Acer announces its top-end Intel-powered Predator Helios 500 gaming notebook

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Acer, at an event in New York yesterday, revealed the devices that we can expect to see from the company for the next few months. Leading the pack, in performance as well as (probable) pricing is Acer’s new high-end Intel-toting gaming notebook flagship, the Predator Helios 500.

An evolution of the Predator Helios 300 which launched last year — yes, even here in South Africa — the Predator Helios 500 represents Acer’s shot across the bow of the gaming notebook market. It also puts us in mind, design-wise, of the Predator 21X — minus the gimmicky curve and (hopefully) minus the absolutely bonkers price tag. It’s going to be shipping with a selection of hardware options, all of which are going to make PC games (and gamers) very happy.

The Helios 500 will ship with either a 4K or a 1080p 144Hz 17.3in display, and in its highest-spec configuration will carry an Intel Core i9+ 8950HK processor, 8GB GTX 1070, and 64GB of RAM. Having ticked those boxes, the notebook doesn’t have to do a whole lot else. It comes down to how Acer have handled thermal management. The company’s Aeroblade 3D fan system will be working in tandem to provide cooling. We haven’t seen them in action on this machine but Acer seems pleased about them.

A Challenger Arrives

Acer also announced a Special Edition of the Acer Helios 300, the 15.6in predecessor of their newest gaming monster. The Acer Helios 300 Special Edition has an upgraded display (which has been bumped up to 144Hz). One of Intel’s newest Core i7+ Coffee Lake processors is taking up residence and Acer is dropping dual Aeroblade 3D fans and a GTX 1060 inside as well.

The white-and-gold notebook has less of a chance of launching here than the Helios 500 does, so while we’d love to get some hands-on time with this one we’re not certain we will. Timelines for a South African launch have not been announced yet for either of these machines. Sadly, Acer has confirmed that the Nitro desktop and peripherals, announced alongside the Helios range, won’t be coming to South Africa. Aww…

Lastly, the company also teased a new Predator X lineup, which will use Intel Xeon processors (which are usually reserved for servers and workstations) but didn’t have any products to show just yet. We’ll be keeping an eye on those — they could prove very interesting indeed.

UPDATE: Acer has confirmed that the Predator Helios 500 will be launching in South Africa in June 2018. Pricing will start at R35,000. Surprisingly, the Acer Helios 300 Special Edition will also be arriving in SA, from August 2018. Pricing will be announced closer to the time.

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