Acer Helios 300 vs ASUS ROG STRIX GL503 – Gaming Laptop Review

Acer long-awaited and beefy Triton 700 in the market is making all the right noises, captivating the gaming world with its exquisite features and a hefty price.

The Acer Predator Helios 300, on the other hand, has a modest offering and is a gaming laptop for everyone.

It’s not the biggie Triton is, but its modest offering means that it’s more accessible to gamers who are okay with leaving a few nitty-gritty out.

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Understanding the Strength of the Two Laptops (Acer Helios 300 VS ASUS ROG STRIX GL503)

Acer Helios 300

Acer has made a remarkable move by introducing The New Predator Helios 300, which packs tremendous power at a good value. You might be wondering a gaming laptop with good value is an old joke but this laptop may change your outlook completely. Read on to know it.

The market is flooded with exceptionally well-designed games which takes gaming to a whole new level but not all machines can take the burden. And gamers don’t want to miss the otherworldly experience of these games.

Can I run it?’ is one of the top Google searches and it is not for nothing. To make sure you can run it just take a look at the GPU. What are its specs?

And believe me, good sound and a bright Full HD are just as essential for your expected gaming experience. You may instead be interested in running high-performance software like 4K video editors, CAD or simulators, a laptop with powerful GPU will surely help you.

The Acer Predator Helios 300 Versus the Asus ROG Strix GL503: Which One Wins?

ASUS ROG STRIX GL503

We tested the Predator Helios 300 against Asus ROG Strix GL503 for a fair review. They are both on the same budget and performance category, and it will be enlightening to show how much they differ and what do they offer.

Acer Predator Helios 300 is described as a mid-range Predator which is inspired by Predator 17 and Predator 21 X, which are one of the world’s most premium gaming laptops.

Asus ROG Strix GL503 is an entry level gaming laptop which a carved a noteworthy niche for it in the gaming industry. The other major contenders like MSI GP72VR 7RFX Leopard Pro and Lenovo Legion Y520 are also reviewed.

The In Depth Comparison

  1. Build and Design

Acer Predator Helios 300Acer has gone with the good old Predator design for Helios 300 with a matte black chassis and 15.35” (w) x 10.62” (d) x 1.06” (h) in size.

It is supported by one hinge, which runs all the length of the laptop. You have a thick bezel surrounding the screen, with brand names on it and beveled edges.

The thick bezel and high mounted screen give way to an uncanny wide margin between the screen and the keyboard which looks a little distasteful.

The top cover is metallic with impressive texture and the rest of the body is crafted with plastic. It has got a Predator logo, but it is not backlit. It is quite thin for a gaming laptop and a tad lighter. It weighs 2.7kg which is lighter than many other GTX 1060 laptops but still a segment average.

The build is sturdy, and you got a nice view, whichever angle you decide to see.

The signature fan design, the red and black beauty looks just fine, but Acer could have revamped it as Asus did with ROG Strix GL503.

I think ROG GL503 is unparalleled when it comes to look and design. Even some big shot laptops find its design a worthy competitor. But wait, Predator Helios 300 is VR-ready. Yes, you read it right.

The VR spec makes your gaming experience more enjoyable, and you will really like it.

The Winner?

With the black matte chassis, Helios 300 is a clear winner here. It’s got the looks and it has got a design you will fall in love with.

  1. Screen and Display

ASUS ROG STRIX GL503 SceenYou will agree that is some real plus for the Helios 300. For one, it has got the gaming laptop looks that you can’t overlook. This Acer laptop also offers a great design and best-in-class display. The colors are vibrant and the brightness of the display is also perfect.

It comes with 1920×1080 Full HD IPS non-glare screen. To be honest, the display is a disappointment when compared to other laptops. First, it is not bright enough. You always find yourself trying to increase the brightness and find it already maxed.

You cannot surely use it in a bright environment or outdoors without ruining the display experience. The colors are not quite good either.

ROG Strix GL503 looks 10x better. The color gamut is 45% NTSC for Helios 300, which is less than half of what ROG GL503 offers(100+%). ROG Strix GL503 has got some really nice brightness.

The HD webcam of Helios 300 suffers the same problem. It works fine and covers great details but miss on colors and brightness. Still, it is a Full HD IPS screen and renders good pictures, just not as good as some other laptops.

The Winner?

Both suffer from the same problems but the ROG STRIX just edges past the Acer Predator here.

  1. Speakers and Sounds

Optimized Sound QualityTrueHarmony speakers which come with the Predators are good. They are loud, they are clear. I will say the speaker sound leans more toward the soothing spectrum than the bass-filled loudness.

They fill up the room with clear sound even when you have turned the volume high. You wait for the speakers to give away, but no it keeps emitting the lovely sound without distortion.

The Dolby Audio Premium of the ROG STRIX lets you customize the sound to match your taste and is really helpful. The mic provided by the Predator is quite good and comes with noise cancellation to make your communication with co-players clear to hear.

The Winner?

It’s a difficult one to decide here and it depends on your personal taste. However, the Predator does have a noise cancellation effect and does make a better choice again.

  1. Keyboard and Touchpad

GL503 The keyboardThe keyboard is well designed and feels good to touch, for both the models. You get all your usual stuff like a Num Pad, highlighted W, A, S, D and arrow keys for better gaming and all of which are backlit with red.

For the Predator though, despite its good design, the keypad feels crowded. The keys have a little vertical lift which saves you from a near flat typing experience. I couldn’t figure out why it is so?

Maybe they have experimented with the key sizes, but you cannot help noticing it. Moreover, the keys are not squeezy type. They are firm and you have to put some pressure to move them down. It is not a bad design or something, but everyone has their preferences. And I like the firm type myself.

Acer has backlit the keyboard with a cool shade of red, but it fails to beat the RGB customizable keyboard lights of ROG GL503 which are incredibly beautiful and the best in the category.

The Predator trackpad is a tad more comfortable than GL503’s, but the clicky buttons make you try a mouse instead. But as I said, it all depends on your preference. You like either clicky ones or squeezy ones; both choices are fine.

The Winner?

The Acer ROG STRIX is the better choice here, primarily because Asus seems to have messed it up a bit with the Predator.

  1. Performance & Benchmarks

acer helios 300 performanceThe one field, where Predator Helios 300 really outshines ROG GL503 and many other worthy competitors are performing. Acer Helios 300 packs a 2.8GHz Intel Core i7-7700HQ CPU with Nvidia Geforce GTX 1060 and 6GB dedicated RAM. This is more than sufficient to run most of the games out there.

It works exactly as it should. The powerful Geforce GTX 1060 armed with 6 GB of RAM never let you down, be it Far Cry 4, Fire Strike or any other maverick of a game. Do not put your expectations too high (I mean like 100+fps); it goes up in the range of 50 to 80 fps, which is way above average.

It boots up really fast(which you always wanted) and runs any game you throw it.

Test against standard benchmarks like PCMark8 and 3D Fire Strike confirmed its competency with performance.

The Geekbench 4 score for Acer Predator is 13,587 which beats Asus ROG and many other good laptops like Lenovo Legion Y520 and MSI GP72VR. GTA V runs at 49 fps which is segment topper again.

Acer Predator repeats its feat again in Rise of the Tomb Raider and Metro Last Night as well, where it runs 47 and 64 fps respectively. On the other hand, we have ROG Strix GL503 which sports 2.8GHz Intel Core i7 CPU with Nvidia Geforce GTX 1050.

As you have already guessed, it falls short of the benchmarks set by Helios 300, because of a lower end GPU. ROG GL503 runs almost all the game but you can surely notice the decrease in the number of frames per second as compared to the Predator.

You may not get lags but there will be a significant decline in the frames and scores of other benchmarks will also be affected.

It packs 16GB of DDR4 memory (upgradable to 32GB), a SATA SSD, as well as a 1TB HDD., which are easily upgradable if you wish so. The memory is fast enough for most of your tasks, about 180MB/s which puts ROG GL503 at shame(it offers some 80MB/s).

At the same time, Legion Y520 and many other laptops are 2X faster than Acer Predator. I find 256GB SSD small for regular use but it is upgradable. PredatorSense software which comes with Helios 300 lets you optimize performance and overclock the GPU. It is comparable to ROG’s Gaming Centre.

PredatorSense is your one-stop solution for system management.

Predator Helios 300 ships preloaded with Windows 10 and all its signature bloats but there is nothing to complain about.

The Winner?

There isn’t a doubt as to who is the winner here – Predator takes the cake by a fair margin here. The ROG STRIX certainly isn’t my first preference here.

  1. Heat and Noise

heat fanPredator Helios 300 sports dual fans to keep the temperature under control while you are gaming hard. With normal web browsing and less demanding tasks, you don’t feel any temperature rise or fan noise.

It keeps heat in check even when you are running some really demanding game but you can well notice the fans throttling and the noise tells you they are working really hard for heat control. But still, it does not get too noisy and make you think if you have messed up big time.

At some points when running Metro Light, GTA V, and such heavy duty games, the temperature rises significantly but never at an alarming stage. Predator fans may miss Aeroblade Fans, but trust me it works fine even without them.

The ROG STRIX, on the other hand, isn’t as adept at offering high frame rates but offer a good experience when you are working with them.

The Winner?

We would go with the ROG STRIX, primarily because it doesn’t heat up as much while you are at your favorite game.

  1. Input and Output Ports

acer helios 300 portsTo the dismay of Asus fans, The ROG STRIX does not include Thunderbolt port but apart from this shortcoming, it does not fall short on number and types of ports.

It has got a USB 3.1 Type-C port, a pair of USB 2.0 port, one USB 3.0 port( with Power-off Charging) and an HDMI 2.0 Port with HDCP support. It has a Gigabit Ethernet Port to help you get high speed with a wired connection.

These ports are more than enough for your connectivity solutions.

I really like that Predator doesn’t cut on connectivity ports like many new entries in the market and provide such a wide array of different ports. The usual activity lights, mic, and headphone jack are also part of the package.

The Winner?

The predator, by a fair margin.

  1. Battery Life

Helios 300 batteryThe battery life for the Predator is quite good for a gaming laptop. It lasts more than 5 hours with normal use like web browsing. It is not a great number but when you compare it with ROG GL503, which lasts just 3 or so hours at a stretch, you feel blessed.

One thing that struck me was a noticeable performance decline when you plug out the charger. Even the games got a little slow when laptop ran on battery power, which is quite strange.

So, I advise you to keep the charger plugged in. I have tried to contact the Acer Customer Support about it but they refuse to acknowledge that such a problem even exists at first place.

The Winner?

Again, the Predator wins here and you could play it around for a good 5-6 hours before you would need to plug it in again.

  1. Pricing or budget

Acer has priced the Helios 300 at $1,099 which is a modest offering from Acer.

I feel this product is a little under-priced if there is something like that. You cannot miss that it offers a Geforce GTX 1060 and a lot of refined specifications at just $1,099.

Moreover, it is VR-ready. You are not going to get such a deal anywhere. And more so, when a Geforce GTX 1050 powered Asus ROG Strix GL503 asks for $1,299, I am quite convinced that Acer Helios is a real value for money product.

Many other brands also charge prices as high as $1500 to $1700 for a Geforce GTX1060 experience. I have even listed it as the single most strong feature of this laptop.

The Winner?

The ROG STRIX isn’t going to be your choice even if you are looking to save on money. The Acer Predator is better both on specs and performance.

helios 300 price

  1. Customer Support

Acer Predator is a well-established and popular brand. The customer support by Acer is also good. You can easily get your device upgraded and fixed in any part of the world. But Asus has emerged unrivaled winner when it comes to customer support.

Internet forums and web pages are filled with testimonials that show how reliable a brand Asus is. However, from my personal experience, I will say you can trust Predator too.

It is a big shot in the gaming industry, and not for nothing. Also, there is a great online support for both the product, so it should not be a matter of concern.

I have scoured the internet forums and discussed different aspects of all the features Helios 300 offers and found that it is always well-received. Most of the users are satisfied by its performance and call it worth their money. The most common themes which run below every review are the performance of the laptop and its price.

The Winner?

Both offer good customer support, and you wouldn’t find a problem with either.

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Alternatives – Which Ones Can You Go To?

So, Is Acer Predator Helios 300 an unrivaled champion? Of the two, if you have a budget to spare, it does seem the better choice. Out of all the laptops in this range, there are only three other laptops that stand out – the ASUS FX502VM-AS73, MSI GP72VR 7RFX Leopard Pro and Lenovo Legion Y520.

I only reviewed the laptops which pack up at least Geforce GTX 1050, below which you start getting performance lag. The Lenovo Legion Y520, for instance, is also a benchmark setter. It is a performance beast which makes your gaming great fun.

You can consider it as an alternative to Helios 300 and you may note, there is no major performance between the two. The price difference, however, is significant and can’t be overlooked.

Most of the other competitors to the Helios 300 continue to be plagued by fundamental problems. The MSI GP72VR, for instance, packs in all good things you have read till now. It has a great design and display and at the same time, and delivers great performance by virtue of its GTX 1050Ti.

You could think it to be among the best contenders to the Acer Predator Helios 300. Its multimedia experience is good as well at all levels, be it display or sound. However, its battery life is too low – and it doesn’t even last a couple of hours, which makes it a no-go.

You can compare and judge the alternatives against Acer Predator Helios 300. I didn’t find its match in performance at so low a price. If you want to get a better display with sound performance, you should consider MSI GP72VR 7RFX Leopard Pro, which works great.

But you would have to spare about 200 more bucks for it. It, however, does not have a good battery life. All other contenders are as good but none offers better performance than Helios 300. But if you have a great love for display, you may better consider other options.

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So Should You Go For the Acer Predator Helios 300?

I have laid before you all the strengths and shortcomings of Acer Predator Helios 300 As one of the best laptops under 1500, honestly. Acer Helios 300 is what I call a disruptive product. Not because it offers an unprecedented performance, but the low price at which it offers one of the best specifications.

We have also compared it to some other well-reviewed laptops and you don’t need any help to decide how good or bad this laptop is, for you. I tend to like it more than any other and I have got plenty of reasons to back my stance.

The most appealing one is its cost. It gives you the performance of big shot laptops at a price you might not expect to be that low. In this article, I have repeatedly mentioned the performance of the laptop. It is not a bias towards it or something.

But as they say, you have to experience some things to know their value. The only drawback I noticed is its comparatively poor display, but still, it is worth the money. Click here to check out the product.

Acer Helios 300 vs ASUS ROG STRIX GL503 - Gaming Laptop Review
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  • Last modified: November 3, 2018

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