Asus TUF series is going to mark a start in the company’s commitment to bring affordable gaming laptops to Indian markets.
I swear I didn’t copy paste that from the press release. I can safely say that this can very well be your best option to get hold of a gaming laptop without breaking the bank.
The TUF FX504 is cutting corners to fashion something really practical - a true bang for your buck gaming laptop.
Build and quality: perfect imperfections
If John Legend was a gamer, the All of Me video would be featuring this laptop. This plasticky laptop is heavy and robust as if befitting the name TUF right into its feel. It does feel like Asus has cut the budget strings but only for the better. Price.
In doing so, there’s no compromise on the look however. It looks quite different. Those lines around the corners of the brushed aluminium lid lend a very 'military equipment' feel. Almost like an ammo crate.
The palm rest is made from hard plastic and the chiclet keyboard is red backlit. It’s graciously spaced and typing is every bit of fun on it as is gaming. The absence of clickety sounds from the keyboard leaves room for some dissatisfaction but that’s just us pampering afforded by expensive mechanical keyboards.
The ports are all towards the left side of the laptop. You get only three USB Type-A ports, one HDMI, one ethernet and one audio jack. It’s clearly a cost-cutting measure though, in the right minds, three USB Type-As are fine by me if it was spaced out better. The audio jack is a matter of concern if you have headphones with separate speaker/microphone input.
Screen: More to game, less to see
The 15.6in Full HD display is good enough for gaming, while bagging a 120Hz panel under a lac is definitely a steal. With a 3ms response time and 120Hz refresh rate, competitive games are an easy feat for this baby. The ₹72,990 variant has a 60Hz IPS panel, mind.
The colours do feel a bit washed out but it won’t drastically distract you from a headshot in Fortnite. Keeping it at the right angle and sitting dead center keeps things uniform.
It has a 94% NTSC TN panel and the viewing angles are bang average at best. It wouldn’t be the best suited for photo and video colour correction but the processor can do that heavy lifting exceptionally well. More on that later. The colours are good enough if you’re only sticking to gaming and a regular binge of Netflix won’t trouble your peepers as much. The speakers are really loud for catching up on YouTube videos, however, they lack bass and can easily be silenced by the roaring fan noise at full throttle.
The fans on full throttle can keep the laptop at stable temperatures. Especially when gaming on demanding titles, the laptop stays cool around the palm rest area for extended gaming sessions.
Performance: Sugar, spice and everything nice
The Intel i7 8750H Hexa-core processor and 8GB of RAM are more than enough to swat most demanding software. There’s always an option to add more RAM into the machine if you wish. We edited and rendered an entire video on Adobe Premiere Pro whilst bouncing into photoshop at the same time and it didn’t stutter even once.
The Nvidia GTX 1050Ti (4GB) is good for running Fortnite at high settings while maintaining a good 80fps and 55 to 60fps on epic settings. PUBG peaks at the same frame rate albeit a bit laggy when compared to Fortnite. Fortnite’s better optimised in our opinion.
We even got to test it out on Gears of War 4 and Age of Empires: Definitive Edition, both of which come free with the purchase of the laptop. It struggles to keep up with more demanding titles like Gears of War 4 and many times the game wouldn’t start but when it did, it worked on medium settings. That did choke the life out of the GTX 1050Ti but we had no problem playing other games that ain’t as graphically demanding as GoW 4.
Battery life is as good as any gaming laptop, bad. So don’t expect anything more than four hours of Google Chrome work time.
Verdict: tag it and bag it
The TUF FX504 makes a very compelling proposition. It cuts out the shebang of look and feel and instead delves towards performance and bang-for-your-buck internals. And it works.
The whole laptop feels like it can take gaming head on and not feel like you’re paying a rupee extra for what’s inside. The two bundled triple-A games make the deal even better.
Acer’s budget laptops usually get pocket-friendly too, but bagging a Hexa-Core Intel 8th Gen processor, a 120Hz screen and a Nvidia GTX 1050Ti at ₹90,990? Well done Asus.