Gaming laptops are usually packed with powerful specs and technology to ensure that the games you play are smooth and immersive - which is why they never come cheap. Affordable gaming laptops tend to be around the RM5000 range, though more often than not, you have to accept some level of sacrifice on your gaming experience.
But even then, the sacrifice shouldn't be severely felt to make you regret getting it. So if you're keen to get a gaming laptop with a budget of around RM5000 that gives you what you need as a gamer, then the Acer Predator Helios 300 can be a device worth looking into, being a midrange gaming laptop and all.
Built like a gaming laptop
In terms of build, the Acer Predator Helios 300 has that unmistakable gaming laptop design which may seem unimpressive at first but remains noteworthy regardless. With this version, you're getting a black matte metal with blue accents, which definitely gives off a more cool look. There are some air vents on the side as well as some subtle angles and edges to make up the overall look as well.
Gaming laptops are never light, and this one is no exception. Weighing at about 2.4kg and at 23mm thick, this is a chunky laptop to have.
Keyboard wise, you can consider the keys as sturdy as well, though it may come off as too soft for those hoping for a more strong feel when typing on the keys. The trackpad does a pretty good job as well, though if you're looking for a better gaming experience, a mouse is definitely needed with this one.
On the sides of the Helios 300, you get three USB 3 ports, a single Type-C connection and a sole audio jack. There are also HDMI and mini-Display port outputs. Unfortunately, there's no full-size USB 3.1 ports for faster connections, and there’s no card reader or Thunderbolt either.
Screen-wise, you have all you need for gaming. It comes with a 15.6 inch screen with a 1080p resolution, making images and animation look crisp and vibrant. In terms of gaming there's an IPS panel with a 144Hz refresh rate and a rapid 3ms response time, which means it's a really good screen. If you're a heavy gamer though, these numbers won't be impressive as it's possible that gaming won't be as smooth as it could be.
Sturdy and stable performance at a limit
The Helios 300 does come with a GeForce GTX 1660 Ti which is one of Nvidia’s newer and more affordable chips, and it represents the stepping stone between last year’s 10-series GPUs and the newer RTX 20-branded cards. It does a good job, but it can't handle fancy tech like ray-tracing or DLSS. That's not a major problem if the games you play don't use such technology anyways.
Overall, I had no issues pushing games on this device, with the Shadow of the Tomb Raider looking amazing on the screen, which to me means you can play the best single-player games at 1080p with no lags or issues. But if you try to push it to beyond 100fps you will face some issues as it becomes obvious that the device cannot be pushed too far.
That's not a bad thing - already at 100fps the laptop had already given enough to make the game still immersive and beautiful to play so I wouldn't worry about it too much unless you're the type to want games in their utmost highest setting.
As such, without ray-tracing and not being able to run games beyond 100fps, your sacrifice in this affordable gaming laptop is that you can't push it any further than this.
There's not a lot in terms of battery either, but that's to be expected of a gaming laptop as well. You're better off keeping it plugged for heavy gaming too.
Despite some limitations where you really can't push games to its limits, the Acer Predator Helios 300 is still a great gaming laptop for its price. Just because it has its limitations, it didn't make the games I played on it less immersive. It's still powerful enough to run games, and even with the lack of ray-tracing technology, every aspect of the game was well displayed on the screen. As long as you're content with a decent gaming laptop and aren't looking into being astounded or amazed, the Acer Predator Helios 300 does a really great job in at least delivering a good and immersive gaming experience.