Asus TUF A15 review

The Asus TUF A15 is one of the most exciting gaming laptops we’ve had a chance to try, but perhaps not for the reasons you might expect.

For a start, it looks like a pretty run-of-the-mill gaming laptop – there are no flashy design choices, as is the case with its Zepherous siblings, which offer powerful performance in slimline packages. Nor does it pack the highest of high-end components for gaming performance to rival the best gaming PCs. 

No, what makes us excited about the Asus TUF A15 (also known as the Asus F506IV) is the fact that it features one of the latest AMD Ryzen 4000 mobile processors that have been wowing us recently, along with the excellent Nvidia RTX 2060 GPU, to create an affordable gaming laptop that offers brilliant performance without causing your wallet irreparable damage.

The Asus TUF A15 is what we would call an affordable gaming laptop, which means it’s not as cheap as budget offerings, but nor is it as expensive as high-end gaming laptops aimed at enthusiasts.

Still, ‘affordable’ when it comes to gaming laptops still means a decent chunk of change, and the Asus TUF A15 starts out at $1,300 (£1,300, around $2,000). That’s certainly pricey, although it offers much better value for money compared to some gaming laptops, such as the Alienware m15.

So, you’re looking at a price in the same ballpark as the HP Omen 15 and Dell G3 15, both fine 15-inch gaming laptops, but ones which don’t, at the time of writing, offer quite as recent components as the Asus TUF A15.

As we mentioned at the outset of this review, what made us particularly excited about the Asus TUF A15 is its choice of components, which includes some of the latest hardware from both AMD and Nvidia.

In the CPU department, the Asus TUF A15 features the new AMD Ryzen 7 4800H. It’s not quite the flagship mobile processor from AMD (that’ll be the Ryzen 9 4900HS), but the Asus TUF A15 isn’t aiming to be a flagship laptop. What it is aiming to be is a machine that offers a mix of performance and value, and that’s why we like Asus’ choice of the 4800H.Advertisement

We’ve talked elsewhere about how AMD’s Ryzen 4000 mobile processors could transform gaming laptops, and the Asus TUF A15 is a great example of this, with eight cores and 16 threads bringing a level of power we’d expect to see in much more expensive laptops.

This is paired with an Nvidia RTX 2060 GPU. Again, it’s not a flagship GPU, but it’s a brilliant 1080p performer, making it a great choice for this kind of gaming laptop. It’s one of Nvidia’s more affordable GPUs, but still offers very good performance, including modern ray tracing support, and with 6GB of GDDR6 memory this is a smart choice for a laptop in which costs need to be kept down.

As you can see from our benchmarks, the graphically-demanding Metro Exodus runs at 45fps (frames per second) at Ultra. With a bit of tweaking, you’ll get it to play over the magic 60fps mark, while still looking great.

With less intensive games, like Fortnite or CS:Go, you’re going to be able to really take advantage of the 144Hz screen for fast and responsive gameplay.

So, this isn’t a gaming laptop that’s stuffed full of the most powerful tech, but it offers excellent performance with modern games at a price point that’s a lot more affordable than those of high-end gaming laptops. That’s a win in our book.

One thing that did bug us, however, was how loud the laptop got when playing games. When the fans on this thing kick in, they kick in loud. We’re used to loud gaming laptops – they’ve got to be kept cool somehow – but the fans in the Asus TUF A15 are particularly distracting.

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