Acer Predator Helios 300 (PH315-55) review

Acer is the creator of one of the most stable gaming notebooks on the market. Year after year, iteration after iteration, the Helios 300 just delivers. Not only that, but Acer seems to sneak in a small upgrade (besides the hardware one) every year, which sometimes makes us ask – what will they do when they run out of ideas? Anyways, today we have the Helios 300 (PH315-55).

Right from the get-go, we would like to start with a disclaimer. Since this was a very early engineering sample from Acer, it arrived with unfinalized firmware. Due to that, we couldn’t test any performance metrics and the battery life. Nevertheless, you will still find out what the device feels like in your hands, how you can open it (and upgrade it), and what its display shows in our in-depth screen test.

So, you are aware that this is a 15-inch laptop. So, you can imagine how impressive it sounds when you hear that you can pair the device with a 150W RTX 3080, right? Plus, it features the latest and greatest from Intel’s 45W game.

You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/acer-predator-helios-300-ph315-55/

Contents


Specs Sheet

Acer Predator Helios 300 (PH315-55) review - Specs

  • BOE BV156FHM-NY0 (BOE0ABF)
  • Color accuracy  1.6  0.9
  • HDD/SSD
  • up to 2000GB SSD
  • M.2 Slot
  • 2x 2280 PCIe NVMe 4.0 x4  See photo
  • RAM
  • up to 64GB
  • OS
  • Windows 11 Home, Windows 10 Pro, Windows 11 Pro, Windows 10 Home
  • Battery
  • 54Wh, 4-cell, DDR5, 4800 MHz
  • Body material
  • Aluminum
  • Dimensions
  • 359.4 x 276.4 x 25.9 mm (14.15" x 10.88" x 1.02")
  • Weight
  • 2.50 kg (5.5 lbs)
  • Ports and connectivity
  • 1x USB Type-A
  • 3.2 Gen 1 (5 Gbps)
  • 1x USB Type-A
  • 3.2 Gen 2 (10 Gbps)
  • 1x USB Type-A
  • 3.2 Gen 2 (10 Gbps), Sleep and Charge
  • 1x USB Type-C
  • Thunderbolt 4
  • HDMI
  • 2.1
  • Displayport mini
  • Card reader
  • Ethernet LAN
  • Wi-Fi
  • 802.11ax
  • Bluetooth
  • 5.2
  • Audio jack
  • 3.5mm Combo Jack
  • Features
  • Fingerprint reader
  • Backlit keyboard
  • Speakers
  • Speakers by DTS X: Ultra Audio
  • Optical drive
  • Security Lock slot
  • Kensington Lock

What’s in the box?

Inside the package, you should find some paperwork, and up to a 330W power adapter.


Design and construction

As you saw with the 17-inch model, Acer has redesigned some of the externals of the device. The main area of change is around the hinges and the lid. Nevertheless, the laptop is still made out of metal and has fantastic structural rigidity. Perhaps, this makes it a bit thick and heavy – 25.9mm and 2.50 kilos, respectively. However, we are willing to pay the price for a strong chassis.

Unsurprisingly, the lid opens easily with one hand. It sports thin top and side bezels, and in contrast to one of its competitors – the ROG Strix G15 G513R (2022), the Helios has a Web camera.

Down below, there is a comfortable keyboard with good key travel and clicky feedback. it has an optional Per-key RGB backlight, a NumPad section, and large Arrow keys. Furthermore, you can see a dedicated Turbo button, which maxes out the fans to achieve the best cooling possible.

In addition to that, there is a Predator Sense shortcut, which opens the app, and lets you toggle through different performance modes and pick the best lightning behavior for your keyboard.

Now, the touchpad comes in a decent size. It is smooth and very responsive. However, we wouldn’t recommend using it for gaming. Frankly, so far, we have never recommended a touchpad for gaming.

Looking at the bottom panel, we find two speaker cutouts and some ventilation grills. The hot air, on the other hand, gets exhausted through two vents on the back, and one on each side of the laptop.


Ports

On the left, there is a Kensington lock slot, a LAN port, a USB Type-A 3.2 (Gen. 1) port, and an audio jack. Then, on the right side, you can see two USB Type-A 3.2 (Gen. 2) ports, while the back houses the power plug, a Thunderbolt 4 port, an HDMI connector, and a Mini DisplayPort.


Disassembly, upgrade options, and maintenance

To get inside this device, you need to undo 11 Phillips-head screws. Then, pry the bottom panel with a plastic tool and lift it away from the machine.

Inside, we found a 90.6Wh battery pack. You can easily remove it by unplugging the connector from the motherboard, and eventually undoing two Phillips-head screws.

To access the memory, you have to take out the metal bracket. It is held in place by one Phillips-head screw and a couple of clips. Once you remove it, you will have access to two RAM SODIMM slots, which work with DDR5 modules. As for the storage, you get two M.2 PCIe x4 slots, both of which can fit Gen 4 drives.

In terms of cooling, you get two heat pipes shared between the CPU and the GPU. The processor gets one more, while the GPU is treated to two additional heat pipes. Moreover, the graphics memory and the VRMs have a metal heat spreader, while two fans blow the heat away from the machine.


Display quality

Acer Predator Helios 300 (PH315-55) has an IPS panel, model number BOE NV156FHM-NY0 (BOE0ABF). Its diagonal is 15.6″ (39.62 cm), refresh rate – 165Hz, and the resolution – 1920 х 1080 pixels. The screen ratio is 16:9, and we are looking at a pixel density of – 142 ppi, and a pitch of 0.18 х 0.18 mm. The screen turns into Retina when viewed at distance equal to or greater than 60cm (24″) (from this distance one’s eye stops differentiating the separate pixels, and it is normal for looking at a laptop).

It has comfortable viewing angles. We offer images at 45° to evaluate image quality.

Also, a video with locked focus and exposure.

The measured maximum brightness of 307 nits in the middle of the screen and 301 nits as an average for the whole area, with a maximum deviation of 9%.
The Correlated Color Temperature on a white screen is 7140K – colder than the optimal for the sRGB standard of 6500K.
In the illustration below you can see how the display performs from a uniformity perspective. In other words, the leakage of light from the light source.

Values of dE2000 over 4.0 should not occur, and this parameter is one of the first you should check if you intend to use the laptop for color-sensitive work. The contrast ratio is good – 1240:1.

To make sure we are on the same page, we would like to give you a little introduction to the sRGB color gamut and the Adobe RGB. To start, there’s the CIE 1976 Uniform Chromaticity Diagram that represents the visible specter of colors by the human eye, giving you a better perception of the color gamut coverage and the color accuracy.

Inside the black triangle, you will see the standard color gamut (sRGB) that is being used by millions of people on HDTV and on the web. As for the Adobe RGB, this is used in professional cameras, monitors, etc for printing. Basically, colors inside the black triangle are used by everyone and this is the essential part of the color quality and color accuracy of a mainstream notebook.

Still, we’ve included other color spaces like the famous DCI-P3 standard used by movie studios, as well as the digital UHD Rec.2020 standard. Rec.2020, however, is still a thing of the future and it’s difficult for today’s displays to cover that well. We’ve also included the so-called Michael Pointer gamut, or Pointer’s gamut, which represents the colors that naturally occur around us every day.

The yellow dotted line shows Acer Predator Helios 300 (PH315-55)’s color gamut coverage.

Its display covers 100% of the sRGB/ITU-R BT.709 (web/HDTV standard) in CIE1976.

Our “Design and Gaming” profile delivers optimal color temperature (6500K) at 140 cd/m2 luminance and sRGB gamma mode.

We tested the accuracy of the display with 24 commonly used colors like light and dark human skin, blue sky, green grass, orange, etc. You can check out the results at factory condition and also, with the “Design and Gaming” profile.

Below you can compare the scores of Acer Predator Helios 300 (PH315-55) with the default settings (left), and with the “Gaming and Web design” profile (right).

The next figure shows how well the display is able to reproduce really dark parts of an image, which is essential when watching movies or playing games in low ambient light.

The left side of the image represents the display with stock settings, while the right one is with the “Gaming and Web Design” profile activated. On the horizontal axis, you will find the grayscale, and on the vertical axis – the luminance of the display. On the two graphs below you can easily check for yourself how your display handles the darkest nuances but keep in mind that this also depends on the settings of your current display, the calibration, the viewing angle, and the surrounding light conditions.


Response time (Gaming capabilities)

We test the reaction time of the pixels with the usual “black-to-white” and “white-to-black” method from 10% to 90% and vice versa.

We recorded Fall Time + Rise Time = 10 ms.

After that, we test the reaction time of the pixels with the usual “Gray-to-Gray” method from 50% White to 80% White and vice versa between 10% and 90% of the amplitude.


PWM (Screen flickering)

Pulse-width modulation (PWM) is an easy way to control monitor brightness. When you lower the brightness, the light intensity of the backlight is not lowered, but instead turned off and on by the electronics with a frequency indistinguishable to the human eye. In these light impulses, the light/no-light time ratio varies, while brightness remains unchanged, which is harmful to your eyes. You can read more about that in our dedicated article on PWM.

Acer Predator Helios 300 (PH315-55)’s screen doesn’t flicker at any brightness level. Thankfully, this enables you to work for extended periods of time, without the risk of further damaging your eyes and brain.


Blue light emissions

Installing our Health-Guard profile not only eliminates PWM but also reduces the harmful Blue Light emissions while keeping the colors of the screen perceptually accurate. If you’re not familiar with the Blue light, the TL;DR version is – emissions that negatively affect your eyes, skin, and your whole body. You can find more information about that in our dedicated article on Blue Light.

Buy our profiles

Since our profiles are tailored for each individual display model, this article and its respective profile package are meant for Acer Predator Helios 300 (PH315-55) configurations with 15.6″ FHD IPS BOE NV156FHM-NY0 (BOE0ABF).

*Should you have problems with downloading the purchased file, try using a different browser to open the link you’ll receive via e-mail. If the download target is a .php file instead of an archive, change the file extension to .zip or contact us at [email protected]

Read more about the profiles HERE.

In addition to receiving efficient and health-friendly profiles, by buying LaptopMedia's products you also support the development of our labs, where we test devices in order to produce the most objective reviews possible.

Office Work

Office Work should be used mostly by users who spend most of the time looking at pieces of text, tables or just surfing. This profile aims to deliver better distinctness and clarity by keeping a flat gamma curve (2.20), native color temperature and perceptually accurate colors.

Design and Gaming

This profile is aimed at designers who work with colors professionally, and for games and movies as well. Design and Gaming takes display panels to their limits, making them as accurate as possible in the sRGB IEC61966-2-1 standard for Web and HDTV, at white point D65.

Health-Guard

Health-Guard eliminates the harmful Pulse-Width Modulation (PWM) and reduces the negative Blue Light which affects our eyes and body. Since it’s custom tailored for every panel, it manages to keep the colors perceptually accurate. Health-Guard simulates paper so the pressure on the eyes is greatly reduced.

Get all 3 profiles with 33% discount


Sound

Acer Predator Helios 300 (PH315-55)’s speakers produce a sound of very good quality. Its low, mid, and high tones are clear of deviations.


Drivers

All drivers and utilities for this notebook can be found here: https://www.acer.com/ac/en/US/content/support-product/9244?b=1

Verdict

As we said at the beginning of the review, our unit was an early engineering sample from Acer, and we were not able to perform any performance and battery tests.

On the other hand, we can definitely tell you that Acer Predator Helios 300 (PH315-55)’s IPS panel has a Full HD resolution, good contrast ratio, and comfortable viewing angles. It covers 100% of the sRGB color gamut, which results in a pretty attractive image, which is also rather accurate with our Gaming and Web design profile. Undoubtedly, the best feature for gamers is the 165Hz refresh rate, which is paired with quick pixel response times.

In addition to that, you get a laptop with a huge feature pack. It has optional G-Sync support, liquid metal on the CPU die, optional Per-key RGB backlight, and more. The I/O is fantastic and it includes a Thunderbolt 4 connector. Once more, it lacks an SD card reader, which we’ve listed as Helios 300 (PH317-56)‘s only disadvantage – this is the 17-inch version of this laptop.

Ultimately, the high TGPs of the graphics cards and the powerful processor options make the laptop an incredible piece of machinery. Indeed, we cannot be 100% of the true potential of the device until we’ve tested a retail version, but from what we got from the 17-inch version, things look really good.

You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/acer-predator-helios-300-ph315-55/

Pros

  • Thunderbolt 4 + HDMI + Mini DisplayPort
  • Liquid metal
  • 2x SODIMM, 2x M.2 PCIe x4 Gen 4 slots
  • 100% sRGB coverage and accurate color representation with our Gaming and Web design profile (BOE NV156FHM-NY0 (BOE0ABF))
  • Quick pixel response times (BOE NV156FHM-NY0 (BOE0ABF))
  • No PWM (BOE NV156FHM-NY0 (BOE0ABF))


Cons

  • Lacks an SD card reader

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Jero l Malan
Jero l Malan
14 days ago

Hello, what is the full specs of ram? is it cl 40? thank you

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