Entry-level gaming laptops (for the major part) have a tradition of losing some important features to bring out some key features to make the laptop highlight. Well, to drop break the custom, ASUS underwent an entire exercise towards re-branding its lineup, and now we see TUF brand, which was earlier associated with the Sabertooth line of motherboards.
Just in case you don’t know, the Sabertooth lineup was known for added shielding, additional power phases and for using slightly better rated passive components. Certainly, the laptop is not market under the Sabertooth sub-brand, but are shown to be tougher the usual ASUS laptops. So, does the ASUS TUF Gaming FX504 worth the price? let’s find out.
ASUS TUF Gaming FX504
In a general overview (long story short), the TUF FX504 puts a better keyboard in a low-end gaming laptop which is quite cushy for long gaming sessions, pretty decent battery life, powerpack performance with good heat dispersion and all these are nicely packed in a relatively thin chassis.
ASUS TUF Gaming FX504: Specs Overview
- 15.6–inches Full HD (1920 x 1080) display with a 120Hz refresh rate
- Intel Core i7-8750H @ 2.2 GHz
- 8GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,660MHz
- 4GB Nvidia GTX 1050 Ti DDR5 GPU
- SSHD (solid-state hybrid-drive): 128GB Kingston M.2 NVMe SSD + Seagate 1TB FireCuda HDD
- Windows 10
- 802.11ac wireless, Bluetooth 5.0
ASUS TUF Gaming FX504: Design
As mentioned earlier, the TUF Gaming FX504 is a prodigy of Sabertooth lineup, so it’s doesn’t look that pretty, but looks tough visibly. It has a black hunk of plastic with faux-aluminum blushing and red paint in an angular, lined pattern apparently makes the laptop looks modern and cybergenic.
Furthermore, the lid has a small cutout, so you can see the status lights even when the laptop is closed, which is a neat feature, but of Zephyrus line, which ASUS has managed to plant in. Apart from that, overall the laptop has a good futuristic or say gaming design.
The right-hand side just has a Kensington lock slot, no other I/O ports. Coming to the left, there are 2 x USB 3.1, 1 x USB 2.0, an HDMI, Ethernet, power and a 3.5mm audio jack.
Well, here is my point, most gamers are right-handed so the mouse is often placed on the right-handed is often placed on the right which is devoid of any cooling outlets. This is obviously better, however, by doing so, ASUS has also been unable to squeeze in an SD card slot.
Not just that, when we took a peak on the inside, we saw plenty of void space where an SD card slot or USB slots could have been added. No denying, the elimination of this could be a cost-cutting measure.
ASUS TUF Gaming FX504: Display
ASUS FX504 comes with a 15.6-inch, 1080p display, but is dim, surrounded by a chunky bezel and was overall bland and lifeless. The main issue with the display is that, instead of using an IPS-type panel like Dell, Acer, HP and others, it’s a TN panel with poor off-angle viewing. Unless you and the display are in a perfect position, the display starts to wash out or the colors appear inverted.
In general, the colors look muted and contrast isn’t particularly good either and can be very well determined by 66 percent of the sRGB color gamut which is way below the 98-per cent entry-level gaming (average). The company does use IPS panels on the higher-end TUF models, so if you’re intended to use this connected to an external display, you can ignore the last paragraph.
ASUS TUF Gaming FX504: Keyboard, TrackPad, Audio & Webcam
Even though the display has been compromised to cut down the price, but the keyboard of FX504 is fairly huge and gives out a sweet typing experience, with key travel of 1.4 millimeters. The downside is that the keys are slightly bouncy which took some getting used to.
The keyboard has a number pad and is backlit, but only in red (unlike the ROGs) with three levels of brightness. But again, at the price, you can’t criticize the FX504 for not having a full RGB keyboard. ASUS has also outlined the WASD keys in red, so finding your home position is easy.
Coming to the trackpad, the 4.1 x 2.8-inch touchpad acts pretty good, thanks to Microsoft’s Windows Precision Drivers, the accuracy and the gestures works really well. On the flipside, the touchpad felt cheap.
The speakers on the TUF Gaming FX504 is loud and clear with an ample amount of base and a sweet of mixture of vocals, what I mean to convey is that the TUF F504 has a good sound, which can also be boosted on in the included DTS audio app.
Well, the 720p webcam on the FX504 isn’t great, especially with colors. Overall, a decent cam with overexposed and noisy (low-light) shots.
ASUS TUF Gaming FX504: Performance
The FX504 comes with Hexa-core Intel Core i7-8750H CPU, coupled with 8GB RAM (up to 32GB), paired with a Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti GPU (4GB DDR5) with 2GB of VRAM. The ASUS TUF FX504 uses a 128 GB M.2 NVMe SSD from Kingston which is just enough to the boot drive and perhaps a couple of other software.
As for the hard drive, the FX504 uses Seagate FireCuda 1 TB SSHD which works performs better than the traditional HDDs. Unlike other manufacturers, ASUS has gone for a mid-range NVMe SSD and an SSHD giving a better experience, which is visible in normal (daily) usage.
On the Geekbench 4 overall performance test, the FX504 earned a score of 12,038, which is way over HP Pavilion Power 15T (11,214). Now, coming to the creative part, the FX504 is a beast and can simultaneously run Premiere, After Effects, and Lightroom without any issue. That said, if you’re a Chrome user, you will (sometimes) come across the usual Chrome hickups.
Coming to the gaming, which is the sole purpose of this laptop, it does wonder, which can be seen from the 3D Mark Fire Strike in which it scored 7068, which pretty high. Pretty evident, the FX504 won’t tear through intensive games. The machine has rendered the games like the Rise of the Tomb Raider (at 1080p) at 67fps, which is pretty high when considered other machines in the same price range.
ASUS TUF Gaming FX504: Battery & Heat
The TUF Gaming FX504 packs in a huge 48 Wh battery, which gives out a pretty good battery life and in our test, it has endured 4 hours and 15 minutes with 70-80 brightness, docs files opened, Chrome (10 tabs), minor photo editing in Lightroom and YouTube videos.
The FX504 has managed to stay cooler under load, it does get heat up while gaming, but it has cooling fans with two heat pipes, one of which is slightly wider and shared between both devices. Not just that, the GPU also has two heat pipes running over it owing to the higher TDP.
- Very affordable
- Good gaming performance
- Solid audio
- Good heat dissipation
- Fewer I/O options
- No SD card slot
- No USB-C ports
- Display could have been better
The ASUS TUF Gaming FX504 with the NVIDIA GTX 1050 Ti and the 120Hz panel is a great gaming laptop for the price, especially when you get an additional 2 CPU cores for no added money. No denying, the display panel is average but 120Hz panel compensates that.
Well, at the end of the day, the FX504 offers way better value for money and that alone should be convincing enough for most gamers. The TUF Gaming FX504 is priced at Rs.74,490 (as of now) on Amazon.