There are a lot of companies out there that make some impressive gaming laptops. But oftentimes I find them more gimmicky. But not when they first announced this. This legitimately looked like something that I would want to test out. And it looked like something that could be useful. So this is the Acer helios 700.
It has what they call the hyper drift keyboard. And it is what makes this laptop special. This keyboard can shift down and the purpose of it is twofold. One it sets it up into a more comfortable typing position. So your hands have this built-in wrist rest for when you’re playing games or typing. And it also opens up the performance capabilities of this device. It improves it to a significant degree. It makes it both fast and furious.
Now when you open and close this keyboard or like when you shift it up and down. When you shift it back up it doesn’t make a sound. But when you pull it down it puts out that techy, kind of spaceship sound.
Does this work does this keyword do what it’s supposed to do? It does it does
The keyboard experience itself when you use this laptop with the keyboard shifted up. The keyboard positioning isn’t super comfortable it’s a relatively thick machine. So your hand is just rested upon this device.
When you bring this thing down it’s super comfortable. I would consider this to be the most comfortable gaming laptop keyboard that I’ve ever used. So normally when you play on any gaming laptop the edge of the device. Where you rest your wrist does dig into your wrist a little bit over time.
It’s not something that’s super annoying but it does happen on every single laptop out there. Unless you have some kind of third-party wrist rest. This has a built-in and it just makes the whole gaming or typing experience nice.
The trackpad, however, is not in a good spot when it’s shifted down. I don’t know what it is exactly like physiologically but there’s just a weird angle that the trackpad is now at. It’s not a particularly comfortable position.
The keys also have backlighting they’re all individually lit. So if you want to go into the software and customize it like crazy you can. There are also macro keys if you’re into that but the WASD keys also have an alternative set of keycaps that they include. They don’t only serve as an aesthetic change they obviously, look different but they also have a different mechanism in terms of how they spring back up.
The keys that are built into the keyboard like the default ones those use a rubber dome to spring it up and down. These use a metal spring and they feel a little bit different when they’re installed. It’s a little bit more responsive and the keys are slightly higher than the stock keycaps. But the typing experience, on the whole, is really good.
I think most people will enjoy this keyboard quite readily.
Now the reason why it’s so thick is that it’s a super-powerful gaming laptop. This has the fastest CPU available in the market. It also has the fastest mobile GPU on the market as well. It’s an 8 core i9 9980 it overclocks, well it can hit 5 gigahertz. And the GPU is an RTX 2080 so you do need something thick to cool it properly.
Now the other thing that this shifting keyboard does, this whole hyper drift mechanism is that it opens up the airflow for the internals now. When you slide this thing down you can see a cool window into the heat pipes. But you also have these two fans on the left and right that are very powerful and push a ridiculous amount of air through the system.
It’s a little weird to see this kind of airflow on a gaming laptop. But remember they’re cooling something very powerful, very hot and by shifting the keyboard down like this. And opening up the airflow like the air pathway allows it to cool it very effectively.
These fans however when you put it on turbo are super loud. Now you don’t have to run a turbo. When it’s opened up like this. You can run it on default mode and it’s not super loud. Even when you’re playing games on default mode. But if you turbo it’s super loud it pushes a crazy amount of air but you get some crazy performance that you just cannot get on a laptop otherwise.
Both the CPU and the GPU overclockable and software and when you do like when you crank everything up to the max. And you let the fans rip this thing has very similar performance to a desktop running RTX 2080. It’s just a really powerful system.
Now if you want to run this device in turbo mode for the best possible performance then. I highly recommend getting headphones to plugin. Because the fans are so loud like you got to crank everything to be able to hear on top of these fans.
The screen’s a 17-inch panel I do wish they had gone with a bigger panel like there’s space on the bottom and sides for a larger panel. The bezels are quite large on this device the panel itself is good. It’s a high-end gaming panel 144 hertz. Bright, color-accurate there’s nothing I have to complain about the actual image quality. It’s just that the bezels are thick.
There’s a good number of ports around this device. It does not have an sd card slot but basically, everything else is there.
Battery life is short, I mean you expect it to be short on a device like this. It’s around a two-hour battery and the ac adapter is pretty large.
Now the speakers they’re located on the front. There’s two on the front and two right below the screen. It’s a nice sound system but keep in mind that regardless of how nice the speakers are. If you have turbo mode enabled it’s not going to happen. You need headphones.
Now my thoughts on this machine. There are like I said in the beginning, a lot of companies that make gimmicky stuff in the gaming laptop industry. This does not feel like that to me. It’s a big machine it’s very powerful but it feels like legitimately useful for certain users.
If you’re someone who values high CPU clock speed and you just want all eight cores at full bore. This is one of the machines that can do it and the hyper drift keyboard like its unique. This is the only device in the world with that type of keyboard right now.