If you follow the news from CES 2023, the Acer Predator Helios 18 is one laptop you'll definitely want to keep an eye on. This 18-inch laptop is one of the largest portable PCs that the company has ever made, and it will be fascinating to see whether it's still portable, or whether gaming laptops should continue to cap out at 17 inches. Either way, with the latest GPUs from Nvidia and CPUs from Intel, we expect the machine to be pretty powerful.
Acer briefed the Tom's Guide staff on its CES 2023 lineup in advance of the event, and the Acer Predator Helios 18 was the most interesting device we saw. While most of the other gear on display comprised refreshes of existing laptop and monitor models, the Predator Helios 18 is something new. The company has not made an 18-inch laptop since the Acer Aspire AS8950G in 2011, and that was primarily a productivity machine. As far as we can tell, Acer has never before produced an 18-inch gaming laptop (although it once made a 21-inch system with a curved display).
According to Acer's press materials, the Predator Helios 18 will boast the following specs:
- Intel 13th-gen Core i7 HX or Core i9 CPU
- Nvidia GeForce RTX 40-series GPU
- Up to 32 GB RAM
- Up to 2 TB SSD storage
- 18-inch LED screen, up to 2560 x 1600 resolution and 250 Hz
Apart from that, the device will boast 5th Gen AeroBlade 3D metal fans and vector heat pipes for cooling, as well as a full RGB keyboard with 1.8 mm key travel. There's also an Ethernet port and Wi-Fi 6 support, in addition to USB-A ports, USB-C ports, an HDMI port and a microSD card slot. Buyers will also get a free month of Xbox Game Pass.
The device will be available in April, and start at $1,599. Acer did not specify exactly what the low-end specs would be, or how much models with higher-end components would cost. Still, current Acer gaming laptops can range up to $3,499, don't expect the Predator Helios 18 to be cheap.
With its powerful components and generous array of ports, we expect the Helios Predator 18 to perform well compared to the best gaming laptops. The bigger question, however, is whether customers will really go for such a big laptop. As it stands, 17-inch laptops already stretch many commuter backpacks and laptop bags to their limits. Gamers may not want to carry around something even larger, particularly since gaming laptops tend to have pretty abysmal battery life at the best of times.
Other gaming laptops in Acer's CES 2023 lineup include the Predator Helios 16, the Nitro 16 and the Nitro 17, which will also offer the latest Nvidia GPUs and Intel CPUs. The company will also showcase the Predator X45 and Predator X27U gaming monitors, which offer OLED displays and HDR capabilities.
Tom's Guide will cover more Acer gear as we explore CES, and as the products become available for review. Stay tuned until then for the latest gaming hardware news.