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Predator Helios 16 (2023) Review: Gaming Powerhouse On The Go

The Predator Helios 16 packs one of the best hardware combination in this generation, with the cooling prowess to match.

Predator Helios 16 Review

As we enter mid-2023, now is probably the good time to buy a new gaming laptop, as manufacturers have largely refreshed their product lineup with the latest generation of processors and GPUs.

The 2023 Predator Helios 16 is no exception, boasting a 13th Generation Intel Core i9-13900HX processor and up to an RTX 4080 12GB laptop graphics.

Watch our review of the Acer Predator Helios 16

Predator Helios 16 Specifications

ProcessorIntel Core i9-13900HX
GraphicsRTX 4070 8GB / RTX 4080 12GB
Operating SystemWindows 11 Home
Display16″ 240Hz IPS
2560×1600 pixels
16:10 Aspect Ratio
DCI-P3 100%
MemoryUp to 32GB DDR5
Battery90Whr
StorageUp to 2TB NVME PCIe 3.0 SSD
Camera and sensorsFHD video at 60 fps with Temporal Noise Reduction
Dimensions357.78 (W) x 278.74 (D) x 24.90/26.90 (H) mm
Weight2.6kg
ConnectivityKiller Wi-Fi 6E 1675i
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax wireless LAN
Band: 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz and 6GHz
2×2 Mu-MIMO Technology
Bluetooth 5.1
Killer Ethernet E2600
I/O Ports1 x HDMI 2.1 port with HDCP support
2 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 (up to 10Gbps) Type-C port supporting:
DisplayPort over USB-C
Thunderbolt 4
USB charging 5V; 3A
2 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 port with 1 featuring power-off USB
charging

1 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports
1 x 3.5 mm Headphone combo jack
1 x microSD Card Reader

Our review unit is the PH16-71-97G1 variant, with an RTX 4080 12GB GPU, 32GB of DDR5 SODIMM memory, and 2TB of NVME storage.

What’s In The Box?

  • Predator Helios 16
  • Power Supply
  • Documentation
  • Interchangeable vent covers

Design

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The Predator Helios 16 looks inconspicuous, at least until you turn it on. You will find a small Predator logo on the lid, and beneath the display. The chassis is made of aluminium and plastic, making it feel sturdy with minimal chassis flex.

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It features an ARGB lightbar at the back that runs across the length of the rear I/O. The ARGB treatment does not stop there, as the keyboard boasts ARGB mini LED backlights. The large touchpad is placed slightly off center, and feels smooth to glide on.

The Predator Helios 16 weights quite a bit at 2.6kg, which is on par with other gaming laptops of similar caliber. There is however, a ‘chonky’ power supply unit that adds an additional 1.25kg to the backpack.

I/O

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The Predator Helios has a plethora of I/O options. At the left, you will find a Killer Ethernet port, a USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type A port, a microSD card reader, and a headset combo jack.

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On the right, you will find two USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type A ports with up to 10Gbps speeds, one of which supports power off charging. Completing the I/O are two Thunderbolt 4 ports located at the rear.

Display

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The Helios 16 boasts a 16-inch IPS display with a resolution of 2560×1600 pixels. It has a fast refresh rate of 240Hz with a 3ms response time. This in turn allows for fluid visuals especially during fast paced esports titles. I noticed that I was able to land headshots more consistently on CS:GO as well.

Since Predator has adopted an IPS panel, contrast ratio isn’t great. That being said, colours are vivid with an excellent colour gamut of 100% DCI-P3.

Performance

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Of course, to make full use of the fast display, the Predator Helios 16 is boasts some of the most potent laptop hardware combinations today. The Intel Core i9-13900HX boasts 8 P-Cores and 16 E-Cores with a total of 32 threads. The P-Cores has a max boost clock of 5.4Ghz, while the E-Cores top out at 3.9Ghz.

Benchmarks

On Cinebench R23, the processor is no slouch, scoring 23,184 points on multi-core and 2,069 points on single core. On CPU-Z, it also scored a respectable 13,244 points for multi-thread, and 856 points for single thread.

In terms of graphical performance, the RTX 4080 12GB laptop GPU is pretty capable thanks to the high 175 watts TGP. This means that the GPU has more headroom to clock higher, resulting in better gaming performance.

Profiles

Users can choose between four performance modes: Quiet, Balanced, Performance, and Turbo. Quiet and Balanced mode are self explanatory, so I’ll focus on the latter two. Performance mode boosts the clock speed as long as there is headroom, while Turbo mode adds on by ramping up the fan speed to the maximum. To do this, users can press the mode switch button on the Predator Helios 16, or by changing the profiles manually via the PredatorSense software.

User Experience

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Keyboard

You get a full sized keyboard with a numpad on the Predator Helios 16. Overall the typing experience is quite enjoyable. The individual keys are well spaced apart and is surprisingly tactile, with minimum deck flex and key wobble.

Touch Pad

The touch pad on the Predator Helios 16 is quite large and feels smooth to glide my fingers on. It is slightly offset to the left, so it could take some getting used to, and may be partially obstructed by my left hand.

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Webcam

Frankly speaking, the webcam is just bog standard. It can record 1080p videos at 60 fps, and it comes with Acer’s Temporal Noise Reduction (TNR) technology, which reduces some level of noise in dimly lit environments. Overall, it is good enough for video calls, but that’s about it.

Speakers

The speakers, while loud, isn’t exactly great. There is a fair bit of warmth in the mid-range and treble sounds slightly muted. Mid-bass section is just alright, though it lacks depth.

Granted, most gamers would use gaming headsets anyways, so its not a dealbreaker.

Thermals

Both the CPU and GPU has a total power draw of about 330 watts. To combat the heat, Acer has implemented a few smart cooling solutions. Firstly, the chassis features dual 5th generation Aeroblade 3D fans with vector heatpipes. To help dissipate heat more efficiently from the die, Predator has opted for liquid metal instead of thermal paste.

Under sustained stress testing using HeavyLoad, the Predator Helios 16 maintained a respectable 82°C for the CPU, and 71°C for the GPU. While it may seem high at first, this is actually decent considering the amount of hardware crammed into the chassis.

As most of the heat is actually dissipated through the back, the keyboard and touch pad only gets slightly warm to the touch, allowing for a more comfortable user experience despite the heat.

Battery Life

The Predator Helios 16 is packed with a large 90Whr battery. While gaming on Balanced Mode, I was able to achieve about 2 hours and 30 minutes of game time. This is actually quite good, considering the fact I was playing games at its highest graphical setting.

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Final Verdict

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4 / 5The Predator Helios 16 packs one of the best hardware combination in this generation, with the cooling prowess to match.

For the price of RM11,999 the Predator Helios 16 boasts a capable hardware combination. You get arguably the best laptop CPU and GPU in town, alongside a buttery smooth display great for competitive gaming on the go.

Working in tandem with the hardware is a capable cooling solution, and battery life is decent for a laptop of this performance level. This is a no compromise gaming machine, and is as good as it gets for this price segment.

For more information about the Predator Helios 16, please visit the official product page here.

Written By

Part-time gamer, writer, & full time weird coffee person.

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