Acer Predator Helios 18 reviewed: Desktop replacement with 1,000 nits display and RTX 4080
On top of its strong performance capabilities, the highlight of the Acer Predator Helios 18 is the MiniLED display with a peak brightness of 1000 nits. The panel is very bright in HDR mode, has a rich black and thus high contrast. If HDR remains deactivated, the panel achieves around 350 nits in SDR mode. It also covers the sRGB and DisplayP3 color spaces almost completely and is therefore also suitable for picture- and video editing.
We reviewed the smaller sister model with the RTX 4060 in July and gave it 90 points. The RTX 4080-equipped and even stronger Helios 18 does not quite reach the rating heights of its smaller sister model; this is because the increased performance also reveals the first relevant weaknesses of the Helios.
Of course, an RTX 4080 places very different demands on the cooling system than an RTX 4060 and the Predator is not completely convincing here, as it proves to be downright schizophrenic. For example, the palm rest feels almost uncomfortably cool after an hour of gamingwhile there is a hot spot on the bottom that is almost hotter than any of the competitors. Apparently, the extraordinarily loud fans in Turbo mode are quite effective, but the internal cooling system is not able to disperse the waste heat evenly.
Moreover, the Helios 18 inherits the biggest point of criticism from its sister model: the otherwise very fast Samsung SSD is subject to heavy throttling after very short periods of time. A cheaper model could have been used here, as the expensive SSD doesn't even come close to its potential.
Since the SSD problem may be possibly solved with a cooling pad and the erratic cooling system does not pose a real issue, these points of criticism are on the level of hairsplitting. It remains a very, very strong gaming laptop with a great display, good build quality, dual Thunderbolt 4 and other positive features. All of these and more can be found in our detailed review of the Acer Predator Helios 18.