The spread of COVID-19 has seen a surge of demand for laptops for working from home, with ASUS wanting to fill that need with their TUF gaming laptop series, refreshed for content creators and gamers around the world. This machine we got comes with the AMD Ryzen 4000, among other things. Let’s just get into the review, shall we?
BUILD AND DESIGN
The TUF series has typically kept to a conservative look, but ASUS is trying something new with a design that lives up to the “tough” name. With a military-based design, the A15 is plastic-made, but the finishings give it a new shine, with the lid appearing to be a steel piece with screws at the four corners.
On opening the lid, you get a full sized keyboard with numpad and large touchpad. This area has an aluminium finishing, and the keyboard has RGB lighting for that gaming laptop feel. The display is 15.6 inches with small bezels on the corners. There’s even a small hinge of sorts so that you can open the lid much easier.
The TUF Gaming A15 has a 15.6 inch FHD IPS LCD with a choice of 60Hz or 144Hz refresh rate. The review model is the 144Hz version, which would naturally lend itself better for gaming. Unfortunately, it only covers 45% sRGB, with a fairly dim display, with colours that don’t really pop and low brightness as well. It’s neither the worst or best display you can get, but it’ll do its job when it comes to gaming or more creative editing.
Here is where the TUF A15 shows its true colours. Just check out the specs this tough customer is packing:
|CPU||AMD® Ryzen™ 7 4800H Processor|
|OS||Windows 10 Home
Windows 10 Pro
|Display||15.6″ (16:9) LED backlit FHD (1920×1080) 144Hz Anti-Glare IPS-level Panel with 45% NTSC|
|Graphics||NVIDIA® GeForce® RTX 2060, with 6GB GDDR6 VRAM|
|Memory||DDR4 3200MHz SDRAM, 2 x SO-DIMM socket for expansion, total up to 32 GB SDRAM, Dual-channel|
|Storage||1TB PCIe® Gen3 SSD|
|WEBCAM||HD 720p CMOS module|
|Keyboard||Chiclet keyboard with isolated numpad key|
Integrated Wi-Fi 5 (802.11 ac (2×2))
Bluetooth® 5.0 The Version of BT may change as OS upgrades
|Headset||1 x COMBO audio jack|
|I/O||2 x Type-A USB 3.2 (Gen 1)
1 x Type-C USB 3.2 (Gen 2) with display support DP1.4
1 x Type-A USB2.0
1 x RJ45 LAN jack for LAN insert
1 x HDMI, HDMI support 2.0 b
1 x AC adapter plug
|Battery||48 Wh lithium-polymer battery Battery|
|AC adapter||Plug type: ø6.0 (mm)
20 V DC, 7.5 A, 150 W / 9 A, 180 W
19.5 V DC, 11.8 A, 230 W
100 -240 V AC, 50/60 Hz universal
|Size||359.8 x 256 x 22.8 ~24.9 cm|
The review unit came with the AMD Ryzen 7 4800H with 8GB DDR4 SDRAM 3200MHz, 256GB SSD, 1TB HDD 5400 RPM, NVIDIA GTX 1660Ti and 6GB GDDR6 VRAM. These specs put the TUF A15 firmly in the mid-range gaming laptop, capable of scoring quite well on a variety of benchmarks. Tests were run with Apex Legends, Need for Speed Heat, Red Dead Redemption 2 and Valorant, the laptop able to run them at their highest settings with a consistent above 60FPS frame rate.
Playing Apex and Valorant for hours didn’t show any noticeable slowdown. Need for Speed Heat saw the game lovingly rendered, as the Ryzen worked away to maintain this great performance. Red Dead Redemption 2’s as a whole didn’t give the A15 any particular stress either, but it’s the one that gave the machine the most problem; it’s not noticeable but performance did drop some, but it’s something you’d expect with how intense the game is.
Need for Speed Heat
Red Dead Redemption 2
Here are the benchmarking results:
PC Mark 10
Asus promises this new Ryzen chip is far superior from the older processor. While the A15 does get a little heated up during play, the cooling system is effective enough to vent it away from reaching critical levels. While gaming, there were no obvious signs of actual overheating, so it’ll function just fine.
If it’s not gonna chug during your gaming sessions, it won’t fail you on everyday use either. The speakers by themselves, if you’re watching any videos, are a little on the low side volume wise, but as a whole, it’s still pretty good. Just don’t expect an audiophile level quality from this machine.
The TUF A15 utilizes a 48WHr battery, which runs out in at most two to three hours in power saving mode even with just Google Chrome open. Disappointing, but also fairly within expectations for similar machines.
The Asus TUF Gaming A15 is more than sufficient for most gamers, while you do various creative editing works on the side. The Ryzen 7 4800H provides an immense performance upgrade compared to the older models, and paired with the NVIDIA GTX 1660 Ti, you’ll have pretty graphics to go with too. The design looks more modern, and is built to last. It has all the ports you might need too. The most it’s lagging behind in is the quality of the display, and its poor battery life. It’s still a good pick, if not for a machine meant to be on the go, so if you want something long lasting, then you can’t go wrong with the Asus TUF Gaming A15.