Best Acer Predator Helios 500 Laptop Offer On Black Friday 2020

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You better cover yourself with some mud, because this Predator is indeed mighty that it could make Arnold Schwarzenegger run the other way. For $2,499 (starting at $1,999), the Helios 500 packs a beastly 8th Gen Core i9 processor and GTX 1070 GPU for powerful gaming performance. So when you’re letting the speakers rip while burning through games on those especially clicky keys, this machine will stay cold and calculated, just as the name suggests. Yeah, the display could possibly be more colorful, but overall, the Helios 500 is successful.

Design

Vents, vents everywhere! The Helios 500 is similar to a monster trying to use of its cage using its beastly little hellmouths all along the sides and also the back, which sports edgy gray outlines and the most comforting warning label ever: “Hot surface – WARNING – Usually do not touch.”

The lid is tamer, as the sides are elegantly carved out, as the intimidating, blue-and-steel plated Predator logo sits smack in the centre.

The inside captures the spirit of what I possibly could only describe as an azure demon. Blue backlighting bursts through the veins of the island-style keyboard, the badass power button at the very top and even the sleek touchpad.

The Helios 500 is similar to a monster trying to use of its cage using its beastly little hellmouths all along the sides along with the back.

The keyboard has fully customizable RGB backlighting, but because the rest of the notebook computer has blue accents, it just looks wrong with other things. Talking about wrong, these bezels are particularly chunky, which is disappointing because we’ve seen them slimmer on 17-inch Predators previously.

At 8.3 pounds and 16.9 x 11.7 x 1.5 inches, the Helios 500 may be the thickest among its titan competitors. The Alienware 17 R5 may be the heavyweight champ, at 9.77 pounds and 1.2 inches, and the PowerSpec 1710 takes the featherweight crown, at 6.8 pounds and 1 inch thick. The Aorus X9 (2018) may be the middleweight contender, at 8.1 pounds and 1.2 inches.

Ports

The Helios 500 is jam-packed with ports throughout its chassis.

On the left, you will discover an RJ45 port, one USB 3.0 port with always-on charging and two Thunderbolt 3 ports.

Among the meaty vent grilles on the trunk reside the energy jack, a Display Port and an HDMI 2.0 port with HDCP support.

Meanwhile, the proper side includes a Kensington lock slot, two USB 3.0 ports and two separate inputs for the headphone and microphone.

Display

Whether you’re watching wizards lay out some magic or killing armored Nazis from a wheelchair, the Helios 500’s 17.3-inch, 1080p, 144-Hz Nvidia G-Sync display gives an excellent picture. However, its competitors’ displays are better still.

When Billy Batson transformed for the very first time in the Shazam SDCC trailer, his regal red-and- gold-trimmed suit was bright and bold, despite being in a wizard’s dark man cave. So when Shazam tried to bring the smackdown on an edgy Mark Strong, the stitching in Shazam’s suit and the etchings around his thunderbolt logo looked crisp and heroic.

Within my time with Wolfenstein II: THE BRAND NEW Colossus, I was captivated by the flashy orange dust that the Nazis converted into if they were atomized by traps. And as I was rolling around in a wheelchair, in desperate need of a cheeseburger, I noticed my submachine gun was sharp and glossy. The atmosphere of the gritty, Nazi U-boat practically painted a scene from the Punisher as I spattered the blood of heavily armored baddies over the hull of the ship.

While I enjoyed the Helios 500’s G-Sync display, it covered 108 percent on the sRGB color gamut, which falls below all of those other competition, in addition to the 131 percent premium-gaming-laptop average. The screens on the Alienware (110 percent), PowerSpec (119 percent) and Aorus (122 percent) are more colorful compared to the Acer’s.

The Helios 500 did better regarding brightness, averaging 276 nits, which is merely slightly below the 281-nit category average. The Alienware and PowerSpec were a whole lot brighter, at 352 and 372 nits, respectively. And the Aorus had the dimmest display, at 243 nits.

Keyboard and Touchpad

Prepare yourself to fly on a wave of comfort, as the Helios 500’s keys are simply pleasantly clicky. The keyboard’s font actually appears like it originated from the Nintendo 64 Superman game. (Yes, that is clearly a good thing.)

I nailed 65 words each and every minute on the 10fastfingers.com typing test, beating my typical 60-wpm average. The keys registered 1.6 millimeters of travel and required 70 grams of actuation force, which is well in your 1.5-to-2.0-mm travel range and above our standard the least 60 grams of force.

A neat addition to the Helio 500’s keyboard may be the five hot keys just above it. The keys’ functions are customizable, nonetheless they default to CPU overclock, GPU overclock, fan speed, launch PredatorSense software and Sticky keys. Gleam button next to them, labeled “P,” which allows you to change to two other group sets, for a complete of 15 customizable keys.

The 4.1 x 2.4-inch touchpad is quite smooth, and its own two discrete mouse buttons are clicky and responsive. However, the bar that separates the buttons and the touchpad feels quite flimsy. The touchpad did register all of the appropriate Windows 10 gestures, like two-finger scrolling and three-finger software switching.

Audio

It feels so excellent to listen to this baby roar. Filled with two speakers and a subwoofer, the Helios 500 blasted Quinn XCII’s “Straightjacket” throughout my living room, capturing that concert atmosphere. The opening of the song filled the area with sick drumbeats and electric keyboard rhythms that embraced this is of bass. When the chorus hit, each track flourished, weaving the treble and bass together to entice me in.

While playing Wolfenstein II, I possibly could hear the Nazis discussing the tales of Terror-Billy from a considerable ways, and their voices became even fuller and richer when I shot an explosive barrel within their face. Noises just like the creeks of my wheelchair were highlighted and immersed me further into this world. When I completed a target, I acquired the chills as epic music again lured me right into a battlefield.

A big portion of the Predator’s sound system may be the Waves MaxxAudio app, which includes a full equalizer along with presets for scenarios like Gaming, Movies, Music and Voice.

Gaming, Graphics and VR

Rocking an overclockable Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 GPU with 8GB of VRAM, the Helios 500 ripped through Wolfenstein II at 160 fps on those Mein leben! settings, taking its Predator lineage to heart. The GPU didn’t even stutter when I was tossed out from the comfort of my very own wheelchair and shot to death on a conveyor belt — absolutely heartless.

The Helios 500 also did well on more graphically taxing games like Rise of the Tomb Raider on HIGH settings, where it pumped out 55 fps. It matched the PowerSpec (GTX 1070) and fell in the number of the 59-fps category average, however the Alienware (GTX 1080) and the Aorus (GTX 1080) did better, at 68 fps and 73 fps, respectively.

Rocking an overclockable Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 GPU with 8GB of VRAM, the Helios 500 ripped through Wolfenstein II at 160 fps, taking its Predator lineage to heart.

On the Hitman benchmark (Ultra, 1080p), the Helios 500 averaged 103 fps, which beats the 89-fps average and also the remaining competition. The PowerSpec hit a minimal 60 fps, as the Aorus (96 fps) and the Alienware (99 fps) cut it just a little closer.

The Predator hit 57 fps on the Grand Theft Auto V benchmark, and even though that landed near to the PowerSpec (60 fps), that mark will be a lot less than the 75-fps average. The Alienware (85 fps) and the Aorus (86 fps) did substantially better.

Prepare yourself to live the others of your days in the Ready Player One’s Oasis, as the Helios 500 blasted a 10.4 out of 11 on the SteamVR performance test. That’s right above the 10.2 category average, however the PowerSpec (10.9), the Aorus (11) and the Alienware (11) are slightly better.

Performance

Core i9 don’t stop for nobody. Despite juggling 40 Google Chrome tabs and a 1080p YouTube video in the backdrop within my Nazi-killing spree in Wolfenstein II, the fans on the Helios 500 didn’t even murmur. This rig has gone out to kill using its overclockable 2.9-GHz Intel Core i9-8950HK processor, 16GB of RAM, 512GB SSD, and 2TB 5,400rpm HDD.

On the Geekbench 4 efficiency test, the Helios 500 nailed a 19,896, which surpasses PowerSpec’s 14,138 (Core i7-7700HQ) and the 18,043 premium-gaming-laptop average. The Alienware’s Core i9-8950HK did slightly better (20,890), however the Aorus’ Core i9-8950HK soared at 25,915.

The Helios 500’s 512GB SSD copied 4.97GB of multimedia files in 13 seconds, which means 391 megabytes per second. It matched the PowerSpec but was somewhat slower compared to the Aorus (424MBps) and the 471-MBps category average. The Alienware’s SSD hit 565 MBps.

On the HandBrake benchmark, the Helios 500 took 9 minutes and 33 seconds to transcode a 4K video to 1080p, which is slightly faster compared to the 9:59 category average. The Alienware (9:10) and the Aorus (8:15) turned in solid times, however the PowerSpec fell behind at 14:00.

Battery Life

Yes, power needs power, however the Helios 500 is merely a pure glutton. After surfing the net over Wi-Fi at 150 nits of brightness, the battery lasted only 2 hours and 36 minutes. That runtime is 29 percent less than the 3:34 category average. The Aorus was even lower at 2:20, as the Alienware hit a good 3:47 and the PowerSpec lasted such as a champ at 6:15.

Webcam

I expected something far better as of this price. The 720p webcam produced noisy images, and the colour was always slightly off that which was intended, just like the light blue from my shirt registering as a dull bluish gray.

To be fair, the webcam does capture some detail regardless of the grain, like occasional strands of hair popping off my head. But overall, I’d recommend getting an external webcam for streaming.

Heat

Any premium gaming notebook could be a Predator if you put enough power involved with it, however the Helios 500 truly embraces the name when you are a quiet and cool killing machine. WHEN I played Wolfenstein II for quarter-hour, the lower hit only 93 degrees Fahrenheit, which is safely below our 95-degree comfort threshold. The guts of the keyboard was warmer, at 101 degrees, however the touchpad reached only 83 degrees. The latest part hit 105 degrees, which is situated on the proper underside nearby the hinge, an area you are not more likely to touch while gaming.

The Predator Helios 500 truly embraces its name when you are a quiet, cool killing machine.

The Helios 500 remained cool without gaming as well. Following the Helios 500 streamed a 15-minute HD video, the lower hit 90 degrees, the guts of the keyboard reached 91 degrees and the touchpad measured 80 degrees.

Software and Warranty

The spark of light in the waves of software that Acer throws at you may be the PredatorSense app. With PredatorSense, you can monitor your CPU and GPU, customize backlighting, manage overclocking, assign hot keys, control the fans and modify settings to specific games. Additionally, there is the QuarterMaster app, used to customize any peripherals flying the Predator flag. The Acer Care Center offers basic tools like checkups and tune-ups to the battery, storage and overall system. Acer’s FAST ACCESS software also controls options for the fan speed, in addition to a blue-light filter and power-off USB charging.

There are a few useful applications up to speed unrelated to Acer, like PhotoDirector 8 and PowerDirector 14, which are basically discount Photoshop and Sony Vegas, but, hey, they’re free. The Killer Control Center lets you control the bandwidth being employed by certain applications in addition to analyze Wi-Fi signals. Additionally you get yourself a free six-month license for XSplit Gamecaster, that allows you to stream and upload videos to services like Twitch and YouTube.

Unfortunately, you can also find some bloatware, such as for example Norton Security, Netflix and Candy Crush Soda Saga.

The Helios 500 ships with a two-year limited warranty. Observe how Acer performed on our Tech Support Showdown and Best and Worst Brands ranking.

Configurations

The Helios 500 I tested costs $2,499 and is outfitted with a 2.9-GHz Intel Core i9-8950HK processor; 16GB of RAM; a 512GB SSD; a 2TB 5,400rpm HDD; and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 GPU with 8GB of VRAM. The only other configuration runs for $1,999 and drops you to a 2.2-GHz Core i7-8750H processor; a 256GB SSD; and a 1TB 5,400rpm HDD.

Bottom Line

You’ve seen it tear benchmarks limb from limb using its Core i9 processor and GTX 1070 graphics card. The Helios 500 appears like a beast and acts like one, too, using its Core i9 processor, GTX 1070 graphics and roaring speakers. The keyboard upon this machine is pretty great, too. But even this beast can trip up, and in cases like this, the display isn’t quite top-notch.

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