Geek Review: Acer Predator Helios Neo 16 Gaming Laptop

It isn’t entirely accurate to call the Acer Predator Helios Neo 16, a frills-free laptop, even though its design is simple looking in nature. The machine cuts a stylish, futuristic figure with its cyberpunk aesthetics, but does things the old-fashioned way – by packing a wallop of power into a thick, bulky, and heavy chassis. By wrapping its straightforward presentation in a modern coat of paint, the gaming powerhouse proves that it’s possible to play well and look good at the same time.

The design flair starts from the clamshell lid. Brandishing a chromed logo and a string of cryptic coordinates, it completes the low-profile look with blue undertones on the protruding end of the chassis. Opening it yields translucent WASD keys on the keyboard, framed in the same bluish hue that’s also seen on the arrow and Predator Sense keys. 

Geek Review: Acer Predator Neo Helios 16 Gaming Laptop (1)

When the light hits at a certain angle, the laptop exudes a slight shimmering effect that accentuates any fingerprint or oil smear captured on its plastic body. This choice material makes the Predator Helios Neo 16 extremely susceptible to hard-to-clean smudges, and also adds some flex to the lid, which exhibits a slight creak when subjected to twisting forces. Indeed, it does feel flimsy in hand, and isn’t the best for on-the-go work or play – especially when paired with its heft. 

Weighing in at 2.6kg, the device takes after most 16-inch gaming laptops on the markets, but an additional 1.2kg from the power brick results in some undesired encumberment. It’s best used as a desktop replacement than an everyday carry, and Acer has made sure to deliver on this front for the most part. 

Take, for instance, the port selection. The Predator Helios Neo 16 boasts a generous array of three USB-A ports, two Type-C ports, an HDMI port, a microSD slot, an Ethernet port, and a 3.5mm headphone jack, which are all well-positioned and easy to reach. The IPS WUXGA display (1,920 x 1,200) doesn’t disappoint either, offering vibrant colours, high brightness, good contrast, and a respectable 165Hz refresh rate. 

Watching the trailer for Barbie proved to be a delightful marvel, with the splashes of pink and Malibu Beach’s blue skies painting a striking image. In Apex Legends, Cyberpunk 2077, and Genshin Impact, the environments are full of life and detail, from the towering skyscrapers of Bonsai Plaza in the Olympus map to the lush Sumeru landscape. Enable ray tracing for supported titles, and more visual polish awaits – sharp, clear mirror-esque reflections in water puddles, fine smoke particles, and diffused neon lights were impressively conveyed in Cyberpunk 2077

The lack of local dimming technology means it falls a little short of delivering deep blacks. It should be noted that while there are decent black levels, the contrast isn’t as strong as one might expect when playing games with a darker presentation like Diablo IV and Control Ultimate Edition, or watching, say, House of the Dragon.

In practice, the Predator Helios Neo 16 proves itself worthy of its namesake. The gaming powerhouse can equip up to an NVIDIA RTX 4070 GPU and 13th Gen Intel Core i7-13700HX processor, but its entry-level outfit is no slouch either. Pairing the latter with an RTX 4050 graphics card yielded a strong performance across a range of titles, with Apex Legends and Overwatch clocking an average frame rate of 120 FPS and 150 FPS at the highest settings respectively. 

Diablo IV registered a 85 FPS average on Ultra at 1080p resolution, while Control Ultimate Edition, Red Dead Redemption, and Cyberpunk 2077 all performed smoothly, albeit at a lower frame rate count. The results are reflected in various benchmarking tests as well, where the laptop sits above the average mark – in 3DMark Time Spy, it scored 9,112 to edge out the 9,087 reading. On top of a 8,980 score in PCMark 10, the Predator Helios Neo 16 also notched a 81,692 total in Geekbench 5. 

A common issue with gaming laptops is the lack of cooling efficiency, but that won’t be an issue here. Acer’s latest offering impresses with its heat management capabilities that keep temperatures comfortably below 80 degrees to stay cool in GPU-intensive situations – even amidst the incessant whirring of the fans. As noise levels can get really loud in the performance-enhancing Turbo Mode, it’s recommended to put on headphones when gaming or doing heavy-duty tasks, instead of using the internal speakers. 

Typing on the keyboard, in contrast, is a quieter affair. The Predator Helios Neo 16 isn’t held back by the lack of a tactile mechanical keyboard, offering a comfortable experience with solid, nicely spaced-out keys that have decent travel. RGB lighting can be configured via the PredatorSense app, which grants access to eight different effects and any hue selection for a four-zone arrangement (no per-key lighting available, unfortunately). It’s straightforward enough, with the only minor gripe being the smaller-sized ‘Alt’ and ‘Ctrl’ keys.

By all accounts, the laptop is a solid play-and-work machine that looks good, runs well, and comes free of hardware issues. There’s just one major letdown – it isn’t able to last long, even by gaming laptop standards. The 90Whr battery lasted a disappointing three hours and 42 minutes in PCMark 10’s Modern Office test, which is a bizarre result for its beefy charge. Suffice to say, users shouldn’t expect more than 30 minutes of cord-free gaming.

And somehow, the lacklustre battery life ends up playing into its desktop replacement design. The Predator Helios Neo 16, as previously mentioned, shines the brightest when it’s tethered to a play station because of its heft, flimsy, fingerprint-prone chassis, and bulky power brick, so keeping it plugged in only completes the equation. At S$2,198, the device graces the moderately-priced market with sleek aesthetics and competent performance, but has some faults that call for greater consideration in the decision-making process. 



The Predator Neo Helios 16 dominates on the field, showing that it’s possible to look and be great at the same time – even if it does stumble a little elsewhere.

  • Aesthetics - 9/10
  • Build Quality - 8.5/10
  • Performance - 8.5/10
  • Value - 8.5/10
  • Geek Satisfaction - 8.5/10