The biggest issue with gaming laptops is that they are not as portable as they should be. Yes, we cannot expect a gaming laptop to be as thin as the MacBook Air. But what if I tell you that Asus’ TUF FX504 combines a thin profile and packs enough punch to play all the latest blockbuster games. This Asus laptop has a fast 120Hz display, Intel’s 8th Gen processor, Nvidia GTX 1050Ti GPU, well-built design, and a good backlit keyboard. Though I feel the Asus TUF FC504 has a tiny battery life, around two hours even under moderate use. Of course you will have to shell out Rs 69,990 for the base model. I spent some time with the Asus TUF FC504 and here’s what I think.
Asus TUF FX504 first impressions: Design
The TUF FC504 does remind you of Asus ROG laptops, but a closer look reveals an all-new design. The focus is clearly on the notebook’s internals, rather than its aesthetics. No, that doesn’t mean that the TUF FX504 looks cheap and flimsy. As you might expect from a budget laptop, the chassis is made out of plastic, while the lid cover has a metallic feel to it. At 2.3kg, it is one of the lightest gaming laptops available in the market. That makes it slightly heavier than the standard laptop.
The big focus has been on the thermal design of the new TUF FX504, which increases the lifespan of the notebook by keeping the components cool during intense gaming sessions. Then there is something called “Fan Overboost”, an anti-dust system that expels dust and dirt through two dedicated tunnels to prevent build up in the thermal fins, which could hamper heat dissipation.
A selection of ports is rather sparse, though. But you still get two USB 3.1, one USB 2.0, and one HDMI 1.4 port. All the ports are located on the left of the notebook.
Asus TUF FX504 first impressions: Display
Asus TUF FX504 comes with a 15.6-inch screen, but either a TN or IPS screen. The model the company showcased had a 120Hz refresh rate, which is great for smooth gameplay and detail. From what I saw during my limited hands-on, the screen appears to be brighter, with good contrast.
Asus TUF FX504 first impressions: Hardware and battery
Asus TUF FX504 will be offered in a number of configurations; one with 8th gen Intel Core i5-8300H or an 8th gen Intel Core i7-8750H processor, 8GB DDR4 RAM, ITB Firecuda Hybrid SSD+128GB SSD drive, and up to NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti graphics with full Microsoft DirectX 12 support. In my brief testing, I failed to experience any performance hiccups while playing Dota 2.
Asus claims the battery runs out of juice with over two hours of continuous usage. Which I think is a matter of concern. This means Asus had to sacrifice battery to make the laptop thin and slim.
Asus TUF FX504 first impressions: Keyboard and touchpad
The keyboard has a shallow feel, and I enjoyed typing on it. Asus says the keyboard itself is rated for up to 20 million key presses, and each key delivers a 1.8mm travel distance for a more tactile experience. The touchpad also felt right for a gaming laptop.
Asus TUF FX504 first impressions: Price and confusion
Asus TUF FX504 should be a good option as a gaming laptop. It is targeted at a crowd which is beginning to get into professional gaming. The laptop has it all; the 120Hz display, fast processor, decent keyboard, and the anti-dust cooling system. Battery life, however, will be an average affair. And yes, it is portable enough to carry in a regular backpack something I love. Asus says the laptop will be available starting Rs 69,990 and goes up to Rs 89,990 for the top configuration.