Acer Predator Helios 700, a powerful, innovative and … noisy gaming laptop
A few weeks ago, we introduced you the video of the one of the last of the monsters in the video game recently posted to the editor : the Helios 700 from Acer. This laptop PC 17.3 ” does not go unnoticed. It is a distant cousin of another Predator,the Triton 900, with which it shares certain points in common, both aesthetic, ergonomic.
After having used it extensively, we are ready to give you a firm opinion and final on this wholesale PC portable, one of whose peculiarities is to have a keyboard that slides forward. We note that the version tested here has the name of war : PH717-71-95MA, and it costs about 3200 euros. Models less expensive, are available on the web, but allow a budget of 2500 euros minimum to get your hands on a Helios 700.
As we have already covered a lot of points on the finish of the Helios 700 in the video and dansnotre first article, we will not repeat that analysis in detail.
However, remember that we are in the presence of a PC gamer who absolutely loves the thick plastic, and weighs a whopping 4.8 kilos. A weight in which comes on top of the ac adapter : 1,49 kg.
To dissuade you completely take him along for the ride, be aware that its thickness is 5.2 cm at the highest, screen closed. However, such a height enables Acer to place two video outputs to full size at the rear, as well as the power outlet. On the left are two USB sockets 3.1, the network port as well as a microphone input and a headphone output. To the right, finally, what are three USB connectors, which occupy the space, both are Type-C, which can be used to output additional video and the other is compatible with Thunderbolt 3.The place of this laptop is at home, at the office, no doubt. Its autonomy measured 2 h 06 in the best case (not so), you will not have to go far. In terms of template, the Helios comes face to Alienware Area-51m. However, at the level of ergonomics and configuration, these two are not alike at all.
Helios 700 : a keyboard bit that is common to multiple functions
At first, the keyboard of the Helios has nothing extraordinary. As on all machines of the game, the key travel is quite short, and all are backlit in blue. The color is customizable via the software on your Predator Sense.
The WASD keys and the directional arrows are enjoying a screen printing and a form a bit different from the others, because they are commonly used in games. The contour of the touchpad is also lit, to be more easily visible in the dark.
First element is very common in Acer provides keys to spare as well as a small tool to disassemble/reassemble without any break.
On the top, to the left, is the three programmable keys, another that lets you switch between a profile of programming to another, and, finally, the key for Turbo. But we’ll get to that later.
As indicated by a small sticker, it is possible to slide the keyboard towards you. Just catch the top edge and pull. What good is it ? Two things.
The first is a position that one could almost equate to that of a keyboard of a desktop PC in order to have a little more distance from the screen at 17.3 inches. The palm rest are slightly inclined, as is the touchpad. This keeps the wrists in a position a little more comfortable than on most laptops for the player. Another small advantage, the risk of hitting the touchpad with the left thumb, while we were in the middle part, is reduced. This kind of movement parasite could have consequences “disastrous” when you’re playing games to first person shooter online, for example. The second piece of good and solid reason that you’d have to slide the keyboard towards you when you use the Helios, is that you will hear a signal sound really little discreet with a noise of turbine. It is a sign that the overclocking of the components is enabled and that the Helios is ready to roar.
As a bonus, you will see the fans of the machine as well as, hidden behind a piece of plexiglas, and almost transparent, a portion of the calodoucs. And to cool the mechanics of this Helios 700, at least all of these elements, especially when applying different profiles for overclocking.
You like it how to : potent or powerful to the extreme ?
Several configurations of the Helios 700 are offered on the web. The one we tested is without doubt one of the most powerful. It comes with a Core i9-9980HK (the top of the top Intel processors for a laptop), 32 Gb of memory DDR4, 512 Gb SSD and 1 Tb hard drive and a Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 normal (as opposed to the model Max-Q).
Should it be said that with this cocktail very vitamin-enriched, it is possible to run all the games of the moment, in Full HD, on the screen the 17.3-inch machine ? The same goes for editing programs or photo editing, or 3D modeling. In short, nothing resists it today and it will be the same with the apps, and the games to come in the next two years. At least.
In video games, it also succeeds in carving out the lion’s share, even if its technical platform can not possibly compete with that of the Area-51m (equipped with a RTX-2080, and a processor for a desktop PC (we remind). The scores carried forward here are those obtained with the keypad in the classic position.The Helios 700 has four distinct modes of operation : keyboard in classic position or keyboard deployed with 3 settings – Fast/Boosted/Far to activate it with the button Turbo. We have, therefore, recorded in each of them to see what were the improvements.
The chart above speaks for itself, it wins the best 6 frames per second average in our two sets of reference between a use mode, classic mode and Extreme. This may perhaps sometimes make the difference in some games, but for the time being, activate the mode, the more extreme it isn’t worth it, especially as each shift is accompanied by a little more noise.
Helios 700 blows very strong, but it is for the (good) cause
We have not done surveys of noise and temperature for each mode. However, we managed to make it scream the ventilation system up to 60 dB in stressful at the maximum configuration, mode Extreme. It is… deafening. This could even constitute a valid reason for getting thrown from home. Of course, for the sessions of game night in secret, it’s going to be very complicated.
As an aside note that as soon as you switch the machine on, a cry similar to that of the Predator sounds in the room. As we said above, when you slide the keyboard, the machine also produces sound effects. No, the discretion, really, don’t count on it.
But, regardless of the profile of performance used, the processor doesn’t throttle ever (it does not lower its speed to guard against a coup of hot). Hat. Better, the guy pays for the luxury of keeping the Turbo Boost mode engaged ! Even in load scenarios the most challenging of our arsenal, the frequencies identified remain above the 2.4 GHz base.
The temperature, for his part, never exceeds to 34.2°C in the machine when the keyboard is deployed. The mercury can climb up to 40.6°C in the contrary case.
It remains that these statements are completely appropriate for a machine of this caliber. Since there is still little chance that you take the Helios 700 on your knees to play, you are – in all cases – in the shelter of a heat stroke on the thighs.
When the keyboard is deployed, note that the thermometer displays up to 46.4°C on the part of plexiglas located at the level of the top of the keys. Do not place anything to here, this is not a empty-pocket !
A screen 144 Hz is very focused on the blue
Let us end with a word on the benefits of the screen of 17.3 inch Helios 700. Its IPS panel is matte and displays the games and other apps in Full HD. The refresh rate can go up to 144 Hz and as the technology G-Sync of Nvidia is present, the switch will avoid the visual effects of tearing (tearing) and the perception of the slowdowns when the number of frames per second displayed down suddenly and heavily. Note, however, the graphics card will show 144 fps maximum if G-Sync is enabled.
The different technical measures carried out on the surface of the slab are quite disappointing for a machine of this price. The maximum brightness is average of 260 cd/m2 with a peak of 293 cd/m2 in the centre. This is well below the average, which is around 300 cd/m2. In contrast, the rate of contrast 1356:1 with an uniformity of the black more than correct. He saves the day, in spite of a slight effect of clouding visible (will white) in the lower left corner of the display surface.
As to the color fidelity, this is not his thing. The deltaE of the screen is the 5.53 is one of the worst we have measured these past few weeks (0 being the best) in the category of laptops for the players.
In detail, the blue ones are fake and the red, a little clogged. Moreover, the temperature color is constantly at the top of 7300K, whereas it should be more around 6500K. There must, therefore, necessarily calibrate this screen of 17.3 inches with a probe and proper software for hope to do the retouching color accuracy.