In the following benchmarks we employ two very different battery life tests, Battery Eater Pro and a custom 1080p HD video loop test developed in-house, to prove out battery life with our test group of machines. In all tests, Windows 10
Quiet Hours has been enabled and the displays are calibrated with meters
on pure white screens to as close to 115 lux as possible. For the average laptop this is somewhere between a 40 - 60% brightness setting.
Since laptop displays significantly affect power consumption and battery life, it's important to ensure a level playing field with respect to brightness of the display for battery testing. And, since many laptop displays vary in brightness at each respective setting in Windows, this calibration with a meter is critical to ensure all displays are set to as near identical brightness output as possible, before running battery tests.
Battery Life - How We Test:
Our custom HotHardware video loop test takes a 1080p HD video with a 16Kbps bit rate and loops it repeatedly, with 1 minute break intervals in between. A timer log file increments minutes of up-time, every minute -- along with the grand total -- before system shutdown is stored and logged. This is a lighter-duty test that is still a bit more strenuous than many office productivity tasks, but it's not nearly a taxing as the load the Battery Eater test puts on a system.
Perhaps one day in the future, gaming laptops will boast all-day battery life even when stressing the GPU
, allowing users to game for hours on end without being tethered to a wall socket. Today is not that day. The Predator Helios 300 managed just 80 minutes in the unforgiving Battery Eater Pro test, putting it near the bottom of the pack. In our own custom video loop test, it kept its eye open longer, but still succumbed to exhaustion rather quickly at just over three hours.
We don't put a ton of stock in battery life when it comes to gaming laptops, as it's just not reasonable to expect to play games for extended period of time on the battery alone. That said, the Predator Helios 300 ran out of juice quicker than most other laptops we've tested.
Acer Predator Helios 300 Acoustics & Thermals
Every laptop maker gets excited about their cooling scheme, and Acer is no exception. Acer's boisterous claim is that it uses a dual fan system with unique "Aeroblade" fans. These are billed as being the world's thinnest metallic blades at 0.1mm, and are designed to optimize airflow while pushing hot air out the back of the notebook.
Users can adjust fan performance in the PredatorSense utility that we discussed earlier. In this case, the fans are tasked with managing heat output from the Core i7-8750H and GeForce GTX 1060, and they seem to do a reasonable job of it.
Without any tinkering, the Predator Helios 300 is a quiet laptop for general purpose computing chores. Inevitably, the fans generate some noise when playing games or otherwise stressing the GPU. By our measurements, the laptop hits around 44 dB in such situations. That's not bad for a gaming laptop, and not really noticeable if wearing a set of headphones.