Acer gives Predator Helios gaming laptop a big display upgrade with mini LED screen

Acer Nitro 16
(Image credit: Acer)

What you need to know

  • Acer completely refreshed its flagship Predator Helios laptop with a new updated design and upgraded internals that include Intel's 13th Gen processors and Nvidia's RTX 4000 series discrete GPUs.
  • The new Predator Helios this year will feature mini LED screen technology. This will give it a brighter display with better contrast, more accurate color, and more local dimming zones. 
  • Also updated to 13th Gen processors and the latest RTX 4000 series graphics is the more affordable Nitro series of gaming notebooks. 

Acer refreshed its gaming notebook lineup at CES 2023 to include the latest silicon, but that's not all. The headlining feature of its flagship Predator Helios gaming notebook is the laptop's display, which boasts mini LED backlighting and a gloriously fast 250Hz refresh rate.

If the mini LED tech sounds familiar, it's because this backlighting system is employed on premium TVs and Apple devices, like the 12.9-inch iPad Pro. According to Acer, the mini LED screen on the Predator Helios comes with 1,000 local dimming zones for accurate backlighting effects, a maximum peak brightness of 1,000 nits, a 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio, and 100% coverage of the P3 color space. 

The laptop will be available in either 16- or 18-inch sizes, and users can choose between WUXGA (1920x1200) resolution at 165Hz, WQXGA (2560×1600) resolution at 165Hz or 240Hz, or the premium superfast 250 Hz Mini LEDdisplay on the bigger model. The 16-inch model comes with either WQXGA (2560×1600) display at 165Hz or 240Hz or a mini LED panel at 250Hz refresh rate. 

All laptops come with Intel's latest 13th Gen Core i9 or Core i7 HX mobile processors and Nvidia's RTX 4080 graphics. Configurations top out with up to 32GB DDR5 memory and 2TB PCIe Gen4 NVMe solid-state storage. 

Both models sport a new design with thinner bezels and cleaner edges compared to prior generations along with upgraded thermals, which include dual custom-engineered 5th Gen AeroBlade 3D metal fans and heat pipes. Also complementing the mini LED screen is that the keyboard is also backlit using mini LED tech. 

The Predator Helios 16 (PH16-71) will start at $1,649 when it becomes available in March in North America, while the Predator Helios 18 (PH18-71) will start at $1,699 when it launches in April on the continent.

Acer Nitro gaming laptops

In addition to the Predator Helios flagship gaming notebooks, Acer also unveiled updates to its Nitro series. Like the Predator models, the Nitro gets an update to Intel's 13th Gen mobile processors, and users can choose from either a Core i5 or Core i7, along with Nvidia's GeForce RTX 4000 series of discrete mobile graphics.

The Nitro series is available either with a 16-inch or 17.3-inch display. The smaller model comes with either a WUXGA or WQXGA resolution IPS screen with a 165Hz refresh rate and 3ms response time. According to the company, the Nitro 16-51 comes with a 5% larger screen area than its predecessor. 

The larger model can be configured with either a QHD resolution panel with a 165Hz refresh rate and 3ms response time with Nvidia Advanced Optimus support or an FHD panel with a 144Hz refresh rate and 3ms response time. Both laptops can support up to 32GB of RAM and come with two M.2 SSD slots for storage. 

The more compact 16-inch model weighs 2.6kg (5.73 pounds) and measures 14 x 10.9 x 1.05 inches. The larger 17-inch Nitro comes in at 3kg (6.61 pounds) and measures 15.6 x 11.4 x 1.1 inches. 

"These Nitro devices have dual fans, four fan outlets located attheir sides and rear, upper air intake, and are further supported by liquid metal thermal grease to aid cooling over intense gaming periods," Acer said of the thermals.

The Nitro 16-51 will start at $1,119 while the Nitro 17-51 will start at $1,249. Both laptops will launch in May in North America. 

Predator displays

In addition to the updated gaming laptops, Acer also unveiled new displays at CES 2023, including the Predator X45 and X27U gaming monitors. The Predator X45 boasts a 45-inch UWQHD resolution, OLED screen technology, and an 800R curvature. This monitor supports 98.5% of the wide P3 color space and HDR10. 

The Predator X27U panel is a flat 27-inch WQHD display that can reach 1,000 nits of brightness and supports HDR10 as well as 98.5% coverage of the P3 color space. 

Both panels come with fast 240Hz refresh rates and support for AMD FreeSync Premium technology. Response time is as low as 0.1ms, according to the company. 

The X45 will launch in the second quarter in North America and will be priced at $1,699, while the X27U will start at $1,099.