ACER Predator Helios 500 packs the latest silicon as well as a mini-LED display

Choosing a gaming display on your laptop has never felt more conflicting than when you get a mini-LED option.

by Justin Choo

Unlike the Triton, the 17.3-inch, ACER Predator Helios 500 (PH517-52) is non-nonsense gaming.

Under the hood, it boasts up to an overclockable 11th Gen Intel Core i9 processor, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Laptop GPU and 64 GB of DDR4 3200 MHz memory. For storage, you get a pair of PCIe NVMe SSDs in RAID 0 and one SATA HDD.

What’s tricky is deciding between the two displays on offer. Would you want a 4K Mini LED 120 Hz display (AUO AmLED) that supports full-array local dimming and is comparable to VESA Display HDR 1000 or would you want AUO’s superfast FHD 360 Hz display with 3 ms response time?

Cooling is handled by the best tech ACER has to offer, including PowerGem, a metal-alloy polymer that dissipates the heat from the CPU; Vortex Flow, which uses two fans, including a 5th Gen AeroBlade 3D Fan, to redirect airflow to critical components.

Keyboard-wise, you can personalise the keyboard lighting via per-key RGB backlighting, and the WASD keys can be enhanced with Acer’s Racing keys or MagForce keys. These keys feature MagTek mechanical switches to give it the feel of a controller’s joystick for more precise control.

The Helios 500 is fairly well-equipped when it comes to ports – one HDMI 2.1, one mini-DP 1.4, two USB Type-C Thunderbolt 4, three USB 3.2 Gen2 ports that support offline charging, and one RJ45 port.

Like the Triton 500 SE, the Helios 500 is also equipped with an Intel Killer E3100 Ethernet Controller, Intel KillerTM Wi-Fi 6 AX1650 and Killer Intelligence Center. And if you are really hardcore, there’s the option for the Intel Killer DoubleShot Pro 5G, which combines 5G with Intel Killer Ethernet and Wi-Fi products to maximise gaming traffic speeds.

New Optional Accessories

Predator Connect X5 5G CPE Router

The first Intel Killer-compatible 5G CPE (Customer Premise Equipment) in the world can provide 5G connectivity at up to 4.7 Gbps and connect up to 256 devices. As a gaming-centric device, it comes with a dedicated onboard GAME Port for the fastest uncompromised throughput possible while Intel Killer Intelligence Center lets you fine-tune your data downlink and uplink speeds by manually prioritising applications; or you can let the Intel Killer Prioritization engine take care of it for you.

Specs-wise, the router is built around a quad-core 2 GHz ARM Cortex processor with 1 GB DDR4 and 1 GB Flash memory, and comes equipped with a dedicated GAME LAN port, one standard LAN port, one WAN port, USB, a SIM card port, a set of Main and Div TS-9 Antenna ports, and WPS for added security. It also comes integrated with Trend Micro Home Network Security for managing network traffic.

Predator Connect D5 5G Dongle

The dongle was designed to take advantage of the built-in Intel Killer Network Solution to maximise 5G speeds, and you can also use the computer as a 5G Wi-Fi hotspot, or together with the Intel Killer DoubleShot Pro 5G for dual connectivity. As a gamer what’d you primarily want is the dongle’s ability to prioritise bandwidth allocation and reduce latency. You can also monitor network connections and modify throughput as well via the Predator Connection Manager.

Predator Cestus Gaming Mouse 335

Acer has also added a new gaming mouse, the Cestus 335. It’s built around a PixArt 3370 sensor, which caps out at 19,000 DPI and a 2,000 Hz polling rate. Convenience features include five programmable sensitivity thresholds, five user profiles for the ten programmable buttons, and a quick-scroll button.