Acer Predator Helios 16 Review

When it comes to the Acer Predator Helios 16, the spec sheet only tells part of the story. Yes, it boasts a high-end processor and an RTX 4080 graphics card that can handle AAA games on the highest settings. But there’s so much more to this gaming laptop than meets the eye.

Acer Predator Helios 16 – Photos

It’s a machine with flaws – but its blistering performance is enough to land it among the best gaming laptops.

Acer Predator Helios 16 – Specs

  • OS: Windows 11 Home
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4080 (12 GB GDDR6, max power 165W)
  • CPU: 13th gen i9-13900HX processor (2.2 GHz, up to 5.4 GHz)
  • RAM: 16 GB DDR4 (4800 MHz)
  • Storage: 1 TB SSD
  • Display: 16” 2560 × 1600p mini-LED display (IPS LCD), 240 Hz refresh rate
  • Battery: 90Wh (Max 330W power supply from adapter)
  • Dimensions: 14.1(W) x 11 (D) x 1.1 (H) inches, 35.8 x 27.9 x 2.8 cm
  • Weight: 5.95lb (2.7kg)

Acer Predator Helios 16 – Design and Features

Let’s start with the design of the Predator Helios 16. There are some things I really like about it, and some things I’m not so fond of. The large wedge that protrudes from the back of the laptop is an attention-grabber. With its diagonal lines and glossy finish, it gives off a futuristic vibe that some may find off-putting. Additionally, it adds to the laptop’s already chunky and heavy feel. But I must admit, it sets the Helios 16 apart from the crowd of sleek, matte black gaming laptops. The customizable RGB lighting and removable, spray-paintable vents add a touch of personalization.

What’s great about the wedge is that it houses a remarkable cooling system. The fans can get quite loud, especially in “turbo” mode, but they do a fantastic job of keeping the laptop cool even during demanding gaming sessions. The Helios 16’s chassis barely gets warm, and without that extra space, it might struggle to maintain its coolness.

In terms of connectivity, the Helios 16 has you covered. It offers plenty of ports, including three USB ports, Gigabit Ethernet, a microSD slot, a headphone jack, and a Kensington security lock slot on the sides. On the back of the wedge, you’ll find an HDMI port, two USB Type-C ports, and a charging port.

While the body of the laptop is a mix of plastic and alloy, it doesn’t feel particularly premium. The lid, in particular, is a fingerprint magnet and doesn’t feel very sturdy. It’s not a deal-breaker, but for the price point, you’d expect a more premium feel.

Now let’s move on to the keyboard and touchpad. The touchpad is one of the largest I’ve seen on a laptop, allowing for easy cursor movement across the large screen. The area for left and right mouse clicks is also generous, and the touchpad is incredibly responsive. There were no issues with missed taps or accidental clicks. However, it could use a smoother finish for a more comfortable feel.

The keyboard, on the other hand, is a standout feature. The keys have the right amount of tension, preventing accidental presses. The keys are also slightly concave, making it easier to position your fingers during intense gaming sessions. The keyboard includes a full set of function keys, media controls, a number pad, and a button for Acer’s control center. However, some keys important for gaming, such as the left shift and Tab keys, are smaller than expected. It’s a design choice that doesn’t quite make sense.

Acer Predator Helios 16 – Display

One of the major highlights of the Predator Helios 16 is its stunning 2560x1600p display with a refresh rate of 240Hz. While the variant I tested didn’t have the mini-LED display, the IPS LCD screen still impressed. It delivered bright and detailed visuals with vibrant colors, sharp details, and deep blacks. Whether I was playing Diablo 4, Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, or Cyberpunk 2077, every game looked fantastic on this laptop. The brightness levels were also impressive, allowing me to comfortably play games even in well-lit rooms. The screen was also readable outdoors on sunny days, as long as there was no direct sunlight reflecting on it.

Acer Predator Helios 16 – Software

When it comes to software, Acer keeps things organized with its PredatorSense app, which handles all pre-installed tools. The app allows you to easily switch between different performance modes, offering options like Quiet, Performance, Turbo, and Balanced. There’s also a dedicated button above the keyboard for quick mode changes. While the app is useful, some of the pre-installed programs could be better.

Overall, the Acer Predator Helios 16 is a gaming powerhouse with some notable flaws in terms of design. However, its impressive performance and stunning display make it a top contender among gaming laptops.