The new model for 2021 of the Asus TUF Dash F15 is a gaming laptop with a price that starts only from 1,299 euros , despite having the latest generation of components from brands such as Intel and Nvidia. And all that, in a slim and relatively light format compared to the competition.
Gaming laptops have become a great option for gamers who are frustrated by the current market situation. The crypto fever makes it impossible to find a new graphics card due to its RRP, and that triggers the price of desktop gaming computers.
Portable to play ‘low cost’
The solution may lie in opting for a gaming laptop; They are not as powerful, but they do have other advantages, and as Asus demonstrates with the TUF Dash F15 , they can be obtained at tighter prices.
This model belongs to the TUF range, and therefore, it is not the most advanced of Asus; That honor goes to the ROG brand. But that does not mean that they are not interesting models, especially since they inherit many characteristics from their ‘older brothers’.
Asus TUF Dash F15 closed
A look at the TUF Dash F15 tells us that and more. The design includes parts that look like something out of the latest ROGs, such as the hinge design; but betting even more on gaming aesthetics . When closed, it might look like any other gray laptop, if it weren’t for the big TUF letters and logo; Open, the green-lit keyboard, and original geometric shapes on buttons and cooling slots make it clear that this is a gaming laptop.
The keys of the Asus TUF Dash F15
The keyboard is perhaps the aspect that will generate the most conflicting opinions, not only because of the choice of color, but also because of the design and the decision to leave the transparent WASD keys , which every player of first person shooter games knows instinctively as if they were his own legs. It’s one of those designs that you love or hate.
Light but complete
The “Dash” version indicates that we are facing a thin (19.9 mm thick) and light gaming laptop, with a more measured volume compared to its range peers. We do not want to confuse it, it is still relatively heavy (especially added to the 200W charger) compared to an ultrabook and other laptops from Asus itself, but for gaming it is surprising.
And despite this, it continues to feel sturdy, difficult to bend and resistant; Asus promises “military durability” and you can take it with you without fear. It’s also an easy-to-upgrade and maintain notebook, just like the old ones, with access to storage and RAM just by removing a few screws.
We will not miss ports with the Asus TUF Dash F15
To be finer, the TUF Dash F15 doesn’t sacrifice much when it comes to usability. We have all kinds of ports at our disposal, including 3 USB-A, 1 USB-C (with Thunderbolt 4), 1 HDMI and 1 Ethernet for the network; or we can connect through the new Wi-Fi 6 wirelessly.
What this laptop does not have is a camera , the result of an Asus decision taken before the global pandemic; It is true that now we miss her, but in her day it was only the most logical decision. It is something to keep in mind if video calls have become an important part of your day to day.
For the 15-inch screen, Asus has been smart and doesn’t even give the option of getting a 4K; It only offers one variety, but it’s just the right one: a 1080p panel, with a high refresh rate of 240 Hz and a response time of 3 ms. Too many times we have seen gaming laptops that go ‘drowned out’ at the screen’s native resolution.
The screen of the Asus TUF Dash F15 is very fast
It’s true that the TUF Dash F15’s display won’t surprise anyone with its sharpness, brightness, and color treatment, although it’s not bad in any of those respects. In return, it is very fast and performs excellently in all games; And of course, that allows you to run them at the native screen resolution with the available hardware, to avoid a blurry image and play at high frames taking advantage of the high refresh rate.
The right power
Speaking of hardware, this is decidedly a mid-range notebook, based on a quad-core, eight-thread Intel Core i7-11370H at up to 5 GHz. It is part of Intel’s new Tiger Lake-H range and as such focuses in offering great performance in single threads, something that favors video games over other programs.
That also implies that it is not as good at multitasking as the AMD Ryzen; It will help us study or work, but content creators and enthusiasts will want to find another model.
Synthetic tests confirm this, with Cinebench R20 scoring a remarkable 577 points on a single core, but only 2752 points on multicore, and PCMark 10 scoring a not inconsiderable 5905 points.
Nvidia RTX 3070 graphics take advantage of current games
But this is a gaming laptop, and it is in video games that the strength of the TUF Dash F15 should reside. It is possible to mount two different graphics on this model: the RTX 3060 or the RTX 3070 ; the unit we were able to test used the latter, a high-mid-range graphics that more than met our expectations.
We have no doubt: it is possible to play all current and future titles on this laptop without problems, and in many cases, with maximum graphics and high refresh rates. In our tests, even the most demanding games like Control surpassed 70 frames per second with ease; although you will have to lower the quality of the graphics in Cyberpunk 2077 , especially if you want to activate ray-tracing, something that is possible on this laptop.
In games like Apex , Necromunda Hired Gun and GhostRunner , it is where the choice of screen is most appreciated, thanks to the high frame rates obtained above 140 frames per second. The experience in video games is very good, both for the power and the screen and for the keyboard, which offers a good tactile sensation, although the sound is not spectacular, the speakers are not capable of offering the impact we are looking for in our games.
Another annoying aspect is in the refrigeration; Although at no time have we had problems, nor have we closed a game due to extreme temperatures, the system is not capable of expelling heat from the chassis.
As a result, the keyboard can get a bit hot , especially in certain areas; curiously, this is the biggest difference I have seen compared to a ROG of the same Asus. It is possible to get used to it, and if we use a separate keyboard and mouse we will not mind, but it is to take it into account.
But without a doubt, the worst thing about this laptop is the battery, whose duration is far from what was promised; we have barely managed a couple of hours of use, and without playing. Again, if you’re using this laptop as your main computer and it’s connected to the network (something more and more people are doing), that won’t matter too much to you.
The Asus TUF Dash F15 is a laptop that focuses on the most important thing for the gamer, the power necessary to run their games; the rest is sacrificed a little for the sake of that performance. We must remember the starting price of this laptop, only 1,299 euros; It is more difficult than ever to find good equipment in that price range, let alone one that allows us to play the latest equipment and achieves it with this thickness and weight.
Alternative to buying a PC
Taking that into account, we can say that Asus’ decision was the correct one. The components used do the job, and offer very good frame rates in all games tested. The choice of display is something engineers should be proud of, prioritizing speed over resolution, a pure gamer mindset.
Asus TUF Dash F15
But if we buy this laptop, we must control our expectations in other aspects, such as the battery or heat dissipation; in return, we have advantages such as manufacturing quality or thickness that we cannot find in other low-cost laptops.
The Asus TUF Dash F15 is now available on the Asus website , and on Amazon you can get it at even better prices: the model with the RTX 3070 that we have tested is for only 1,419 euros , quite a bargain.