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Acer Predator Helios 300 storms CES 2022 with 12th Gen Intel CPU, RTX 3080 and 165Hz display

[NDA lifts: 12/4/22, 1:15PM ET]Acer Predator Helios 300 (2022)
(Image credit: Acer)

The Acer Predator Helios 300 (2022) is a reinvigorated model of Acer's big black gaming laptop packing 12th Gen Intel CPUs and up to an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 laptop GPU.

Unveiled at CES 2022, this iteration of the Predator Helios 300 features a revamped chassis design that may help address some of the fan noise issues we've experienced with older models. And even if it doesn't, the promise of access to an RTX 3080 amid the ongoing GPU shortage may make this an enticing option for many, especially if it means avoiding patronizing scalpers.

Of course, we won't know how it stacks up against the best gaming laptops until we test one for ourselves. Here's everything we know so far about the Acer Predator Helios 300 (2022).

Acer Predator Helios 300 (2022): Price and release date

The 17.3-inch Acer Predator Helios 300 (2022) is slated to go on sale in Europe, the Middle East and China in February, and in the U.S. in March for a starting price of $1,749.

There's a smaller 15.6-inch model of the Helios 300 (2022) that's also due to go on sale in February in Europe, the Middle East and China, but it won't be available in the U.S. until May 2022 for a starting price of $1,649.

[NDA lifts 1/4/22, 1:15 PM ET] acer predator helios 300 (2022)

(Image credit: Acer)

Expect both sizes to be sold in a variety of configurations via Acer's website (opens in new tab) and select third-party retailers.

Acer Predator Helios 300 (2022): Design

This iteration of the Predator Helios 300 has been redesigned to give it a "cleaner" look, according to Acer's official description, which notes this model sports a thin (and configurable) light bar beneath the palm rest to help "retain its gamer aesthetic in a slightly more subtle fashion."

[NDA lifts: 1/4/22, 1:15PM ET]Acer Predator Helios 300 (2022)

(Image credit: Acer)

The keyboard itself is also backlit by mini-LEDs, and the RBG lighting is customizable on a per-key basis. The PredatorSense key allows you to switch the laptop's fans between four pre-set modes, but there's also a Turbo button which Acer claims will max out the fans and all relevant settings for optimal gaming performance.

Acer Predator Helios 300 (2022): Display

Both sizes of Acer Predator Helios 300 (2022) will ship with IPS displays of up to QHD (2,560 x 1,440 pixels) resolution with up to a 165Hz refresh rate. 

Acer Predator Helios 300 (2022)

(Image credit: Acer)

That's a pretty solid display for portable gaming, and the high refresh rate will be a boon for folks who appreciate playing games at high framerates. The Predator Helios 300 should have no trouble delivering those high framerates in most games either, given its impressive GeForce 30-series GPU and 12th Gen Intel CPUs.

Acer Predator Helios 300 (2022): Performance

The Acer Predator Helios 300 is built for performance, and it should be able to deliver high framerates in even the most demanding games thanks to its Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti or RTX 3080 GPU options. 

acer predator helios 300 (2022) lifestyle pr shot

(Image credit: Acer)

The 2022 Helios 300 is also configurable with up to a 12th Gen Intel Core i7 CPU, 32 GB of DDR5-4800 RAM and up to 2 TB of SSD storage. 

Acer Predator Helios 300 (2022): Ports

Earlier iterations of the Helios 300 had decent port arrays, and the 2022 model looks to be little different.

acer predator helios 300 (2022)

(Image credit: Acer)

On the right side of the 2022 Helios 300 you'll find an Ethernet jack, a USB-A port, a Thunderbolt 4/USB-C port, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. On the left is another pair of USB-A and USB-C ports alongside an HDMI out and an SD card reader, giving you options for outputting to an external display or pulling files off a memory card.

Acer Predator Helios 300 (2022): Battery life

Acer hasn't (yet) made any promises about how long the 2022 Helios 300 will last on battery power, either when gaming or engaging in less demanding activities.

However, since it's a big gaming laptop with top-of-the-line components, it's a good idea not to expect too much from the Helios 300 in terms of battery life. Most gaming laptops last between 90 minutes to 3 hours on a single charge when gaming, and the Helios 300 will likely land somewhere in that range. The 2020 Helios 300 with older components (including a 10th Gen Intel Core i7 CPU and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 GPU) lasted roughly 3.5 hours in our battery test, and we hope to see the 2022 model last at least that long when we get one in for hands-on testing.

Acer Predator Helios 300 (2022): Outlook

Acer's 2022 Predator Helios 300 looks to be a minor but meaningful upgrade over earlier versions, with a lightly redesigned chassis and some under-the-hood upgrades.

The performance of those upgraded internals is what will make or break the Helios 300, as this hefty black gaming machine (which weighs between 5 and 7 pounds, depending on what size you buy) won't be winning any awards for its portability. However, the 2022 Helios 300 will likely be in high demand as soon as it goes on sale thanks to the ongoing GPU shortage, which has made cards like the RTX 3080 very hard to find. 

Of course, we'll have to wait until we get one in for testing before we can say for sure how Acer's Helios 300 (2022) gaming laptop handles the demands of daily work and play. Stay tuned!

Alex Wawro is a lifelong tech and games enthusiast with more than a decade of experience covering both for outlets like Game Developer, Black Hat, and PC World magazine. He currently serves as a senior editor at Tom's Guide covering all things computing, from laptops and desktops to keyboards and mice.