Asus TUF Gaming FX504, the most affordable entry level gaming laptop

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When you think about a gaming laptop, then surely, anything over a $1,000 price tag comes on your mind, right? You don’t have to worry about that anymore since the Asus TUF Gaming FX504 is a really affordable gaming laptop for just $699.

Seems unbelievable right, that’s why there is a catch. Don’t expect the gameplay at highest settings but only low or if fortunate enough, medium. Still, for those under a budget, and need a machine with some above decent specifications at a lower cost, this might be their best bet. Apart from the not so great 1080p display, you are still getting the eighth generation Intel Core i5 processor coupled with a Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 GPU for gaming purposes.

Design

You might like the design, or you might now, as Acer did at least try to be creative with the design to cater towards gamers. Though the lid is made up of plastic, it has some faux aluminum coating on it to make it look a bit aggressive with some accents in red, in a totally different angular, lined pattern.

On top of the that, the red Asus logo just on the center of the lid might seem eye-catchy but it isn’t. Though, the best thing about the design is that you can still see the status lights even when the laptop is closed, courtesy the small cutouts on the lid.

If you weren’t expecting a Bezel-less display then you were totally right, since the Bezel size seems to still be what is found on common laptops. The frame used to house the keyboard and trackpad is also made of plastic and is accented with red lines. The keyboard is thankfully back-lit and in red.

As for the weight and dimensions, the Asus TUF Gaming is fairly portable with just 5.1 pounds and measures a bit too thick with 15.1 x 10.3 x 1 inches. Its competitors like the Acer Nitro 5 Spin weighs 4.9 pounds so isn’t much of a difference there but measures 15 x 10.2 x 0.7 making it slimmer. On the other hand, HP Pavilion Power 15t weighs a whopping 5.6 pounds and measures 14.9 x 9.9 x 1 inches.

Ports

There isn’t any USB Type-C port offered, therefore you aren’t future-proofed, but it is not that USB 3.0 is leaving us any time soon. Thus on the left side of the laptop, you would find the charging jack, an Ethernet port, HDMI output, a pair of USB 3.0 ports, a headphone jack, and surprisingly still houses a rather obsolete USB 2.0 port.

Asus didn’t make use of the right side of the laptop, as it only offers a Kensington Lock Slot.

Display

If offering a 1080p display for such a low price made you happy, then perhaps, you are in for some disappointment. The 15.6 inches is 1080p sure, but it isn’t in any way as bright, or colorful as expensive 1080p laptop displays are.

Though the good aspect about the display is that is quite sharper than expected, it again disappointed when it only covered 66 percent of the sRGB color gamut, where the category average for entry-level gaming machines is 98 percent. The Nitro 5 covers 105 percent while the HP Pavilion Power 15t also lacks with just 68 percent.

The brightness level recorded on the light meter was a below average 220 nits where the mean is 256 nits. Though it fared better than the Pavilion Power 15t which only had 173 nits of brightness, but lacked far behind Nitro 5 Spin’s 296 percent.

Keyboard and Touchpad

Perhaps, a strong selling point about the laptop would be its keyboard. The keyboard has a nearly ideal 1.4 millimeters of travel where 1.5 mm is considered the best. Though it does require 76 grams of actuation force, which might seem considerably higher than the ideal 60 g. Still, it doesn’t hamper the typing speed once you get used to it and aided by a dedicated number pad to punch in those numbers, your typing speed may actually improve.

You can’t customize the color of the backlight, though surely you can’t be expecting a full RGB keyboard at this price range.

The 4.1 x 2.8 inches touchpad seemed spacious enough and responded accurately to gestures and in quick time. Though you wouldn’t be getting any premium feel from using it, and it is made up of plastic, and your fingers might seem to slip even.

Audio

Surprisingly, the laptop’s speakers are good at their job. They offer a nice and loud sound, such that a midsize conference room can be easily filled, though don’t expect some heavy bass from them.

Battery Life

This is one of those laptops, which need to be near a wall-outlet at nearly most of the time for charging purposes. This is because the laptop lasted only for 3 hours and 57 minutes, which involved just light browsing over the web at 150 nits of brightness. Imagine gaming on battery power alone, and you would be in need of charging in just an hour or a bit more.

Though the category average for entry-level gaming laptops is 4 hours and 39 minutes, its competitors like the HP Pavilion Power 15t lasted nearly seven hours, while the Acer Nitro 5 took nearly twice to drain completely.

Heat

Major issues with gaming laptops are that they tend to produce a lot of hands. Fortunately, the laptop seems to be rather calm if not used for tedious tasks. Only while gaming does the Asus TUF Gaming FX504 seemed to get a bit hot, but only a bit above the comfort levels.

Graphics

The laptop houses a Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050, with 2 GB of Video Memory. This got the laptop a score of 147,174 on the 3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited benchmark, which is more than category average of 143,763, and even more than its competitors with the Pavilion Power 15t scoring 135,247 and the Acer Nitro 5 Spin managing to score just 113,373.

Therefore, if gaming is what’s your main purpose, then perhaps, this is the idea budget gaming laptop you can get.

Webcam

The 720p webcam seems okayish and isn’t that great with colors and accuracy. Therefore you might want to get an external one for professional purposes.

Configurations

The base model Asus TUF Gaming FX504 has a really affordable price tag of $699, and for this price you are getting Intel Core i5-8300H CPU, 8GB of RAM, a Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 with 2GB of VRAM, and a 1TB SSHD. You can upgrade the GPU for a GTX 1050 Ti for $799. An even better deal is the $999 version of the laptop which has a Nvidia GTX 1060 GPU, with a 128 GB NVMe SSD along with the 1TB hard drive. The laptop is maxed out at a Core i7 with 16 GB of RAM and a 120 Hz display for a high $1,299.

We would recommend the base model laptop since it is really worth the buck. There are better laptops in the category if you are thinking about spending more. Otherwise, this is one great laptop offering value for money.

 

ALSO READ: The best and affordable Gaming Laptops to buy in 2018

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