Asus TUF FX505 review: Offers a 15.6-inch screen & top hardware in a stylish, lightweight, yet durable design
Specifications: 15.6-inch IPS 144Hz anti-glare panel, 1920 x 1080 pixels, 8th gen Intel Core i7, 16GB DDR4 RAM, 256GB SSD + 1TB FireCuda hard drive, Nvidia GTX 1060 with 6GB DDR5 VRAM, 2 x USB 3.0, 1 x USB 2.0, Ethernet, HDMI, 720p HD webcam, WiFi ac, Bluetooth 5.0, Windows 10, 3-cell battery, 2.2kg.
Pros: Stylish and durable design, 144hz display, customisable keyboard lighting, fantastic performance, loud speakers, DTS audio.
Cons: Poor battery backup, no USB Type-C ports, heats up fast and emits loud fan noise, small number-pad keys.
Asus already has a ROG (Republic of Gamers) lineup of gaming computers but these are the premium products. With the TUF range of gaming devices, Asus wants to offer consumers powerful gaming laptops and desktop but at more affordable prices. The TUF FX505 is the first 15.6-inch gaming laptop in the range with prices starting at Rs 79,990 onwards. Our review is based on the top-of-the-line spec that will cost you Rs 1,29,990.
Our review unit has an 8th generation Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB DDR4 RAM, 256GB SSD + 1TB FireCuda HDD and a Nvidia GTX 1060 GPU with 6GB of dedicated VRAM. This configuration delivers fantastic performance for gaming as well as video editing. We faced no issue in playing games such as Crysis 2, Batman Arkham Origins, Call of Duty Black Ops and GTA 5 at high settings.
Even video editing in Adobe Premiere was a breeze. Compared with a Core i5 laptop with 8GB RAM and 1TB hard drive, the FX505 can render the same video four times faster. Special mention for the use of a FireCuda drive by Asus. This is a solid-state hybrid drive from Seagate that delivers faster processing with better power management compared to a standard hard drive. This gives the FX505 an edge over other gaming laptops that use a standard hard-drive for storage.
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One of the common issues with gaming laptops is of heating and the FX505 also suffers from this issue. You can’t have powerful performance without the heat. Even though the laptop has large cooling vents and uses a new HyperCool Thermal technology with anti-dust cooling system, it tends to get hot after just half an hour of gaming. This becomes evident when the cooling fans kick into high gear and become the noisiest thing in the room.
Apart from the hardware, the next thing that matters to gamers is the quality of display. This topend variant has a 15.6-inch full HD IPS display with a matte finish to minimize reflections. However, what really makes gaming great on the FX505 is the 144Hz screen refresh rate. Faster refresh rates make all the difference in the world when playing fast games. We do feel, however, that brightness levels could have been higher.
Gaming laptops usually have a bulky design due to their powerful hardware but the FX505 is different. The laptop weighs just 2.2kg which is great considering you get a 15.6-inch display. Asus also says that the TUF range is MIL-810G certified for ruggedness — you don’t have to worry about accidental drops, extreme temperature and humidity. This is one of the few gaming laptops that meet this certification for durability.
The top lid has a dark grey finish with accented corners and a backlit Asus logo at the center for style. The palm rest has a brushed metal finish while the keyboard has user controllable RGB backlighting. You can set the keyboard backlight to continuously glow, show a breathe effect or strobe. The WASD keys are translucent to make them stand out.
The keyboard also come with HyperStrike and OverStroke technology which registers keystroke faster than standard keyboards — another edge for gamers. The spacebar is wider towards the left for ease of access during gaming. What we did not like was that the numpad keys were quite small. We also liked the loud speakers of the FX505, support for DTS audio that deliver immersive audio experience, a good number of ports on the side, sleek bezels of the display and that it comes with 802.11 ac WiFi plus Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity.
However, a USB type C would have been a welcome addition. One compromise you have to make is battery life. The 3-cell battery barely manages 2 hours while gaming and about 3.5 hours with normal use. That being said, the TUF FX505 is the cheapest laptop with a 144Hz refresh rate display. In our opinion, as a gaming laptop, the TUF FX505 delivers good value for money. The closest rival to the FX505 is the HP Omen 15 which offers similar hardware specifications and a 144Hz display at Rs 1,34,990.