In the active world of gaming laptops, striking the ideal balance between performance, affordability, and build quality often poses a considerable challenge. The 2020 Asus TUF F15-TUF506LH-US53-i5 Gaming Laptop, priced at an attractive under $1,000, makes a compelling bid to achieve that equilibrium.
It boasts a robust Intel Core i5 processor, generous RAM capacity, and a dedicated NVIDIA graphics card, all elegantly enclosed within a sleek and stylish chassis.
In this comprehensive review, we’ll thoroughly explore its key features and performance to help you determine whether it suits your gaming requirements.
|Screen Size||15.6 Inches|
|Hard Disk Size||1 TB SSD|
|CPU Model||Core i5-10300H|
|Ram Memory Installed Size||16 GB|
|Operating System||Windows 10 Home|
|Graphics Card Description||Dedicated NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650Ti|
|Screen Resolution||1920 x 1080 pixels|
|Processor Speed||2.5 GHz (Base Clock), Up to 4.5GHz (Max Boost Clock)|
|Wireless Type||802.11ax Wi-Fi 6|
|Battery Life||Approximately 6 Hours|
|Dimensions||14.2 x 10.1 x 1 inches|
|Webcam||720p HD Webcam|
|Keyboard||RGB Backlit Keyboard|
|Additional Feature||Free Upgrade to Windows 11|
Powerful Performance and Versatility
The Asus TUF F15 boasts a formidable hardware setup, featuring a 10th Gen Intel Core i5-10300H processor. This quad-core, eight-thread CPU operates at a base clock of 2.5GHz, turbocharging up to an impressive 4.5GHz. This processing prowess ensures seamless performance for demanding tasks and delivers a lag-free gaming experience. Complementing this power is a generous 16GB of DDR4 RAM, enabling smooth multitasking. Whether you’re running resource-intensive games, streaming content, or engaging in creative work, this laptop handles it all effortlessly. Plus, with a lightning-fast 1TB NVMe PCIe SSD, data access is swift, minimizing loading times across games and applications.
Performance in real-world scenarios is remarkable. Even high-end tasks like playing Guild Wars 2 at max graphics settings are handled effortlessly, with no lag whatsoever. Modern games run smoothly at respectable settings, achieving around 70-80 fps in Minecraft with shaders and a stable 60 fps in The Sims 4 with whisper mode enabled. Even the latest Tomb Raider titles run smoothly on high settings. The laptop’s robust performance does come with one caveat – it generates significant heat due to its substantial processing capabilities. When running RAM-intensive games, consuming 8-10 gigabytes of memory, the cooling system works hard to maintain optimal temperatures.
For gamers and professionals alike, this laptop is a fantastic value proposition. It excels in a variety of tasks, from playing Total War to Ghost Recon Wildlands and Bannerlord, consistently surpassing expectations. The quality of the hardware and its overall performance make it an excellent choice, especially considering its competitive price. Furthermore, this laptop is versatile, handling multiple programs simultaneously without breaking a sweat. It’s an ideal choice for college students pursuing fields like interior design, as it effortlessly runs rendering software, thanks to its impressive graphics card.
Sleek Design, RGB Keyboard, and Build Quality
The Asus TUF F15 presents a sleek, minimalist design that defies the typical gaming laptop aesthetics. It boasts a robust build suitable for daily use and occasional gaming exploits, weighing 5.06 pounds and measuring 14.2 x 10.1 x 1 inches for a relatively easy gaming laptop to transport.The most noteworthy feature is its RGB backlit keyboard, providing both personality and practicality, especially during late-night gaming sessions. Typing is comfortable with well-spaced keys and satisfying key travel.
The Laptop combines practicality with style, ditching flashy gaming aesthetics for a more subtle, minimalist appearance. Predominantly black with discreet design accents, it suits gaming and professional settings.
Measuring 15.6 inches, the display is in line with typical gaming laptop sizes. Its dimensions (14.2 x 10.1 x 1 inches) render it compact for a laptop of this caliber. Weighing around 5.06 pounds, it’s reasonably portable for gaming. While not as slim as ultrabooks, it remains manageable for gaming on the go.
However, it’s worth noting that the connection/hinge between the screen and keyboard feels cheap, akin to the laptop’s overall plastic construction. It visibly flexes if not opened from the exact top center of the screen, contributing to a somewhat flimsy feel.
Display Excellence and Considerations
The laptop boasts a 15.6-inch Full HD 1080p IPS LED-backlit display with a rapid 144Hz refresh rate. This screen delivers stunningly vibrant colors, razor-sharp images, and seamless gameplay thanks to its high refresh rate. An impressive 80% screen-to-body ratio immerses you in your gaming world.
The display is remarkably crisp and bright, offering an amazing screen resolution. Initially, I intended to use an HDMI cable to stream my screen to a TV. Still, the laptop’s display quality is so exceptional that I haven’t found the need to. Its fantastic quality, especially regarding screen performance, is truly remarkable.
One potential drawback, however, is that the screen may appear somewhat fragile due to the lack of additional support. Nevertheless, I absolutely adore the screen quality.
Memory and Storage
The Asus TUF F15 excels in performance and value, making it a standout choice for gamers and creative professionals. With a substantial 16GB of DDR4 RAM, this laptop ensures seamless multitasking, ideal for gaming, content creation, and productivity tasks. It handles memory-intensive applications and numerous open tabs with ease.
A key highlight is its capacious 1TB NVMe PCIe SSD, delivering lightning-fast data access. This results in rapid boot times, swift application launches, and reduced in-game loading times. Furthermore, the SSD’s lack of moving parts ensures silent operation and minimal heat generation compared to traditional HDDs.
Its speed is truly remarkable – Windows 10 boots in under 5 seconds. Powering up takes less than 20 seconds, a testament to its lightning-fast performance. Users consistently praise its responsiveness, even when running resource-intensive tasks. Gaming experiences are smooth, with high settings in demanding titles like Guild Wars 2 and Tomb Raider. Minecraft with shaders easily achieves 70-80 fps, while The Sims 4 maintains a stable 60 fps with whisper mode.
Battery Performance and Duration Analysis
The laptop features a 3-cell 48WHr Li-ion battery, delivering approximately 6 hours of average usage. This aligns with the common battery life for gaming laptops in this category. It’s important to note that battery duration can fluctuate based on activity, particularly with demanding tasks like gaming and video editing, which can expedite battery drain. It’s recommended to keep the laptop plugged in for prolonged gaming sessions to ensure optimal performance.
Although the battery life might not be extensive, this is a prevailing trait among gaming laptops. During gameplay, the laptop’s battery typically recharges after about an hour. This occurs even when the laptop begins at 100% charge and utilizes moderate graphics settings while not running additional software. The battery’s maximum lifespan is approximately 2 hours for more intensive usage. Sometimes, the battery’s performance is subpar, dwindling from full to empty in as little as 40 minutes. This rapid depletion is particularly frustrating, highlighting a significant need for improvement.
A real-world test, where I played the game “Valheim” with the laptop unplugged, revealed that the battery’s lifespan is under an hour even at 100% charge and with moderate graphics settings. Regrettably, performance suffered from lag during this time, prompting thoughts of opting for a desktop computer instead due to the laptop’s impracticality without constant charging.
In general, the laptop’s battery sustains for around 4 hours, which falls on the shorter end of the spectrum. As a result, it’s fair to categorize its battery life as brief. On a positive note, the battery manages to recharge fully within an hour, which is relatively speedy.
Optimal Thermal Management and Cooling Performance
Efficiently managing heat is vital for optimal performance during intense gaming or resource-intensive tasks on a laptop. The Asus TUF F15 Gaming Laptop prioritizes thermal efficiency with its design. This laptop boasts a robust cooling system incorporating multiple fans, heat pipes, and strategically placed air vents and exhausts. This setup ensures effective heat dissipation, keeping temperatures low to prevent overheating and maintain consistent gaming performance.
The laptop’s fans kick in to cool internal components during gaming or demanding tasks. This trade-off is common among gaming laptops. They can be noisy under heavy loads. Fortunately, the Asus TUF series, including this laptop, offers fan control options through pre-installed software. You can adjust fan speed profiles to balance performance and noise to suit your preferences. Efficient cooling directly impacts the laptop’s heating performance, making the Asus TUF F15 a comfortable and long-lasting gaming companion. The laptop’s chassis is engineered to disperse heat. In contrast, heat sinks and thermal paste efficiently distribute heat away from vital components, reducing wear and tear.
Remember that, like most gaming laptops, the Asus TUF F15 can still get warm during extended gaming sessions. It’s advisable to use it on a flat, hard surface for optimal airflow and cooling. Regarding fan noise, it’s noticeable during gaming but not alarming. Placing the laptop on a raised cooling stand helps with airflow, and the heat above the keyboard is manageable. The fan’s noise can be drowned out with earbuds and doesn’t significantly distract from the gaming experience.
However, some users have noted that the fans can get quite loud, even during casual gaming. Using earbuds helps mitigate this issue. If the CPU temperature becomes a concern, adjusting power settings can help. Still, avoiding pushing the laptop’s limits is essential to prevent potential overheating. Additionally, investing in a cooling pad is a recommended precaution.
Keyboard and Trackpad
The Asus TUF F15 boasts an impressive keyboard with a full-size layout, complete with a convenient numeric keypad on the right side, catering to gamers and professionals who frequently work with numbers. A standout feature of this keyboard is its customizable RGB backlighting, adding a touch of personalization while proving practical for low-light gaming environments. You can tailor the colors and effects to match your gaming setup.
In terms of key feel, the keyboard delivers a comfortable typing experience. Well-spaced keys with ample key travel provide satisfying tactile feedback, making it suitable for extended typing sessions during work or writing tasks. Furthermore, the keyboard enhances the gaming experience by highlighting the WASD keys, commonly used for gaming movement, for quick and easy identification.
As for the trackpad, it’s a serviceable precision touchpad, offering accurate tracking and multi-touch gesture support for general use and productivity tasks. However, most gamers prefer an external gaming mouse for more precise and responsive control during gameplay. While functional, the trackpad may not offer the same level of precision and customization found in dedicated gaming mice.
One potential concern was the numeric keypad on a 15.6-inch laptop. Still, it turns out to be perfectly suited for the device. One common issue encountered was difficulty setting up the keyboard initially. For users facing this challenge, a solution is to remap the ‘+’ and ‘Enter’ keys on the number pad for easier use using a program like ‘sharp keys’ – this can be especially helpful given the lack of easy access to ‘page up’ and ‘page down’ keys.
Lastly, there were reports of occasional trackpad glitches or unresponsiveness. If this issue persists, it may be necessary to consider that the trackpad could malfunction, as it should not regularly fail to read input. In such cases, using an external mouse can offer a reliable alternative for cursor control.
The laptop’s audio is powered by DTS Audio, boasting two built-in stereo speakers. These speakers deliver decent sound quality for everyday tasks like video-watching and music listening. They offer clear audio with depth, making them ideal for casual media consumption and gaming.
For an even more immersive gaming or entertainment experience, especially in noisy environments, it’s advisable to utilize external speakers or gaming headphones. Dedicated gaming headsets often provide superior sound quality and a heightened audio experience, crucial in games where positional audio matters.
Webcam Quality and Operating System
The Laptop features a 720p HD webcam that, while not the highest resolution, serves well for video conferencing, online meetings, and casual video chats. This resolution provides clear video quality for standard video calling applications, allowing for sharp and reasonably detailed video, ideal for clear conversations with friends, family, or colleagues. However, you may consider an external webcam with a higher resolution for professional content creation or streaming. The webcam is conveniently located on the laptop’s upper bezel, a common placement for video calls.
Note: The quality of the built-in webcam may not meet the expectations for a laptop in this price range.
The TUF F15 includes Windows 10 Home pre-installed, offering a complimentary upgrade to Windows 11. However, one inconvenience I’ve noticed is that during Windows updates, it occasionally prompts you to revisit the initial setup screen typically seen on the first computer boot-up.
In conclusion, the ASUS TUF F15-TUF506LH-US53 Gaming Laptop is a formidable contender in gaming laptops, successfully striking a balance between power, affordability, and build quality. Priced attractively at under $1,000, this laptop offers a robust hardware configuration, delivering impressive performance and versatility for gamers and professionals.
Overall, the ASUS TUF F15 Gaming Laptop offers exceptional value for its price, delivering strong performance, a stylish design, and efficient cooling. While it has minor shortcomings, it remains a compelling choice for gamers and professionals seeking a budget-friendly yet powerful laptop.