There’s no doubting that Acer are very well versed in gaming laptops, and the Predator Helios Neo 16 looks to be another fine addition to their portfolio. In a market where desktop graphics cards are still quite unstable in price and availability, laptops have become a stronger alternative than ever.
With the Acer Predator Helios Neo 16, there is plenty to be in awe of but also one major concern that I can’t help but overlook given my experience with previous Predator models.
For now, let me take you through my experience with the Acer Predator Helios Neo 16 and why I’m convinced that this laptop line might be the most well rounded in the world of portable gaming today.
Here are the specs of the Acer Predator Helios Neo 16 that I tested for this review:
|Acer Predator Helios Neo 16 specs|
|CPU||13th Gen Intel Core i7-13700HX|
|GPU||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4060 8 GB|
|Display||16-inch, WQXGA, 2560 x 1600, 165 Hz,|
|Storage||1 TB SSD|
|Battery||Up to 8 hours, 6 hours when gaming|
- Gorgeous and responsive display
- Wealth of ports, including well-placed HDMI
- Unmatched build quality
- Choice of performance modes is brilliant
- Concerns about cooling system
Acer Predator Helios Neo 16: Design
I’m super happy that nothing has majorly changed with the external design of the Predator laptops in recent years, it’s a very identifiable look that serves Acer well.
That being said, there are a few design notes to touch on that need to be talked about. The Acer Predator Helios Neo 16 is, in my opinion, the best gaming laptop when it comes to ports and port placement.
You have three USB 3.2 ports, and Ethernet port, MicroSD slot, 3.5mm jack, HDMI, two USB-C ports and a Kensington Lock. The distribution of these ports across the chassis is also perfect with the biggest win being a rear facing HDMI port.
On my previous laptop, the Acer Predator Helios 300, the right sided HDMI port was a nightmare given that my second monitor was set up on the left side of the laptop. It really feels like a good amount of thought has gone into the inclusion of these ports and where they are placed.
A back lit keyboard provides the RGB indulgence that many will yearn for, but I ultimately chose to turn it off as that has always been my preference. A firm track pad is useful when a mouse is nowhere to be found and the general build quality of the laptop suggests you should get years of use out of it before it needs any minor replacements.
The display is a particular highlight as you would expect from a WQXGA, 165 Hz panel. Even when hooking up to a standard 1080p, 60 Hz second monitor, there was no issues with the base performance and dragging programs or windows between the screens was seamless.
Overall, the Acer Predator Helios Neo 16 is a gorgeous laptop to look at. It’s not trying to make up for anything with its looks but there is plenty to admire visually and it takes pride in very obviously being a gaming laptop.
Acer Predator Helios Neo 16: Performance and power
Now for the main event, can the Acer Predator Helios Neo 16 match up to the other gaming laptops are the top of the market or even challenge some desktop options? I think the answer to both is yes, but with one very big asterisk.
I didn’t encounter any performance or power issues with this laptop and a large part of that was down to the options within the Predator hub. You can play around with configurations that determine how many of the laptops resources are used at any time based on what you’re doing.
This is a common feature in many gaming laptops and specifically ones from the Predator line. Running multiple gaming benchmarks through 3D Mark showed that you’ll have no issues running modern games on the highest settings at 1080p. If you want to push that little bit further into 1440p gaming, there will be some sacrifices made to the expected framerate but a solid 60 FPS is still nothing to be ashamed of.
The benchmarks scored the CPU far higher than the GPU which is understandable as there is a little disparity in the level of hardware that has been chosen. It’s not noticeable at all unless you’re trying to push for 1440p gaming but if your personal preference is to have a GPU capable of top level performance with no compromises, the RTX 4060 falls a little short there. I can honestly say that it wasn’t an issue for me personally though.
Now to the potentially major issue I had with the Acer Predator Helios Neo 16, the cooling system. I can speak from experience with my previous Predator laptop that the cooling system was actually surprisingly good but would need regular maintenance to ensure it wasn’t dusty. With the Neo 16, I’ve struggled to get the cooling system to actually keep the laptop cool, even when manually placed on the highest RPM.
This was universal across all games that I played which was everything from Apex Legends, Diablo 4, and Cyberpunk 2077 to less intense games like RuneScape and Football Manager. The GPU and CPU temps would always rocket to well over the 80 degree mark and full blast cooling would only ever knock this down a little bit. This essentially means you would need to have a cooling pad with the laptop at all times when gaming (which I did), and even then, I have concerns that long sessions over the space of say, a few months, could drastically reduce the lifespan on this laptop from 5+ years to under 3.
No one expects a gaming laptop to last more than 5 years typically, but an ineffective cooling system could shorten this dramatically or at least cause problems that can’t be ignored.
Should you buy the Acer Predator Helios Neo 16?
Yes, I would recommend that Acer Predator Helios Neo 16 is a great gaming laptop with the caveat that you need to understand how the cooling system works and be aware of the risks in terms of longevity.
All in all, there’s great dollar value for the experience and it’s hard to find gaming laptops as reliable as the Predator range that also don’t stray into the ridiculous price range. Expect to pay a full retail price of around $1,549.99 for the Acer Predator Helios Neo 16.
I absolutely adore the Acer Predator Helios Neo 16. Even with my concerns about the cooling system, it’s hard to deny that this is a stunning gaming laptop that is built to run the latest and greatest games with no problems whatsoever.
What I would place above everything is the clear reliability that Acer have managed to achieve with the Predator line of laptops. There is a reliable theme of quality running from my older Predator Helios 300 through to this newer machine. In a market that is full of experimental products that really don’t stand the test of time, a laptop like the Acer Predator Helios Neo 16 is nothing short of spectacular.
Acer Predator Helios Neo 16
Despite concerns surrounding the general cooling system, the Acer Predator Helios Neo 16 offers an unbelievable gaming experience and power that also presents brilliant levels of versatility. The Predator series of gaming laptops continues its strong legacy with the Helios Neo 16.