Without a new generation of NVIDIA GPUs to accommodate, this year at CES 2024 in Las Vegas, laptop manufacturers have been forced to come up with other ways of getting attention. Some OEMs have opted for complete redesigns while others have introduced smaller (and super light) versions of existing models. But on the 2024 Predator Helios 18, Acer has opted for the flashiest method yet, featuring a captivating new hinge along with updated specs.
Compared to last year’s model, the outside of the Helios 18 doesn’t look that much different. It features a familiar matte black chassis and, at 7.17 pounds and 1.14 inches thick, it’s about the same size and weight as well. But then you get to the back where its new hinge is waiting to dazzle you with a seemingly endless series of RGB lights to gawk at. It’s a cool effect that Acer has dubbed the Infinity Mirror lighting bar, and while I’m not sure that alone would cause me to buy one, it’s certainly fun to stare into. All hail the hypno hinge.

Aside from that, the other new design change is the introduction of Acer’s MagKey 3.0 on the Helios 18’s WASD buttons, which allows you to swap not only the keycaps but also the mechanical switches beneath for a truly customized gaming experience. The laptop will come with two extra sets of keycaps and switches in the box. I just wish Acer allowed owners to swap out every key and keycap instead of just WASD. Unfortunately, because I only saw a pre-production model, I didn’t have the chance to try it myself.
Photo by Sam Rutherford/Engadget
Inside, the Helios 18 has been refreshed with an Intel Core i9-14900X CPU and support for up to 32GB of RAM, 4TB of storage and NVIDIA RTX 4090 graphics. Meanwhile, to keep its operating temps in check, Acer has upgraded to 5th-gen Aeroblade 3D fans and switched to liquid metal thermal grease for improved heat conductivity. And as you’d expect on a system this big and starts at $2,000, the Helios 18 has great connectivity including Wi-Fi 7 and tons of ports (full-size HDMI 2.1, Ethernet, microSD, dual USB-C and more). The Helios 18’s display has also gotten some attention with the move to a 250Hz mini LED panel with a peak brightness of 1,000 nits and a gamut that covers 100 percent of DCI-P3.
And while I didn’t get to see it myself, if you don’t want a gaming laptop this big, there will also be a Predator Helios 16 that offers all the same specs (up to an RTX 4090) including a 90 Whr battery, but in a chassis that weighs 5.95 pounds and measures 1.05 inches thick.
Photo by Sam Rutherford/Engadget
But it doesn’t stop there because at CES 2024, Acer is announcing more budget-friendly Neo versions of the machines above. Also available with 16- and 18-inch screens, the Predator Helios Neo 18 and Predator Helios Neo 16 come with the same i9-14900X chip, but with a slightly slower 240Hz display and GPU options that cap out at an RTX 4070. Sadly, similar to the Predator Helios 18, the Helios Neo 16 I saw was a pre-production model and had some finishes and speaker grilles that didn’t match the rest of the system, though Acer says that will be fixed on retail models.
Regardless, Acer will have a bunch of updated 16 and 18-inch gaming laptops for you to consider no matter your budget.
Photo by Sam Rutherford/Engadget
The Predator Helios 16 will start at $1,900 and go on sale in January, followed by the Predator Helios 18 at $2,000, which will arrive sometime in March. Alternatively, the Predator Helios Neo 18 and Neo 16 will start at $1,550 and $1,500 respectively, with both officially launching in March.
Update 1/8/2024 6:00 PM ET: This post has been updated with hands-on video.
We’re reporting live from CES 2024 in Las Vegas from January 6-12. Keep up with all the latest news from the show here.This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/the-acer-predator-helios-18-has-the-most-mesmerizing-hinge-on-a-laptop-at-ces-2024-230045775.html?src=rss

Without a new generation of NVIDIA GPUs to accommodate, this year at CES 2024 in Las Vegas, laptop manufacturers have been forced to come up with other ways of getting attention. Some OEMs have opted for complete redesigns while others have introduced smaller (and super light) versions of existing models. But on the 2024 Predator Helios 18, Acer has opted for the flashiest method yet, featuring a captivating new hinge along with updated specs.

Compared to last year’s model, the outside of the Helios 18 doesn’t look that much different. It features a familiar matte black chassis and, at 7.17 pounds and 1.14 inches thick, it’s about the same size and weight as well. But then you get to the back where its new hinge is waiting to dazzle you with a seemingly endless series of RGB lights to gawk at. It’s a cool effect that Acer has dubbed the Infinity Mirror lighting bar, and while I’m not sure that alone would cause me to buy one, it’s certainly fun to stare into. All hail the hypno hinge.

Aside from that, the other new design change is the introduction of Acer’s MagKey 3.0 on the Helios 18’s WASD buttons, which allows you to swap not only the keycaps but also the mechanical switches beneath for a truly customized gaming experience. The laptop will come with two extra sets of keycaps and switches in the box. I just wish Acer allowed owners to swap out every key and keycap instead of just WASD. Unfortunately, because I only saw a pre-production model, I didn’t have the chance to try it myself.

Photo by Sam Rutherford/Engadget

Inside, the Helios 18 has been refreshed with an Intel Core i9-14900X CPU and support for up to 32GB of RAM, 4TB of storage and NVIDIA RTX 4090 graphics. Meanwhile, to keep its operating temps in check, Acer has upgraded to 5th-gen Aeroblade 3D fans and switched to liquid metal thermal grease for improved heat conductivity. And as you’d expect on a system this big and starts at $2,000, the Helios 18 has great connectivity including Wi-Fi 7 and tons of ports (full-size HDMI 2.1, Ethernet, microSD, dual USB-C and more). The Helios 18’s display has also gotten some attention with the move to a 250Hz mini LED panel with a peak brightness of 1,000 nits and a gamut that covers 100 percent of DCI-P3.

And while I didn’t get to see it myself, if you don’t want a gaming laptop this big, there will also be a Predator Helios 16 that offers all the same specs (up to an RTX 4090) including a 90 Whr battery, but in a chassis that weighs 5.95 pounds and measures 1.05 inches thick.

Photo by Sam Rutherford/Engadget

But it doesn’t stop there because at CES 2024, Acer is announcing more budget-friendly Neo versions of the machines above. Also available with 16- and 18-inch screens, the Predator Helios Neo 18 and Predator Helios Neo 16 come with the same i9-14900X chip, but with a slightly slower 240Hz display and GPU options that cap out at an RTX 4070. Sadly, similar to the Predator Helios 18, the Helios Neo 16 I saw was a pre-production model and had some finishes and speaker grilles that didn’t match the rest of the system, though Acer says that will be fixed on retail models.

Regardless, Acer will have a bunch of updated 16 and 18-inch gaming laptops for you to consider no matter your budget.

Photo by Sam Rutherford/Engadget

The Predator Helios 16 will start at $1,900 and go on sale in January, followed by the Predator Helios 18 at $2,000, which will arrive sometime in March. Alternatively, the Predator Helios Neo 18 and Neo 16 will start at $1,550 and $1,500 respectively, with both officially launching in March.

Update 1/8/2024 6:00 PM ET: This post has been updated with hands-on video.

We’re reporting live from CES 2024 in Las Vegas from January 6-12. Keep up with all the latest news from the show here.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/the-acer-predator-helios-18-has-the-most-mesmerizing-hinge-on-a-laptop-at-ces-2024-230045775.html?src=rss …Read More

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