Asus unveiled the TUF FX505DY and FX705DY at CES 2019 this year with AMD chops. The new machines come with all AMD inside and also the first to carry a Zen+ Ryzen 5 3550H CPU. Before we dive into the review let’s be clear about a few things. While ROG series goes all out with guns blazing targetting the mainstream hardcore gamers, the TUF Gaming series is focussed on mainstream gamers on a budget. Asus is trying to give a feel of the gaming machines here without having to spend a whole lot. So it’s quiet a difficult task but TUF gaming series tries to the balancing act. Coming to the machine we have, the FX705DY can this TUG Gaming laptop tough enough for your gaming binge? Let’s find out.
Difference between TUF FX505DY and FX705DY
While both the machines share key hardware muscles, the difference lies in the screen size and the battery. The 15-inch FX505DY laptop features a higher refresh rate range of 48Hz to 120Hz on FreeSync, the FX705DY, on the other hand, is restricted to 40 to 60Hz on its 17-inch FreeSync display. So it depends on your gaming choices while higher rate would be recommended for games like Counterstrike: GO, Rainbow Six Vegas 2 and CS: Global Offensive and Overwatch, if you are mainly playing eSports games the FX705DY would suffice. It purely boils down to your gaming style and preferences and how much precise you need to be in certain games.
The FX705DY also has a bigger 4 -Cell 64 Wh Polymer Battery to cater to its larger screen display while the FX505DY has a 48Wh battery. Due to the differences to the screen size, the overall battery life should be comparable though.
TUF FX705DY Design and Build Quality
Asus has taken some cost cutting but hidden it really well. To start with, it’s an all-plastic build which might be deceiving when you look at but you realize once you feel it. The lid has a textured brushed aluminium look combined with the design elements on the lid with marked lines flowing from the sides, it does give a mean tough look to the machine. But a closer look or side by side comparison will make higher-end Zephyrus or Strix series stand apart from this, which is understandable with the huge price differences though.
The signature Asus gaming range feel is there in the machine. It feels robust too. The textured finish flows in too when you open the lid. The chassis design as last year’s FX504 but shorter in length. The lid can open to a maximum of 150 degrees. The bezels are thinner around the display, making it one of the compact 17-inch gaming laptops in the budget segment.
Asus claims these TUF Gaming has passed the rigorous military-grade MIL-STD-810G durability test and reliable against solar radiation exposure, high altitude, and temperature extremes. while these might look too much for you for normal use, they also assure adequate shockproof that can withstand accidental falls.
Keyboard and Trackpad
In India, the Asus FX507DY is available in what Asus calls as Red Matter colour variant basically a black machine with red finishes. The Keyboard gets a red backlit to go with the colour scheme. It’s not colour customizable LED lighting. The keys have travel of 1.8 millimetres and Asus claims the keys are rated for up to 20 million keystrokes. They also employ Asus’ Overstroke technology, which helps them register keystrokes better. I found the keyboard easy to type and was comfortable. Though there is a bit of flex in the middle if you have to nitpick.
The WASD keys are highlighted for easy recognition and the W key has a small raised dot on the surface to figure the key easily. If you are an ardent gamer though you would not need this it does help when you adapt to new machines and for those who have difficulty in reaching out to the keys. The keyboard also has a dedicated num pad. The arrow keys are aligned towards them and I often ended up confused between the upper arrow and zero 0 key. On a short note, the keyboard I found to be comfortable both for gaming and regular use for typing.
The trackpad is big but has a flex when applied pressure. It has a tiny arrow mark on the four corners pointing in to let know may be where the trackpad ends. The bottom has the left and right clicks. The pad works with multi-finger taps and swipes. F10 Function key in the keyboard can turn on/off the trackpad. The trackpad for me was a bit of a disappointment mainly for the flex.
Connectivity options of FX507DY
Let me pull out the disappointing note first, there is no USB Type-C ports which by now should be standard for the gaming laptops to future proof them for the gaming peripherals. There is no place for SD reader too. The ports are all positioned on the left side. There is AC adapter, Gigabit RJ-45, HDMI 2.0, USB 2.0 Type-A, 2x USB Type-A 3.1 Gen. 1, 3.5 mm combo audio. The right side has a Kensington lock.
Display of Asus FX507DY
The Asus TUF Gaming FX505DY features a 17.3 -inch IPS backlit LCD screen with a Full HD resolution and a non-glare matte finish. As mentioned earlier, it offers a Freesync refresh range of 40 to 60Hz. The bezels on the sides, in particular, are narrow making it one of the compact gaming laptop in the segment. Its only 7.1mm thickness on the sides and Asus calls this Nano Edge display. The top bezel accommodates a 720p HD webcam. The display offers 1000:1 contrast ratio which is good. Personally given a choice between the glossy and matte panel, I prefer the later, so this was good for me. The display may not be comparable with the higher end machines but was way acceptable. The viewing angles are good too. The outdoor visibility suffers a bit, with ambient lighting causing washed out colours and glare evident in spite of the matte panel. Being a budget offering the display is not on par with the big brother higher end gaming laptops. When playing some heavy 3D gaming titles, you might note ghosting.
Performance of Asus FX507DY
The machine is fired by quad-core Ryzen 5 3550H CPU and Radeon RX 560X GPU. While the CPU is new, curiously Asus has combined it with almost two generations old Radeon RX 560X GPU. The GPU has 4GB, GDDR5 VRAM. The machine I have comes with single-channel 8GB DDR4 2400MHz SDRAM. It has a 2 x SO-DIMM socket for expansion to accommodate up to 32GB SDRAM. For storage, the review unit came with a Seagate 1TB hard drive spinning at 5,400 rpm.
Asus FX507DY scores decent benchmark results for a budget gaming laptop. What matters the most though is the real world experience, which is not disappointing either. To begin with, you will not find any hiccups in normal use of the laptop which is expected though. Of course, being a gaming machine this is bulkier and heavy compared to normal mainstream laptops so I would not be suggesting you to buy this unless your thought process is gaming first.
A slow hard drive puts a partial brake though and Asus could have done something about it. On a positive note, there is an empty M.2 slot inside which could be put to good use if you really want to do something about the speed, how about an SSD to speed up things.
Now let’s focus on gaming, that’s what you would be buying this machine for. Like I said earlier the Asus FX507DY gets discrete graphics in the form of an AMD Radeon RX560X GPU with 4GB of GDDR5 vRAM. It’s not one size fits all for all your gaming. Depending on your game, you might have to tweak the graphics and resolution settings to get the best of the gaming performance. On the most part, the games handled well in low or medium settings well depending on the game. Not heartwarming but then consider this as a budget gaming laptop with its inherent ups and downs. You want more firepower, you need to stretch the budget and the whole world of ROG steps in. A good gaming machine should keep the temperature in check, and with a twin fan inside and their technologies like an anti-dust tunnel, Hyper Fan which automatically adjusts fan speeds according to CPU and GPU temperatures the heating part is taken care of. There is also an option for Turbo, Balanced, and Silent modes. There is audible sound when you stress the machine on graphics intensive games when all the fans come into play.
Asus has included an Armoury Crate for key system insights and also configure the settings. You can also add gaming profile here.
The battery life of TUF Gaming FX705DY
On a real-life scenario, you get a battery life around 3 hours 45 minutes on mixed normal use. If you are putting into gaming on a stretch expect much less but like in most gaming laptops heavy gamings work better on the power source. Charging from 0% to full charge takes around one and a half hours. The battery is not the key strength of the laptop to mildly put.
Verdict – TUF Gaming FX705DY – To Buy or Not
If you are not into gaming, then clearly this is not the laptop you should even think of. But if you are an avid gamer and want to own a gaming laptop on a budget – this might work for you. Also, if you prefer AMD Ryzen-powered machine. The FX705DY is available for Rs 59,990, at this price it brings a gaming laptop features onboard with decent looks, rugged build, upgradability options. For a gaming beginner on a tight budget and game enthusiasts who want a portable gaming machine with a bigger display, this could be an option you could try.]]>