The ASUS TUF Gaming A15 FA506II-AS53 is a brilliant gaming laptop that manages to strike a sweet balance between performance and value, with a tough build quality and strong 1080p performance.
- Great 1080p performance
- Good value
- New AMD processors
- Very good battery life
- Not the most powerful gaming laptop
- Design won’t be for everyone
The Asus TUF Gaming A15 is one of the most exciting laptops line in the market, and the FA506II-AS53 model we’re reviewing blends AMD and Nvidia components to provide gamers tons of power at an affordable price. Packing AMD’s Ryzen 5 4600H processor and Intel’s GTX 1650 Ti graphics, its interesting to see how this TUF A15 brings feuding houses under one roof.
It’s a unique – but now new approach that Asus has been using to deliver more value to consumers who need a laptop that can play the latest games, but not willing to spend a fortune on hardware.
On the other hand, it looks like a pretty run-of-the-mill gaming laptop, without flashy design choices, as is the case with its Zephyrus sibling, which offer lots of power in slimline packages. Nor does it pack the best of highest-end components for gaming performance to compete with the best gaming PCs.
No, what makes us excited us about the Asus TUF A15 is the fact that it packs just enough power for gaming and brilliant productivity performance without causing irreparable damage to your wallet.
Asus TUF Gaming A15 specs
Asus TUF Gaming A15 design
Like other Asus TUF series laptops, the A15 FA506II-AS53 is a big, chunky system that’s nothing close to Asus’ ROG Zephyrus range – but then, that’s part of the charm. With the TUF line, we are used to devices that place build quality and durability at the forefront when it comes to design.
It’s certainly a design that affirms status of a gaming machine, but it’s not completely overboard either – and you’d really give it some credit for being the right size for lugging around. The chassis comes in two colors: Fortress Gray (the color on our review unit) and Bonfire Black.
Keyboard & Touchpad
When you open the lid, there are even more design choices to appeal to gamers. The choice RGB lighting for the keys, and the all-important WASD keys are illuminated with a translucent coloring, leaving no doubt of this being a gaming laptop.
The military grade design is certainly alluring, and is quite functional. It gives the laptop extra protection from daily knocks and bumps, and there’s also a honeycomb design on the base of the machine, which keeps the laptop from sliding about, with cells in the structure housing cooling vents.
Display & Ports
Having a chunky design means that you have enough room to accommodate plenty of ports, and in this case an Ethernet port, HDMI, two standard USB ports and a USB-C port on the left-hand side, along with a power plug in the power supply, while the right-hand side holds another standard USB.
It’s a robust selection, and should be sufficient for all your peripherals without the need of an adapter. For a gaming laptop, the presence of an adapter is much welcome, as it offers more reliable network speeds.
Meanwhile, the screen is a nice, large, 15.6-inch 1080p display with 144Hz, further bolstering the TUF Gaming A15’s gaming credentials. Still, you can get a version that top out at 60Hz refresh rate, but the rest of the features remain unchanged.
Asus FA506II-AS53 performance
As we mentioned from the onset of this review, the choice of components on the Asus TUF A15 made us particularly interested about this machine, and that includes the latest hardware from both AMD and Nvidia.
For the CPU, the FA506II-AS53 features the new AMD Ryzen 5 4600H. It’s not quite the flagship mobile processor from AMD (that title is currently held by the Ryzen 9 4900HS), but again, the TUF A15 isn’t aiming to be a flagship laptop. All we know for sure; it’s aiming to be a budget machine that offers a mix of performance and value, and that’s why we like the choice of the 4600H.
With 6 cores and 12 threads and a maximum boost clock of 4.0GHz, this chip easily delivers on both productivity tasks and gaming. To that, add 8GB and 512GB SSD and you have a spirited machine that can handle most (if not all) of your computing needs., may it be media editing or playing the latest games in 1080p.
This is paired with an Nvidia GTX 1650 Ti GPU. Again, this isn’t a flagship GPU (you have the RTX 30 Series), but it’s a capable 1080p performer, making it an excellent choice for this kind of gaming laptop. It’s one of Nvidia’s more affordable GPUs, but it still offers very good performance, and with 4GB DDR6 memory, it makes for a smart choice for a laptop whose cost need to be kept down.
Gaming & Graphics
With Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1650 Ti GPU (4GB) in tow, the TUF FA506II-AS53 stands out as a capable gaming laptop, that will let you play modern titles at 1080p and medium settings. The GTX 1650 Ti graphics card is the low-end version of Nvidia’s 2019-released gaming GPUs, hitting the market with the Turing-based RTX 20-Series graphics cards. Unlike its high-end siblings (RTX 3070 & RTX 3080), the GTX 1650 Ti doesn’t include any Raytracing or Tensor cores.
Still, it delivers better performance over last year’s GeForce GTX 1050 Ti graphics cards. Played at high settings and 1080p resolution, Far Cry New Dawn yields at 61 frames per second, but the same game runs at 63 fps at medium settings. Of course, you suffer from pixel lose as you move to ultra settings, topping out at 55 fps.
At the same settings, Hitman 3 at 1080p at a mix of medium and high settings, the TUF A15 renders the game at 71 fps. That’s slightly better for an entry-level gaming laptop as it goes above the 37-fps average.
Gaming laptops are never excellent when it comes to battery life, and the Asus TUF FA506II-AS53 we’re reviewing isn’t exceptional. Its battery lasts just over 6 hours and 56 minutes under normal use, which includes continuous web browsing, watching videos at 150 nits brightness. That’s over the entry-level gaming average of 4: 38 minutes, whereby the Acer Nitro 5 Spin leads the pack at 7 hours 11 minutes.
The Asus TUF A15 is an excellent gaming laptop that offers incredible value for money, and it manages to do so, without compromising performance and design. While it’s not the cheapest gaming laptop around, it manages to offer build quality and performance that its mid-range and budget rivals will find hard to beat.
However, don’t expect eye-popping 4K visuals since the screen here tops out at 1080p, and if you’re looking for something thin an lightweight, just look elsewhere. Otherwise, if all you need are an affordable gaming laptop for competitive play with robust build quality, the ASUS TUF Gaming A15 FA506II-AS53 is all yours. And all for a genuinely decent price too.
Last update on 2021-05-14 at 20:46 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
ASUS TUF Gaming A15 Gaming Laptop, 15.6” 144Hz Full HD IPS-Type Display, AMD Ryzen 5 4600H, GeForce GTX 1650 Ti, 8GB DDR4, 512GB PCIe SSD, RGB Keyboard, Windows 10 Home, Bonfire Black, FA506II-AS53
1 used from $812.24