Acer has been a name that, when it comes to PC hardware, been around for quite some time. Offering a wide range of reliable products to suit just about any budget. But, throw in the word Predator and you suddenly get one of the most sought-after lines of performance-focused gear on the market. Where in addition to high-end components from the likes of NVIDIA and Intel, you also get superb build quality. Plus, the Acer Predator line-up has a certain look. Rugged, high-tech, primal. In a few short years Acer’s Predator line has become one of the premiere names for game hardware across laptops, desktops, displays, and other accessories.
And with that in mind we’ve decided to look at the Acer Predator range currently on offer, and give you our picks to help you decide which Predator might be right for you.
Acer Predator Helios 300
With the combination of the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card and the Intel Core i7 8750H, you’d be hard pressed to call the Helios 300 a budget gaming laptop. Even though what you get is incredible performance for a lower price than other devices with a similar make-up. Throw in the same rugged and solid build quality that can be found throughout the entire Helios range, and the Helios 300 is perfect for anyone looking to get their first gaming laptop. That being a solid high-performance device that has no trouble running the latest games like Shadow of the Tomb Raider and Battlefield V at 1080p at over 60 fps. And all without breaking a sweat. Which thankfully comes down to great on-board cooling on offer. With fast, desktop-like performance in a laptop size the Helios 300 comes highly recommended.
Acer Predator Helios 500
The Helios 300’s older sibling, the Helios 500, is bigger in almost every way. From the larger 17.3-inch Full HD display to the more powerful GeForce GTX 1070 graphics card under the hood. The bigger display, with its increased 144Hz refresh rate, means games will not only run faster but look smoother too. At first glance the Helios 500 looks like a chunkier 300, but with blue accents instead of red. The design philosophy here though hits that sweet spot between desktop gaming rig and portable gaming laptop. Not as thin as some, but it more than makes up for it with storage, speed, and graphics performance without compromise. In fact, the Helios 500 has no trouble running most games at well over 60 frames-per-second at maximum detail. The in-built Predator Sense software also lets you take charge of everything from cooling to switching between profiles built for gaming or simple browsing whilst on the go.
Acer Predator Orion 3000
When it comes to gaming desktops one falls into one of two camps, that being the build-it yourself after purchasing a pile of little bits and bobs camp. Or, the less stressful approach of choosing an off-the-shelf all-in-one desktop PC. In keeping with the rugged and quality found across the Acer Predator gaming laptop range it should come as no surprise that this same design methodology translates to the desktop Predators. In terms of specs the affordable Orion 3000 offers similar under-the-hood hardware as the Helios 300 – but in desktop form. What that means is overall higher clock speeds that come from not having to worry about battery life and other cooling restrictions. Coupled with the fast SDD boot drive and expanded storage, the Orion 3000 has no issues running even the most demanding games. In fact, with the right peripherals this is a great option for those looking to get into streaming too.
Acer Predator Orion 9000
When you’re looking for an absolute beast, where you get performance to match the high-tech almost Transformers-like design, well, for that there’s the Orion 9000. The top of the line when it comes to the Predator desktop gaming line-up, and one of the coolest looking desktop gaming PCs currently available. In addition to the iconic high-end lighting and cooling features, the Orion 9000 desktops come in various revisions – and prices - that offer various versions of the higher-end Intel Core i7 and Core i9 processors, in addition to NVIDIA GeForce GTX 10 series graphics cards. No matter the Orion 9000 though, you get exceptional performance wrapped up in a premium build that will turn more than a few heads once set-up on a desk.
Acer Predator XB1
Although full-HD is still the norm when it comes to both gaming and watching media, the rise in popularity of WQHD (2560 x 1440) displays for PC gaming is hard to ignore. The in-between resolution (or, not-quite 4K) is perfect for offering crisper visuals at the same rock solid frame-rates that PC gamers are used to. This means that the Predator XB1 in its 1440p variant is perfect for popular genres like shooters and action-adventure games. The Predator XB1 from Acer not only offers a bump in resolution but also a fast 144 Hz refresh rate (which can be overclocked to 165 Hz) in addition to great colour and image quality. The perfect screen then for those that dabble in Rainbow Six Siege, Overwatch, Counter-Strike, or Fortnite. Or, all the above.
Acer Predator X34P
Although it’s been available for a little while now, it’s hard to overlook the sheer pristine image quality and overall impressiveness of the Acer Predator X34P. The ultra-wide display offers up an image with a 3440 x 1440 resolution (at the 21:9 aspect ratio), in addition to an 100Hz NVIDIA G-SYNC refresh rate. Meaning that to get the most out of it you’d want to pair it with an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 or higher. For those that have never experienced gaming on an ultra-wide display, the results are impressive to say the least. Nothing short of increased immersion that you immediately feel. And with most modern titles supporting the ultra-wide 21:9 aspect ratio, games like Wolfenstein II, Battlefield V, and Shadow of the Tomb Raider look stunning on the Predator X34P. A dream display if there ever was one.
Acer Predator Cestus 500
In the age of the modern gaming laptop, there’s one aspect of the design that will still require some outside help. That is of course the touch-pad. No doubt the Predator Helios range feature wonderfully responsive and tactile keyboards and more than capable touch-pads. As soon as you fire up a first-person shooter tough, well, you simply need the proper feel and grip of a gaming mouse. Which makes the Predator Cestus 500 the perfect companion to any Predator gaming laptop or desktop purchase. You get the same rock-solid build quality in addition to being able to adjust grips depending on the application (see: style of game). Plus, the obligatory customisable RGB lighting. And of course, the matching Predator logo.
Acer Predator Aethon 500
As a mechanical keyboard, the build quality of the Predator Aethon 500 is truly impressive. And although this has been the descriptor we’ve been using for every product listed so far (well, these are our recommendations after all), you’d be hard pressed to find a more solid mechanical keyboard. The aluminium finish, magnetic wrist-rest, profile keys, and full audio controls are a testament to the Predator range - ticking all the right boxes. The companion software also allows for direct control over lighting and customisation, making the Aethon 500 highly recommended for those looking for a decent and reliable keyboard. Especially after the sizable discount.