3D TVs may be dead, but Acer isn't giving up on the dream of going beyond 2D just yet. It's spent years hyping up its SpatialLabs technology, which lets you view stereoscopic 3D content without any clunky glasses. Now that innovation is headed to the company's gaming laptops, starting with the new Predator Helios 300 SpatialLabs Edition. The company says you'll be able to play more than 50 modern and classic games in 3D, including Forza Horizon 5, No Man's Sky and God of War (no Halo Infinite yet, sadly).
Naturally, though, you'll have to pay a huge premium to be an early glasses-free 3D adopter. The Helios 300 SpatialLabs Edition will start at $3,400 when it arrives in the fourth quarter. You'll get some killer hardware under the hood, like Intel's latest 12th-gen CPUs, 32GB of DDR5 RAM and up to NVIDIA's RTX 3080, but it's clearly not meant for the typical gamer. It weighs a hefty 6.6 pounds, and the small amount of supported 3D titles makes this laptop seem even more like a niche product.
Still, the display nerd in me is eager to see how Acer actually implements this technology. I was impressed by some early SpatialLabs demos years ago, but it's another thing to transform a game into a fully 3D experience. The technology relies on a combination of eye tracking (which helps the image stay in focus without additional glasses), real-time rendering and a stereoscopic 15.6-inch screen. Acer is also bringing SpatialLabs' 3D hardware to its ConceptD7 laptop this year.
If you're just looking for a thin gaming laptop, without any fancy 3D screens, Acer is also updating the Predator Triton 300 SE with 12th-gen Intel chips, RTX 3000-series GPUs and 16:10 OLED panels. A 16-inch model with a 240Hz 1,440p display is joining the existing 14-inch version, giving the company options for gamers who want the lightest possible machine or something with a bit more breathing room. The smaller model tops out with an RTX 3060, but the larger one can squeeze in a beefier 3070 Ti.
We've generally liked Acer's gaming hardware over the years (except when they introduce useless concepts like swiveling screens). Based on my brief hands-on time with the Triton 300 SE, it seems like yet another solid option for a stylish-yet-portable gaming rig. The new OLED screen is clearly the star of the show, delivering deep black levels and glorious colors in a few Halo Infinite matches, but its 90Hz refresh rate may disappoint gamers used to faster LCDs. Those folks can just opt for the 165Hz 1080p and 1,440p LCDs, instead. The 14-inch Triton 300 SE is lighter than the Razer Blade 14, clocking in at 3.7 pounds instead of 3.9, and its overall build quality feels just as premium.
You'll find the 14-inch Triton 300 SE in July starting at $1,600, while the 16-inch version will arrive in August for $1,750.