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Acer Predator Helios 16 review: Excellent value

Acer Predator Helios 16 review: Excellent value

Acer Predator Helios 16

Acer has a reputation for offering good value for money. And the new Acer Predator Helios 16 is no different. Coming in at under S$3,900 for a 16-inch gaming laptop packed with the latest hardware, the Helios 16 is very competitively priced. The similarly-specced Lenovo Legion Pro 7i, for example, costs almost S$5,000.

Quick specs

  • 16-inch 2,560 x 1,600-pixel IPS display (240Hz)
  • Intel Core i9-13900HX chip with Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 Laptop graphics
  • 2x USB-C Thunderbolt 4, 3x USB-A, HDMI 2.1, Ethernet port, microSD card reader, combo audio jack
  • 90 watt-hour battery

There's no mistaking the Helios 16 for anything but a gaming laptop, thanks to a flashy light bar at the back. At 2.6kg, the Helios 16 is relatively portable and compact for a 16-inch model. The screen bezels are thin, while the display's anti-reflective matte finish and fast 240Hz refresh rate are exactly what gamers want. And if you need to do some work, or browse the web on this laptop, its 2,560 x 1,600-pixel display offers a bit more vertical screen real estate than a 16:9 screen. The display is plenty bright, too. There's a 1080p webcam, but it doesn't support facial recognition. No fingerprint reader, either, which isn't surprising for a gaming notebook.

Acer Predator Helios 16
Credit: Vincent Chang/Can Buy or Not

I like how Acer has thoughtfully placed the USB-A ports — used by accessories like your mouse or headset dongle — at the sides for easy access, while the USB-C Thunderbolt 4 ports are at the back. The keyboard feels shallow. I would also have liked more resistance. The touchpad, though, is of a good size. The keyboard backlight supports per-key RGB illumination. You can configure the keyboard lighting, fan speed, and monitor system metrics like clock speeds and temperatures in the revamped PredatorSense app. This app now looks more snazzy. Acer has also tweaked how the features are presented. For example, a new scenario manager lets you configure the laptop settings for specific use cases, such as gaming. But I feel the app doesn't actually have that many more options than the previous version.

Acer Predator Helios 16
Credit: Vincent Chang/Can Buy or Not

With its high-end hardware, this Acer gaming notebook will make short work of any PC game. Perhaps even make buggy ones like Star Wars Jedi: Survivor playable. In Watch Dogs: Legion, the Helios 16 produced an average of 114fps at 1080p and Ultra setting. That's just shy of the 117fps from the Lenovo Legion Pro 7i. Generally, the Acer was a tad slower than the Lenovo, which has more system memory, in all our benchmarks. But the Helios 16 also ran fairly cool in games — the keyboard was comfortable to use, and only slightly warm to the touch. It passed the 3DMark Time Spy Extreme stress test without much throttling. Peak temperatures were similar to the Lenovo at around 86 degrees Celsius. The fans are noisy at maximum speed, though.

My Acer Predator Helios 16 review set is priced at S$3,898, though Acer also sells a 4070 version at S$3,298. Acer also includes a free Acer Predator Gaming Chair (worth S$338) if you purchase the Helios 16 before May 31. Which makes this attractively-priced gaming notebook even more of a good deal. Of the 2023 gaming laptops I have tested, I think only the Aftershock Nova 16X offers as much value for money as the Acer. Get the Helios 16 now on Shopee, and Lazada.

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Note: Review unit provided by Acer.


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Verdict



CAN BUY

Good value, top gaming performance

Buy it at Shopee
Available at Lazada

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