• Operating System: Windows 10 Home
  • Processor: Intel Core i7-8750H
  • Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti
  • Memory: 4GB DDR4
  • Storage: 128GB SSD + 1TB HDD
  • Input/Output: 1x Gigabit LAN, 1x Micro HDMI, 1x micro SD reader, 1x audio/mic combo jack, 1x USB 3.0 Type A, 1x USB 3.0 Type C, 1x USB 2.0
  • Dimensions: 384 x 262 x 25 mm
  • Weight: 2.3kg
  • Pros:
  • Balanced performance
  • Anti-dust fan system
  • Cons:
  • None

TUF Enough For All

Once found only as a high-end motherboard, the TUF (The Ultimate Force) moniker was how ASUS denote motherboards with high-end features and stability. So it was to our surprise that it’s now also a new series of entry-level gaming notebook, with the ASUS TUF Gaming FX504 as the first.

Like what many have come to expect from gaming notebooks, the TUF Gaming FX504 doesn’t stray away from popular black and red scheme. Its body is mainly black, with some red to accentuate the looks of the device. Unlike its higher-end counterparts, the FX504’s body is made using lightweight plastic. Its matte surface gives it a rugged, functional look that we prefer over the shiny and glossy notebooks that are common today.

As expected of a laptop of its size, the FX504 has a good number of ports to ensure that users won’t have to scramble for hubs. It comes with a Gigabit LAN port, two USB 3.0 ports and one for USB 2.0, as well as a 3.5mm jack for a headset and a HDMI port.

porting a 15.6-inch matte display, the FX504’s screen has a good balance (for its price range) of colour and brightness, as well as good viewing angles due to it being an IPS panel. Aside from that, it also comes with DTS surround sound when a headset is used. It performs rather well in-game, as it’s capable of delivering simulated surround sound for games like FPS, where the direction of sounds like weapon fire and footsteps are critical.

Its keyboard was equally pleasant to use, thanks to the good travel distance of its keys and how well-spaced out they are. The keys also use a scissor switch that provide greater lifespan and a similar tactile feel to mechanical keys.

Although this particular unit comes with only 4GB of DDR4, it only felt sluggish to use when too many programmes are opened. It not only has a 128GB Kingston SSD, but also comes with a FireCuda SHDD to deliver fast boot times and file loading speeds, as well as a decent 1TB storage capacity.

Considering that it has a Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti, the FX504 is able to play games that aren’t too graphics intensive. Titles like PUBG or Dota 2 are no issues, but fancy games like Far Cry 5 will require changing to medium graphics settings. It also has good thermal performance, maintaining comfortable temperatures without being too loud, thanks to a new cooling system that can eject dust particles.

CHIP CONCLUDE: A laptop that’s highly portable and works well for most use cases, definitely worth considering if you need an affordable ultrabook.

(previously published in issue June 2018)