Asus TUF Gaming A15 Review: Next-Generation Performance

The new 4000-series AMD Ryzen CPUs have sparked a lot of excitement and expectation, and the Asus TUG Gaming A15 is the first gaming laptop to come in the nation with one of them.

The TUF Gaming A15 we received for evaluation is powered by a Ryzen 7 4800H processor, an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660Ti graphics card, 16GB of DDR memory, and plenty of storage. Let’s see if this new computer is deserving of all the buzz.

Gaming Performance of the Asus TUF Gaming A15

Let’s get to the topic right away. How does the Asus TUF Gaming A15 perform in its primary function? That’s bloody excellent!

The Ryzen 7 4800H with the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660Ti are a strong pairing, pushing most recent titles well over the basic requirement of 60 frames per second. We put a variety of popular games through its paces at 1080p, using their High and Medium graphics presets. The chart below shows the average frame rates.

During our testing of gaming performance, we saw that the Nvidia GTX 1660Ti was mostly maxed out, but the CPU use remained around 60%. This leads us to assume that if the Ryzen 7 4800H has enough headroom, it may be combined with a higher-end GPU, such as the RTX 2060, and users might get even greater frame rates.

Creative Workload Performance of the Asus TUF Gaming A15

In order to satisfy the demands of their creative vocations, creative workers who could not afford the MacBook Pro would frequently resort to gaming computers.

It is only now that OEMs are realising the potential and, as a result, are explicitly tailoring their gaming laptops to also function as editing machines. To that purpose, Nvidia has developed Studio drivers for their GeForce GPUs in order to increase the speed of picture, video, and 3D creative tools.

We timed how long it took Adobe Lightroom Classic to export a batch of 50, 100, 250, and 500 RAW images shot on a Nikon D800.

We compared the export timings to those of the Asus ROG Zephyrus G (GA502), which was powered by the Ryzen 7 3750H from last year. To say the least, the figures are alarming. All export procedures are completed in nearly half the time by the Asus TUF Gaming A15.

Benchmark Performance of the Asus TUF Gaming A15

We performed a slew of benchmarks on the Asus TUF Gaming A15, and the new AMD Ryzen 7 4800H once again shown considerable performance gains over not only the previous generation of AMD CPUs, but also Intel’s offerings in this class.

Some of the benchmark findings from our testing are shown below. We’ve already been blown away by the TUF Gaming A15’s gaming and editing ability, so the benchmark statistics serve just to emphasise the point.

Display Asus TUF Gaming A15 Review

The display is an important component of gaming equipment, and Asus strives to deliver on as many factors as possible. An IPS-level full HD display with a refresh rate of 144Hz and Adaptive Sync is provided.

On paper, this appears to be a good idea, but in fact, things are a little different. While the monitor achieves its promised 144Hz refresh rate on the Blur Busters UFO test, we noted that the reaction time was not the fastest for the screen.

While it was not an issue in the campaign modes of the games we tested, some players may find it to be an issue during competitive online gaming sessions. Content makers will be disappointed as well, because the display is neither extremely bright nor capable of full sRGB colour reproduction.

Using our lux metre, we measured a peak brightness of 294 lux, with good uniformity around the margins. Although the colour reproduction isn’t the finest, the viewing angles are a trademark of IPS panels. If your edit job does not require colour sensitive work, the display should not be an issue; but, if you are conducting colour grading, the display will be a deal breaker.

Life of the Battery

The Asus TUF Gaming A15 packs a 48Whr battery inside its chassis, and the new Ryzen 4000 series CPUs promise to be more battery-friendly as well. We put this to the test using PCMark 10’s various battery benchmarks. The laptop lasted 45 minutes on the gaming benchmark.

The Modern Office test, which replicates battery life for normal work, revealed a 2 hour and 48 minute boost in battery endurance. We added one of our own tests to PCMark’s. The TUF Gaming A15 lasted two and a half hours when used unplugged for a usual workday, which is not awful by any standard.

Keyboard, trackpad, and input/output (IO)

The Asus TUF Gaming A15 comes with a tried-and-true keyboard and addresses one of the most serious issues with the trackpad encountered on previous TUF series laptops. The keyboard is nearly identical to that seen on the Scar and Hero series of laptops.

This translates to 1.8mm of travel and, of course, RGB. The keyboard features a single-zone RGB arrangement, which we would have liked if it had at least four zones.

The arrow keys are a little tiny, and given how close they are to one other, they can be difficult to use when gaming. The WASD controls, on the other hand, are fantastic.

The WASD keys have been made semi-translucent by Asus, which adds a pleasant aesthetic element, but a blower underneath the keys sucks in cold air, keeping the keys cool. This is a big benefit for gamers because most keyboards on gaming laptops grow quite hot.

Moving on to the trackpad, you get a smooth surface to slide your fingertips around, but the greatest thing is that Asus has finally added distinct buttons to the trackpad, making it both more functional.

When you won’t be able to obtain headshots with a sniper rifle while playing on the trackpad, it will do for most gaming scenarios that don’t need pinpoint precision or fast movement.

Finally, we have a fantastic assortment of ports. A single USB 3.0 port is located on the right side, while the left side has the ethernet port, a full-sized HDMI port, two USB 3.0 ports, and a Type-C port.

Finally, gamers will find a 3.5mm headphone/microphone port. It’s wonderful that Asus has grouped all of the connectors on the left side, leaving the right open for you to move your hand freely while using an external mouse.

Construct and Design

The Asus TUF Gaming A15 weighs 2.3 kilos and has a thickness of less than an inch at its narrowest point. It’s not a tiny or light laptop, but that’s because Asus crammed a LOT of copper into this thing.

There are several copper pipes going over the CPU-GPU, but even the vents on the side and rear include copper blocks to improve heat exchange. With the bright copper peeping through the black grills, the back of the laptop nearly appears like a sports car.

While the laptop’s base is quite solid, we were a little dissatisfied with the lid. There is far too much flex for most people’s tastes, and the hinge has some play as well. We don’t expect the hinge to loosen much more with time, but not having a wobbly display would have been good.

Verdict

This, I believe, is the first of many moments of awe. The AMD Ryzen 7 4800H and the Nvidia GeForce 1660Ti give the Asus TUF Gaming A15 a significant boost.

The combination is ideal for anyone trying to push their gaming experience beyond 60 frames per second. The TUF Gaming A15 is also an excellent render station, capable of exporting enormous volumes of RAW data in speeds faster than we’ve ever seen in this price range, if not faster.

We would not advocate utilising the machine for any type of color-sensitive editing because of its subpar colour accuracy. The Asus TUF Gaming A15, on the other hand, ticks all the appropriate boxes as a dedicated gaming computer.

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