Asus Tuf Gaming FX 504 review : An affordable gaming champion

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ASUS is known for their ROG series all over the world, but the TUF series is known for its enhanced durability. Asus TUF FX504 is the first laptop in the new ‘TUF Gaming’ Series. TUF series of Asus has good performance at an affordable price to PC gaming enthusiasts . I used this laptop for about two weeks and it performed very well.

Pros

  • Great keyboard and trackpad
  • Anti Dust fan
  • runs quiet with daily use
  • very fast wireless
  • Affordable price tag
  • Matte 120Hz screen

Cons

  • Bulky form factor
  • loud fans under load
  • average speakers
  • only gets a 48 Wh battery

Lets start the review now.

Quick specifications

  • 2.2 GHz Intel Core i7-8750H Six-Core
  • 8GB DDR4 | 128GB M.2 NVMe SSD + 1TB HDD
  • 15.6″ 1920 x 1080 IPS-Level Display
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (4GB GDDR5)
  • USB 3.1 Gen 1 | USB 2.0 | HDMI
  • Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) | Bluetooth
  • Backlit Keyboard
  • NVIDIA Optimus Technology
  • Gears of War 4 & Age of Empires Included
  • Windows 10 Home (64-Bit)

Design and Build

First lets take a look at its design, TUF FX504 has the plastic body with the brushed aluminum finish. The track pad is big and supports most of the Windows 10 gestures.

While closed, the TUF FX504 definitely looks tough looks stealthy, but also militaristic. It has a nice glint when moved across the light and is quite gorgeous.
Opening it up reveals something very familiar, especially if you’ve already been acquainted with the FX series. We have a 15.6-inch display with regrettable, but forgivable bezels.

It has a red backlit keyboard with decent key travel with the WASD keys being bold highlighted.

Now Moving on to the I/O, the left side has the power input, HDMI port, one USB 2.0, two USB 3.0, and a combo audio jack. It’s great that ASUS finally decided to put the USB 2.0 port on the left side. The right side has the Kensington lock and a full-size SD card slot.


Overall, this laptop from ASUS definitely feels very sturdy and might even be able to take a serious beating, but they don’t call it TUF for nothing. The stealthiness of the design is spot-on, and the inclusion of a 120Hz display is a plus point for it.

Performance

Asus FX504 is powered by the latest 8th Generation Intel Core i7-8750 processor, and features up to NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti graphics with full Microsoft® DirectX® 12 support. It comes in a slim 2.5cm chassis weighing just 2.3kg makes it the most portable gaming laptop. Along with that it also comes with 8GB RAM, 1TB FireCuda SSHD, and 128GB PCIE SSD.  With combination of all high end hardware it offers a combination of performance and portability that’s great for on-the-go multitasking, entertainment, and gaming.

One of the key features of this gaming beast is the HyperCool technology.The thermal design of FX504 significantly prolongs its lifespan and provides stable cooling during intense gaming marathons. HyperCool technology pairs the patented Anti-Dust Cooling(ADC) system with Fan Overboost. The ADC system expels harmful dust particles and dirt through two dedicated tunnels to prevent build-up in the thermal fins. The Fan Overboost function provides users with three different modes for the perfect balance between fan performance and noise level.

You can expect the laptop to work just fine. Chrome and other applications like Word, Origin, Steam and more – loads up quickly and it’s snappy – thanks to the SSD. During these task, the laptop handles the temperature fairly well. Both the processor and Graphics Card has a temperature about 37 – 39 degree C.

Now on to some gaming – GTA V, far cry 4, Need For Speed: No Limits and Evil Within 2. We noticed the following – there are minor frame drops heavy animation happening around and during the game play – it drops a bit more. After playing for about 3 hours +, the game does get a bit of lag and sorts.

Here are some benchmark scores

  • Geekbench 4 64-bit: Single-Core: 4635, Multi-core: 16579;
  • CineBench 11.5: OpenGL 72.14 fps, CPU 11.12 pts, CPU Single Core 1.98 pts;
  • 3DMark 13: Sky Driver –21599, Fire Strike – 7079, Time Spy – 2566;

Battery life

The Asus FX504 has a 48 WHr, 3S 1P – 4 Cell Lithium Ion battery which in inside it which is small for this day and age. You’ll have to accept that the battery life is not this one of its main selling points, even if there’s Optimus on-board, which means the Nvidia GPU switches off and the Intel chip takes over for daily activities.

Under balanced mode, with 50% brightness – the laptop was able to last for almost 3 hours (2 hours 45 minutes) – till 0%.
The laptop comes with a standard 120 Wh power brick and a full charge takes around 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Keyboard and Trackpad

This keyboard shines when it comes to the overall typing experience though. The keys click well and offer the right amount of resistance and the right feedback, at least for my taste. They’re also backlit (with red illumination) and quiet. While typing this article I did however notice that the Left Shift key needs to be pressed firmer than I’m used to in order to actuate properly, which lead to a few errors while getting accustomed to this keyboard.

Every key has a key travel of 1.8mm with 62g peak force. If you look closely, the keys have a slight curve to it. Asus claims that this is done to improve the ergonomics. 

The trackpad is alright. It’s a plastic surface made by Elan, with Precision drivers, and it performed well during our time with this laptop. The physical clicks are fairly nice as well and they’re silent, just make sure to press towards the corners though, otherwise they can get a little stiff.

Final Verdict

The Asus TUF FX504 is one of the first mid-range gaming laptops to sell with Intel Coffee Lake hardware. The main Usp’s of this laptop are the 120 HZ screen, the keyboard and the hardware, alongside perks like the anti-dust cooling system, the 7.1 capable audio output, the fast wireless or the advertised durability. Battery life, connectivity and speakers are not that good in this machine.

The TUF FX504 series was launched in india starting at 69,990 INR.   It is aggressively priced, but competes in a highly competitive niche. If the performance actually proves to be on par with the expectations, the Asus FX504 is definitely a solid buy across the board. 

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