Acer unveils the Predator Helios 700, a high-end gaming notebook with a slide-out keyboard

Polycount

TS Evangelist
Staff member

Acer's Global Press Conference took place today, and the company unveiled a host of new products for productivity, gaming, and content creation. Today, we'll be focusing on one of the most interesting reveals: the Helios 700, Acer's latest high-end gaming notebook.

Design-wise, the 700 looks about like you'd expect - it's thick, heavy, and filled to the brim with as much customizable RGB lighting as Acer's engineers could possibly include.

In terms of hardware, the gaming notebook includes a crisp 17" 1080P 144Hz IPS display, up to 64GB of DDR4 RAM, up to an Intel Core i9 processor, and your choice of either an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 or 2070.

Moving on to connectivity, the 700 seems to have 3 USB 3.0 ports, at least one USB-C port, and both HDMI and DisplayPort support for those who want to use the laptop to power an external monitor.

It isn't the device's beefy hardware or size that makes it stand out, though. The Helios 700's unique "HyperDrift" sliding keyboard takes that honor. By default, the keyboard and its touchpad area are where you'd normally expect to see them in a gaming laptop - toward the back, near the speakers.

However, when you slide the keyboard forward, the touchpad essentially converts into a full, desktop keyboard-like wrist rest. We'll let Acer describe the benefits of HyperDrift:

"By simply sliding the keyboard forward, two additional air intakes are uncovered above the keyboard and below the display, giving the powerful heat-generating components extra air flow for maximum cooling and unleashed overclocking. The glass panel also provides a view of the notebook’s heat pipes."

Those cooling features will likely be particularly useful for those who want to take advantage of the Helios 700's built-in, one-button Turbo overclocking hotkey.

Cooling aside, Acer also says the HyperDrift keyboard will pave the way for improved ergonomics because it allows users to keep a "good distance" from the Helios 700's screen without "over extending" their hands.

If the Helios 700 sounds like your cup of tea, it will begin shipping in North America sometime in July for $2,699.

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psycros

TS Evangelist
This is a good first step towards the kind of smart designs for "portables" that I've advocated for years. I've always wanted a gaming laptop that can switch from regular mode to all-out performance beast. Acer is on the right track although I'm not happy about the shifting of the arrow keys - makes it harder on lefties who really need every key on the right side they can get to. This is especially true since they've removed the "editing block" of six keys above the arrows.
 

Vulcanproject

TS Evangelist
I wonder how big the market really is for desktop replacement gaming notebooks. I see all these models and think they can't really sell many of these, surely? They must cost quite a bit to design and build, the price is very high, the market has to be preposterously niche. I never see anyone using them in public, no doubt due to their size. I never see anyone even transporting one.

I think they must be halo type models, or the company thinks it's a halo model. Can you even have a halo model of a notebook if you aren't Apple? Would anyone even know or care if you make a high end gaming notebook? It's a curiosity to me.
 

QuantumPhysics

TS Evangelist
I was considering buying the Alienware m51. Had my credit card out and was ready to get those points.

I ended up going with a fully loaded and upgraded 15" because the m51 is too bulky. I needed something smaller for travel (headed to Thailand next Friday).

I just don't see the point of an i9 or a 2080 at this point in a laptop. The laptop chassis are huge and heating continues to be a dog for the i9 in air cooled desktops. Liquid cooling is a necessity at this point.

And for what?

No games demand this level of power - especially on a laptop.
 

Knot Schure

TS Addict
I was considering buying the Alienware m51. Had my credit card out and was ready to get those points.

I ended up going with a fully loaded and upgraded 15" because the m51 is too bulky. I needed something smaller for travel (headed to Thailand next Friday).

I just don't see the point of an i9 or a 2080 at this point in a laptop. The laptop chassis are huge and heating continues to be a dog for the i9 in air cooled desktops. Liquid cooling is a necessity at this point.

And for what?

No games demand this level of power - especially on a laptop.
My m-51 delivers Monday.

I too do not see a 200W GPU cooling well in a laptop either, and am underwhelmed by RTX too. Hence I choose a 2070.