Acer is on the prowl with the latest updates to its Predator family of gaming laptops – the Helios 300 and Triton 500 SE – along with the Nitro 5. As we start a new year, the Taiwanese tech giant brings plenty of fresh hardware to the table courtesy of all-new processors from Intel and AMD alongside new GPUs from NVIDIA.
Kicking things off is the Predator Helios 300, which is available with up to a 12th generation Intel Core i7. That “12” should clue you in that these processors are based on Intels’ Alder Lake, which was first introduced this fall on the desktop side. The 12th Gen CPU can be paired with up to 32GB of DDR5-4800 memory, which is another new entry into the laptop sphere after years of dominance by the DDR4 standard.
When it comes to graphics duties, Acer gives you the choice of the new Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti or the more powerful RTX 3080. Those GPUs push pixels to a 15.6-inch QHD display with a maximum refresh rate of 165 Hz. If you require a bit more screen real estate, Acer offers a model with a larger 17.3-inch screen in QHD/165 Hz or FHD/144 Hz configurations.
Customers can opt for up to a 1TB SSD, and ports include HDMI 2.1, Thunderbolt 4 and USB-A. Wireless duties are handled by a Killer DoubleShot Pro, which adds Wi-Fi 6E support. Keeping everything cool is a twin-fan cooling system, including Acer’s fifth-generation AeroBlade 3D technology, and there’s plenty of RGB lighting to keep things interesting on the personalization front.
|Header Cell - Column 0||Acer Predator Helios 300||Acer Predator Triton 500 SE||Acer Nitro 5|
|CPU||Up to 12th gen Intel Core i7||Up to 12th gen Intel Core i9||Up to 12th gen Intel Core i9 or AMD Ryzen 6000|
|GPU||Up to Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti||Up to Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080||Up to Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti|
|Display||15-inch, 2560 x 1440, 16:9, up to 165 Hz||15-inch, 2560 x 1600, 16:10, up to 240 Hz||15-inch, 2560 x 1440, 16:9, up to 165 Hz|
|17-inch, 2560 x 1440, 16:9, up to 165 Hz|
|RAM||Up to 32GB DDR5-4800||Up to 32GB DDR5-5200||Up to 32GB DDR4-3200 (Intel)|
|Up to 32GB DDR5-4800 (AMD)|
|Storage||Up to 1TB PCIe SSD Gen 4||Up to 2TB PCIe SSD Gen 4||Up to 2TB PCIe SSD Gen 4|
|Networking||Up to Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.1||Up to Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.1||Up to Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.1|
|Availability||April 2022||March 2022||March 2022|
Moving on to the Predator Triton 500 SE, this thin gaming laptop also adopts Intel’s 12th generation Alder Lake processors, but it tops out with a brawny Core i9 CPU in its flagship configurations. Acer also debuts a new top-dog in the mobile GPU segment: the long-rumored GeForce RTX 3080 Ti. The Triton 500 SE further ups the stakes with 32GB of DDR5-5200 memory and up to 2TB of storage courtesy of PCIe 4.0 SSDs.
Compared to the Helios 300, the Triton 500 SE also brings advances on the display front with a 16-inch PolarBlack display. Not only does it come with a somewhat unorthodox WQXGA (2560x1600) resolution, but it boasts a refresh rate of up to 240 Hz and 3 ms response time with Nvidia G-Sync support.
Connectivity options abound with USB 3.2 (Type-A), Thunderbolt 4, an SD reader, Killer E3100G 2.5 GbE and Killer Wi-Fi 6E. Rounding out the specs cornucopia is a 98.98 WHr battery to fuel this gaming beast.
Last, but not least is the Acer Nitro 5, which gives customers the choice of either a 12th generation Alder Lake processor (up to a Core i7) or a new AMD Ryzen 6000 Series processor. Interestingly, the latter is only available with up to 32GB of DDR4-3200 memory, while the former comes with up to 32GB of DDR5-4800 memory.
Both systems can be configured up to a GeForce RTX 3070 Ti GPU and come with dual M.2 slots for SSDs. Crucially for the AMD systems, there is now support for PCIe 4.0 SSDs, which wasn’t the case with Ryzen 5000-based laptops. However, we should note that both M.2 slots on Intel systems support PCIe 4.0, while the AMD systems include one PCIe 4.0 and one PCIe 3.0 slot.
15.6- and 17.3-inch displays are available, each with a 165 Hz QHD or a 144 Hz FHD panel option. HDMI 2.1 and USB 3.2 (Type-A) are supported across Intel and AMD platforms, but the former gets Thunderbolt 4 connectivity while the latter makes do with USB 4 (Type-C).
According to Acer, the Predator Helios 300 will be available this May in the U.S. with a starting price of $1,649.99. The Predator Triton 500 SE and Nitro 5 are slated for a March launch at $2,299.99 and $1,049, respectively.
Stay on the Cutting Edge
Join the experts who read Tom's Hardware for the inside track on enthusiast PC tech news — and have for over 25 years. We'll send breaking news and in-depth reviews of CPUs, GPUs, AI, maker hardware and more straight to your inbox.
Brandon Hill is a senior editor at Tom's Hardware. He has written about PC and Mac tech since the late 1990s with bylines at AnandTech, DailyTech, and Hot Hardware. When he is not consuming copious amounts of tech news, he can be found enjoying the NC mountains or the beach with his wife and two sons.