We tested and compared the Alienware 51m versus Acer Predator Helios 700 in terms of Gaming Performance, Price, Display Quality, Battery Life, Portability and more.
Above you can see the Ranking with the results and below you will find the in-depth tests of the two Gaming Laptops.
Ranking First: Alienware Area 51m
- Outstanding Gaming performance
- Brilliant 144Hz gaming display
- First class equipment
- More expensive than Predator Helios 700
We have tested the Alienware Area-51m for you. A high-end gaming notebook with a lot of power in the background. We can already see that in the CPU used.
No mobile 45 W processor, but a full-fledged one, as it is found in desktop computers for example. The special thing about it: Two power supplies are necessary for full performance.
Alienware is known for extraordinary designs, which has always been the hallmark of the manufacturer. And the 51m is no different, of course. A clunky design has to be enough with such a performance, there has to be enough room for two power supplies.
But also here the design was stylistically applied. The end is completely surrounded by an LED ring. Another special feature is the touchpad illuminated with LEDs. Alienware can also convince with the matt color, no fingerprints are visible on it.
The magnesium alloy makes the 51m even more high-quality and noble – at least in terms of looks. The case has to be able to withstand quite a bit, especially due to the massive construction.
Among other things, it is very torsionally stiff, perfect for transport. But also the materials used ensure that the palm rest, for example, does not give way. We tried with more force than usual to make it yield a bit – no chance.
It is also important that the display hinges are of high quality. Nobody wants to have a wobbly display, nor does anyone want to hear a squeak when opening or closing the notebook, especially at such a price. But of course you play it safe here.
The display is available in different versions. Each in 17.3 inch with 60 or 144 Hz as well as with or without G-SYNC. Our configuration has 144 Hz without G-SYNC.
However, this configuration offers a bonus, Tobii Eye Tracking is offered. For RTX 2080 systems, 144 Hz definitely makes sense.
The matt surface fits perfectly into the lid and there is hardly any display edge. Because of the fast response time (black to white and gray to gray) there are no problems with ghosting. The brightness is comparable to other displays from the gaming notebook sector and is at 300 cd/m².
Alienware has always offered a lot of configuration options and the Area-51m is no different. There are three processors to choose from, two i7 and one i9 CPU (i7-8700 and -9700K and i9-9900K), powered by the Z370 chipset. The RAM has at least 8 GB built-in, up to 64 GB.
The choice of storage is also considerable, and there must be quite a lot of space in the case. Up to three storage units are possible. From hybrid hard disks to PCIe m.2 SSDs and Intel’s Optane memory. Various RAID configurations can also be used.
All new RTX models up to the RTX 2080 with 8 GB graphics memory can be installed. This was also installed in our test device besides the i9-9900K and 32 GB RAM. Besides the components, the Area-51m also offers a lot of connections.
Although the notebook has an exchangeable graphic card, a proprietary graphic amplifier port is also available. If you want to have even more power?
A Thunderbolt port is of course also present, which also supports DisplayPort. There are also three USB 3.1 ports, one of which still supports PowerShare. For even more displays there is an HDMI 2.0 and a Mini DisplayPort 1.4 connector. The RJ-45 network port supports 2.5 Gbps.
The Killer 1550 network module also contributes to the connectivity. It provides a good WLAN connection and also offers Bluetooth 5.0. 1.73 Gbps is theoretically possible with it.
We haven’t explicitly tested for this, but this value was achieved under laboratory conditions.
Keyboard and Touchpad
The Alienware Area-51m uses a slanted, non-mechanical keyboard. In return, however, many macro keys and a number pad in normal size are included. In comparison to the opto-mechanical switches of XMG’s NEO 15, which we tested, the larger stroke length is clearly noticeable.
On the other hand, it has a good feedback and also offers a very good typing feel. So it doesn’t always have to be mechanical keys.
We’ve already briefly talked about the illuminated touchpad. Like everything else that concerns the illumination, it is configured via AlienFX. The touchpad doesn’t turn out unbelievably large with 10 x 5.5 cm, but the dedicated mouse keys don’t count to the size.
They allow more precise clicks and a clear feedback. Otherwise, the touchpad reacts quickly and the fingers glide well over the smooth surface.
On such a notebook, the mouse pad is probably only used as a short mouse replacement anyway, in order to be able to continue playing properly.
With AlienFX, the Alienware Area-51m can be configured in many ways. The keyboard can be freely customised, as can the entire lighting. On the home page we see our library of installed games that the software has recognized. In the FX tab, we can customize the keyboard including the color.
The Fusion section is probably the most interesting. Overclocking should be possible for everyone. In the software we can also see the temperatures, the load as well as voltage or clock rate.
It’s also interesting that overclocking can be put into profiles. So if you start a game and have one of these profiles, overclocking will be done automatically. But for the tests we worked without these profiles.
Besides AlienFX, the software to configure the Area-51m, there is a lot more software on the device.
For example Alienware Mobile Connect, to connect your smartphone to the Alienware Area-51m. Or extra software for configuring the touchpad, which is at least apparently a bit older.
Alienware builds much of the high-priced hardware in the Area-51m, which is also used in desktop PCs. That’s why two power supplies are built in. Both power supplies must be connected to get the full performance.
That’s why we did two tests – with one and with two power supplies. In the benchmarks there are strong advantages with two power supplies compared to the smaller notebooks we have already tested. Current games on highest resolution, as well as video and photo editing are absolutely no problem for the notebook. This was also to be expected.
A PCIe-m.2 SSD is built into our configuration. Every other configuration has at least one hybrid hard disk installed. So the data grab always delivers performance, no matter which hard disk is installed. The best results are of course achieved with an SSD.
With two connected power supplies, current games are no problem for the Alienware Area-51m. Unfortunately, at the time of the test there was no game available that “officially” supported raytracing. But the new Star Wars offshoot also looked simply wonderful.
The Alienware Area-51m has many and large ventilation inlets and outlets. In addition, there is the free space inside the case, plus the built-in fans. We could feel the warmth through the wrist-rest well during gaming; you certainly won’t get cold hands on the notebook. Most of the heat develops in the rear part, where there are no controls.
Apart from the superficial temperature, which we can’t measure exactly, the temperature of the individual components is of course also interesting. We test the i9-9900K with Prime95 and see if the clock rate can be maintained. According to HWMonitor, the temperature hangs at 95-100°C after about 45 seconds, then the CPU also starts to clock down so that it doesn’t rise any further.
The graphics card and the CPU do not share a cooling solution (e.g. common heat pipes) as it is common in other notebooks, but each has its own. We just can’t bring the RTX 2080 to its temperature limit with games, but it is an average of 83°C. Quite good rates for a limited space.
In such a calculating machine, the battery life is rather to be considered with low significance, but we do not want to forget it. We had a battery life of 2.3 hours in normal idle mode, including standard brightness. If we shut everything down, it is 2.7 hours after all. A full battery charge takes 2 hours. We can’t notice a difference in the charging speed when two power supplies are used.
The Alienware Area-51m is a really thick device and has a proud price tag. However, Alienware bangs desktop hardware into a mobile case including a good display, even if the contrast ratio isn’t perfect.
Of course, there is the typical striking Alienware design on top. And the Area-51m is also available in smaller configurations that don’t cost a new compact car.
All in all the Alienware Area 51m is ranking first versus Acer Predator Helios 700, it is one of the best high end gaming Laptops you can get right now, which shows in its’ price.
Ranking Second: Acer Predator Helios 700
- Great Gaming Performance
- Cheaper Price than Alienware Area 51m
- Smart cooling System
- Under full load quite loud
A very interesting gaming laptop is the Acer Predator Helios 700 in the test.
The main feature of this 17 inch notebook is the Hyber Drift keyboard, which can be pulled down.
On the one hand, this clearly increases the ease of use because the palms of the hands have a resting area, which is a real ergonomic plus point for tall laptops. Furthermore, this increases the performance of the mobile computer, as the fans on the top side can work more.
We are looking at a strong model in the high-end class with the Predator Helios 700 PH717-71-95Q9. It has a Core i9 9980HK from Intel with eight cores and a boost up to 5 GHz.
The graphics card, a Geforce RTX 2080, comes with an 8 GB video memory. The performance is then complemented with a 32 GB RAM memory.
Two fast PCIe SSD hard drives, each with 512 GB, provide 1 terabyte of storage space for your game collection. In addition to the sophisticated gaming keyboard, the Predator Helios also offers a 17-inch Full-HD display with 144 Hz refresh rate.
Modern connections are sufficiently available and the design makes the gamer’s heart beat faster. More about this in the review.
A CPU for the gaming performance that is optimal for demanding gamers and complex tasks. This 9th generation Octa-Core processor works with its eight cores from 2.4 GHz in the base frequency.
The Intel Core i9-9980HK has a 16 MB cache and processes 16 threads simultaneously thanks to Hyper-Threading. The maximum is up to 5 GHz as turbo clock frequency.
The mobile version of the NVIDIA Geforce RTX 2080 is here on board. Thus, not only is there high performance with 8 GB video memory, but games in virtual reality are also available here.
Two modules with a total of 32 GB DDR4 RAM are installed as main memory. This dual-channel memory of the Predator Helios 700 can be expanded to up to 64 GB RAM if required.
A total memory of 1 Terabyte offers you enough memory for a large game collection. This consists of two 512 GB SSD hard drives with PCIe interface, which allows very fast loading times.
Overclocking and Cooling
By pulling down the keyboard, the fans on the upper side are cleared. This provides the cooling of the system, which can be further increased by pressing the “Turbo” key.
If the system is equipped with an RTX 2080 graphics card for ventilation and overclocking (software available), the performance comes up to the level of a desktop PC with an RTX 2080 as graphics card.
A 17 inch Full-HD display with a brightness of 290 nits and a 96% color fidelity is installed.
The IPS display achieves a refresh rate of 144 Hz. To avoid reflections, the surface is matt.
Two speakers are mounted on the front underside of the laptop and in the display frame under the display. The sound thus comes straight at you, which is great. If you play with the cooling on turbo, you can put on headphones, as the loudspeakers won’t do any good there either.
The second point about the Hyper-Drift keyboard is the optimized cooling and an even more extreme gaming look.
Writing and playing with the Acer Predator Helios 700 is already laborious in “normal mode”, i.e. without the keyboard being pushed out, due to its height of about 4.1 cm. If you put the ball of your thumb down here, you’ll feel the big difference in height.
The reason for this construction is obviously the enormous performance of the laptop, as the fastest CPU and the fastest graphic card for laptops that are currently on the market are built in. You need a thick computer to cool the components properly.
With large gaming laptops I have always criticized the high construction. The palms of the hands bend too much and a long game without an extra keyboard becomes a torture for the joints.
Although the manufacturers have lowered the overall height and thus made the devices more handy and the operation more pleasant, but none of them comes close to the characteristics of the Helios 700.
The keyboard already makes a special sound when pulled out, which reminds a bit of a spaceship. So we have arrived in the future.
Normally, the edge is always annoying in all notebooks, as the pads bend here and the edge is also partly sharp. This is not a big deal in flat laptops, but it’s not only gaming laptops that have this problem.
Hence a great design due to the pleasant handling, which makes an additional keyboard unnecessary.
The touchpad is in an unusual position, but we’ll play with a real mouse anyway.
An RGB keyboard illumination with individual adjustability is of course also present in the Acer Predator Helios 700 PH717-71-95Q9. Macro keys are also available if required.
The WASD keys have exchangeable keys, which not only have a visual effect, but also a different pressure point.
The Robberdom keys have a lower pressure point, the customizable WASD keys have a built-in spring, which gives more room for maneuver.
The resistance is higher with these blue keys and they are also a bit higher. Overall, the keyboard is very good, both for playing games and writing.
If we push the keyboard down, two vents appear on the sides. A lot of air is chased through the system with this in order to be able to properly cool the high performance of the 17 inch gaming laptop.
If you want to experience the full performance, you can bring the fans to full power with the “Turbo” button. But then it also becomes very loud. In normal operation, without this turbo ventilation, the Helios 700 works at a comfortable level, but that doesn’t mean it’s too loud.
The test shows the difference from the normal operating volume of 46.5 dB to 66 dB due to the additional cooling. It does get very loud, but you get the extra power this way on another laptop.
There are many connections, only an SD card reader is not available. From my point of view it’s a pity, because I like to take pictures with my camera and then put the SD card into the PC, but the majority uses the smartphone anyway.
Also an optical drive for DVDs and/or Blurays is not available. Here, too, the trend is clearly away from the DVD drive. We need the space in the Acer Predator Helios 700 PH717-71-95Q9 for cooling and all high-end components.
We get three USB 3.0 interfaces here, twice the type-C USB 3.1 Gen.2 standard including Thunderbolt 3 as well as LAN. Monitors can be connected via the HDMI port and the DisplayPort.
Wireless accesses are AC-WLAN and Bluetooth 5.0.
Thick computer with a lot of power – there is not much left for the battery life.
On average you get 2 hours, 3 hours at maximum if we don’t use the system to full capacity.
There is also a lot to carry. Starting with the large power supply, which is already very large. The size is also necessary to supply the laptop with enough power.
The Gaming Laptop brings about 9.92 lbs on the scale. The overall height is about 4.2 cm.
Not only from the performance more desktop PC than laptop, but also from the dimensions.
Lighter is for example the Acer Predator Helios 300 PH317-53-79S0, although this model is also “weaker”.
Verdict & Performance
The Acer Predator Helios 700 is a very fast gaming Laptop with a real power package on offer and a sophisticated ventilation.
Thanks to the keyboard, even long gaming sessions are possible without an additional keyboard.
Moreover, the whole design brings a WOW character with it, which you would wish for in a mobile computer of this category.
With the Acer Predator Helios 700, the manufacturer has already shown that it thinks ahead and wants to stir up the gaming sector. A 4K gaming convertible is already a clear statement.
For some, the price will be a reason not to buy the laptop, although it doesn’t seem overpriced.
Only the mobile characteristics with weight and battery life speak against the notebook, but that’s due to the hardware, which is why the Acer Predator Helios 700 is ranking second behind vs Alienware Area 51m.
Its still a great High performance gaming Laptop & quite a bit cheaper than the Alienware Area 51m, so if you can’t afford the Are 51m, the Acer Predator Helios 700 still would be a great choice for high-end VR / 4K gaming.