If you somehow always wanted a gaming laptop with a keyboard that can slide out, the Acer Predator Helios 700 offers just that, and then some. Featuring a unique HyperDrift keyboard that slides down, the Helios 700 is a high-end gaming laptop with some serious power under the hood.
Given that the HyperDrift keyboard is the laptop’s most unique hardware, let’s talk about that first. On the surface, it looks like a regular keyboard, but you can actually pull the keyboard and trackpad towards you to reveal the laptop’s cooling fans. Of course, the palm rest area would then act as a wrist rest, which is really quite interesting.
Exposing the cooling fans of the Helios 700 isn’t just for show either. According to Acer, this allows for better airflow that further improves the performance of the gaming laptop. On top of that, there’s also a satisfying click when you slide the keyboard in and out. Rest assured, the mechanism feels very robust.
Another benefit of sliding out the keyboard is the improved ergonomics when typing. With the trackpad acting as the wrist rest, it’s a lot more comfortable to type on the keyboard in this odd – but ergonomically-sound – position. The “MagForce” keys of the keyboard also offer a lot of travel, which makes for an even more pleasant typing experience.
The trackpad of the Helios 700 is really good too. My fingers can glide effortlessly on the surface, it has accurate tracking, and gestures work seamlessly too.
Besides the HyperDrift keyboard, other specifications of the Helios 700 are equally interesting. Powering this gaming laptop is an Intel Core i9-9980HK processor – overclockable, naturally – paired with 32GB of DDR4 RAM, so there is ample amount of processing power and RAM here.
Graphics card of the Helios 700 is equally powerful too: it features an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 GPU that is specifically mentioned to not be the Max-Q variant. With such a powerful CPU and GPU combination, the extra airflow the HyperDrift keyboard affords will definitely come in handy to cool down these components.
To make full use of these high-end hardware, the Helios 700 also has a fast 144Hz 17.3-inch IPS display with G-Sync support. Given that the screen only has a Full HD 1920 x 1080 resolution, this gaming laptop should be able to deliver frame rate in excess of 60fps easily in modern AAA games with maxed out graphics. In fact, we reckon the 144Hz display can even be fully utilised in certain titles.
It’s great that the Helios 700 has a fast screen, but what’s not so great are the thick bezels surrounding the display. This gives the laptop a dated-looking design, which doesn’t really do justice to the machine’s cutting-edge hardware. Plus, the bezels are made out of plastic too; this cheapens the premium appeal of the Helios 700.
When it comes to connectivity options, this laptop offers quite a number of them. It has three USB-A 3.1 ports, two USB-C connections (one even supports Thunderbolt 3), a DisplayPort, an HDMI output, as well as an RJ45 port. Unfortunately, there is no card reader of any kind, despite the large chassis of the laptop.
Since we’re on the topic, the Helios 700 is a heavy gaming laptop. It tips the scales at 4.8kg, so this is not a laptop you’d want to lug around too much. Then again, it’s not particularly portable either, given that the chassis measures 42mm thick. After all, this is a desktop replacement; it’s not exactly designed with portability in mind.
The Acer Predator Helios 700 is a powerful, high-end gaming laptop, so it goes without saying it will cost quite a bit of money. For the Malaysian market, only one variant of the machine is offered, which costs a cool RM17,999. For that kind of money, you’re getting 32GB of DDR4 RAM, as well as two 512GB PCIe NVMe SSDs in Raid 0 configuration.
That is a steep price tag, to be sure, but the Helios 700 is without a doubt a powerful gaming machine with a unique keyboard mechanism. If you’re keen to get it, it is now available for purchase in Malaysia on Acer’s official online store, as well as Acer authorised resellers nationwide.
Also announced at the Predator Helios 700’s launch event is the return of the PC maker’s Asia Pacific Predator League, which will be held in Manila, the Philippines on 22 and 23 February 2020. Participants from 17 countries will compete in Dota 2 and PUBG for a total prize pool of $400,000 – the Malaysian leg alone offers $25,000, which is about RM104,635.
Registration for the Predator League is now open in Malaysia. Those who are confident in their Dota 2 or PUBG skills can sign up right here.