The Acer Predator Helios 500 17 AMD is big and heavy. This design helps maximize its expected performance with strong base layers and full-graphics chips. It offers intense gaming and productivity applications performance by combining a second-generation Ryzen desktop CPU with Vega 56 graphics.
Features of Acer Predator Helios 500 17 AMD
This 2021 Helios 500’s construction is mostly unchanged from the previous generation; it is still massive. The hefty full-size computer that does not attempt to be portable. You’ll mostly want to keep this on a desk and not take it with you when you travel or commute because it weighs 4.3 kg for the laptop and an additional 1.3 kilograms of the charger.
Even if the chassis has shrunk from its predecessor, as evidenced by the display’s lower bezels, this is still one of this generation’s most prominent, thickest, and lightest 17-inch performance laptops of this generation.
This is due to the enormous thermal module inside, which was built to handle the i9 processor and RTX 3080 GPU. The fact that Acer used thick, high-quality materials to construct this notebook without sacrificing the quality of the build in any way. Throughout my time with this Helios 500, I haven’t heard any creaking or flexing noises.
The armrest and the area around the keyboard have a matte texture, effectively deflecting smudges and scratches. The inner deck, sides, and underside are all made of plastic. On the other hand, the lid is made of metal and is easier to smear and even scratch.
Acer has partially improved the design of this 2021 Helios 500 in addition to the materials. Predator branding has been replaced with more subdued versions of the emblem, and the one underneath the screen is remarkably understated. If you take the numerous stickers off every surface, you’ll see that the interior is quite tidy.
However, there is little you can do about the large status LEDs and the always-on power button, both in the way of vision when using the laptop at night. Unfortunately, this component has yet to be upgraded since the Helios 500.
The boundaries of the IO are bordered, with the majority on the left, leaving your cursor area on the right largely uncluttered.
The PSU is on the rear, and our model has two PSU connectors. There was a solitary plug and some video outputs on previous Helios 500 models, but not on this one. Apart from that, it provides all the interfaces you’ll require, such as quick USB-A and USB-C ports with support for Thunderbolt 4, HDMI 2.1 and miniDP 1.4 connectors connected to the Nvidia GPU, and fast wired and wireless connectivity. However, neither a card reader nor biometrics is present.
This 2021 Predator Helios 500 is a full-size laptop that doesn’t skimp on design, functionality, or input/output (IO). Still, it is larger and heavier than the competition already on the market, so it will need to find a way to balance off all this weight.
Keyboard and Trackpad
This Helios 500’s keyboard is a typical Predator full-size laptop design. However, the NumPad portion and the arrows are both full-size and evenly spaced apart. However, unlike the previous-generation Helios 500, there are no separate macro/media keys.
Backlit keyboard with vibrant RGB LEDs and individual essential control. Almost no light comes through the keycaps, and everything appears uniform. Additionally, unlike the previous generation, this layout has a distinct Caps Lock indication.
However, this Helios 500 has one additional feature that no other. Acer laptops can swap out the WASD keys for some alternative keycaps. Following that, you must enable the Predator Sense settings, known as the MagForce keys settings by Acer, allowing analog control for these WASD keys. This implies that depending on how hard you hit these keys in games, and you may get varied results.
In some racing games, the car will accelerate more slowly if you only lightly touch the W key and fully accelerate if you press the key down. However, not all driving games support this functionality typing with the MagForce keys fitted was strange due to their unique feedback and higher height.
Acer provides a plastic clickpad for the mouse that has specific physical buttons and an RGB border around it. This is a holdover from the previous Helio 500. Therefore it could be more accurate, roomy, and silky to the touch than recent iterations. On the other hand, the physical clicks are reliable.
With FHD camera shots, QHD 165Hz IPS panels, and a UHD 120Hz mini led panel saved for the top configurations, including the one we have on our test device. Acer Predator Helios 500 17 AMDoffers a few different screen options for its 2021 Acer Predator Helios 500 series.
Hardware and performance
The Acer Predator Helios 500 17 AMD variant we’re evaluating is one of the first Helios 500 machines to depart from Intel and Nvidia technologies. Instead, it is powered by top-tier AMD components, giving its Intel competitors a tough time. It has an AMD Ryzen 7-2700 desktop processor with eight cores and 16 threads with a base clock speed of 3.7GHz and a maximum boost speed of 4.3GHz when Turbo Boost is turned on. A computer with an AMD Radeon RX Vega 56 graphics processor and 8GB of HBM2 memory runs Windows 10 Home.
The crucial components enhance gaming performance. Despite its power, the Helios 500 outperforms some of its more potent competitors. Some of which use pepper CPUs or GeForce GTX 1080 graphics processors in modern games. Playing Fortnite at 1080p, High settings average 122 frames per second. However, when playing at Ultra settings, the frame rate dips to 109. The Helios 500 from Grand Theft Auto V managed an average frame rate of 103fps at Medium settings as opposed to 82fps with High graphics.
Acer’s AMD-powered Predator Helios 500 gaming laptop has much to recommend. A 16-thread Ryzen 7 CPU gives it unrivaled multi-threaded productivity. Its extreme power is matched by nothing else in its class. Considering how strong it is when gaming, it also runs surprisingly quietly. Its screen is excellent, has a high refresh rate, and is made even better with AMD’s FreeSync technology.