At CES 2023, Acer introduced new Predator Helios gaming laptops, and the 18-inch model caught our attention. As computer technology and manufacturing improves, it becomes possible to build reasonably mobile laptops with this enormous display size, and we love it!
Not surprisingly, these new laptops come with the latest internal components, such as Intel’s 13th Gen CPUs (and up to 32GB RAM) and NVIDIA’s new GeForce RTX 40 series for mobile, also freshly announced.
Supposedly, the cooling equipment matches all this computing power, but we’ll see that in a future review if we get to it. Acer does a lot of custom work on its cooling components, and there’s potentially a lot to say, depending on the 2023 changes. So far, it looks like the heatsink is using new tech with higher heat transfer because of an increased surface of contact.
The new Helios 18 and Helios 16 support up to 2TB (PCIe Gen4) of internal SSD storage, which can be configured as a RAID0 array for maximum throughput.
Despite its 18-inch 16:10 display size, the resolution is “only” 2560×1600 (250Hz mini LED or 165Hz or 240Hz) or 1920×1200 (165Hz), depending on the option you choose. For gaming purposes, these are great options, but Creative users might need a bit more.
Because the internal volume allows it, the computer has a per-Key mini LED backlight system with a 1.8mm key travel: that’s quite deep. I wonder if there’s a mechanical tactile feel option.
Starting at $1700, the Acer Predator Helios is relatively affordable for its size and performance. The 16-inch version comes with comparable specs and a different chassis, of course. If I had to pick a new gaming laptop, I’d go for the larger display.