost as good in games but lost a bit on rendering and photo editing.

The Predator Helios 500 can become noisy in games, but not as loud as other laptops, especially ultra-thin ones with Max-Q on board. Overall this laptop is great, but I would like to consider it more of a desktop replacement rather than a laptop, due to it's heavy weight and not so much portability.

The price for the Helios 500 starts from $1699 on Amazon deals but it can reach up to $2000 without offers and discounts.


Acer Predator Helios 500 The Heavy Tank of Gaming Laptops Reviewed by Mike Beasley on 3/28/2019 02:36:00 AM Rating: 5

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