At the beginning of this year, gaming laptop models began to increase displays from 15 and 17 inches to 16 and 18 inches, respectively. Thus, “desktop replacements” still got more space for new components and other additions. This affected their portability accordingly, but the capabilities should more than compensate for such shortcomings. We will tell you exactly how Acer Predator Helios 16 (PH16-71-74AS) used this in today’s review.

Acer Predator Helios 16 specifications

Model Acer Predator Helios 16 (PH16-71-74AS)
Display IPS, 16″, resolution 2560×1600, aspect ratio 16:10, frequency 240 Hz
CPU Intel Core i7-13700HX
Storage 1 ТB
GPU NVIDIA GeForce 4070 (8 GB)
Ports HDMI 2.1, 2×USB-A 3.2 Gen 2, USB-A 3.2 Gen 1, 2×Thunderbolt 4, 3.5mm combo jack, microSD, RJ-45
Wireless modules Wi-Fi 6E + Bluetooth 5.1
Camera 1080p
Sound 2 speakers and a microphone
Keyboard Island-type keys with RGB illumination
Battery and charging 90 Wh, power supply unit 330 W
Dimensions 357.8×278.7×24.9-26.9 mm
Weight 2.9 kg

Acer Predator Helios 16 package contents

Most laptops of all categories are equipped very simply: the laptop itself and a power supply unit. Almost the same fate befell the new Helios 16. The exception here was two additional decorative panels, which we will mention in more detail in the next section.

Acer Predator Helios 16 gaming laptop review

Thus, the “burden” of all necessary accessories will remain with the buyer. Here, at least, you will have to find a backpack of the appropriate size. Most likely, an ordinary backpack for a laptop will not be enough, because they provide a place for smaller models. Along with this, it is worth paying attention to additional protection and a separate compartment for the power supply unit, the “compactness” of which is not to be mentioned. There should be no problems with the manipulators and the headset, besides, the manufacturer offers branded ones with which you can assemble your own combo.

Design and usability

The new Acer Predator Helios 16 did not receive a large amount of RGB lighting from all sides, as sometimes happens with gaming models. But it still has its own features, so it is quite possible to recognize the model among a variety of others. However, for the most part, Helios still uses more or less standard solutions. In other words, it’s still a big black laptop with a couple of logos and big cooling grills.

Both metal and plastic parts can be found on the body. It does not affect the comfort of operation, feeling, or transportation. Moreover, the model is well assembled. However, I would like to note that the case is very easily covered with fingerprints, which will force you to constantly keep the microfiber nearby. Fortunately, it easily helps to return the neat condition of the computer.

Acer Predator Helios 16 gaming laptop review

Together with the lighting, the dimensions also hint at powerful components. The laptop is not on the “slim” list – 357.8×278.7×24.9-26.9 mm with a weight of 2.9 kg. Of course, these are quite common sizes for its class. But from a practical point of view, users are unlikely to be satisfied with portability, because with such laptops it is convenient to “travel” only to the car/taxi. And for the record: this is not a reproach to Helios itself, but a general trend for “desktop replacements”.

Acer Predator Helios 16 gaming laptop review

At the same time, Acer decided to do without a large number of “aggressive” design elements that are characteristic of some gaming laptops. But if you turn off the backlight, the Helios 16 easily turns into a large office model. Although the body still received some original elements. First, this is the already mentioned backlight. Along with the bright keyboard on the case, there is a long glass Light bar hidden behind the display, the pattern of which is divided into three separate illumination zones. In use, of course, it is difficult to pay attention to it, but the element is still quite good.

Acer Predator Helios 16 gaming laptop review

Secondly, there is another thing on the back that should add originality to the laptop — replaceable panels on the ventilation holes. There are two sets in the set. They are attached with magnets, so it is very easy to replace the panels. They have no practical use and act exclusively as decorative elements. Probably, it would be more interesting to have brighter options (red, green, etc.), because the standard ones are almost invisible, especially against the background of the backlight. But the manufacturer offers the user to color the additional set according to their own wishes.

On the lower part of the case, everything is quite conservative. The cooling grids maintain symmetry in relation to each other, and they occupy a considerable part of the total space. Four large rubber feet help the laptop stay securely in place during work and games.

Acer Predator Helios 16 gaming laptop review

With the backlight turned off, Helios 16 can “disguise” itself in the office as a more or less ordinary model, or still show its class with bright backlighting in front of and behind the display. The laptop looks really good, it is quite convenient and pleasant to use. Given that the manufacturer does not emphasize design, but focuses on performance and capabilities, the mission can be considered accomplished.

Acer Predator Helios 16 port set

Having a rather large body, there is a lot of space to accommodate various ports. At the same time, there is enough space not to crowd them together, which can add some convenience when working with a large number of connected external devices.

On the left side of the top case, there is a combined 3.5 mm Jack for a headset, a slot for microSD memory cards, USB-A 3.2 Gen 1, and RJ-45. On the opposite side, there are two more USB-A 3.2 Gen 2 ports (which right-handed people can get in the way during games, but you can get used to it), and a Kensington lock. And on the back, you can find two Thunderbolt 4 ports, HDMI 2.1, and a power connector.

Acer Predator Helios 16 display

The number in the name traditionally indicates the diagonal of the screen. The new Helios also has a larger 18-inch option, but it was the 16-inch version that ended up on the test. The resolution of 2560×1600 pixels with an aspect ratio of 16:10 is quite a pleasant and convenient combination for such a display. There is also a Full HD matrix among the options.

The 240 Hz image refresh rate is a nice bonus. Especially for some competitive games (like CS:GO), the power of the components is already enough to provide a suitable amount of FPS. Therefore, such screen capabilities will definitely be a noticeable improvement in the quality of leisure time. And even in simple everyday use, such an update speed is a significant improvement.

Acer Predator Helios 16 gaming laptop review

As always, Acer does not offer a set of color profiles, so the user is not given options to adjust the image. But even so, the matrix is finely calibrated, with a wide color range and an almost reference temperature. Such image quality should definitely be enough for the vast majority of users even for working with graphics (except for those owners who work with really professional screens).

The Helios 16 line also has miniLED display options, but the test version is not one of those. Although it also has good uniformity and indicators: the maximum level of brightness stopped at the mark of 521 cd/m², and the minimum – 12. The icing on the cake could be an automatic adjustment, but, unfortunately, manufacturers of gaming laptops still ignore such a function.

Manipulators and multimedia

The width of the top case allows you to place a keyboard with a NUM block on it, although the latter still had to be pressed a little. But the whole other part is not affected, so the keyboard is great for “blind” typing. There are also no problems with the navigation block, although it also does not have a separately highlighted position. The design has almost no backlash during operation, and the keys will not bother others with loud sounds. Of course, there is no need to tell you more about RGB lighting with different modes.

The case also has a separate key above the general keyboard — the Mode Switch Key. It is responsible for choosing the operating mode, of which there are only 6 (2 for battery operation and 4 for operation with connected power). It can be installed exclusively for Turbo mode, or a circular selection of all possible options. We will return to them in more detail.

Acer Predator Helios 16 gaming laptop review

Under the keyboard, with an offset to the left of the center, there is a glass (Corning Gorilla Glass) trackpad. Its size is 120×83 mm, which is personally enough for me when working without an external manipulator. Also, its work is quite satisfactory for replacing a mouse for simple tasks, because there are no problems with the reaction, positioning of the cursor, and recognition of gestures.

Acer Predator Helios 16 gaming laptop review

Sound is still a weak point. And although the speakers are enough for voicing series or podcasts in a quiet room, they will be too few for games and music. The overall volume level and lack of low frequencies are disappointing here. The manufacturer made a better emphasis on the capabilities of the speakers in more expensive models.

Acer Predator Helios 16 gaming laptop review

The quality of the installed webcam (with Full HD resolution) is fully sufficient for communicating with loved ones and colleagues. Even in the conditions of artificial home lighting, it picks up the white balance well and makes much less noise than previous cameras in gaming models.

Acer Predator Helios 16 gaming laptop review

No miracle happened with the microphones, so players will definitely need an external solution.

Performance and software

The manufacturer will traditionally offer the buyer a choice of some possible configurations. These are variations with different amounts of memory, Intel Core i7 and i9 processors (13th generation), as well as different NVIDIA GeForce RTX 40-series options. In addition, access to the RAM and two storage slots is left to the user. As I mentioned above, there are also configurations with different displays. The price tag will change accordingly.

Acer Predator Helios 16 gaming laptop review

The test sample is equipped with a 16-core Intel Core i7-13700HX (8 performance and energy-saving cores each with a frequency of up to 5/3.7 GHz, 24 threads, 30 MB cache), NVIDIA GeForce RTX4070 (8 GB GDDR6, up to 2080 MHz, up to 140 W), 32 GB of RAM DDR5and a terabyte PCIe storage device. You can connect to the Internet with both Wi-Fi 6E and Gigabit Ethernet and for wireless accessories, there is Bluetooth 5.1.

And we return to the 6 performance modes. With power connected, the user has a choice between Quiet, Balanced, Performance, and Turbo, and when running on battery only, Eco and Balanced. With the help of a proprietary utility, you can set certain scenarios, or quickly switch with a “hot” key. There are too many options, one might say, and I doubt that the typical user will often use all possible modes, rather than maximum performance and economy, depending on the tasks at hand.

Acer Predator Helios 16 gaming laptop review

Testing in the maximum power mode demonstrates results at a competitive level for such configurations. Helios 16 does not set records, but it is not far behind its rivals. And there is really good performance here, even despite the non-top available configuration. On the other hand, each manufacturer configures operation exclusively from the battery differently. In this case, Acer leaves enough power for simple work, watching media, etc., so in most cases, you can work comfortably even without an outlet.

Mains Battery
3DMark (TimeSpy) 11 626 5 047
3DMark (CPU Profile, max threads) 10 488 3 666
CineBench R23 (single/multi core) 1 744/20 155 1 377/6 150
PCMark 10 9 941 5 073

As for games, there were no disappointments, and the results of FPS measurements are more or less similar to competitive ones. Not everywhere one will be able to get more than 60 frames at high graphics settings and full resolution, but this is already a matter for a specific set of games of an individual buyer. Yes, maybe somewhere you will have to compromise a little in graphics, but the components here are still not the most powerful. In any case, for example, for multiplayer shooters, everything was enough for me.

Acer Predator Helios 16 gaming laptop review

As it sometimes happens, the stability test failed due to a cyclic error in the software. But, based on my feelings and observed indicators, there is no decrease in FPS during long gaming sessions. What’s more, the Helios 16 does a good job of maintaining a temperature that is not as high as others. Of course, it depends on the specific game, but, for example, with PUBG, the temperature can stay at 75°C for quite a long time with periodic jumps to 85°C, and then quickly return to the previous mark. I didn’t see more during testing. I don’t have to mention the noise level from the cooling system (of course, with improved coolers and liquid metal).

Normal operation can be really quiet with the cooling turned off, but it can’t be like that all the time, so from time to time the cooling will remind itself lightly. Meanwhile, the temperature will constantly vary in the range of 45-55°C. So the keyboard can be warm not only during games but also minimally heat up even during simple tasks. However, it does not create problems in use, and in general, it is not so often that you can see something significantly better from other manufacturers and game models.

The manufacturer will offer to supplement Windows 11 with its standard applications such as Acer Care Center, Quick Access, and DTS. PredatorSense and Killer Intelligence Center, which are specific to game models, are also a problem here. The first will help with settings for performance, cooling, lighting, sound, and performance monitoring, and the second will help with Network priorities. The only thing Acer has done differently than other manufacturers (at least among the models we’ve had) is to switch between the graphics card’s full-time and hybrid modes: here it’s only possible in the BIOS, not in the performance management application.

Acer Predator Helios 16 battery life

Powerful components and a bright display do not help the battery life of a gaming model (although when was this on the list of must-haves for them?). However, modern processors allow such “monsters” to work significantly longer than a few years ago. Thus, the battery with a capacity of 90 Wh lasted almost 5 hours in the office test (which corresponds to the declared operating time), and 1 hour and 45 minutes in the gaming test (which is a little more than usual among similar models). In fact, during office work, the power consumption is slightly higher, where on average the laptop required 25% per hour, and watching a movie for two hours costs 43%.

A rather large power supply unit provides a power of 330 W. Now it will add more than 1.2 kg to the weight of the backpack. And with such a level of energy consumption, it is more comfortable to always have it somewhere nearby. It will take a little less than an hour and a half to fully charge the battery with it.