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[Review] Acer Predator Helios 300 PH315-53-72XD: Perfection

 


Acer has made quite a name for themselves within the gaming community over the past few years for launching high-quality gaming laptops at very affordable price points. Case and point; its latest Predator laptop, the Acer Predator Helios 300 PH315-53-72XD.

Acer's latest venture onto the gaming segment has been met with open arms amongst consumers and gamers who have quickly elevated the status of this laptop to become one of Amazon's top-selling laptops. Does it deserve such high praise? Will it meet your needs? Today we take a moment to review the PH315-53-72XD and uncover everything there is to know about it. Are you ready?

Index
  1. Design, Display and Keyboard
  2. What's the performance like?
  3. Gaming and Battery life
  4. Connectivity options
  5. Verdict

A standard design


Kicking things off with the design we must say that Acer certainly didn't put that much effort into it. 

To be perfectly honest, while the laptop has killer internals they clearly set out to cut costs when it comes to the design of this laptop by providing your standard plastic chassis and typical plastic trackpad. It's not bad but it's the kind of build you expect on a mid-range laptop, not a high-end model such as this one. 

That said, everything else is pretty impressive. The keyboard is backlit with RGB coloring whilst the WASD keys have concave-shaped see-through caps to add both prominence and durability.  The trackpad is alright though not as responsive as we would've liked, as a few customers have already witnessed.

As far as the display is concerned, it's one of Acer's most prominent features with 15.6 inches of Full HD resolution, 72% NTSC for better color accuracy, and, of course, a 144 Hz refresh rate which is basically gaming at a whole new level compared to when you game on a laptop with a standard 60 Hz refresh rate.

In case you don't understand the importance of a high refresh rate on a laptop basically you're getting better quality images when gaming because the monitor can quickly "update" the images so that you always see a crisp image and not a blur of frames. 

In the event of watching a movie which is typically 24-30 fps, you won't notice any difference but when you're gaming at > 60-70 fps you definitely want a laptop that has a high refresh rate.

Finally, a curious design feature that's implemented on the PH315-53-72XD is the inclusion of the Turbo button which allows you to manually activate TurboBoost on your laptop when working on more demanding stuff.

You'll also find the PredatorSense Key which allows us to access all the main features such as control over the fans, the overclocking of the CPU or the lighting on the keyboard. What's more, Acer even has a mobile app in case you want to activate the fans without pausing the game.

What about performance?


If there's one place where the PH315-53-72XD shows its teeth is in the performance department. Simply put; you won't find another laptop that delivers such a high-level performance at this price point. You simply won't. 

A quick look over the specs shows us that we're working with a highly demanding Intel Core i7-10750H with 6 cores that clocks in at a base 2.5 GHz and can reach as much as 5 GHz when we need to add some extra horsepower. Add to that 16 GB of DDR5 dual-channel RAM and 512 GB of NVMe SSD storage and you're looking at a laptop that simply won't quit. 

In short, this laptop is beyond fast. It's lightning-fast.

Pretty much anything you may conceive doing on a laptop you may do on the Acer Predator Helios 300 PH315-53-72XD. 

Be it programming, working with several virtual machines, rendering 4K video, editing pictures on Photoshop by the bulk, streaming movies, you name it this laptop can pull it off before you can finish saying its name. It's down for anything.

Obviously, being such a high-end device you may also upgrade the RAM and there's also the option to upgrade the storage if you wish to, though with 512 GB you're pretty well served overall.

Honestly, this laptop has absolutely killer specs and at this price point, it's no surprise that it's hogging the best-seller lists everywhere you look.

Gaming and battery life

With a dedicated Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 GPU with 6 GB of dedicated SDRAM, there's no question as far as the PH315-53-72XD's gaming capabilities. It can play pretty much any AAA game currently on the market with incredible detail at extremely high frames per second that are also going to take advantage of the succulent refresh rate we've got on this display.

Here's the full rundown of games you may play on this graphic card with FPS and settings.

Obviously, as mentioned previously, by having such a powerful dedicated graphics card and such a powerful processor, you may also use this laptop for other graphically intensive tasks such as video editing at a professional level and picture editing with software such as Photoshop.

While this review of the Acer Predator Helios 300 PH315-53-72XD has mostly been full of praises I'm afraid that the complements stop once we get into the battery life. Much like most gaming laptops in the market, due to the fact that they use components that require a lot of energy, battery life is seriously compromised. 

Specifically, when gaming you should not expect battery life to go beyond two hours and on a more light usage (web browsing, editing documents, streaming videos) you can expect to be away from the plug for roughly 5 to 6 hours depending on your usage settings. Not too bad overall but far from the 8-10 hour autonomy we see on its non-gaming counterparts.

Connectivity options

When it comes down to connectivity again we may say that the PH315-53-72XD has us completely covered. 

Starting off with the wireless connections we've got the latest Bluetooth support (ideal for audio) as well as the updated WiFi 6 standard protocol with dual-band support which offers up to 40% better internet speeds than WiFi 5 (previously known as WiFi 802.11 ac).  

Moving onto ports we've got an attractive ethernet port for when WiFi simply doesn't cut it, a single USB Type C port (USB 3.2 GEN) which allows for data transfers up to 10 GBps and can be used to charge our devices when the laptop is off. There are also three USB Type-A ports, HDMI port, and a mini Display port.

As expected, we've also got a high definition webcam which is far from ideal and a decent set of speakers but we would definitely encourage the purchase of gaming headphones since the fans can get pretty loud when gaming and this way you get the full experience. 

Verdict

Overall, the Acer Predator Helios 300 PH315-53-72XD reviewed today is clearly one of the most complete and affordable gaming laptops in the market. What's more, it's not exclusive to gamers, being a great tool for graphic designers, video editors, as well as students. 

Unless you're looking for something that's a bit more portable and can offer an extended battery life you'll be hard-pressed to find anything better in terms of internal specs and display within this price range. In short: the laptop you've been dreaming off at the price you were wishing for.