The ASUS TUF Gaming F15 has been updated for 2022, with some models adding a punch, but the FX506LH-AS51 model’s overall appeal remains the same. In practice, it’s affordable, the performance is there, and Asus cut some corners to nail its low price point.
- Good performance for the price
- Solid 144Hz IPS screen
- RGB backlit keyboard
- 512GB SSD is better than 256GB
- The screen would be brighter
The Asus TUF Gaming F15 has now been updated for 2022, with the latest hardware including Intel’s latest 12th Gen CPU and Nvidia RTX 30 Series graphics and a 15.6-inch screen that boasts both full 1440p resolution and 165Hz refresh rate.
When you factor in the latest components packed inside, the price is justified, making it a perfect choice for midrange gamers and content creators.
However, if you’re shopping on a tight budget, splashing anything above $1,000 on a laptop is a little too much, no matter the appeal. The Asus TUF gaming model we’re reviewing – the FX506LH-AS51- costs almost half as much as the Asus TUF FX507ZM-ES74, packs a previous generation CPU and GPU but delivers a punch when it comes to gaming performance, and is a value productivity workhorse.
There are a couple of compromises made to make this laptop work at its low price, though. The most noticeable is going to be the 10th gen CPU and an Nvidia GTX graphics card. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen this in a gaming laptop either, the Acer AN515-55-53E5 from 2021 – still one of our favorite gaming laptops – made this compromise too. It was worth then, and it’s still worth now.
Asus TUF Gaming F15 Specs
- CPU: Intel Core i5-10300H (4-cores)
- Graphics: Nvidia GTX 1650 (4GB)
- RAM: 8GB
- Screen: 15.6-inch, 1920 x 1080, 144Hz, IPS
- Storage: 512GB SSD
- Size: 35.9 x 25.6 x 2.47 cm (W x H x D)
- Weight: 5.07lbs
Design, Display and Build Quality
The 2022 TUF F15 rocks a new style that doesn’t bring along the gamer-centric aesthetic that plagued the entire gaming landscape in the past few years. Though billed as a gaming laptop, this particular iteration is well-balanced with a backlit keyboard that’s comfortable to type on, and the WASD keys are set in solid white color for seamless gaming.
While it doesn’t match the keyboard on my MacBook Air, it’s decent enough for gaming laptops. The trackpad is also sizeable enough, and responsive, but the lack of capacitive touch means you’ll have to use the two physical buttons at the bottom. You can adjust that in settings, especially if you will be dragging and dropping items on the screen.
Away from the keyboard, the laptop’s 1080p IPS display is well suited for the internals powering this laptop, especially that 144Hz refresh rate that compensates for the lack of color depth. The screen doesn’t get too bright enough for comfortable use, but plugging in the wall adapter helps a bit. That’s where the I/O ports come in handy, with HDMI that can extend your screen estate.
For connectivity, in addition to the HDMI 2.0b, there’s a USB 2.0, two USB 3.2, and a USB 3.2 Type-C that supports DisplayPort (G-Sync), as well a .5mm audio jack. Wireless connectivity comes via Wi-Fi 6(802.11ax) and Bluetooth 5.2 (Dual-band).
Hardware and Performance
Our review model is the base-specced configuration of the 2022 ASUS TUF Gaming F15, code name FX506LH-AS51, built on a 10th-generation Intel Core i5-10300H, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD, and Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 GPU with 4GB of RAM. So, while it doesn’t pack the latest silicon from both Intel and Nvidia, the hardware is configured in such a way it can deliver as expected on both productivity and gaming.
The Core i5-10300H is a quad-core chip that belongs to the 2020 Intel Core H processor lineup, in the same class as the popular and faster six-core i7-10750H, with a base clock of 2.5Ghz and 4.5Hz. This chip is well-tuned for day-to-day tasks such as browsing, streaming, and running office productivity suites, and is a great match for light users as compared to its AMD Ryzen counterparts.
While we have laptops rocking high-end GPUs, including the midrange Asus TUF Gaming F15 FX507ZM-ES74 that features an RTX 3060 chip, our review unit features the previous-gen GTX 1650 graphics card, and for the price, we can’t complain here. The GTX 1650 uses the TU117 GPU, which is smaller and less expensive than the TU116 that powers the TX 1660 and 1600 Ti card, with the key difference being the number of SMs (Streaming Multiprocessors), which in turn determine the number of CUDA cores, texture units, and ROPs.
As expected, the GTX 1650 with its 4GB of GDDR5 RAM delivers decent frames per second on games played at 1080p, better than the previous generation GTX 1060 cards. In real-world gaming, Forza Horizon 5 at High Settings and 1080p resolution average 61 fps, but at Ultra Settings it drops to 22 fps. On the same settings, Hitman 3 averages 63 fps, but once again drops to 54 fps in Ultra Settings.
That level of performance is typical with other gaming laptops running Nvidia’s GTX 1650 chips, whereby it’s possible to clock 60 fps that you’d be hoping for, but if you need to play at higher fidelity, you’ll have to invest in an RGX 3060 laptop such as the latest Acer Predator Helios 300 or higher.
Again, considering that you‘re getting that performance in a computer that costs half as much as Samsung’s latest smartphone, we consider it a win.
Finally, battery life is never a strong point for gaming laptops, but we’ve seen exceptions lately. The Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 is one such laptop with an impressive 8 hours of battery life, and the Asus TUF Gaming F15 FX507ZM-ES74 packs up to 90Wh available, while our review model only packs a 48Wh battery.
The TUF Gaming F15 is Asus’s most affordable all-around/gaming laptop series this year, and although our review unit is not without some quirks, I found it to be a decent multi-purpose laptop for tight budgets.
As far as performance goes, it is useful enough both for productivity and gaming, but don’t expect it to break any records. The Intel Core i5-10300H CPU and GTX 1650 GPU are almost two generations behind respective offerings, but they remain useful for medium workloads and games.
Nonetheless, the choice of components does sacrifice performance to some extent, and it does cut corners when it comes to practicality since similarly priced laptops like the Acer AN515-55-53E5 deliver better performance while remaining affordable.
The Lenovo Legion 5 15 remains our Top Pick for midrange gaming laptops in the sub-$1,000 range, delivering class-leading gaming performance thanks to its AMD Ryzen 7 5800H CPU, Nvidia RTX 350 Ti graphics card, 16GB RAM, and 512GB SSD storage. Check it out as well.
However, if you need a gaming laptop at a rock-bottom price, the ASUS TUF Gaming F15 FX506LH-AS51 is genuinely a good deal.
Lenovo Legion 5 Gaming Laptop, 15.6" FHD Display, AMD Ryzen 7 5800H, 16GB RAM, 512GB Storage, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050Ti, Windows 11 Home, Phantom Blue
$1,092.19 in stock
2 used from $1,017.23