Laptop gaming is always an interesting balance of performance, weight, and form factor. You want to have the fastest, most crisp graphics possible while also being able to take the laptop on a plane without risking a spinal injury trying to get your luggage into the overhead bins.
Acer’s updated Nitro and Predator lineup, while a little large, offer some pretty snappy performance with the Intel's new 14th gen chips and RTX 40-series GPUs without breaking your femurs if you rest them on your lap for even a moment as even the Helios Neo 18 is just 7.5lbs. They’re not ultrabooks, but they’re also not the Predator 21 X either.
So far, Acer has updated the Nitro 17, Predator Helios 18 and 16, and Predator Helios Neo 18 and 16 laptops to feature the new Intel Raptor Lake CPUs. Thanks to leaks in early November, we know that the i7-14700HX has competitive performance against the desktop i7-14700K, which is impressive for a laptop CPU.
We're on the scene in Las Vegas to check out the latest tech at this year's CES 2024 showcase. Be sure to tag along on our CES 2024 journey by following Laptop Mag on TikTok, Twitter/X, Instagram, Flipboard, and Facebook for the most up to date hands-on impressions and news coming from the convention floor.
CES 2024: Acer Nitro 17
The new Acer Nitro 17 will come with the latest Intel 14th Gen processors and NVIDIA RTX 40 series GPUs. As Acer’s lower-end gaming laptop, having processor options ranging from the Intel Core i5-14450HX to the i7-14700HX is pretty impressive performance for a budget price-point. The only real sacrifice in the Nitro 17 is the GPU, which caps out at the RTX 4060. Granted, if you don’t need to power a 4K display, the 4060 is still an absolute workhorse of a GPU.
Fittingly, the Nitro 17 features a 17-inch 165Hz QHD IPS display, so you won’t have to sacrifice much performance to run games at the max resolution. The 1440p panel is also a high enough resolution to avoid any CPU bottlenecking, so your gaming experience should be pretty smooth. And for any snags, the Nitro 17 does feature NVIDIA Advanced Optimus capabilities. The Nitro 17 can host up to 32GB of RAM and up to 2TB of SSD storage.
The Acer Nitro 17 (AN17-72) will be available in North America later this month, starting at $1,249.99 USD.
CES 2024: Acer Predator Helios 18 and 16
If you’ve got a bit more cash to spare, the updated Predator Helios 18 and 16 will offer dynamic RGB lighting effects on the Predator logos, an Infinity Mirror lighting bar on the back side, and customizable LED lights on the keyboard. They will also come with Acer’s patented MagKey 3.0 swappable mechanical keyboard switches and WiFi 7 support.
As for hardware configurations, the laptops will have processor options up to the Intel Core i9-14900HX and NVIDIA 40 series GPUs up to the 4090 on the Helios 18 and the 4080 on the Helios 16. The Helios 16 and 18 will also offer up to 32GB of RAM and up to 4TB of SSD storage. Both laptops support NVIDIA’s Advanced Optimus software and feature 250Hz WQXGA IPS display panels.
The Predator Helios 16 (PH16-72) will be available this month, starting at $1,899.99 USD while the Predator Helios 18 (PH18-72) will go on sale in March, starting at $1,999.99 USD.
CES 2024: Acer Helios Neo 18 and 16
Wrapping up Acer’s updated gaming line are the Helios Neo 18 and 16, which come in at more accessible price points than the Helios 16 and 18. The only major sacrifice is that the Helios Neo 18 and 16 can only support a GPU up to the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4070. Both laptops can be configured with the Intel Core i9-14900HX processor, and feature 240Hz WQXGA IPS displays.
Pitched for entry-level and casual esports players, the Helios Neo laptops also feature NVIDIA Advanced Optimus and G-Sync technology. They support up to 32GB of RAM and 2TB of SSD storage. The Helios Neo 18 laptops will also feature a hidden code on their anodized covers worldwide, the Neo 16 will feature a hidden code everywhere but the United States.
The Predator Helios Neo 18 (PHN18-71) will be launching in North America in March, starting at $1,549.99 USD. The Helios Neo 16 (PHN16-72) will also launch in March, starting at $1,499.99 USD.
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A former lab gremlin for Tom's Guide, Laptop Mag, Tom's Hardware, and Tech Radar; Madeline has escaped the labs to join Laptop Mag as a Staff Writer. With over a decade of experience writing about tech and gaming, she may actually know a thing or two. Sometimes. When she isn't writing about the latest laptops and AI software, Madeline likes to throw herself into the ocean as a PADI scuba diving instructor and underwater photography enthusiast.