Acer Predator Helios Neo 16 review: a fair price for a fine device

1 week ago 31

Acer offers a sidegrade to its mainstream Predator gaming lineup with this 'Neo' variant, which proves to beryllium a good laptop fixed its sensible pricing and bully performance. It besides offers a fantastic show and bully thermal show - conscionable beryllium prepared for the fans to get noisy erstwhile you're gaming connected it.


  • +

    Excellent 16:10 display

  • +

    Solid show for its terms range

  • +

    Lots of ports

  • +

    Sensible starting price


  • -

    Speaker prime is so-so

  • -

    Fans tin get precise loud

  • -

    Terrible artillery beingness adjacent for a gaming laptop

Why you tin spot TechRadar We walk hours investigating each merchandise oregon work we review, truthful you tin beryllium definite you’re buying the best. Find retired much astir however we test.

Acer Predator Helios Neo 16: Two-minute review

Acer's Predator enactment of laptops is well-known astatine this point, offering everything from desktops similar the Acer Orion 7000 to high-end laptops specified arsenic the Acer Helios 300. The latest gaming instrumentality to grace my trial seat is the Acer Predator Helios Neo 16 - a much budget-conscious introduction into the Predator line.

That's a invited show since galore of the best gaming laptops are fearsomely expensive; sure, I emotion the caller Razer Blade 14, but it starts supra 2 1000 bucks, and the mean idiosyncratic conscionable can't spend to casually driblet that magnitude of wealth connected a gaming machine. 

In today's fraught economical landscape, good-value hardware is king - and I reckon the Predator Helios Neo 16 checks that box. With this redesign of Acer's existing Helios laptop line, we've inactive got a high-quality instrumentality with the latest interior components, but present astatine a caller (and much accessible) terms point.

The Acer Predator Helios Neo 16 photographed connected  a woody  desk.

(Image credit: Future)

Now, I'm not saying that the Helios Neo 16 is worthy of our best fund laptops database - it's inactive a gaming laptop and truthful not precisely cheap, arsenic you'll spot below. However, it offers plentifulness of bang for your subordinate acknowledgment to 13th-gen Intel processors and RTX 4000 GPUs crossed a assortment of antithetic configurations.

It besides doesn't feel cheap, acknowledgment to its RGB keyboard, sturdy chassis, and ample display. Although the much affordable versions battalion an FHD display, my reappraisal portion is simply a somewhat pricier exemplary packing a QHD+ surface that looks fantastic. The hinge is besides suitably durable, with minimal wobble if the laptop is moved oregon picked up.

Will this Helios spin-off gain a spot among the best laptops? How does it stack up against rival laptops successful the aforesaid terms range? Let's instrumentality a deeper look.

Acer Predator Helios Neo 16: Price & availability

  • How overmuch does it cost? Starting astatine $1,199.99 / £1,399 / AU$1,998 
  • When is it available? Available now
  • Where tin you get it? Available successful the US, the UK and Australia

The Acer Predator Helios Neo 16 starts astatine $1,199.99 / £1,399 / AU$1,998, though I noted portion verifying prices for antithetic models that the basal US configuration (which features an RTX 4050 GPU) really isn't disposable successful the UK and Australia; those starting prices are for RTX 4060 models.

The highest-end model, which uses an RTX 4070 and i7-13700HX, volition tally you £1,799 / AU$3,999 (about $2,230), though I couldn't find that configuration anyplace successful the States. The highest-spec exemplary determination appears to beryllium my reappraisal unit, which features an RTX 4060 and costs $1,549.99 / £1,399 (around AU$2,400).

While these prices aren't precisely budget, the explanation of an 'affordable gaming laptop' has shifted somewhat implicit the past fewer years. With this goalpost-moving successful mind, I consciousness beauteous comfy saying that the Helios Neo 16 is really a great-value product, contempt costing much than a fund gaming laptop did 5 oregon 10 years ago.

Interestingly, the aforementioned entry-level RTX 4050 exemplary is already on merchantability astatine Best Buy astatine the clip of writing, going for conscionable $999.99 - a beauteous stellar woody successful today's gaming laptop market, truthful see snapping that 1 up!

  • Price score: 4.5 / 5

Acer Predator Helios Neo 16: Specs

As I noted above, configurations of the Acer Predator Helios Neo 16 alteration wildly betwixt regions. I've done my champion to see the base, review, and high-end configurations here, but carnivore successful caput that the top-spec exemplary listed beneath isn't really disposable successful the US (not yet, anyway).

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These are the specs for the Acer Predator Helios Neo 16 ComponentBase modelReview unitTop configuration
Price$1,199.99 / £1,399 / AU$1,998$1,549.99 / £1,399 / astir AU$2,400£1,799 / AU$3,999 (about $2,230)
CPUIntel Core i5-13500HXIntel Core i7-13700HXIntel Core i5-13500HX
GPUNVIDIA GeForce RTX 4050NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4060NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4070
Storage512GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD1 TB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD1 TB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD
Screen16-inch FHD+ (1920 x 1200), 16:10, 165 Hz16-inch QHD+ (2560 x 1600), 16:10, 165 Hz16-inch QHD+ (2560 x 16000), 16:10, 165 Hz
Ports3x USB-A, 2x USB-C Thunderbolt 4, 1x HDMI, 1x RJ-45 Ethernet, 1x microSD, 1x 3.5mm combi audio jack3x USB-A, 2x USB-C Thunderbolt 4, 1x HDMI, 1x RJ-45 Ethernet, 1x microSD, 1x 3.5mm combi audio jack3x USB-A, 2x USB-C Thunderbolt 4, 1x HDMI, 1x RJ-45 Ethernet, 1x microSD, 1x 3.5mm combi audio jack
WirelessWi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.1Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.1Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.1
Camera1080p webcam1080p webcam1080p webcam
Weight2.80 kg (6.17 lb)2.80 kg (6.17 lb)2.80 kg (6.17 lb)
Dimensions36.1 x 27.9 x 2.8 cm36.1 x 27.9 x 2.8 cm36.1 x 27.9 x 2.8 cm

The Acer Predator Helios Neo 16 photographed connected  a woody  desk.

(Image credit: Future)

Acer Predator Helios Neo 16: Design

  • Stylish design
  • Beautiful display
  • Plenty of carnal ports

The archetypal happening I noticed upon unboxing the Acer Predator Helios Neo 16 was the printed plan connected the exterior of the lid. My knowing is that not each Neo exemplary has this design, but it surely adds to the aesthetic of the laptop and makes it a spot much eye-catching than the mean gaming system.

Opening the Neo up, I'm instantly treated to an fantabulous display. I've agelong been a instrumentality of the 16:10 facet ratio present becoming much communal successful laptops since it gives you that other small spot of vertical surface existent property that makes scrolling done web pages oregon documents a small easier. The 1600p solution connected my reappraisal portion is excellent, with beardown colour density and heavy blacks.

Considering that this isn't an OLED screen, it's 1 of the champion IPS displays I've seen connected a laptop. The anti-glare coating works good successful each but the astir brightly lit environments, and the maximum brightness of 500 nits is excellent. The 165Hz refresh complaint (also recovered successful the cheaper 1200p mentation of this display) is simply a large inclusion for anyone who plays fast-paced competitory games.

The Acer Predator Helios Neo 16 photographed connected  a woody  desk.

(Image credit: Future)

Moving down to the laptop's bottommost half, we've got a comparatively mean membrane keyboard that is mostly comfy to use. The WASD, PredatorSense, and arrow keys are partially translucent to springiness them other highlighting erstwhile the RGB lighting is turned on.

I person precise small to accidental here; the keys don't consciousness overly squishy, but it's besides not the best keyboard connected a laptop I've ever used. Middle-of-the-road is perfectly good astatine this benignant of terms constituent though, truthful I can't complain.

I volition kick astir the touchpad, however! While the pad itself felt suitably responsive and offered a decent magnitude of tactile feedback erstwhile clicked, the positioning seems a little... off. It's acceptable to the left-hand broadside (already a risky determination since the modular gamer manus presumption sees your fingers sitting atop the WASD keys), but it's besides not decently aligned with the spacebar.

I really struggled to enactment my digit connected what precisely was putting maine off, but it conscionable feels somewhat wrong. The thenar rejection worked good for the astir part, though determination were 1 oregon 2 occasions erstwhile my near thumb would drawback the touchpad and registry unwanted input portion I was gaming. The ample size of the touchpad - different a bully diagnostic - made this an issue, though I ideate galore users wouldn't person the aforesaid problem. I ended up disabling the pad since I was utilizing a rodent anyway.

The Acer Predator Helios Neo 16 photographed connected  a woody  desk.

(Image credit: Future)

The wide casing is plastic, not the machined aluminum you'll find connected much costly gaming laptops, but it doesn't consciousness flimsy. In fact, the Neo's chassis feels rather robust, and the 1080p webcam embedded successful the slim show bezel is different bonus - a lesser shaper might've opted for a cheaper 720p camera present instead, considering the wide price.

Around the edges of the Helios Neo 16, we've got a veritable smorgasbord of carnal ports - thing I emotion to spot successful this epoch of MacBook-inspired larboard minimalism. We've got 3 USB-As, 2 USB-C with Thunderbolt 4, HDMI for video output, RJ-45 for wired internet, a headphone jack, and adjacent a microSD port.

This level of larboard enactment should beryllium considered aspirational among gaming laptop makers. Please don't starve maine of my ports; I inactive usage carnal flash drives!

  • Design score: 4 / 5

Acer Predator Helios Neo 16: Performance

  • Decent gaming performance
  • 4060 tin tally thing astatine 1080p, astir games astatine QHD+
  • Fans are large but the strategy runs cool

Acer Predator Helios Neo 16: Benchmarks

Here's however the Acer Predator Helios Neo 16 performed successful our suite of benchmark tests:

3DMark Night Raid: 65,825; Fire Strike: 24,487; Time Spy: 11,146
GeekBench 6: 2,490 (single-core); 14,658 (multi-core)
Total War: Warhammer III: 1080p Ultra:
83.6 1080p Low: 223.8
Dirt 5: 1080p Ultra: 97.2 1080p Low: 164.6
Cyberpunk: 1080p Ultra RT: 61.1 1080p Low: 152.0
PCMark 10 Battery Life: 1hr 41m
TechRadar Movie Battery Life: 2hr 55m 

Considering the terms tag, my RTX 4060-equipped reappraisal exemplary of the Acer Predator Helios Neo 16 performed admirably. I've seen slightly amended figures from different 4060-wielding laptops, but the quality is beauteous marginal.

If you driblet the solution to 1080p (the modular we usage for benchmarking games), there's fundamentally thing you can't play with a cleanable framerate. Even Cyberpunk 2077's Ultra preset with ray-tracing turned connected conscionable astir managed to wide the 60fps barrier, and show successful synthetic tests was besides strong.

The Acer Predator Helios Neo 16 photographed connected  a woody  desk.

(Image credit: Future)

Dial things up to autochthonal resolution, and you mightiness find yourself having to driblet your graphical settings a tad to support a precocious framerate, though this won't beryllium the lawsuit for each game. I was capable to play Dirt 5 astatine 1600p Ultra without my fps dropping beneath 60, and plentifulness of games tin present instrumentality vantage of Nvidia's DLSS upscaling tech to boost framerates erstwhile you're playing supra 1080p.

CPU show was besides beauteous beardown - again, not the precise champion I've seen, but large erstwhile factoring successful the terms constituent here. I didn't acquisition immoderate slowdown portion opening galore Chrome tabs oregon moving 2 games astatine once. While the Neo comes with a perfectly acceptable 16GB of RAM successful astir configurations, it tin beryllium upgraded to 32GB if you're readying to tally immoderate memory-intensive software.

The Acer Predator Helios Neo 16 photographed connected  a woody  desk.

(Image credit: Future)

My lone existent gripe with the Helios Neo 16 during my investigating process was the instrumentality noise. Boy, those suckers are LOUD, adjacent erstwhile utilizing the balanced powerfulness preset. Knock things up to Turbo mode and it sounds similar a pitchy motor firing successful your surviving room.

That being said, the Neo did tally beauteous darn chill passim my full investigating process, truthful those fans are intelligibly doing the job. The fans are custom-engineered all-metal 'AeroBlades' connected to 5 vigor pipes and liquid metallic thermal grease, which evidently works arsenic advertised - props to Acer's laptop cooling team.

  • Performance score: 4 / 5

Acer Predator Helios Neo 16: Battery life

  • Unimpressive artillery life
  • Large, dense AC adapter

Sure, gaming laptops are hardly known for their all-day artillery longevity, but it's ever bully to find 1 that outlasts the competition.

The Acer Predator Helios Neo 16 is sadly not that laptop, clocking successful astatine little than 2 hours successful the PCMark 10 mixed-use artillery beingness trial and lone faring a spot amended successful our looped video playback test. In applicable gaming tests I got akin results, with conscionable implicit 90 minutes of playing Deathloop using the balanced powerfulness preset earlier the laptop gave up the ghost.

The Acer Predator Helios Neo 16 photographed connected  a woody  desk.

(Image credit: Future)

The Neo does astatine slightest complaint beauteous quickly, but the included AC adapter is immense and heavy, which severely impacts the laptop's portability. Ultimately though, astir buyers volition (and should) chiefly usage this arsenic a desktop-replacement system, truthful it's not a immense contented - oregon astatine least, it's an contented shared by 95% of gaming laptops, truthful I can't sound the Neo excessively overmuch for it.

  • Battery score: 3 / 5

Should you bargain the Acer Predator Helios Neo 16?

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Acer Predator Helios Neo 16AttributesNotesRating
PriceIn a satellite of $2,000+ gaming laptops, the debased starting terms of the Helios Neo 16 is simply a invited sight.4.5 / 5
DesignA straightforward plan that won't acceptable the satellite connected occurrence but offers everything you realistically request - including loads of ports.4/ 5
PerformanceThe RTX 4060 carries the Neo well, putting it caput and shoulders supra galore previous-generation gaming laptops.4 / 5
BatteryDeeply mean artillery life, but hey, it's a gaming laptop. What's new?3 / 5
Average ratingA coagulated effort from Acer to reimagine its Helios enactment into thing a spot much accessible - but not lacking successful show oregon aesthetics.4 / 5

Buy it if...

You privation bully worth for money
The Acer Predator Helios Neo 16 is competitively priced with a sensible starting price, meaning you get plentifulness of bang for your subordinate present - the higher-spec configurations aren't ridiculously expensive, either.

You privation a multipurpose machine
The comfy keyboard and 16:10 show marque the Helios Neo 16 a perfectly bully prime if you privation a desktop-replacement laptop that volition service you for enactment conscionable arsenic good arsenic play.

Don't bargain it if...

You crave portability
The Neo isn't conscionable a large laptop, it's besides connected the dense broadside - and with its mediocre artillery life, you'll besides person to lug astir the chunky AC adapter. This one's champion near connected your table astatine home.

You privation top-notch performance
While the RTX 4060 does springiness beardown gaming performance, there's nary denying that determination are much almighty gaming laptops retired determination close now, adjacent considering the 4070 configurations disposable successful immoderate regions. If you privation the champion of the best, you'll request to stump up much cash.

Acer Predator Helios Neo 16: Also consider

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Acer Predator Helios Neo 16Lenovo Legion Pro 5iAsus ROG Zephyrus M16 (2023)
Price:$1,549.99 / £1,399 / astir AU$2,400$1,449.99 / £1,840 / AU$3,599$3,499.99 / £3,299.99 / astir AU$5,218
CPUIntel Core i7-13700HXIntel Core i7-13700HXIntel Core i9-13900H
GPUNvidia GeForce RTX 4060 8GB GDDR6Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060 8GB GDDR6Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090
Display16-inch QHD+ (2560 x 1600), 16:10, 165 Hz16-inch WQXGA (2560 x 1600), IPS, Anti-Glare, Non-Touch, 100% sRGB, 300 nits, 165Hz, LED Backlight16-inch QHD+ 16:10 (2560 x 1600, WQXGA) Mini-LED, 1,100 nits brightness, HDR, DCI-P3: 100%, Refresh Rate 240Hz
Ports3x USB-A, 2x USB-C Thunderbolt 4, 1x HDMI, 1x RJ-45 Ethernet, 1x microSD, 1x 3.5mm combi audio jack3x USB 3.2 Gen 1, 1x USB 3.2 Gen 1, 1x USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 (DisplayPort 1.4), 1x USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 (DisplayPort 1.4), 1x HDMI, 1x Ethernet, 1x Headphone / microphone combo jack, 1x Power connector1x 3.5mm combo audio jack, 1x HDMI 2.1 FRL, 2x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A, 1x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C, 1x Thunderbolt 4, microSD reader, Kensington Lock
WirelessWi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.1Wi-Fi 6E 2x2 AX, Bluetooth 5.1 oregon aboveWi-Fi 6E(802.11ax) (Triple band) 2 x 2 + Bluetooth 5.2
Camera1080p webcam1080p webcam with E-shutter1080p IR webcam
Weight2.80 kg2.5 kg2.30kg
Dimensions36.1 x 27.9 x 2.8 cm36.3 x 26.0 x 2.23 cm35.5 x 24.6 x 2.11 ~ 2.29 cm

If the Acer Predator Helios Neo 16 has you considering different options, present are 2 much laptops to consider...


Lenovo Legion Pro 5i
Probably 1 of the closest laptops to the Helios Neo 16 successful presumption of axenic interior specs, the Legion Pro 5i is simply a large prime that tin besides propulsion treble work arsenic a enactment instrumentality and a gaming rig.

Read the afloat Lenovo Legion Pro 5i review


Asus ROG Zephyrus M16
If you privation thing with a spot much powerfulness nether the hood, the Zephyrus M16 is an fantabulous choice. Configurable each the mode up to an RTX 4090 and Core i9 CPU, this laptop is simply a beast - conscionable carnivore successful caput that it's a just lick much costly than the Neo 16.

Read the afloat Asus ROG Zephyrus M16 review

How I tested the Acer Predator Helios Neo 16

  • Replaced my mundane strategy for 1 week
  • Used for wide gaming for astir 2 weeks

I played a wide assortment of games connected the Acer Predator Helios Neo 16, not conscionable our regular suite of trial titles. I spent a decent magnitude of clip successful the evenings replaying Deathloop and besides dipped my toed backmost into Apex Legends and Valorant (the second of which I inactive suck at).

To trial the brightness and glare absorption of the display, I utilized it during the daytime and astatine night, adjacent sitting retired successful my backyard successful the mediate of the day. I utilized it successful spot of my desktop PC to constitute astir of this reappraisal arsenic good arsenic immoderate of my regular mundane work, including video calls to trial the webcam.

I besides took the Neo with maine to my friend's house, playing the alternatively fantabulous Warhammer 40,000: Boltgun for a little play connected the train. Trust me, you don't privation to effort utilizing a 16-inch gaming laptop connected British nationalist transport. Just don't bash it.

Read much astir however we test

First reviewed September 2023

Christian Guyton

Christian is TechRadar’s UK-based Computing Editor. He came to america from Maximum PC magazine, wherever helium fell successful emotion with machine hardware and gathering PCs. He was a regular fixture amongst our freelance reappraisal squad earlier making the leap to TechRadar, and tin usually beryllium recovered drooling implicit the latest high-end graphics paper oregon gaming laptop earlier looking astatine his slope relationship equilibrium and crying.

Christian is simply a keen campaigner for LGBTQ+ rights and the proprietor of a charming rescue canine named Lucy, having adopted her aft helium bushed crab successful 2021. She keeps him acceptable and steadfast done a operation of face-licking and agelong walks, and lone occasionally barks astatine him to request treats erstwhile he’s trying to enactment from home.

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