Asus is a name to reckon with in the gaming laptop segment, while their ROG series is top of the line, the TUF gaming laptops offers a clever mix of value for money and gaming power needed. I got here the 2021 Asus TUF Dash F15 laptop powered by Intel i7 11th gen and GeForce RTX 3070 GPU for review. If you are looking for a good looking gaming laptop that you can also carry around for work, this could be a laptop to consider. Go ahead with my review to find more.
Lenovo Legion 5 Ryzen 5 4600H Specifications
- Processor: Intel Core i7-11370H, Tiger Lake-H35
- Memory: 16GB RAM @ 1600Mhz, dual channel
- Storage : 1TB NVMe
- Graphics: GeForce RTX™ 3070 GPU with 8GB GDDR6 VRAM
- Display : 15.6-inch,FHD (1920 x 1080) 16:9,anti-glare display, 240Hz, IPS
- Keyboard: backlight chiclet keyboard
- I/O Port: 3 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type A, HDMI 2.0, Thunderbolt 4.0 with Display port 1.4 and Power delivery, RJ45, audio combo jack, Kensington lock, power input.
- Speaker: 2 x 2W speaker system, DTS:X
- Battery: 76WHrs, 4S1P, 4-cell Li-ion
- Webcam: NA
- 2.0 kg, 19.9mm
- Operating System: Windows 10 Home
Design and Build Quality of TUF DASH F15
The Tuf Dash is available in two colours – Moonlight White or Eclipse Gray. White is a colour you don’t often come across, if you are good at cleaning the dirt off, you would definitely like it. For a gaming laptop, the Dash F15 is relatively lightweight at 2.0 kg and at 19.9mm thin as well for this segment. It makes it manageable for both work and play. The body is made of plastics and aluminium alloy, with the lid and keyboard, made more durable with a metal build. Asus states the machine matches with MIL-STD-810H standards. The 2021 model is significantly thinner and lighter than the previous TUF gaming laptops.
The top lid has prominent TUF branding. There are clean angles and cuts giving a sharper meaner look. The lid can be opened with one hand.
The machine would be easier to service or if you decide to upgrade, the underside is easier to open with a screwdriver. You can get quick access to the M.2 ports, there are two of them. The RAM can also be upgraded up to 32GB of DDR4. The bottom has nice prominent footers for good grip and vents.
The right side has two USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type A ports,
Towards the left, you get one more USB-A, along with a Thunderbolt 4, HDMI, Ethernet, a 3.5mm combo jack, and a dedicated port for charging. PD support is there, charge the TUF Dash F15 via USB-C.
Display of TUF Dash F15
The display could be one of the strongest points of TUF Dash 15. It’s a 15.6-inch FullHD panel with a 240Hz refresh rate. The screen is bright and has a good colour punch to it. It measures 100% of the sRGB spectrum. I liked the display. Especially, after immediately moving to this laptop after spending time with Legion 5 laptop that I reviewed earlier, the difference was palpable. The TUF Dash F15 screen stood out instantly. Additionally, it is also treated to anti-glare.
Speakers, Webcam and Biometrics
There are a pair of 2W speakers placed at the bottom. The loudness is not the best out there. It hit the max around 82db and hovered around 78-80db to the most part. It does not sound bad either. It is manageable.
Surprisingly, there is no webcam. It doesn’t mean the display bezels are so thin there is no provision for a webcam, there is placed above the display to accommodate but it could be a purely cost-cutting measure. So you might have to invest in a good webcam if you have a need. Anyways for gamers if they are streaming, it is always good to invest in a good webcam, since most laptop webcams are mediocre.
With no webcam, face recognition is obviously ruled out. There is no fingerprint sensor either. That means no biometric login and you have to rely on a good old trusted password.
Keyboard and Touchpad
Personally, when it comes to the territory of large 15.6-inch laptops, I prefer a full-fledged keyboard, one thing that I liked in the Legion 5. Asus has lots of space in the keyboard deck but still have not gone for a full-sized one, so there is no separate Numpad. Somehow, it took a while for me to get adjusted to the keyboard of TUF gaming. The key travel is good. The keyboard has a backlight, the white laptop comes with a light sea green lighting or teal colour. I assume it would be a white backlight in the black colour model, not sure. The WASP keys are transparent and distinct, which makes it a bit bright with the backlight on. There’s no RGB lighting customization. There are four special keys on top of the function keys array. The special keys are for volume adjustment, the mic on/off toggle and a special key to launch Armoury Crate, Asus’s own customization software, which I will talk about in a while. The power button is distinct too in shape and has a white LED to it.
The trackpad is large, supports windows gestures. The bottom of the pad has divided portions for the right and left clicks. I have no issues with the trackpad. They are functional.
Performance of TUF Dash F15
With Intel i7 11th gen combined with GeForce RTX™ 3070 GPU with 8GB GDDR6 VRAM and 16GB DDR4 RAM, I expected a good performance show from this machine. Let me begin with the benchmark tests if you are interested. On the 3D Mark Spy test, it returned a 7336 score, which is good. The PC mark test gave a 5817 score. On Crystal Mark Disc test, it showed 3526 MB/s read speed and 3085 write speed.
I played Far Cry 5, and I had no issues while playing. On the default high graphic setting, I got an average FPS of 82 and on the Ultra setting, it evened at 79 FPS. For an ultra-portable gaming laptop, this is a pretty good one. It could handle any games you can put it through and you should be satisfied. On a ultra-portable format, it might not bring the best out of the 3070 GPU but it still is impressive.
The Core i7-11370H based on the Tigerlake H35 architecture has four Willow Cove processor cores (4-core, 8-thread). All four cores can reach up to 4.3 GHz and the boost of a single and two cores under load can reach up to 4.8 GHz. For creative professionals, it cannot be a dream replacement for a workstation but I don’t see any reason why you cannot be doing a 4K editing on this, it should be capable of and the screen compliments it as well.
Armoury Crate software
Armoury Crate is Asus’s software package for the gaming laptop series that allows one to tinker with various settings and gives many performance insights. You can access CPU, GPU, memory stats. It offers system configuration and insight into various performance modes. While there is no RGB colour customization for this laptop, you can change the backlight to strobing or breathing effects instead of static. The game visuals also can be changed to various presets. It also has the option to customize profiles for various games.
Battery life of TUF Dash F15
The TUF Dash F15 comes with a 76Whr battery. In my video loop test with display brightness at 50% and volume at 60%, playing a 1080p video, gave me a battery life of 8 hours 15 mins.
The Asus TUF Dash F15 is a good ultraportable gaming laptop, well designed and makes for solid work and play hybrid machine on the go.
Pros of TUF Dash F15
- Brilliant display with 100% sRGB and 240Hz refresh rate.
- Good battery life
- Good gaming performance for an ultraportable laptop segment
- Plenty of ports
- Thin and lightweight for the gaming segment
Cons of TUF Dash F15
- No webcam
- No RGB light customization