Acer Shows Off 5 Striking Predator Helios 500 Laptop Mods

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Acer added a bit of maker fun to its global press conference / product launch event today in New York by showing off five impressive mods. We’ve seen an endless amount of desktop mods over the years, but these modders took on the company’s Predator Helios 500 laptop. While there’s a lot less surface area and empty space to play with when it comes to modding a laptop versus a desktop, we were surprised at the design diversity and the level of detail the modders brought to this challenge.

First up was a mod clearly based on that other line of predators from the long-running film franchise. It was created by Ronnie Hara (@ronniehara_ on Instagram) of Japan. The detail on the lid with its Predator face is nice, but it’s the color and patterns on the keyboard deck that really stand out here. That’s some nice attention to detail.

Next up is Taiwan-based AKMod (@akmodtw on instagram), who focuses on liquid-cooled builds and mods. Fittingly, this mod is basically a massive external cooling system with two large radiators that plug into the back of the system. This mod also used a metal foam material that the mooders were encouraged to use in their builds. It allows air to pass through the fans on the pair of radiators under the surface of the large cooling stand. To add some distinctive style to the laptop, the modder also made a wooden lid for the laptop, which matches the piece underneath that helps hold the Helios 500 in place.

Next up is a design from Brian K. Carter of Bods Mods, that incorporates a two-way mirror in the lid (a nod to the stealth tactics of the aliens in the movies, Brian told us), which hides the Predator logo unless the laptop is on and lit up. Brian also used metal foam on the edges, although it looks like that would make it tough to use the side ports. Extended metal fins on the back are meant to aid in cooling, while adding some flair.

Next we have a mod from Nenad Djordjevic of SS-Mods, which incorporates an infinity mirror that surrounds the Predator logo, along with some tubing and other distressed accents to give the Helios 500 that 80s lived-in spaceship feel. This being 2019, of course the lights around the mirror are RGB. We just would have liked to see some of the detail on the lid and sides extended to the laptop’s keyboard and touchpad area.

Last up is an Alita: Battle Angel-themed mod from Stefan & Kathrin Ulrich of RandomDesign. This duo also make props and have expertise in 3D printing, and it certainly shows here. The detail on the lid looks like something from the set of Farscape, and there’s more of the metal foam here, backlit in blue. And the detail continues around front with designs that look like a cross between alien and Aztec art, with a nice level of distressing that makes the laptop look like it’s something that’s been cobbled together from the junkyard metropolis of Iron City. We didn’t touch it for fear of incurring the wrath of a certain deadly cyborg.

Image Credits: Tom's Hardware

Matt Safford

After a rough start with the Mattel Aquarius as a child, Matt built his first PC in the late 1990s and ventured into mild PC modding in the early 2000s. He’s spent the last 15 years covering emerging technology for Smithsonian, Popular Science, and Consumer Reports, while testing components and PCs for Computer Shopper, PCMag and Digital Trends.