Acer Predator Helios 2024 AI-Ready Gaming Laptops Aim To Conquer

Times have certainly changed, and for the better. Where dedicated gaming used to be exclusive to desktops, it’s now easily enjoyed in a way smaller and more convenient form factor. The rise of gaming laptops has reduced reliance on big, bulky PC rigs, with users able to harness their power and speed for entertainment in any form.

With the Acer Predator Helios lineup, the tech giant continues to hold themselves to the same high standards. The 2024 range, comprising the Predator Helios 16, Helios Neo 16, and Helios 18, seeks to cater to different needs without compromising on performance, and it starts with finding the middle ground.

Boasting up to an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4080 GPU and a 14th Gen Intel Core i9 processor, the Predator Helios 16 presents an option for those seeking standard-sized builds. It packs a beastly punch with top-of-the-line hardware that runs on newly optimised hybrid architecture and industry-leading technology, including NVIDIA DLSS 3.5, ray tracing, and NVIDIA Max-Q, allowing it to breeze through most, if not all, of the latest games.

The trio further enriches immersion by using artificial intelligence (AI) to create additional high-quality frames, boost detail, and optimise every aspect of the laptop – from CPU and thermals to display. Say goodbye to lag, inconsistent frame rates, and excessive heat, even at the highest settings.

Part of the credit goes to dedicated AI processors like Intel AI Boost, which offload AI tasks from the CPU for accelerated performance. The multiplayer experience, meanwhile, gets an extra edge with the Acer Purified Voice 2.0, featuring a triple-microphone array and AI noise reduction technology. Working to filter background noise for both speakers and listeners, it ensures crystal-clear voice communication for external headphones and onboard microphones alike.

The AI functionality proves handy outside of gaming as well. Where the Microsoft Copilot key provides a shortcut to activate Microsoft’s Copilot at any time, the Acer PurifiedView uses automatic framing, advanced background blur, gaze correction, and more to enhance one’s look on camera. LiveArt, coming through in a pinch, instantly removes the background of an image, allowing it to be edited and pasted anywhere. More importantly, such features can be simply accessed with the PredatorSense button on the keyboard.

Acer Predator Helios 16.

The Predator Helios 16 doesn’t only work and play well, it looks great, too. Armed with a refresh rate of 240Hz and a three-millisecond response time, the 16-inch screen eliminates screen tearing or blur to deliver smooth, crisp visuals. Alongside a WQXGA resolution (2,560 x 1,600) and 16:10 aspect ratio, the workhorse ensures rich contrast, vibrant colours, and deep blacks in every game world there is. 

And professional gaming on a laptop? Fret not as competitive and esports enthusiasts can get the upper hand with mechanical switches. As the MagClick key offers shorter key travel for faster actuation, the laptop is able to register key presses and strokes more quickly, which comes in handy for tense moments where each split-second action counts.

Acer Predator Helios 16.

If speed isn’t quite the priority, there’s always the option to opt for the MagSpeed instead via swappable mechanical WASD key switches. The device’s hot swappable technology allows users to switch between the see-through MagClick and rubber-domed MagSpeed WASD keys, with the latter adding a stylish touch into the mix. On top of a separate lighting zone for the keys, users will also have access to per-key RGB customisation, allowing them to create personalised profiles.

The PredatorSense 5.0 makes this an easy affair. Acer’s own utility app offers full control over lighting effects, overclocking management, and fan speed adjustments, all conveniently housed within one place. The Home Page, for example, displays system performance on the dashboard – with widgets for scenario changes and launching apps – while Mode brings up specific scenarios with pre-set operation modes.

All of that are available at the starting price of S$3,299, but those with a tighter budget need not fret. The Acer Predator Helios Neo 16 presents a more affordable alternative at S$2,698, and without much spec differences to boot. It pairs the same display performance – WQXGA resolution, a 240Hz refresh rate, and a 16:10 aspect ratio – with up to an RTX 4070 graphics card, while sacrificing some secondary features in the process. As such, the device won’t feature hot swappable WASD keys (and by extent, per-key customisation), and runs on a less powerful cooling system. With minimal compromises to hardware, it cuts a very good deal for casual gaming.

Sometimes, though, more power is the only way to go. The Acer Predator Helios 18 is perfect for subscribers of the go-big-or-go-home mindset or individuals who prefer bigger screens, starting at the price of S$4,199. Like its 16-inch counterparts, this 18-inch beast sports a 240Hz / 250Hz WQXGA panel, and can be souped up and be outfitted with up to an RTX 4090 GPU and a 24-core 14th Gen Intel Core i9 processor.

Acer Predator Helios 18.

Other flagship features, including per-key RGB customisation and MagClick capabilities, have been carried over as well. This means users will be able to enjoy the same top-of-the-line experience, in addition to basking in the viewing glory of an 18-inch screen.

Acer Predator Helios 18.

For all of their distinctions (minor or otherwise), the three laptops prove that it’s possible to bridge the performance gap between different-tier models, while still maintaining a respectable degree of quality. After all, gaming is all about speed and power, and it certainly helps to have a guarantee on this front, especially with how big of an investment a gaming powerhouse can be.

The Predator Helios 16, Predator Helios Neo 16, and Predator Helios 18 are now available for purchase on the official Acer website.