A new gaming laptop vies for market dominance!
The Asus TUF Dash 15 gaming laptop proved to be one of the highlights of the year in 2021, delivering appealing design, terrific performance, and attractive price tag that made it hard to beat. Asus have now delivered the much-anticipated upgrade/successor to that esteemed model with the TUF F15 gaming laptop, complete with a whole new makeover and boasting a powerful 12th generation Intel processor.
Coming with a price tag under $1,900, this bad boy is sure to keep Asus in the major league of mid-budget gaming laptops, alongside their regular models, giving any avid gamer top-notch performance and features for mid-notch prices. In other words, this is potentially a real contender!
But before popping champagne corks and singing its praises from the rooftops, let’s first dig into specifics and see how the F15 holds up under close scrutiny. In this article, we’ll put Asus’ new release to the test across the board and see whether it passes the stress test with flying colors or goes down in ignominy and disappointment.
Fire ‘em up and let’s go…
Right off the bat, the TUF F15 impresses both eye and arm with its sleek design, sturdy build, and relative light weight. With an MIL-STD-81OH resistance to shock, this bad boy can be dropped and still remain intact and fully functional. This model is approximately 4.5% smaller than its 2021 predecessor, and is certainly noticeably narrower and shorter to the eye.
Available in both Moonlight White and Off Black colors, the F15 certainly looks the part. Interestingly, it has four status lights above the keyboard that can actually be seen even when the lid is closed such is their brightness, which might prove somewhat distracting in darker environments.
You get a solid range of ports with the F15, including a Thunderbolt 4, a USB-C, a Gigabyte Ethernet connector, HDMI 2.0b, 3.5mm audio jack, and a USB-A. So all in all, you’re well catered for in port range.
2. Keyboard and Camera
Two of the most important features for any laptop, the F15 proves solid across the board, not exceptional or exemplary but certainly no slouch.
A full-width membrane keyboard with additional numeric keypad feels smooth and responsive to the touch, has a decent 1.7mm travel when pressed, and even comes with something of a ‘bounce’, making it very pleasing to operate, whether for typing or for gaming. A nice added little extra are four hotkeys at the top allowing you to adjust volume, mute the microphone, or instantly access the control panel. One downside, however, is the rather lackluster key backlighting, which is uneven and makes for rather difficult usage in dark surroundings.
The trackpad has increased in size by a whopping 27% from its predecessor and even though its an all-plastic construct, it was both smooth and responsive to use, so no complaints there.
The 720p webcam produces surprisingly crisp and detailed images which certainly were unexpected, although it lacks any biometric security feature which other competitors now provide.
3. Visual and Audio
The display screen has a very radiant 337cd/m² brightness level, which certainly impresses, with color vividity at an equally impressive 130.7% of the sRGB spectrum. Color accuracy also excels at 2.07 of Delta E.
A 15.6” screen combined with a high 2560x1440p resolution certainly means you’ll have no qualms about image quality on this baby!
The 76dB Dolby Atmos speakers give out good volume overall with a good bassy sound but not too great across the overall soundscape spectrum. Not bad but not great.
As a gaming laptop, the real test of the F15 is how it handles a range of games. And it’s good to report it handled them like a total pro! We tested a number of high-performing games at 1920x1080p resolution on the F15 and while the fps results were mixed, nonetheless the F15 held its own without undue gameplay distraction, and even held up when compared to an actual HD Blu ray player, which is no mean feat.
1920x1080p is clearly where the F15 performs best as higher resolution games noticeably test the RTX 3060 to the limit and it starts to run out of VRAM with QHD resolution noticeably reduced.
The F15’s cooling fans were rather loud after prolonged use and both the top of the keyboard and lid hinges felt surprisingly hot to the touch, but not a major issue, as shifting to Performance mode dropped cooler noise level considerably and the unit itself cooled down in short order.
The battery runtime was a rather poor 6 hr 20 min on its own power, but again, not a major issue and certainly far from a deal-breaker.
All things considered, the F15 is a sturdy, well-designed, high-performing gaming laptop that does everything you need it to, and while it does have its flaws, for the price tag attached, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better one than this. Recommended.