ASUS TUF A15: Solid gaming laptop powered by AMD and NVIDIA

by Vincent Wee
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The all-new TUF Gaming A15 gaming laptop is a gaming behemoth that promises to deliver high performance alongside tested durability. It combines next-gen hardware with the latest AMD Ryzen 7 CPU processors and top-notch graphics with NVIDIA Turing-based GPU to create an affordable gaming laptop that offers brilliant performance without causing your wallet irreparable damage.

If you are confused with ASUS’s top of the line ROG (Republic of Gamers) gaming brand, the TUF series of gaming laptops are targeted at mainstream gamers who are far less likely to need the best and fastest hardware.

The A15 isn’t some thin-and-light notebook, nor a hulking great workstation machine, but it sports an excellent AMD processor in the Ryzen 7 4800H. For context, the ROG Zephyrus G14 is powered by Ryzen 4800HS, which offers a lower TDP and is a little less speedy, but provides a better battery performance. Simultaneously, it features a 15-inch IPS screen with a 144 Hz refresh rate that is fast enough to compete with some of the top gaming monitors in the market. Plus, the display leverages G-Sync to prevent screen tears from gaming.

Bulky design built for rugged use

For starters, it looks like a pretty typical gaming laptop – there are no flashy designs, in contrast with its Zepherous siblings, which offer robust performance in slimline packages. At 359.8 x 256 x 22.8 mm, the TUF A15 Gaming laptop is also a bulky device even though its new thin display bezels helped reduce the machine’s overall footprint compared to the previous model. The gaming laptop’s chassis is made out of plastic to keep the price down but never feels flimsy. The TUF Gaming A15 is reliable, robust, and feels like it could take a fall. In fact, it feels like a durable machine and is even MIL-STD-810H tested for withstanding extreme conditions. As far as the TUF brand goes, the A15 places build quality and durability at the forefront of its design. 

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The design of the ASUS TUF A15 is relatively subtle. The industrial design is undoubtedly appealing, and it’s functional too. The chassis comes in two colors, namely Fortress Gray and Bonfire Black (not available in Singapore). The redesigned lid has a slightly darker gray winged TUF logo on the front, and it feels somewhat more restrained than previous designs. Angles are woven throughout the design.

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When the A15’s lid is open, the display almost looks like it’s floating. There’s the nearly obligatory RGB lighting for the keys, and the all-important WASD keys are further emphasized with a translucent coloring, leaving you in no doubt that this laptop is designed for gaming.

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The chunky design also allows the company to pack in plenty of ports, with an Ethernet port, HDMI, a USB-C port, and two standard USB ports on the left-hand side, along with a port for the power supply, while on the right-hand side there’s only one standard USB. But the layout’s unbalanced, and the left side is more crowded when all ports are occupied.

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It’s a good selection of ports for connectivity and should allow you to hook up your favorite peripherals without the need for an external adapter. The LAN port is exceptionally useful on a gaming laptop, offering faster and more reliable network speeds.

Outstanding performance with 144Hz display

The TUF Gaming A15 is equipped with the latest AMD Ryzen 7 4800H Mobile Processors with eight cores and 16 threads. The top-of-the-line chip boosts the power efficiency compared to the previous generation, allowing users to do much more than just play games. Its multi-threaded muscle is perfect for highly parallel workloads and multi-tasking. The combination of its architectural enhancements and fabrication on a leading-edge 7nm process node resulted in exceptional power efficiency.

The ASUS TUF A15 is an excellent example of this, with eight cores and 16 threads bringing a power level we’d expect to see in much more expensive laptops. The laptop pairs this performance with incredibly fast DDR4-3200 RAM that can further improve productivity and gaming performance.

Regardless of the CPU, its graphics firepower comes from its discrete NVIDIA GeForce GPUs based on the latest NVIDIA Turing architecture. The gaming laptop is equipped with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650. Turing is also capable of capturing high-quality footage with minimal CPU usage, so users can easily game and stream smoothly from the same machine.

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With an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 graphics card and octa-core AMD Ryzen 7 4800H processor, the TUF A15 can handle most games at high settings and can even do ray tracing in supported titles. It also handled speedy shooter games like Apex Legends and Overwatch incredibly efficiently. Lowering games’ settings will optimize performance on this laptop even further, accentuating different games’ elements and reducing others to ensure smooth performance. 

The A15 comes with an IPS screen that boasts a 144 Hz refresh rate to complement the fantastic CPU and GPU. The 144Hz display takes full advantage of the higher frame rates possible with the new TUF Gaming A15. With adaptive sync, the display’s refresh rate synchronizes with the GPU’s frame rate, delivering smoother, tear-free gaming even as the FPS varies naturally over time. While the A15 will handle many high settings, lowering them can offer a means to enjoy the screen’s 144Hz refresh rate.

Battery that outlasts the competition

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The battery department is usually the unsung hero of many gaming laptops. And we’ve come to never expect too much when it comes to battery life from a gaming laptop, but the ASUS TUF A15 doesn’t do too badly here. The laptop features a full 90Wh battery that delivers an unprecedented uptime level, almost two hours of gaming — solid gaming, full-time 3D rendering, and not some workday web-surfing. If you’re doing more lightweight work on this machine, you’ll probably get at least three times that, probably more. That’s pretty decent for a gaming laptop, thanks to the energy efficiency of the AMD Ryzen 7 4800H, which doesn’t deplete the battery as fast as the more power-hungry Intel CPUs.

The verdict: ASUS TUF A15

All in all, ASUS did a pretty good job with this gaming laptop. The ASUS TUF Gaming A15 is designed for gamers with entry-level budgets, and it has done it with an exceptional configuration. It is an incredibly versatile, affordable gaming laptop, with a battery life that is almost unprecedented at this price point or performance level.

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