ASUS has been making waves recently in the gaming laptop space, and with the new ASUS TUF Dash F15, it’s clear that they are aiming to reinforce that reputation. With it, the company is touting a device with the trifecta — slim, durable and most importantly, powerful.
Containing the latest 11th Gen Intel H-series CPUs and RTX 30-series, it is indeed a compelling option for gamers who are looking to use the latest specs for their games; especially with consumers still struggling with the latter’s shortage problems.
Build Quality and Design
The ASUS TUF Dash F15 looks like it was built like a tank upon unboxing it, and it certainly feels like one too. True to its moniker, the laptop feels very solid in hand and doesn’t show much flex on the chassis when subjected to some pressure. With MIL-STD durability standards met, there should be little concern about the device breaking if it experiences an accidental drop.
For the laptop’s look, you’re given the choice of either Moonlight White or Eclipse Grey as the colour that it comes with. Our unit was the Eclipse Grey in this case, and in the flesh, its look is that of a dark metallic grey colour scheme, and it covers the entirety of the device except for the keyboard keys.
There’s a smooth matte feel as you drag your fingers across its surface, which feels great to the touch, but it’s best you don’t try this often. Unfortunately, the exterior is susceptible to oil, and fingerprint marks appear incredibly easily for the grey variant. If you’d rather not worry about constant cleaning, perhaps consider the Moonlight White colour instead.
It’s immediately apparent that the ASUS TUF Dash F15 is made for gaming from its aesthetic. There’s a giant TUF branding on its lid across the left side, while a more subtle TUF logo hangs out on the top right. The emblazoned TUF wording is a little loud for my taste, but it isn’t overly bombastic to be too much of a turn-off.
In terms of the actual form factor for the laptop, the ASUS TUF Dash F15 is certainly slimmer than most other enthusiast gaming laptops, measuring at just 1.99cm of thickness — in fact, ASUS claims that it was able to make it 10% smaller compared to its previous generation — that being said, the actual size of the device is still relatively large considering it holds such a large display.
At 2kg, it is on the lighter end of the scale compared to other gaming laptops; for context, it weighs as much as a MacBook Pro 16. It isn’t insignificant, but personally I wouldn’t be comfortable carrying it in my hands. Still, it’s a reasonable enough weight to not be a back-breaker when lugging it in a backpack for an extended period of time.
Port selection is as expected for a gaming laptop; it pretty much has all of what you need. There is a generous selection of 3 USB-A ports (two on the left, one on the right), an HDMI port, Thunderbolt 4 port, 3.5mm headphone jack, and most importantly, an Ethernet port.
The ASUS TUF Dash F15 comes with a massive 15.6-inch display to make gaming feel more immersive as you play. Around the top and sides, the bezels around the screen are sleekly thin, but you still have to contend with the prominent chin at the bottom. Additionally, the screen also uses a matte finish which helps mitigate issues with glare.
Unfortunately, by designing the screen with those slim bezels, ASUS has been unable to implement a webcam within the laptop. With video calls becoming more prevalent, the lack of a webcam could be a no-go for you.
The resolution for the display comes in at 1080p, which is a tad disappointing considering a lot of gaming laptops have been able to offer 1440p even with smaller screens. With the 15.6-inches that the TUF Dash F15 offers, that extra resolution could have been a dream.
Nonetheless, the display still provides a decent showing of itself. In terms of sharpness, there’s little you can fault about it unless you put your eye really close to scrutinise, and colours were alright for the most part. Brightness could perhaps be a little better for outdoor use, but otherwise, the laptop’s display is very usable indoors.
While the resolution may seem like a caveat, a benefit does come in the form of its refresh rate. A blistering 240Hz refresh rate came with the laptop (a 144Hz version is also available), and that enabled smooth motion for both regular use and when gaming; it is an incredible sight to experience.
If you have games that take advantage of the 240Hz refresh rate, that’s great! Personally, though looking beyond its novelty, it isn’t necessary. If you mainly plan to utilise the machine for more demanding games at their highest visual fidelity, you won’t get more than 120fps — its diminishing returns from that point on.
The keyboard on the ASUS TUF Dash F15 comes with a really cool aesthetic look. There isn’t a full RGB array, but the keys are backlit with this light neon blue colour that gives off a futuristic vibe, particularly with the translucent WASD keys; it certainly sets itself apart from other laptop looks.
Under the Armoury Crate software from ASUS, you can also change the backlit effects for the keyboard, though only three are available — static, breathing and strobing — and the settings for them are rather limited (only the breathing effect allows you to control the speed).
The keys themselves are great to use. They have quite a bit of travel when you press down on them (1.7mm to be precise), and the feedback feels very satisfying on the fingers. ASUS has also implemented dedicated keys at the top for volume control, microphone muting and starting up Armoury Crate, which brings ease in accessibility and convenience for users.
These won’t replace mechanical keyboards, but for typing out long reports or gaming sessions with pals, the experience of using the keyboard on the ASUS TUF Dash F15 should be more than sufficient for most people.
However, the regular nature of the touchpad makes it pale in comparison. There’s nothing inherently wrong with the touchpad itself — navigating works fine in use, and clicks are decently tactile on pressing it — but the small size of it just makes using it a little disappointing with the limited travel area. Everything else is excellent, while the touchpad is just meh; It’s almost akin to the kid who got left out from parties.
ASUS has equipped the TUF Dash F15 with the latest 11th Gen Intel CPUs, and ours in particular, had the i7-11370H processor powering the system.
Web-browsing, streaming content on YouTube or Netflix, playing music through Spotify — all of these use cases posed no problem to the processor. Things remained quick and snappy when doing all of them, even with other programs running in the background or when put in heavy use (multiple tabs on chrome etc.)
But the ASUS TUF Dash F15 is emphasised to be powerful gaming after all, and I’m glad to say that it too performs well. There are several options of the latest NVIDIA RTX 30-series GPUs you can choose from on the laptop, and we were able to try out the most powerful configuration available, the RTX 3070.
Testing it out on Control, one of the most demanding games available right now, the TUF Dash F15 shows up strong. Running the game at the highest possible quality settings with DLSS — including ray-tracing — the laptop could output around 80fps; the performance is spectacular.
Granted, this level of performance was only possible with the help of the DLSS technology, but even without it, the system could still churn out a very playable 60 or so fps at the same settings. So if you frequent similar graphically demanding games, the ASUS TUF Dash F15 will more than likely be able to handle it.
It goes without saying then that competitive games like Apex Legends or Valorant that are less demanding would be no problem for the laptop to handle. And the games will be able to take advantage of the smooth refresh rate since they run at higher frame rates.
Having this level of performance for gaming is great, but the caveat is that the laptop tends to run quite loud in order to maintain it and sometimes is audible enough to seep through earphones while playing.
At the very least, it makes sure the laptop runs cool. The device never had issues with thermal-throttling when in testing, even with the more demanding games. If sound is a sore spot for you, the Armoury Crate software enables you to tweak between three different profiles (silent, performance and turbo) so that it stays within a certain level of noise.
In everyday use — that is, web-browsing or productivity work — the ASUS TUF Dash F15 can last close to 8 hours. That is mainly because Armoury Crate has a feature that helps save battery life by reverting the refresh rate back to 60Hz.
Should you choose to have the 240Hz refresh rate run at all times, the results are much less desirable. It only was able to last just over 3.5 hours, and that was when I had the laptop idling while it was downloading games.
A chunky 200W power brick comes with the device, and it usually gets it back up to speed relatively quickly. There’s also the option of using USB-C to charge it but bear in mind that it is counter-productive to charge it while you are playing games on it as it drains more power than it can receive with that cable.
Those looking for a gaming laptop that is relatively easy to travel with should see the ASUS TUF Dash F15 as a genuine option to consider.
With the device coming with the latest and most powerful specs, it is a solid gaming machine to play your favourite games, whether small indie titles or blockbuster showcases. And its slim and comparatively lightweight design gives more reason to bring it out with you to try to finish that last level or a report that is due soon.