Gaming laptops are the latest trend for the notebook market, and every company is producing one. Despite meant only for a particular niche and lying on the expensive side of the laptop lane, it has found numerous buyers.
Companies are, therefore, putting a lot of effort into not just improving their quality and performance, but also handling the price well so that new gamers or the ones running on a budget can also purchase one.
However, even a budget-friendly gaming notebook can easily cost you around $1000, so it’s always good to research thoroughly before investing your money into it.
Dell and Acer both are running at the top of their games and bringing people uncompromising gaming notebooks filled with great features on a budget.
Dell Inspiron 7577 and Acer Helios 300 are some of the most bought entry-level gaming laptops.
Both the laptops fall right on their design, performance, as well as have great graphics card configurations to back them up. However, if you’re looking to buy a new one and can’t decide whether to go for the former or latter, this review will help you figure that out.
The Dell Inspiron 7577 laptop comes with two options for its processors. One is the quad-core Intel Core i5-7300HQ, and the other one is the quad-core Intel Core i7-7700HQ.
It comes with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q graphic card with a 6 GB VRAM and an 8 GB RAM (expandable up to 32 GB).
The dimensions of the laptop are 0.98×15.31×10.81 inches, and it weighs at 6.05 pounds. The screen offered stands at 15.6 inches, and it carries a 56 Wh Lithium-Polymer battery.
The Acer Helios 300 consists of a quad-core Intel Core i7-7700HQ processor along with the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card.
You have a 6 GB VRAM, and the RAM stands at 16 GB which is expandable up to 32 GB. The laptop offers its 15-inch as well as 17-inch versions and the dimensions of the 17-inch one stand at 1.14×17.01×11.42 inches.
The display is a good 17 inches, and the weight of the laptop is about 6.34 pounds. It comes with a 48 Wh and 3200 mAh Lithium-Polymer 4 cells battery.
Build and Design
The Dell Inspiron 7577 has a better build as compared to its previous model with revamped chassis. The weight, at 6 pounds, remains as much as the previous one.
The vents too, like the previous model, have been set at the rear end along with the sharp corners.
However, the laptop comes in with a hard keyboard placed on the chassis and has a secure center-hinged lid for it. But the lid may make a slight creaking sound during opening and closing.
Set at 15.3×10.8×0.98, the display screen falls at 15.6 inches and can rotate up to 140 degrees.
The screen though isn’t aligned with the inner bezel of the lid. Despite the overall excellent build quality of the product, the laptop’s design falls on the heavier side and may use some improvements on its display.
The laptop is black with red detailing on its lid and the touchpad. This one too has vents at the rear end but has softer edges as compared to Dell.
The laptop stands at 1.14×17.01×11.42 inches with its 17.inch display screen which is well-protected by the panel under any pressure.
The laptop weighs around 6.3 pounds which is lighter than its previous versions but heavier when compared with the Dell one.
However, the 15-inch version of the laptop weight 5.9 pounds, lighter as compared to the Dell one. Overall, Acer has a stable build for a gaming laptop but can get dirty quickly due to its black design.
Both the laptops have adopted a black and red color scheme to give it a game-like feel.
However, Acer has a better design as compared to the Dell laptop, has two versions for its display screen, and is also lighter as compared to other gaming laptops.
As a result, it fares better in comparison with Dell in this area.
Screen and Display
The Acer Helios 300 comes with a 15-inch (or 17-inch) full HD IPS display by LG. The brand does not offer a 4K display, but the matte display serves well on brightness nonetheless. The light spreads at about 93%, but the black screen does show some signs of clouding.
The image quality, however, stays good with a color space coverage of 86 percent on the sRGB standards and 56 percent on the Adobe RGB standards and thus, is good for gaming. The matte screen also helps with using the laptop outdoors and avoids any reflections. The brightness is high enough to be used even under sunlight.
On the other hand, Dell Inspiron 7577 also has a matte full HD FHD IPS display panel. Unlike Acer, the brand offers another option of a 4K UHS IPS panel. Thus, the color display is entirely accurate on the screen but does not match due to the less intensity of the backlight.
The screen fares at 91% for the brightness levels. The color space coverage stands at 55 percent on the sRGB standards and 35 percent on the Adobe RGB standards. Thus, it doesn’t fare well for gaming as well as browsing.
The lesser brightness and the lower intensity of the backlight also don’t help in much use during sunlight. However, the matte finish helps in avoiding any reflection.
Overall, it is easier to use the Acer Helios 300 laptop out in the sun as well as indoors for gaming. The brightness coverage of the screen is higher than Dell but doesn’t offer a 4K panel option like the latter.
However, the possibilities for a 15 inch or a 17-inch screen make up for that and hence, make Acer a better choice than Dell at this front.
Speakers and Sounds
Dell has eliminated the subwoofer from its previous Inspiron model and has compensated for its need with loudspeakers and treble.
However, the emphasis on the treble is a little too much and may reverberate the palm rests of the user at the highest volume. Dell Inspiron 7577 also offers a one-touch recording feature which is quite handy but produces a lot of background noise.
The noise can be accepted for video calling, conference calls, as well as office environment but doesn’t help when one needs to do some video editing. A separate software would be required to remove the noise from the video.
Acer Helios 300 has also eliminated the subwoofer from its speakers like the Dell notebook. But the laptop supports a one stereo sound system with the speakers at the bottom of the computer which makes for a muted sound.
You need to use the maximum volume to understand music and spoken word. Therefore, the speakers fall weak with their lack of bass as well as any Dolby audio capacity.
The Dell laptop undoubtedly produces louder speakers as compared to the Acer one despite the lack of a subwoofer. Thus, it is better than the Acer Helios 300 at the speakers and sounds department.
Keyboard and Touchpad
The Acer laptop comes with a Chiclet keyboard with full enough keys and short travel. The keyboard has primarily been designed to help gamers as the important navigation keys (W, A, S, D) have been highlighted with a different color altogether.
The keyboard stays in its position, and the keys neither rattle nor produces any sound while typing.
This feature along with the keyboard’s manual backlight is helpful for people who type a lot. You can turn the backlight on an off easily and thus, work under dim lights as well. The laptop also offers a quite large touchpad at 4.7×3.0 inches.
The surface is smooth and registers the click very quickly. The touchpad is sensitive enough even in the sides and corners and can register the clicks there as well.
The pad does respond with a click sound but isn’t loud enough to bother.
The Dell Inspiron 7577 comes with rigid keyboard fixes well into its chassis. The keys, however, do not give much regarding feedback.
The travel of the keyboard, at 1.4 mm is also very short as the keys aren’t wide enough for the usage. Apart from that, the keys rattle as well as make a lot of noise during typing and therefore, can be annoying.
The laptop doesn’t have an inbuilt backlight, and therefore, it is advised to ask for the optional one if you want to type under dim lights as well. The touchpad is slightly textured as compared to the Acer one but is very responsive to the touch. The touchpad comes in with integrated mouse keys that register a loud click.
Thus, Acer Helios 300 comes with a better keyboard and touchpad as compared to the Dell Inspiron 7577.
Performance and Benchmarks
The Acer Helios 300 is equipped with an Intel Core i7-7700HQ processor with a combination of Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060. The company also offers lower-end versions with Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 and Intel Core i5-7300HQ processor at lower rates.
However, the gaming experience is always better with the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card and can be played at the highest settings as well.
The VRAM offered for the graphics card lies at 6 GB along with a RAM of 16 GB that can be expanded up to 32 GB. The Intel Core i7-7700HQ processor works well even under a lot of pressure and doesn’t slow the system down at all.
The gaming performance runs very smooth even at the highest of configurations with the provided graphics card. However, if the laptop is connected to an external 4K display, the case may not be the same.
The Dell Inspiron 7577 also comes with two options for its processors, i.e., Intel Core i5-7300HQ and the Intel Core i7-7700HQ.
The RAM offered is lesser in comparison to Acer, 8 GB, but is also expandable to 32 GB. The best part about the laptop is the Graphics card which is the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q Optimus with a 6 GB VRAM.
The card offered is quite expensive and is mostly found in high-end gaming laptops, but Dell is providing the same on a budget.
The computer doesn’t lag even at maximum workload and runs smoothly. The gaming too is smooth and works fast even at the highest configurations.
Acer offers more RAM on the laptop with the same processor configurations, but Dell provides a higher end graphics card in the same price domain.
The Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q Optimus performs about 50 percent better as compared to the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 and about 15-20 percent better as compared to the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card.
Hence, Dell offers better performance at gaming as compared to the Acer Helios 300.
Heat and Noise
Dell Inspiron 7577 runs amazingly quiet for a gaming laptop. The 50 mm fans are fixed with two heat pipes between them and stay idle for the most time. Thus, the low loads or a light browsing period is almost silent and renders no noise at all.
However, during gaming or higher loads, the sound can jump up to 40 dB which is audible but isn’t disturbing during work or gaming.
The Acer Helios 300 too stays silent during the idle period or under low load. But the difference in noise at maximum capacity is around 50 dB, which is quite high and therefore, very disturbing as well.
The fans start emitting some sound even at the partial load which can be challenging to work with. Thus, Dell is a better choice when it comes to handling noise while gaming.
The hot spot of the Acer Helios 300 lies at the base of the laptop whereas the one of the Dell Inspiron 7577 lies around the first row of the keyboard. The former gets too hot while working with the temperature reaching up to 59 degrees while gaming.
On the other hand, the latter achieves a maximum of only 44 degrees with the heat localized to an area and keeping the rest of the laptop cool.
But, for Acer, this doesn’t work as due to the heat spot being located at the base of the computer, one can’t keep the notebook on their lap while gaming.
Input and Output Ports
The Dell notebook comes well-endowed with a selection of ports including 3 USB Type-A ports, a good lock, an AC port, Gigabit Ethernet, an SD card reader, an HDMI 2.0, a 3.5 mm audio jack, and a USB Type-C port with a Thunderbolt 3.
All of these ports have been very well spaced and strategically placed on either side of the laptop.
The SD card reader has the issue of the card protruding at least half its length outside the socket and thus, isn’t safe to be left in a while traveling with the laptop. It transfers the data at 29 MB/s and takes about 38 seconds to transfer 1 GB worth of data/pictures.
The Acer Helios 300 has a slightly low-end spread of ports as compared to Dell, and it includes a Kensington lock, an RJ45, a USB 3.1 Type-C port, an HDMI port, a USB 3.0 port, two USB 2.0 ports, an audio jack, and an SD card reader.
The ports are well spread so that one thing doesn’t get in the way of the other. However, it would’ve been better if Acer would have used the newer USB 3.0 ports instead of the 2.0 ones.
The SD card reader has a faster pace as compared to Dell with a speed of 79 MB/s and can transfer 1 GB worth of pictures in under 20 seconds. The SD card protrudes out of this device as well and can be dangerous.
Dell definitely becomes a better choice at this front due to the presence of three USB 3.0 ports as well as a Type-C port with Thunderbolt.
The Dell Inspiron 7577 consumes about 113 W under extreme loads and 60 W under medium loads and thus, is very useful as a machine. But due to the high-end graphics card configuration, the laptop’s battery suffers a lot during gaming hours.
The notebook is able to provide for about 7 hours under an average load but barely survives for an hour and a half with its 56 Wh Lithium-Polymer battery under maximum load.
Acer Helios 300, however, performs worse as compared to Dell both in power consumption and battery. The laptop takes about 81 W under average load and over 126 W under maximum load. The load for the idle run stays surprisingly low at 7 W.
The battery too doesn’t keep up with the configuration of the Dell laptop and has a 48 Wh Lithium-Polymer battery.
The notebook survives just under 5 hours for an average load and barely stays on for an hour during gaming or maximum load.
The price of Acer Helios 300 varies for the size of its screen. For the 15-inch screen, the price is about $1099, and for the 17-inch screen it comes up to about $1399. The prices vary for the i5 processor and the lower end graphics card as well. The Dell Inspiron 7577 costs about $980 for the one with Intel Core i7 processor.
Dell offers a standard one year warranty on its products which can be extended to a premium one of four years.
The customer support is available round the clock and is accessible via Dell’s website where one can enter the name of their product and get a service tag. You can also get a list of phone numbers based on your region and contact them.
Acer offers a brand warranty of 24 months on its products and has 24-hour customer service available on the website. You can look up for its service centers, see for FAQs as well as drivers and manuals on their website.
The company also has a community set up where the workers and the users can come together and help people out while sitting in the comfort of their home.
The Dell Inspiron 7577 and the Acer Helios 300 offer well on the front of specifications for a budget-friendly laptop. The specifications involve the i7 processor along with high-end graphics card and enough memory.
Therefore, the performance and the quality do not suffer in both despite the price.
The Acer laptop offers more on the visual front with a more cooling design and a sturdy build. It is also lighter as compared to the Dell laptop.
It also provides two options for its display screen and is better for the outdoors unlike the latter. Acer also offers more brightness on its display leading to a better gaming experience. Acer’s keyboard too offers more travel and has a more responsive touchpad.
But the Dell laptop fares better in the gaming performance due to the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q graphics card compared to the Acer’s Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 one.
The performance, however, is only slightly better and can be a factor that can be ignored. But, the Dell Inspiron 7577 produces lesser noise, has its heat localized in an area out of reasonable reach, better speakers, and also offers more battery life even at the maximum load.
Apart from that, it has more USB 3.0 ports against the Acer’s first 2.0 tones and offers a USB Type-c port with a thunderbolt. It is also priced lower than the Acer Helios 300.
If budget is your key and you’re looking for a laptop with excellent gaming experience and can compromise a little on display as well as keyboard, then you should definitely opt for the Dell Inspiron 7577.
However, if you mainly need your laptop for video editing, browsing, and typing along with good gaming performance, you should opt for Acer Helios 300.
However, you’d have to compromise hard on the battery, power consumption, and speakers front for choosing the Acer notebook.