(Analysis) ASUS TUF A15: As I have been saying in the latest notebook reviews I have made, I am not at all the biggest fan of gaming notebooks in the world… Historically they are heavy, expensive machines and often with a design that does not make sense in anyone's mind, not to mention that they will hardly be able to reach the same potential as a Desktop PC. However, against my own expectations, I have managed to change my mind! Much thanks to the excellent machines that I have had the opportunity to test at the beginning of this atypical year of 2020.
In fact, in my opinion, the notebook market has never been as interesting as it is now, both in terms of performance and price! Proof of this is the Huawei MateBook D14 (review) that I had the opportunity to review at the beginning of the year, as well as the Asus Zephyrus G502D (review) which is in turn more focused on games.
Well, now we have an even more interesting machine on the market if your focus is on performance / price, the ASUS TUF A15! That when equipped with one of the new mobile AMD Ryzen 4000 mobile processors and the recent 'refresh' of NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards, it not only brings performance, a very interesting build quality, a design out of the box, and of course … a price that does not give you will force you to sell any organ of your body on the black market.
As I have already had the opportunity to tell some people, this laptop is going to be brutal for ‘kids’ to trick parents for ‘value’ (performance / price), and then pull out some great games when they should be studying hard and ugly.
Editor's Note: On interesting products, I always do a ‘mini-review’ to pass the first impressions, and then a detailed analysis. Since our ‘feeling’ is changing over time, sometimes for the better, and of course, other times for the worse. You can read my mini-review on the A15 here.
ASUS TUF A15: In short, gaming notebooks are getting brutal!
So this ASUS TUF A15 is actually one of the most versatile machines you can find on the market today, as it is a perfect match between powerful yet inexpensive AMD hardware, with the latest Turing GPUs from NVIDIA.
An unlikely combination, but it never really made so much sense! After all, this ASUS TUF A15 not only guarantees performance but also autonomy.
Yes, it is obvious that we are not talking about the thinnest or lightest machine on the market, but there is also no 'monster' weighing a decent 2.3kg. Something acceptable, when we consider that the TUF A15 is a very powerful machine for games with its combo CPU + GPU (and 144Hz screen), but it is also very capable in everyday tasks, whether you are a content creator, or just have to edit text during your day.
In fact, taking into account the current stock of portable computers up to 1000 € (which is in fact nonexistent thanks to the COVID-19), this ASUS TUF A15 is undeniably one of the most interesting machines if you want to work during the day and 'pwn' some how many noobs at night. (Hence the versatility I mentioned above: P)
First of all, these are the specifications of the machine we had for analysis:
- Processor: AMD Ryzen 7 4800H
- Graphics: Nvidia RTX 2060
- Memory: 16GB DDR4 @ 3200MHz
- Display: 15 ”(Full HD) 144Hz
- Storage: 1TB Intel SSD
However, I already have bad news, this model will not be available in our market, yet, we will have this machine equipped with the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti card in two versions:
- Ryzen 5 4600H, 8GB RAM and 60Hz screen at € 799.99
- Ryzen 7 4800H, 16GB RAM and 144Hz screen at € 999.99
Very interesting prices when we consider the machine we have in hand, after all, the Ryzen 4800H is perfectly capable of offering top performance thanks to its 8 physical cores and 16 threads, while the autonomy continues to be there thanks to AMD's integrated GPU. In fact, the autonomy of this machine is one of the things that impresses the most.
However, as I said above, of course we are not talking about an Ultrabook here, since it is a notebook that weighs 2.3KG. However, it is also a long way from being a 'transportable' that will quickly wipe you from the back or will need to be constantly plugged in. Once again, I emphasize that we have to take into account the specifications and price before starting to hit you for size and weight. After all, how much would a machine with these technical specifications cost 2 or 3 years ago?
In short, it is no longer necessary to spend thousands of euros to have a laptop with a lot of juice to give at games or work!
After all, the processing cores of the new Ryzen 4000 processors bring all the capabilities of the Zen 2 architecture to the mobile world. Something very welcome for those who want to play, but also for creatives who need some power under the hood. In addition to this, we also have access to a 1TB NVMe SSD (with a second empty slot for another SSD), as well as a 90Wh battery that together with the AMD APU will last an extraordinary amount of time, especially when considering that this is a gaming-focused notebook.
Having said all that, what is really interesting in this package is its price, since for 999,99 € we have a super competent machine in all fields, where even the screen supports the much desired 144Hz frequency! Of course, 1000 € is still some money, but in a world where a simple smartphone already exceeds this value, we are talking about a very attractive package for any wallet. Especially when we consider this boy's competition, even within ASUS 'own ranges. 1000 € is a real steal.
Is AMD able to compete decently with Intel in the world of mobile processors? Let's look at the performance of the CPU.
Despite everything AMD has been able to do in recent years, this is undeniably the biggest question for consumers.
Unfortunately, I have even seen some tech journalists writing "despite being a laptop based on an AMD processor" on the various machines launched in recent months with hardware from Intel's rival. However, this is a phrase that simply no longer makes sense, AMD is doing well and it is recommended that this notebook is proof of that.
Having said all that, it is true that the Ryzen 7 4800H is not the best offer from AMD, since the Ryzen 9 4900HS of the Zephyrus G14 is much more desirable. But one thing is certain. This processor will never disappoint you, as these benchmarks demonstrate:
In short, the 8 cores and 16 threads of this recent APU Ryzen take this notebook to the next level, achieving a performance per clock equal to or better than Intel solutions.
The ASUS TUF A15 arrives on the market equipped with an NVMe 1TB SSD drive (Intel 660p), which despite offering a good amount of storage and still a much higher speed than any HDD or SATA SSD solution. It is based on QLC memory technology, which is by no means the most impressive in the field of performance.
Still, 1TB of NVMe SSD on a € 1000 laptop? Are there reasons to complain? I don't think so.
However, we have very good connectivity with 3 USB inputs, a USB-C input, HDMI output and an Ethernet input. Everything in a body that is not at all too thick, and even has some very interesting visual details, like the RGB keyboard.
In addition to all this, we also have:
- Easy upgrade capability, including space for two M.2 SSDs and a 2.5 ”bay for HDD or SSD
- Self-cleaning cooling system
- DTS Ultra audio technology with 2 large speakers and resonance chambers
- Overstroke responsive, fast-acting keyboard with customizable RGB lighting (via software and via keyboard shortcuts)
In summary and concluding, I am very pleased with what ASUS has done in the world of notebooks. Especially when we put the price on the table.
However, if you are looking for a new laptop to play or work with in these COVID-19 times, there is already stock at GlobalData on here. (Leak / GlobalData discount coupon: GDLEAK20)
Furthermore, what do you think about all this? Share your opinion with us in the comments below.
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