As someone who likes to game and always working on the go, its hard to come across a gaming laptop that offers great gaming performance at an affordable price tag. For instance, you might want to get a laptop that has at least a GTX 1060 to play AAA game titles, such laptops cost at least RM6000, however this one we have right here is about to change the game,  this is the ASUS TUF Gaming FX505, which ASUS has teased the media with a price tag of below RM5000,  and its got an 8th Gen Core i7-8750H processor, a 15-inch 144Hz 1ms display and a GTX 1060 to get any budget gamers excited.

However, what’s the compromise ASUS has to implement to make this gaming laptop affordable?

Not a lot to be honest, and definitely not too much of a deal breaker, the FX505 is what you would expect from a ASUS TUF product line, it comes with a strong and solid metal chassis that features a Radiating X design unique to the series, and ASUS says that the laptop could take on some accidental bumps and drops as it has passed military grade tests standards.

The ASUS logo now lights up either in Gold or Red depending on the model you choose. What I don’t like is the selection of ports, though I really like that ASUS has positioned all of them on the left so you get more space to move your mouse on the right, there’s no USB-C port and a card reader, which isn’t entirely a deal breaker, but definitely something that ASUS could have included over the FX504.

Accessing the laptop’s internals is a pretty easy job, you will just need to unscrew a total of 11 screws at the bottom, pry on the sides and the base will come out in one piece. The layout of the motherboard is pretty clean and simple, which at a glance you can already see the laptop’s hard drive, SSD and RAM slots.

One noticeable improvement ASUS has made over the FX504 is the super slim display bezels on its 15.6″ display, which the company calls it a NanoEdge display. I like that ASUS has added some texture around it to make it look different from the usual slim laptop displays we’ve come across, colors look a little warmer than usual, but viewing angles are great and if not the best, this is one of the best gaming laptop displays of its class with a fast response time and 144Hz refresh rate. Also, the laptop’s loudspeakers are really good for a gaming laptop, it has decent loudness and is able to produce bright audio frequencies and bass without distortion.

The keyboard comes with an all RGB lighting zone, the WASD keys are highlighted with  transparent keycaps, and you can configure various lighting effects with the TUF Aura Core app, I love the key travel and feedback it offers, but I think the right CTRL key is too big and a waste of space, while the directional keys are cramped right under the numpad area, which I usually press on the ‘0’ key accidentally if I’m not careful. The trackpad uses Windows Precision Drivers and it works great, it registers multi touch gestures accurately and I find it to be even better than some expensive gaming laptops.

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I have spent some time playing a few rounds PUBG, Shadow of the Tomb Raider and ran some benchmarks over the past week. Overall, the laptop is a pretty silent machine even when gaming at full load, ASUS does give you an option to increase the fan speed manually with the Overboost mode, which not only cools down your system but also keeps dust out of the air vents. All thanks to the great thermal design, I was able to get the CPU running at max boost speed all the time, you should be able to get at least an average 50 FPS on most current AAA titles when running on 1080p high graphics setting, the SSD drive speed is also remarkable on both sequential and random file transfers, I managed to score 1.5GB/s on sequential read and 400MB/s on sequential write, though not the fastest I’ve experienced, but its better than a lot of other gaming laptops of the same class.

In terms of battery life, I managed to get up to 4 hours of usage with mere productivity tasks, which I really think isn’t bad for a gaming laptop like this, the only problem I had is the heavy 180W power brick that weighs down my bag, and speaking of the latter, ASUS has bundled the FX505 with a nice and robust backpack in the box, which costs RM149 if you were to purchase separately, great job on that ASUS.

Verdict

I really think the ASUS TUF Gaming FX505 gaming laptop is a product that’s made for everyone, I mean if you are really thinking to game on a laptop and don’t have a lot of money to spend for those high end ones, it does away with the unnecessary flashy stuffs that you find on more expensive gaming laptops and in return, offers features and great performance at an accessible price tag.

The Good

  • Value for money performance
  • Solid build quality
  • Reasonable battery life
  • Decent thermals
  • Easy access to internals

The Not so Good

  • No USB-C and card reader
  • Heavy power brick