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Acer Predator Helios 500: The Overclockable Beast Machine
by Seth L.
BIGGER IS BETTER

When everyone is trying to slim down their wares, Acer seems to be making the Helios 500 head in the other direction. Coming in at a mammoth 4kg with dimensions of 16.85 inches x 11.7 inches and 1.5 inches thick, this laptop certainly makes it mark in a table breaking way. Yes, the Helios 500 is chunkier than let’s say, the current darling of sexy and svelte gaming laptops - the Razer Blade, but all that girthing up is done for a good reason. Pop the hood on this monster and you will find the interior packed to the brim with modification choices to make even the most jaded of portable gaming gamers cry tears of joy. As they say, it’s what’s on the inside that counts and the insides of the Helios 500 definitely makes the price and weight worth it.

Externally, the Helios 500 is clad in a sleek matte black shell, highlighted by sharp looking blue Predator-branded accents. Here, Acer makes full use of the laptop’s thickness and is nice enough to give us a full-sized RGB backlit gaming keyboard with programmable keys, all good for those key bashing sessions and sensitive enough with anti-ghosting for the most commonly used keystrokes ie. the WASD keys, and the spacebar.

Connectivity-wise, the Helios 500 has more than enough for you to plug all your paraphernalia in at once with an Ethernet port, 2x Thunderbolts, 3x USB3, headphone and microphone jacks. You also get a full-sized HDMI 2.0 and Displayport outputs on the back as well.

IT’S WHAT’S INSIDE THAT COUNTS

The first thing that grabs you is the display – a dual option (fast refresh rate 1080p 144Hz setup or high-quality 4k setup) 17.3-inch IPS Nvidia G-Sync display that is paired to a overclockable Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 graphics card with 8GB of GDDR5 VRAM. With that setup, the Helios 500 can tackle many of the current games without much problems.

You don’t have to worry about the laptop overheating and crashing. The Helios 500 is armed with twin ultrathin and all metal fans, Acer’s very own Aeroblades to keep your GPU and CPU at a nice cool temperature in the heat of fragging sessions. Together with the Aeroblades, five heat pipes distribute and rid the Helios 500 of its excess heat, four exhausts and two intakes quickly cycle in cool air and expel the heat through a unique elevated base design. And if the gaming gets hardcore, you can turn on Coolboost to increase the fan speed and keep the critical areas of the laptop continuously cooled.

You get four choices when it comes to kitting out the CPU for the Helios 500 - a four-core Core i5-8300H, a six-core Core i7-8750H; a six-core Core i9-8950HK or six-core Core i9+ 8950HK. The Core i9 chips are overclockable up to 4.8Ghz. The Helios 500 comes with base 16GB DDR4 RAM, that is upgradable up to 64GB via 4x soDIMM modules. For storage you can get up to a 2TB HDD, with SDD options of either a 512GB or 1TB NVMe.

What is gaming without a proper punchy audio support? Say goodbye to mediocre sound as the Helios 500 comes with 2.1 speakers and subwoofers powered by Waves Maxxaudio, Waves NX and TrueHarmony to give you fuller-bodied audio, surround sound experience and more accurate sound reproduction.

VERDICT

As you would have already guessed, for what the Predator Helios 500 is bringing into the fight, it does not come cheap. Starting at USD2000 (RM8000+-) onwards, this monster can cause a serious dent in your bank account even at its lowest configurations but as they say, with great power comes a great price tag. We appreciate Acer’s effort to jam so much power into such a reasonably small space and the Helios 500 definitely has got a lot going for it in terms of gaming potential. This will be one on our to buy list for sure, if only we could afford it… :(

The Acer Predator Helios 500 will be available very soon in Malaysia. Keep your eyes peeled for further details at Acer Malaysia

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