Asus TUF Dash 15 FX517ZM-AS73 Review

$871.97 $949.99 SEE AT AMAZON

8.4 Total Score
EXCELLENT

The Asus TUF Dash 15 FX517ZM-AS73 is an attractively thin gaming clamshell with an eSports ready screen and the latest Intel Alder Lake CPU paired with a capable Nvidia RTX 3060 graphics card.

PROS
  • Long battery life
  • Super thin and light
  • Strong gaming performance
  • Plenty of ports
CONS
  • Flat keyboard
  • Frame rates could be better

Gaming laptops like the Asus TUF Dash 15 FX517ZM-AS73, that pack mid-range performance in thin and light profiles, have traditionally been much more expensive, than your typical traditional gaming portable. If you ever wanted a gaming laptop that would run the latest AAA titles at high settings and needed to carry it around in your backpack, you were most likely looking at dropping a couple grand on it.

However, this time, thanks in large part to Intel’s new 12th generation Alder Lake processors, the Dash 15 FX517ZM-AS73 brings a luxurious gaming experience to a very palatable price point to start.

It’s important to note that, because of the lightweight design of the FX517ZM-AS73, this laptop probably won’t be the most powerful RTX 3060-powered gaming laptop on the market – but it’s sufficiently powerful to run everything at solid framerates.

Last year, we reviewed the Asus TUF Dash 15 (TUF516PE-AB73) and we liked it for its portable profile and solid gaming performance with an 11th generation and RTX 3050Ti graphics card. For 2022, Asus now offers even better performance thanks to a newer 12th generation CPU and RTX 3060, and it doesn’t cost as much as a down payment on a car.

If all you’ve been waiting for is a capable gaming laptop that can play the latest AAA games at high settings without being too expensive, the new Asus TUF Dash 15 should be at the top of your list.

Asus TUF Dash 15 Specs

  • CPU: Intel Core i7-12650H (6 P-core, 4 E-cores)
  • Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060
  • RAM: 16GB DDR5-4800MHz
  • Screen: 15-inch 1080p IPS, 144Hz
  • Storage: 512 GB SSD
  • Optical drive: N/A
  • Camera: HD Webcam
  • Weight: 4.41 pounds
  • Size: 13.94 x 9.88 x 0.81 inches

Design: Sleek and Portable

Asus TUF Dash 15 screen

When opening the Asus TUF Dash 15 FX517ZM-AS73, you have to do a double-take to be sure it’s a TUF product and not a ROG Zephyrus. For starters, Asus’ TUF lineup of gaming laptops and accessories is aimed at a budget audience that just wants the most bang for their buck. As such, these products take a utilitarian approach to design and performance, but the FX517ZM-AS73 is a masterpiece of both.

This laptop is just 0.8 inches thick and weighs in at just 4.5lb, which is extremely thin and light for a gaming laptop. Both the keyboard deck and lid are made of aluminum with a beautiful gray colorway, meaning it doesn’t lose rigidity for the sake of portability. The bottom is made of plastic, so don’t think you’re getting a unibody or anything, that’s something still reserved for much more expensive devices.

Display

Asus TUF Dash 15 ports

The display is a Full HD panel, with a 144hz refresh rate, making it a big deal for esports, especially paired with an RTX 3060. With an average peak brightness of 265 nits and averaging 110% of the sRGB spectrum, the screen is also bright and colorful enough for single-player hits, too.

The bezels surrounding the display aren’t the thinnest we’ve seen around, and definitely not thick enough to distract your gaming experience. We’re glad that Asus finally re-introduced the webcam that was missing from its previous models.

The TUF Dash 15 has a plethora of ports under its sleeve, with two USB-A ports on the left side. Over the left, you get one more USB-A, along with a Thunderbolt 4, HDMI, Ethernet, a 3.5mm combo jack, and a dedicated charging port. Now, while it gets a dedicated charging port, you can charge the Dash TUF via USB-C, only that it is not quite as fast.

Keyboard and Touchpad

Asus TUF Dash 15 lid

Asus offers good keyboards, overall; and the Dash TUF’s keyboard isn’t exceptional. It’s comfy to type on, with plenty of key travel, considering the thin build of the laptop. Individual keys are well spaced, though we wish the lighting was a bit different. It doesn’t have RGB lighting, again another compromise for the price. Instead, you just have teal backlighting, and this isn’t the most attractive color in the world, and it looks worse around WASD keys, which are clear.

What’s cool however is that there are some dedicated keys above the keyboard that are genuinely useful. You can control volume without having to awkwardly straddle between the Fn key and the function keys, along with a dedicated mic mute button and one that opens the Asus Armoury Crate software.

As for the trackpad, it’s fine. It’s big enough to use gestures and the clicking mechanism is sturdy enough, but for a gaming laptop, you really should be going with a gaming mouse, anyway.

Performance

As a standout, the FX517ZM-AS73 is one of the first machines to arrive with an Intel i7-12650H Alder      Lake CPU. Announced in January, these series of chips were designed specifically for ultraportable laptops, as they can operate at a TDP between 35W and 45W. Our Dash TUF 15 review unit comes with an Intel Core Intel i7-12650H. It runs at up to 45W and has 10 CPU cores (6 performance cores, 4 efficient cores) and a clock speed of up to 4.70 GHz.

The Asus FX517ZM-AS73 model in this review combines the 12th generation CPU with a 512GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD and 16GB DDR5 4800MHz RAM. That, right there, is enough to keep up to 17 Google Chrome tabs running, with one streaming a TV show, Spotify, and the Epic Games launcher. The last tab will make the fans kick up for a few seconds, but they are not so loud to overpower the audio.

Sale
ASUS TUF Dash 15 (2021) Ultra Slim Gaming Laptop, 15.6" 144Hz FHD, GeForce...
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Ti 4GB GDDR6 up to 1585MHz at 60W (75W with Dynamic Boost 2.0)
  • Intel Core i7-11370H processor (12M Cache, up to 4.8GHz)
  • 15.6” 144Hz IPS-Type Full HD (1920x1080) display with adaptive sync

For graphics, Asus opted for the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 graphics card, which is a faster variant of the RTX 3050 Ti mobile card, and is based on the GA106 Ampere chip. This GPU packs 3840 CUDA, with increased Ray Tracing and Tensor cores. As such, if you’re looking for a cost-effective way to enter into the world of Ray-Tracing and DLSS you may not easily get a better deal than this Dash 15.

Since the RTX 3060 here is built on Nvidia’s Ampere architecture, it easily brings along the second-generation implementation of its ray-tracing tech. Furthermore, the performance is boosted a lot by this in games that support it. For instance, Metro Exodus at Ultra settings scored 59 fps on average without ray tracing. When turned on, thanks to Nvidia’s DLSS tech, it pops to 68 fps.

Clearly, that’s the ideal 60 fps that you might be hoping for, but at Ultra settings, it’s more than playable. Considering that you‘re getting that performance in a computer that can easily fit in your backpack, we consider it a win.

Battery life

Gaming laptops have a thing with having short battery life, though we’ve seen notable improvements recently. Most notably, in early 2020, the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 came out with an AMD Ryzen 4000 processor and an RTX 2060, through which we saw an amazing 8 hours of battery life.

The Asus FX517ZM-AS73 is even better, nearing 10 hours of battery life, with an even powerful GPU and a faster 144GHz display. This means that this gaming laptop should not have absolutely any issue getting you through a full workday. And, if you factor in how heavy the charging brick is, being able to bring this thing to work without the brick is a huge plus.

Verdict

Asus once again delivers a portable, nice-looking and super-powerful midrange gaming laptop without going too hard on your pockets.  The Asus TUF Dash 15 expertly balanced performance, practicality, and value. Again, its Alder Lake Core i7 processor offers more performance cores than its predecessor, giving you more pep for the latest AAA games when paired with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 mobile GPU. The Dash TUF 15 is inherently practical with its comfortable keyboard and superb battery life.

That said, its gaming performance is only status quo with its last-generation gaming notebooks since its GPU is cast to a low power level, from what we’re seeing in the early run, not all RTX 3060 notebooks are created equal. At least this runs relatively cool and quiet.

The FX517ZM-AS73 will play the latest titles at high settings, but Asus hasn’t fully solved the performance conundrum of a slim gaming laptop with the Dash 15. It performs similarly to the Acer Predator Helios 300 with a 10th gen Intel Core i7 processor and Nvidia’s RTX 3060 graphics card. So, the Dash F15 offers good gaming performance for the price; it’s just not much of an upgrade over last-gen machines.

But if you’re in the market for a lightweight laptop with a premium screen and components that can handle high-end gaming with good frame rates for the price, the Asus TUF Dash 15 FX517ZM-AS73 is for you.

Last update on 2022-12-05 at 09:22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

OUR PICK

ASUS TUF Dash 15 (2022) Gaming Laptop, 15.6” 144Hz FHD Display, Intel Core i7-12650H, GeForce RTX 3060, 16GB DDR5, 512GB SSD, Thunderbolt 4, Thunderbolt 4, Windows 11 Home, Off Black, FX517ZM-AS73

$1,299.99
$1,184.94
 in stock
22 new from $1,184.94
10 used from $975.88
Amazon.com
as of December 5, 2022 9:29 am
Asus TUF Dash 15 FX517ZM-AS73 Review
Asus TUF Dash 15 FX517ZM-AS73 Review
$871.97 $949.99
Digital Weekly
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