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Asus TUF FX505 hands-on review: Nvidia and AMD join forces

Alongside a slew of ROG gaming laptops, Asus has also announced new TUF-branded devices that combine Nvidia and AMD components

At its ROG Re:Define conference in New York, Asus launched a plethora of high-powered premium gaming laptops. In addition to all the fancy, top-end ROG-branded goodies, there were some brand-new laptops on show from the budget-friendly TUF range.

The Asus TUF lineup is perhaps better known for its selection of durable gaming motherboards, but there are now a handful of laptops on offer as well. An acronym for “The Ultimate Force” (not a reference to Ross Kemp’s SAS show), the TUF range of laptops, according to Asus, offer the perfect blend of performance and durability.

The recently unveiled 15in TUF FX505 and 17in TUF FX705 laptops both use a combination of AMD and Nvidia chipsets, but it’s the smaller and (slightly) cheaper TUF FX505 that’s the most interesting of the two.

READ NEXT: Asus ROG Strix Scar III: 9th-Gen, 244Hz gaming

Asus TUF FX505 review: Key specifications, price and release date

  • 15.6in, 1.920 x 1,080 IPS display (120Hz refresh rate)
  • Quad-core 2.1GHz AMD Ryzen 5 3550H CPU (3.7GHz Turbo)
  • 8GB RAM
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 GPU (4GB VRAM)
  • 256GB PCIe SSD
  • MIL-STD 810G tested
  • 360 x 262 x 25.8mm
  • 2.2kg
  • Windows 10 Home
  • UK price: £800
  • UK release date: May 2019

Asus TUF FX505 review: Design, key features and first impressions

TUF laptops have a more conservative design than their flashy, RGB-tastic ROG brethren. The TUF FX505 is understated when compared to the likes of the new ROG Strix Scar III; as far as gaming laptops go, its design is pretty conventional. Its aluminium gunmetal grey chassis isn’t the thinnest around but at 360 x 262 x 25.8mm (WDH), it’s still reasonably sleek, and tipping the scales at 2.2kg makes it portable enough.

Asus has reinforced the base of the laptop with a hexagonal design to improve “structural rigidity”, with an “X” cut into the laptop’s lid. The bezels surrounding the 15.6in IPS display are slim, although not quite as skinny as some of the new ROG laptops that are doing away with built-in webcams.

There’s a generous desktop-sized keyboard on the TUF FX505, complete with a dedicated numpad, highlighted WASD keys and RGB backlighting. I especially like the chunky spacebar and the way the arrow keys jut out below the bottom row of keys, which should make them easier to press. Below the keyboard is a nice, spacious touchpad with integrated left and right clickers.

The TUF FX505 doesn’t have as many ports as I’d expect from a gaming laptop. All are situated on the left-hand side: you’ll find a proprietary power socket, RJ45 Ethernet port, HDMI 2.0, a single USB Type-A (2.0) port, two USB Type-A (3.1) ports and, finally, a 3.5mm audio jack. The lack of a USB Type-C port certainly isn’t ideal.

Asus has only confirmed one model of the TUF FX505 for the UK. The Asus TUF FX505DT-AL086T, to give it its full name, has a 15.6in FHD IPS display with a 120Hz refresh rate (slightly behind the 144Hz models sold in the US and Asia) and runs on an AMD Ryzen 5 3350H chipset. This model comes with 8GB RAM and, for gaming, it packs the recently announced Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 graphics card.

This combination of AMD and Nvidia components is cheaper than the typical Intel and Nvidia gaming laptop setup – Asus is offering the TUF FX505 for only £800. That’s about as affordable as gaming laptops get, and a far cry from the luxury models in the infamously pricey ROG stable. And, in case you’re interested, the TUF FX505 has passed military grade MIL-STD-810G testing, which means it’s resistant to extreme temperatures – among other things. It’s also able to endure “twice the shock” force of a standard laptop.

Asus TUF FX505 review: Early verdict

Good budget gaming laptops are hard to come by these days, so I’m keen to see how the Asus TUF FX505 performs when it arrives in the Expert Reviews labs. The added durability of the TUF range also sets it apart from the pack, as does the surprise combination of AMD and Nvidia components.

Along with the larger TUF FX705, the Asus TUF FX505 is available to preorder today, and will arrive in shops sometime in May.

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