Set a new test of the Acer Predator Helios 300 PH317-52, a 17-inch notebook-focused game designed for tight budgets. To be able to take advantage of its beautiful IPS screen, of its rather light gamer silhouette and of its surprisingly generous autonomy, it will be necessary to compose with a not robust hull and with a bad thought solution of cooling.
Here are the technical Specifications of the tested model:
|Slab||17.3 ” Full HD LED IPS ComfyView (1920×1080, matte / anti-glare)|
|Processor||Intel Core i7-8750H Kaby Lake (2.2GHz, 6 cores, TDP 45W)|
|RAM installed (max)||16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4 2666 MHz (64 GB), 2 slots (occupied)|
|Storage space||SSD M.2 of 512 1 TB at 5400 rpm|
|Graphic card||NVIDIA Pascal GeForce GTX 1060 6GB GDDR5 dedicated, Intel UHD 630 integrated into the processor and Optimus|
|Audio system||2 speakers|
|webcam||Yes, 720p HD with microphone|
|Network||Wi-Fi ac / b / g / n Gigabit Ethernet|
|Bluetooth||Yes, Bluetooth 5.0|
|Card reader||SD, SDHC, SDXC|
|Video output (s)||HDMI|
|USB||2 USB 2.0 1 USB 3.0 USB 3.1 Type-C (Gen1)|
|Operating system||Windows 10 64-bit|
|Drums||Li-Polymer 4 cells 48Whr 3220mAh|
|Dimensions (mm)||432.32 x 289 x 29 mm|
|Other||Backlit chiclet keyboard with numeric keypad, multi-touch touchpad|
Chassis / Aesthetics
The Acer Predator Helios 300 PH317-52 shares the same appearance as the 15-inch model with a predominantly black look and red accents inside and out. Its hull is made entirely of plastic and the absence of metal is felt in the weight which is limited to 2.96 kg and in the silhouette which sports a relative finesse (29 mm). Be careful if you carry it around, however, because the surfaces are very sensitive to pressure, causing distortion on the screen and some damage if you do not take precautions. Note that the central hinge is very firm and keeps the screen in place, but does not open with one hand: the base switches with.
Varied and well positioned, the connector provides two USB 2.0 ports, the power supply and the headphone / microphone combo jack on the right side as well as the Ethernet port, a USB 3.0 port, an HDMI output, a USB 3.1 Type-C port, the SD card reader and a Kensington lock on the left. The tester would have appreciated a second USB 3.0 port.
Although there are two maintenance traps, they only provide access to the hard drive and RAM slots. For the rest of the components, you will have to remove the entire lower facade. This operation, however, does not take much time – just remove all the screws around the hood and lift it up. M.2 port supports SATA and NVMe PCIe interfaces
Keyboard / Touchpad
Just like the 15-inch version, the Acer Predator Helios 300 PH317-52 comes with the same input devices as the Acer Aspire VX15. They are decent but nothing fancy. Especially as the base of PH317-52 bends visibly under the keystroke and slightly hampers the comfort and accuracy of the keys. Given the format of the PC, the tester was hoping for a deeper typing stroke on the touchpad, more responsive integrated mouse buttons.
The 17-inch Helios 300 uses Innolux N173HCE-E31 IPS Full HD (1920 x 1080px) panel of good quality. Its viewing angles are wide, its brightness is high (312 cd / m2) and the sRGB color coverage is wide (94%) offering vivid colors. The contrast is a little fair for a slab IPS (770: 1) but not bad so far. The only negative point is in the aggressive PWM (dynamic brightness) which causes an annoying flicker effect at all levels of backlighting. Specific settings can mitigate the effects.
Built around a Hexa Core Coffee Lake, 16 GB of RAM and hybrid storage, the model tested is powered by very versatile versatile spheres and can cope with all the greedy tasks, such as video editing, rendering 3D or engineering model. Note however that the temperatures will tend to climb very quickly, especially if you operate the GPU at the same time, which will have the effect of curbing the CPU frequency. The CPU can not reach its full potential for a long time. The graphics are provided by the GeForce GTX 1060 Pascal, a high-end card now well known in the gamer landscape. This one promises intensive gaming possibilities in Full HD Ultra with a decent SPF level.
Temperatures / Noise
Unfortunately, the cooling system is identical to the 15-inch model with three heat pipes connecting the two heat sinks (CPU and GPU) and going directly to the cooling fans, which in turn are glued together. This cooling design has been problematic for years and is the first time Acer has used it. During the test, the CPU alone did not suffer too much from this solution but when the GPU was operated at the same time, the temperatures climbed suddenly (around 86 ° C). And the internal heat is also reflected in the shell with more than 50 ° C raised on the upper central part of the keyboard.
The battery capacity (48.9 Whr) is almost identical to the 15-inch model and provides surprisingly good battery life, especially for a 17-inch gaming laptop. The tested model held 6 hours and 29 minutes in Wifi Web browsing with the “energy saving” profile of Windows enabled.