There has been a lot of excitement and anticipation surrounding the new 4000 series AMD Ryzen processors, and the Asus TUG Gaming A15 happens to be the first gaming laptop to launch in the country with one of them on board. The TUF Gaming A15 we received for review is powered by the Ryzen 7 4800H, the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660Ti, 16GB of DDR memory and plenty of storage. Let’s see if this new machine is worth all the hype around it.
Asus TUF Gaming A15 Review Gaming Performance
Let’s get right to the point. How does the Asus TUF Gaming A15 honestly hit its main target? Damn good! The Ryzen 7 4800H and the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660Ti make a formidable combination, pushing most modern titles well above the bare minimum of 60 fps. We tested some popular games that run at 1080p, with their high and medium graphics presets. The average frame rates are in the chart below.
While testing the gaming performance, we noticed that the Nvidia GTX 1660Ti got the most out of its usage, while CPU usage stayed around 60 percent. This leads us to believe that if the Ryzen 7 4800H has enough headroom to spare, users could get even higher frame rates out of this machine when paired with a more expensive GPU, say the RTX 2060.
Asus TUF Gaming A15 Review Creative Workload Performance
Creative professionals who couldn’t afford it MacBook Pro would usually turn to slot machines to meet the demands of their creative professions. It’s only now that the OEMs are starting to realize the potential and as such are specifically tuning their gaming laptops to act as machine tools as well. To this end, Nvidia has even created the Studio drivers for their GeForce GPUs to boost the performance of photo, video, and 3D creation tools. We tested how long it takes Adobe Lightroom Classic to export a batch of 50, 100, 250, and 500 RAW files shot with a Nikon D800. We compared the export times with those of the Asus ROG Zephyrus G (GA502) powered by last year’s Ryzen 7 3750H. The numbers are shocking to say the least. The Asus TUF Gaming A15 practically performs all export tasks HALF the time.
Asus TUF Gaming A15 Review Benchmark Performance
We ran a lot of benchmarks on the Asus TUF Gaming A15 and again, the new AMD Ryzen 7 4800H showed some significant performance jumps compared to not only the previous generation AMD processors, but also Intel’s chips offered in this segment. . Below are some benchmark results from our tests. We’ve already been very impressed with the gaming and editing power of the TUF Gaming A15, so at this point the benchmark numbers are just to hammer home the point.
Asus TUF Gaming A15 Review Screen
The display is a crucial part of slot machines and that is why Asus tries to provide as many parameters as possible. We get a full HD monitor at IPS level with a refresh rate of 144Hz and Adaptive Sync. On paper this looks great, but in practice it’s a little different. However, while the monitor achieves the advertised 144Hz refresh rate on the Blur Busters UFO test, we found the response time wasn’t the fastest for the panel. While it wasn’t a problem for campaign modes in the games we played, some gamers might find it problematic during competitive online gaming sessions. Content creators won’t be thrilled either, as the screen isn’t very bright, nor is it capable of full sRGB color reproduction. We noted a peak brightness of 294 lux with our lux meter, with good uniformity across the edges. The color reproduction isn’t the best either, but the viewing angles are typical of IPS screens. If your editing work doesn’t involve color sensitive work, rendering shouldn’t be an issue, but doing color correction makes rendering an absolute deal-breaker.
The Asus TUF Gaming A15 manages to pack a 48Wh battery into its chassis, and the new Ryzen 4000 series processors also promise to be more forgiving about battery life. We tested this using PCMark 10’s multiple battery benchmarks. In the gaming benchmark, the laptop lasted all 45 minutes. The Modern Office test, which simulates battery life for everyday work, showed an increased battery life of 2 hours and 48 minutes. We supplemented PCMark’s tests with one of our own. Using the laptop unplugged for a normal workday made the TUF Gaming A15 last two and a half hours, which isn’t bad in any way.
Keyboard, trackpad and IO
Featuring a well-tried and trusted keyboard, the Asus TUF Gaming A15 improves on one of the biggest trackpad issues found in TUF series laptops of the past. The keyboard is practically the same as that found on the Scar and Hero series laptops. That means you get 1.8mm of travel and of course RGB. The keyboard has a single-zone RGB configuration, although we would have preferred at least 4-zone RGB lighting. The arrow keys are a bit on the small side and given how close together they are, they can be problematic to use while gaming. The WASD keys, on the other hand, are great. Asus has made the WASD keys semi-transparent, which adds a nice visual touch, but a fan under the keys draws in cold air, keeping the keys cool. This is a huge boon for gamers as most keyboards on gaming laptops tend to get sweltering hot.
Moving to the trackpad gives you a smooth surface to slide your fingers on, but the best part is that Asus has finally put individual buttons on the trackpad, making them both much more usable. While you may not be able to take headshots with a sniper rifle while playing on the trackpad, it’s still usable for most game scenarios that don’t require pinpoint precision or quick movements.
Finally, we have a large selection of ports. The right side houses a single USB 3.0 port, while the left side houses the Ethernet port, a full-size HDMI port, two USB 3.0 ports and also a Type-C port. Finally, gamers also get a combined headphone/microphone 3.5mm jack. It’s nice that Asus has bundled all the ports on the left, leaving the right side free, so your hand can move freely while using an external mouse.
Build and design
The Asus TUF Gaming A15 weighs 2.3 kilograms and is less than a centimeter thick at its thinnest. It’s not a super-thin or super-light machine, but that’s because Asus put a LOT of copper into this thing. There’s a lot of copper piping running across the CPU GPU, but even the side and back vents have copper blocks for better heat exchange. The back of the laptop almost resembles a sports car, with the bright copper peeking through the black grilles.
While the base of the laptop is extremely sturdy, we were a little disappointed with the lid. There’s way too much flex for anyone’s liking, and the hinge has some slack too. We don’t expect the hinge to loosen over time, but it would have been nice not to have a wobbly screen.
I think this is the first of many moments where I am impressed. The Asus TUF Gaming A15 is lifted considerably by the AMD Ryzen 7 4800H and the Nvidia GeForce 1660Ti. The combination is perfect for anyone who wants to improve their gaming experience to above 60 fps. The TUF Gaming A15 also makes for a great render station, capable of exporting massive amounts of RAW files at times faster than we’ve ever seen before in this price range and then some. We do not recommend using the machine for any kind of color sensitive processing due to its less than stellar color accuracy. As a pure gaming machine, however, the Asus TUF Gaming A15 ticks all the right boxes.