The Acer Predator Helios 700 is the company’s latest over the top gaming laptop, not only because it has a sliding keyboard, but also because it features a full-on, desktop-grade Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 graphics chip.
Acer’s latest 17-inch gaming laptop will come equipped with 9th Generation Intel processors and either an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 or RTX 2080 graphics card. Now what’s interesting is these GPUs are not Max-Q or even the mobile chips from Nvidia’s latest Turing lineup, but desktop graphics squeezed into a gaming laptop.
In order to cool the desktop-grade graphics, Acer has introduced a new “HyperDrift” keyboard, allowing the whole keyboard deck to slide forward to reveal two additional intake fans. On top of giving the gaming laptop more room to breathe, the palm rest extends past the edge of the laptop and tilts down to form a short, inclined ramp for better ergonomics.
With all this power and cooling under the hood, the Acer Predator Helios 700 felt like a capable gaming laptop during my short hands-on time with it. I was only able to play a Battlefield V single-player mission, but the gaming laptop delivered seamless, above 60 fps experience — unfortunately, I wasn’t allowed to turn on a frame rate counter to get an exact number.
Acer is well known for producing some extreme gaming hardware like the 21-inch, ultrawide Predator 21x gaming laptop, but the Predator Helio 700 felt like its most practical machine yet. The sliding mechanism is completely manual, and you can easily pull the keyboard deck down by just putting a bit of pressure on the palm rest and dragging it down. In this mode, the sliding panel provides the gaming laptop with some extra airflow — the more the better with any notebook — and it really does improve the typing experience.
The keyboard itself also happens to be a new invention from Acer called “MagForce,” which might make it seem like it’s the brand’s first magnetically-driven keyboard, but it actually uses analog-like linear switches. According to Acer, these new switches are pressure sensitive, providing gamers with more control over precise movements in the game. From my initial impressions, I felt the keyboard was extremely responsive without picking up any accidental key presses.
Sadly, this machine is limited to only a Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) resolution screen, but on the plus side the display is rated for a maximum 144Hz refresh rate. Other topped-out specs on the laptop include 64GB of DDR4 memory, 2TB of SSD storage, and a Killer Wi-Fi 6 AX 1650 wireless module.
The Acer Predator Helio 700 will be available in North America in April starting at $2,699.99.
Kevin Lee is IGN’s Hardware and Roundups Editor. Follow him on Twitter @baggingspam
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