Thursday , 14 November 2019

ASUS TUF FX505DU Review: TUF Gets Tougher

We review ASUS’ new notebook!

ASUS has seen fit to refresh their TUF FX505 gaming notebook with new externals and internals. Dubbed the FX505DU, the new model comes with a ton of external upgrades including a metal lid, Aura Sync keyboard and more importantly, and AMD Ryzen processor and NVIDIA’s newest GPUs. The new notebook looks better, sleeker and performs better, but is it worth the higher price tag?

TUF in metal

ASUS’ TUF gaming notebooks have had a distinct aesthetic since their inception, and the new iteration of the gaming line doesn’t deviate from said aesthetic at all. The biggest change here is that ASUS clad the FX505DU in metal instead of plastic.

That simple material change makes the FX505DU feel so much better in daily use, as the notebook’s lid and chassis no longer flex when you apply small amounts of pressure.

Overall the notebook feels to have been improved in small places as well. The hinge opens easily and doesn’t move at all when in place, indicating a sturdier design.

Same 15-inch display as before

The FX505DU retains the same 15.6-inch display as the previous iteration, which isn’t that bad, all things considered. The notebook still has the same 120Hz refresh rate, slim bezels, and that diamond-cut corner. A small webcam sits on the top bezel.

As far as display quality goes, it’s alright. The notebook has decent viewing angles, colors look good though it needs color correction and calibrating if you’re planning to use the FX505DU in creative work like photo and video coverage.

RGB keyboard for the RGB life

Aside from the new metal chassis and lid, ASUS also overhauled the keyboard of the FX505DU. The keys are now RGB-enabled via the company’s Aura Sync system, and you can customize how everything looks which is a big step up from the predominantly red backlit keys of the cheaper FX505.

The keys feel great, responsive and have plenty of travel, which made typing on the notebook a breeze. It’s definitely one of the better keyboards we’ve tested on a gaming notebook, that’s for sure.

If there’s one thing we hate about the FX505DU, it has got to be the touchpad. It’s the most horrendous touchpad we’ve tested thus far, is often unresponsive and overall very difficult to use. The good news is that since the FX505DU is a gaming notebook you’ll probably be using a mouse most of the time since it’s a gaming notebook, but if you ever find yourself mouseless, you’ll be tearing your hair out dealing with the touchpad.

The chassis is quite big so it’s not surprising that there’s a whole slew of ports on the side of the notebook including an AC port, Ethernet, HDMI, 1x USB 2.0, 2x USB 3.0, and a combo headphone jack.

We were surprised to learn that there’s no SD card slot on the FX505DU nor a USB Type-C port anywhere. That’s a little annoying, especially since more and more devices now are using the standard and it’s usually present in ASUS’ other gaming notebooks.

Excellent performance out of the new NVIDIA GPU

There’s an unlikely pairing inside the FX505DU – the processor is from the red camp, specifically an AMD Ryzen 7 3750H chipset, paired with a GPU from the green team, the GTX 1660Ti.

There’s also 8GB of RAM inside the FX505DU, along with 256GB SSD drive paired with 1TB HDD.

Of course, the entire point of the notebook is gaming, so let’s take a look at what it’s capable of in benchmarks:

As you can see, the FX505DU is capable of running most modern games in their highest resolutions and still get either above 60 FPS or close to it, with the exception of Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey. To be fair even better-specc’d desktops have trouble running that game above 60 so it’s not surprising that the FX505DU can barely go past 40.

The fans are terribly loud though on the FX505DU, especially once they kick in when you’re gaming. It’s certainly noticeable over the output of the speakers.

Speaking of sound, the speakers that are located on the sides of the notebook did OK. Not great, but not terrible either (let’s say about 3.6 roentgen). You’d be probably better served with either external speakers or a headset with the notebook when it comes to gaming.

Battery life isn’t that great

Overall battery life for the FX505DU is pretty mediocre, which is to be expected since this is a machine that’s primarily made for gaming. On our WiFi connected YouTube test where we just autoplay YouTube with screen brightness at 50% and sound at 50%, the FX505DU ran for 5 hours before it completely tapped out.

Verdict: Good performance with better exterior though at a higher price

ASUS’ TUF FX505DU is miles ahead of its plastic-clad brethren. The notebook feels tougher, more premium and feels better put together than its cheaper sibling.

And thanks to a better processor and GPU, it’s more capable of taking advantage of its 120Hz panel, though you’ll have to lower graphical settings a little bit to go past 60 frames reliably.

The tradeoff here is that the TUF FX505DU is significantly more expensive, coming in at Php 71,995 for the configuration that we reviewed.

ASUS TUF Gaming FX505DU Specs

  • AMD Ryzen 7-3750H processor
  • 8GB DDR4 2666MHz SDRAM
  • NVIDIA GTX 1660Ti Discrete GPU with 6GB GDDR6 VRAM, Radeon RX Vega 10 Integrated GPU
  • 15.6-inch (16:9) LED-backlit FHD (1920×1080) 120Hz Anti-Glare Panel with 45% NTSC color accuracy
  • 1TB SATA HDD, 256GB PCIe SSD
  • DTS Headphone:X, Armoury Crate
  • 3-cell 48Wh battery

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