Acer's new Predator Helios 300 gaming laptop aims to make 3D a thing again

Predator Helios 300 SpatialLabs Edition
(Image credit: Acer)

Acer unveiled its new Predator Helios 300 SpatialLabs Edition gaming laptop during a press event today (May 18). What makes this device unique is that its screen is built to display glasses-free, stereoscopic 3D images on supported games via an application called SpatialLabs TrueGame. 

Glasses-free 3D has yet to become more than a gimmick, but Acer hopes the Predator Helios 300 SpacialLabs Edition will deliver a compelling immersive experience.

Spec-wise, this laptop features up to a 12th gen Intel Core i9 processor, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 laptop GPU, 32 GB of RAM and 2 TB of SSD storage. The 15.6-inch screen is capable of displaying 2D in 4K or 3D in 2K at 60Hz. Acer acknowledges that some of the best gaming laptops are capable of delivering up to 360Hz refresh rates, but says the power needed to make stereoscopic 3D work necessitated a limited refresh rate.

At the moment there are over 50 games that support glasses-free 3D via SpatialLabs TrueGame, including Forza Horizon 5, God of War, Shadow of the Tomb Raider and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. Acer says more games will be added to this list each month.

Predator Helios 300 SpatialLabs Edition

Can the Acer Predator Helios 300 SpatialLabs Edition make 3D gaming viable? (Image credit: Acer)

While we applaud Acer for trying something different with gaming laptops, we remain a little skeptical. After all, 3D technology in general has failed to maintain public interest for long. The 3D movie craze of the late 2000s and early 2010s (kicked off by James Cameron’s Avatar) was probably the peak of public interest in the tech. The video game industry also jumped on the 3D bandwagon during that time, with nearly every big title featuring some kind of 3D support for 3D televisions. Nintendo’s 3DS also tried to capitalize on the craze. Even if we don’t factor in the 3D fad of the 1950s and its small resurgence in the '80s, it’s clear that 3D is a hard sell.

Acer insists that folks need to see SpatialLabs-enabled 3D to fully appreciate it. To that end, we’ll reserve judgment on the Predator Helios 300 SpatialLab Edition’s 3D capabilities until we’ve had a chance to review the gaming laptop. But even if this machine doesn’t deliver the kind of 3D experience we’ve been promised for decades, its beefy components should make it a solid portable gaming rig.

The Predator Helios 300 SpatialLabs Edition will be available in North America in late 2022 with a starting price of $3,399. Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) should see the laptop in September starting at €3,299.

Check out our Acer promo codes for ways to lower the price. 

Tony Polanco
Computing Writer

Tony is a computing writer at Tom’s Guide covering laptops, tablets, Windows, and iOS. During his off-hours, Tony enjoys reading comic books, playing video games, reading speculative fiction novels, and spending too much time on X/Twitter. His non-nerdy pursuits involve attending Hard Rock/Heavy Metal concerts and going to NYC bars with friends and colleagues. His work has appeared in publications such as Laptop Mag, PC Mag, and various independent gaming sites.