Acer has brought completely redesigned its Predator Helios gaming laptops for CES 2023, now coming in two sizes: the Helios 16 and Helios 18.
The new design takes inspiration from many of its competitors, including Alienware and Legion, while still retaining what made Predator’s branding unique.
So, what’s all new? Well, the display is now in 16:10 aspect ratio, meaning the bottom bezels have been significantly reduced. That helps a lot in making these new laptops feel more modern.
There’s a new keyboard too, which has a mini-LED, per-key RGB backlit keyboard with 1.8mm of key travel. Bot models include a number pad on the left with an off-center touchpad, which is quickly becoming a rare sighting in
The same is true with the new look of the thermal shelf in the rear where the ports are housed. Whereas before there was only the power connector and some aggressively-designed vents, there is now the majority of the ports, which include two Thunderbolt 4 ports, HDMI, and the power connector. Some RGB lighting marks the thermal shelf too, with some subtle style.
The other ports are on the side, including USB-A 3.2 Gen2, Ethernet, headphone jack, and micro-SD card slot.
The display also gets a massive upgrade. Both the 16-inch and 18-inch models now have an option for a mini-LED panel, with a variety of different resolutions and refresh rates available. The 16-inch model has an IPS 2560 x 1600 (165Hz or 240Hz) and the mini-LED model with a 250Hz refresh rate.
You get those same options with the Helios 18, except that there’s also an option of a cheaper 1920 x 1200 resolution.
If you do opt for that mini-LED display, though, you get 1,000 local dimming zones. Acer says you can crank these systems up to 1,000 nits of brightness and three times more contrast than a conventional panel.
Acer didn’t provide info on DisplayHDR certification from VESA, but you’d expect a panel to have some exceptional HDR performance.
And, of course, the Predator Helios 16 and Helios 18 support the latest CPUs from Intel and GPUs from Nvidia. Specifically, you get up to a Core i9-13900HX and RTX 40-series graphics. You can also configure it with up to 32GB of RAM and 2TB of SSD storage. These systems come with 5th-gen AeroBlade metal fans and heat pipes, as well as liquid metal thermal grease.
Now, obviously, these are big laptops, as they’ve always been. The Helios 18 weighs 7.17 pounds (or a bit lighter for the IPS model) and is 1.14 inches thick. This 18-inch laptop is getting announced alongside plenty of other 18-inch
The Helios 16, meanwhile, is 5.95 pounds (or a bit lighter for the IPS model) and is 1.1 inches thick.
The Predator Helios 16 starts at $1,600 and will be available starting in March, while the Helios 18 starts at $1,700 and will be available starting in April.
- As a laptop reviewer, this is the CES 2023 laptop I’m most excited for
- CES 2023 is a turning point for the dilemma between TVs and gaming monitors
- Why a gaming keyboard is my most anticipated CES 2023 product
- The most exciting laptop trends from CES 2023
- The best gaming monitors of CES 2023