ASUS TUF Gaming A15 : a good experience at the best price
Acer has its Nitro 5, MSI its Leopard line and the US Navy its F16; ASUS has its new TUF Gaming A15 and F15 . These offer players good performance without the need to over-martyrize their piggy bank.
ASUS sent us in May one of its new TUF Gaming, oriented on the affordable segment and equipped, there too, with one of the new generation AMD processors: the valiant Ryzen 7 4800H. This computer is just one of the best equipped versions of the TUF Gaming A15, offered at a price of 1,500 euros.
- 15.6-inch Full HD and 144 Hz IPS display
- An AMD Ryzen 7 4800H processor (8 cores / 16 threads clocked between 2.8 and 4.2 GHz; 8 MB of L3 cache, 4 MB of L2)
- 16 GB of RAM (DDR4 at 3200 MHz) via two SO-DIMMs. Expandable capacity up to 32 GB
- NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 6 GB dedicated graphics card
- 1 512 GB M.2 NVMe SSD (up to 1 TB optional)
- Wifi 902.11 ac / Bluetooth 5.0
- 1 microphone / headset combo, 1 RJ45 port, 1 USB 3.1 3.1 Type input, 2 USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A inputs, 1 USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C port with DisplayPort 1.4 support, 1 HDMI 2.0b output.
- 48 Wh battery
Available from € 1,099 on the web, the TUF Gaming A15 can also be fitted with a Ryzen 5 4600H and a GTX 1650 Ti. The Ryzen 7 4800H variant is also supported by a GTX 1660 Ti on another version, this time around 1200 euros. As mentioned above, ASUS also uses its TUF Gaming F15, which benefits from similar configurations, but this time with Intel processors (Core i5-10300H or i7-10750H, as desired) and the RTX 2060 option less. .. probably history to keep the prices more or less at the same level as on AMD versions.
Lots of plastic … but a fairly sober gaming machine
Coming out of the box, the TUF Gaming A15 surprises with its relative lightness. The device relies heavily on plastic to reduce costs, while the parts most vulnerable to scratches and various marks are aluminum. There are thus two metal plates: the first for the keyboard and wrist rest, the second on the hood. If ASUS highlights the lightness of its new TUF Gaming compared to the old models (we confirm), the device has a reinforced chassis, supposed to withstand shocks.
The manufacturer indicates in particular to have designed its A15 and F15 by wishing to approach as much as possible the military standard MIL-STD-810H, for a robustness with any test almost … We did not wish to check, but the product seems indeed beefy and its assembly does not suffer from any particular defect. Overall, and despite its entry-level approach, the TUF Gaming A15 makes a good impression and looks built to last, with a well-designed chassis.
This brings us to the design of the laptop. Although the thing is ultimately very subjective, we appreciated the relative sobriety of the craft. Especially considering some models launched at ASUS in the past, and what the competition offered not so long ago. It seems to us quite possible to use the TUF A15 as your everyday PC without automatically passing for the service gamer. A good point in our opinion.
To achieve this, ASUS is content with discreet colors: black and dark gray, and limits the eccentricities on the chassis. Apart from a few relief effects here and there and a honeycomb pattern on the bottom of the PC, nothing too conspicuous. On the other hand, there are a few winks to the “reinforced” approach to the product with four false rivets on the hood, as if to hold the aluminum plate fixed behind the screen.
ASUS also emphasizes the ease of disassembly of its new affordable darling. Access to the components is effectively done in two to three minutes, after unscrewing 10 small “phillips” screws (of different sizes) using a conventional Phillips screwdriver. Once the plastic plate is unclipped, the dissipation system appears in the same way as the battery, the M.2 SSD and the two memory modules (signed Micron). Only these three components can be changed.
A good keyboard and entry-level RGB
Let us come to the keyboard and to his comrade the trackpad. No problem here, on the contrary. Apart from an oddly shaped enter key and the annoying position of the “*” key (which you always strike without wanting to), the new TUF Gaming A15 has a very nice keyboard, with comfortable typing and a good gap between the keys. The race is rather long, which is positive, but we regret on the other hand that the return is not a firmer chouïa. Nothing particularly annoying, especially since you get used to it quickly enough.
Fans of RGB LEDs will also be served, with buttons capable of displaying all the colors of the rainbow. It is also possible to easily switch between the different backlight modes using the directional keys. However, it is not possible to configure the color of each key individually. Aside from that, the configuration is done in a few clicks from the Armory Crate tool from ASUS, quite successful, but above all interesting for monitoring the use of components.
The trackpad is precise and very sensitive. Too bad it is not clickable (you have to settle for two buttons) and that it is not larger. It remains nevertheless in the average of what is usually found on this type of machine. For the rest, note the presence of a poor webcam, barely sufficient for video exchanges, and the absence of a fingerprint sensor. The Zephyrus G14 included one in the power button: nothing here … you will have to identify with the old one.
AMD and its Ryzen 7 4800H at the controls of a very playful machine!
As we said in the introduction, ASUS declines its TUF Gaming again this year in Intel (F15 models) and AMD (A15 variants) versions. We received a loaner equipped with a Ryzen 7 4800H, one of the latest AMD processors. Generation “Renoir”, the latter takes advantage of both the Zen 2 architecture developed by the firm of Lisa Su (and used on Ryzen 3000 desktop processors), and the 7 nm engraving of TSMC. We therefore inherit what AMD is able to do best on the low-consumption SoC market in 2020.
Coupled with this brand new processor (announced in March and launched in mass on the market since April): a GeForce RTX 2060 from Nvidia, which clearly no longer has to prove itself, and 16 GB of DDR4. Let’s see what all these beautiful people can do in gaming but also in video editing.
To get an idea of the performance of the device, we launched two recent games, taking advantage of the effects arising from ray tracing and enabled by our RTX 2060: Shadow of the Tomb Raider and Control. In both cases, the experience proposed in 1080p encountered no particular pitfall.
ASUS TUF Gaming A15 Battery life
We’ve come to never expect too much from a gaming laptop when it comes to battery life, but here, the Asus TUF A15 doesn’t do too badly, with the PCMark 10 battery life benchmark, which replicates moderate use, taking five and a quarter hours to drain the battery.
That’s not too bad for a gaming laptop, and it’s partly because of the AMD Ryzen 7 4800H‘s energy efficiency, which doesn’t deplete the battery as fast as the more power-hungry Intel CPUs we often find in those laptops.
ASUS TUF Gaming A15 Audio
The laptop world most often leaves aside the audio quality on the speakers, preferring to settle for speakers with often dubious quality and almost nonexistent faculties. A logic that follows the letter TUF Gaming A15, without surprise.
In this regard, the device has everything to please (ironically), with two microscopic speakers opposite the size of the chassis, integrated on the underside of the PC for a properly missed sound, without relief or power, mainly focused on loud treble. Not a big deal, the noise emitted by the dissipation system is enough to cover most of the frequencies, which is basically no worse! We will be able to satisfy ourselves – but just barely – to watch a film on occasion or a few YouTube videos.
The Taiwanese PC can also highlight the serious design of its chassis, and the presence of a pleasant keyboard. The audio part is mixed, while the autonomy is very limited – as always or almost with this type of machine.
In reality the only TRUE defect of this TUF Gaming A15 is its screen. With the exception of its 144 Hz scan, which is always welcome, the IPS panel chosen by ASUS is difficult to defend, with strawberry colorimetry and indecent maximum brightness. Even indoors and with the backlight pushed to its last entrenchments, it is common to have trouble seeing its contents as one would like.