The Acer Predator Helios 300 is a portable PC dedicated to the video game which has many advantages: a reasonable price (between 1000 and 1,500 euros in France according to the configurations), a patented AeroBlade cooling system with an ultrafine fan (blades are 0.1mm thick), a Nvidia GeForce 1060 graphics card and overclocking software.
For all that, we do not make it our reference model in terms of video games on a laptop. Its mid-metal plastic case does not emit a very qualitative impression and it does not overflow of features. Also be aware that overclocking software and Aeroblade cooling are only available on the 17-inch model. But it is still one of the most affordable portable gaming pc in this screen diagonal.
Game on big screen
A majority of the portable gaming PCs we tested this year were 15 inches for the reason that processors and graphics cards gain in power and energy efficiency, which allows to combine top performance and compact formats.
But the Helios 300 is there for those who want a big screen. It has an IPS panel that ensures a good viewing angle. The definition of 1.920×1.080 pixels is standard, but it offers the best compromise between performance and battery life. The matte finish of the screen is appreciable because it reduces reflections. On the other hand, it is not particularly bright.
The keyboard has a specific red backlight on the ZQSD buttons, but it is not possible to adjust the volume of the speakers in the lower part of the case. color and intensity as is the case on the models of Razer and other brands.
The connector consists of a port USB 3.0, two USB 2.0 ports, USB-C, Ethernet, HDMI, a headphone jack and an SD card reader. This may seem generous, but if you install a virtual reality helmet type Oculus Rift that only holds the 3 USB ports, you can not connect a mouse or a joystick unless you use a USB-C / USB-A adapter
In the middle of the melee
But the big question is how this Helios 300 behaves with video games. In a comparison with portable PCs equipped with chips Nvidia 1050, 1060, 1070 and 1080, it is placed in the middle, a little better than what we expected.
During our tests, the current games were fluid in maximum resolution. We also tested an Oculus Rift with Lone Echo and Superhot VR, again successfully. The overclocking software proposed by Acer is useful for extracting some extra performance from the GeForce 1060. But in practice we only earn a few frames per second.
The battery life is surprisingly good for a laptop with a screen of this size: 5:12 minutes to our endurance test (streaming video). Note however that the autonomy will be significantly less with video games.
Although the Helios 300 is affordable for a 17-inch laptop, we can find machines with equivalent performance with GeForce 1060 chips for less than 1,000 euros. There are also 17-inch gaming notebooks with a GeForce 1070 like the Omen 17 at HP.
That said, the Helios 300 offers a solid configuration with a Core i7-7700HQ, 8 GB of RAM, 128 GB of SSD and 1 TB of hard drive. Its AeroBlade cooling system is very efficient, it offers good performances on the games and a satisfactory autonomy. In short, it is an intermediate option, not affordable enough to make it a first rate game machine and not muscular enough to make it a high-flying system.
The video sharing site Vimeo said Tuesday that it will buy the service of streaming video Livestream and will launch a service of streaming own called Vimeo Live.
Vimeo, owned by IAC, did not disclose the financial details of the acquisition of the company based in Brooklyn, New York. Livestream points out that it provides live videos to 50 million viewers from customers like Spotify and Dow Jones. Once the purchase is closed, Livestream's technology will be integrated with Vimeo, which will allow users to capture and stream live events.
"With the launch of Vimeo Live and the addition of Livestream's impressive team and impressive product line, we can strengthen a diverse range of creators to produce beautiful live experiences with professionalism and ease," said CEO of Vimeo, Anjali Sud, said in a statement.
The purchase of Livestream enables a major expansion for Vimeo, usually known as YouTube for intellectuals.
Like the Google video site, Vimeo allows users to upload video clips. But his dedication to the high quality of image and the prohibition of ads in the videos made him the destination of content with artistic and cinematographic inclinations and not of videos of cats.
This news comes as Vimeo withdrew its plans to launch its own video subscription site with original content. The site said in November that it would help its creative community develop original content and supplement it with authoritative programming. Vimeo said in June that it had abandoned these plans.
It was known since the summer that the pioneer of the video game Atari expected to revive in the consoles market, but little was known about the Ataribox, his future machine. However, in an interview with VentureBeat, the creator of Ataribox, Feargal Mac Conuladh, revealed many interesting and intriguing details that now allow us to see more clearly.
Retro, but recent games too
Many questions remained, notably concerning the power of the console and the type of games that it can run. In this regard, Mac Conuladh said the Ataribox will be based on the Linux OS, which will include a custom AMD processor and a Radeon graphics chip. It will thus be possible to play classical titles of Atari such as Pong, Asteroids or Centipede, but also PC games of other publishers (especially independent) more resource-intensive.
Concretely, the Ataribox will be level of a mid-range computer, so it will have its limits and will not be able to run from "Triple A" says VentureBeat. Besides games, the console will also support streaming, it will have an Internet browser and can launch music or applications.
An open machine
Surprisingly, the Ataribox will be an open machine: "Ataribox is an open system, and although the interface will be easy to use, the freedom to access and customize its operating system "explains its creator. If one understands well the idea of offering the flexibility of a PC in a console of living room, this one leaves us a little perplexed.
How does Atari intend to guarantee the security of the system while leaving users the freedom to modify it at will? Other players such as Sony or Nintendo have a hard time preventing hackers from hacking their machines (or their online platforms), even though they are closed systems. How, in such conditions, can we guarantee the security of a payment, for example? Also, how to convince the developers to design games for the Ataribox if it is as simple as hello to crack the console to make him read titles downloaded illegally?
A release in the spring of 2018
Anyway, the Ataribox will be released in the spring of 2018 and will be sold at a price between 250 and 300 dollars, announces Mac Conuladh. Meanwhile, Atari will launch a participatory fundraising campaign on the Indiegogo platform, which will allow "to hire as many fans of Atari as possible" he concludes.