Cover yourself in mud, for this Predator is so powerful that even Arnold Schwarzenegger would run away from it. The Helios 500, at a price of $2,499 (beginning at $1,999), features a monstrous 8th Gen Core i9 processor and GTX 1070 GPU for robust gaming performance. It will remain as cool and collected as its name says, even if you crank the volume and blast through games on those exceptionally clicky keys. There’s room for improvement in the display, but the Helios 500 is a great device otherwise. Discover where to find the most beneficial Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals for any product you could be interested in.
The performance and gaming capabilities of this 2021 Predator Helios 500 laptop are exceptional. The key advantages of this Helios 500 over its competitors are its robust build quality, the miniLED 4K screen option, the respectable IO, and the oversized thermal design; however, its size and weight, the absence of a MUX switch, and its smaller battery might steer some of you away. When compared to the other full-size performance options of this generation, this behemoth is more akin to a desktop laptop, thus it should be a major factor in your buying decision.
Acer Predator Helios 500 Black Friday 2022
Design and exterior
The 2021 Helios 500 hasn’t altered much in terms of design from its predecessor; it’s still a bulky, hefty desktop that doesn’t even try to be portable. At 4 kilograms for the laptop and an additional 1.3 kilograms for the charger, this is not something you want to take on the road or on your daily commute.
Though the chassis is smaller than its predecessor (as evidenced by the thinner bezels surrounding the display), this is still one of the largest, thickest, and heaviest 17-inch performance laptops of this generation.
Keyboard and trackpad
The Helios 500’s keyboard looks and feels like the keyboard on other full-size Predator laptops I’ve used. However, here everything is in its place, even the arrow keys and the numeric keypad, which are also of normal size. However, unlike the older generation Helios 500, this one does not have any special macro or media keys.
The typing experience is satisfactory, on par with that of similar rubber-dome keyboards. This approach provides quiet actuation alongside robust and accurate feedback. Once more, we have no complaints.
The keyboard’s backlight may be adjusted individually and features bright RGB leads. It’s all pretty consistent, and there’s barely any illumination under the keycaps. In addition, unlike earlier designs, this one has a dedicated Caps Lock indication.
Acer’s 2021 Predator Helios 500 series comes with a variety of display options, including a UHD 120Hz miniLED panel found only in the highest configurations, like the one we have on our review device, and FHD 360Hz and QHD 165Hz IPS screens.
While I have examined miniLED panels in the past, this one is a completely different animal because the blacks and contrast remain unaltered regardless of how much brightness you give it.
Hardware and performance
Our test model is a top-specced configuration of the Acer Predator Helios 500 5 in the 2021 PH517-52 model, with an Intel Tiger Lake Core i9-11980HK processor, 32 GB of DDR4-3200 memory in dual channel (2x single rank SK Hynix HMAA2GS6CJR8N-XN DIMMs), 2 TB of storage (2x Samsung PM9A1 drives, in RAID 0) + a 2.5″ HDD, and dual graphics: the Nvidia RTX 3080 Laptop dGPU and the Iris Xe iGPU within the Intel platform, with Optimus. No MUX switch was used; instead, the Intel iGPU was used to connect to the internal display.
Please keep in mind that this is a pre-release version of a product that won’t have its final software ready until mid-September 2021. (BIOS v0.11, Predator Sense 3.00.3163, GeForce Game Ready 471.96 drivers). Some aspects might change with future software versions.