Asus TUF Gaming F15 Review: All Play, All Work Too

Asus TUF Gaming F15 Review: All Play, All Work Too

When it comes to notebooks, gaming and mainstream are two different rivers flowing into the same computing ocean. On paper, the requirements for both a mainstream notebook user and one looking for something to handle an AAA title like Assassin’s Creed Valhalla might seem the same: good display, good processor, solid battery life, sturdy keyboard, engaging sound, etc. However, start scratching that familiar surface (pun unintended, Microsoft), and the differences jump right out at you. 

Gaming notebook vs mainstream notebook: Meant for different users

A mainstream user perhaps wants a notebook powerful enough to handle day-to-day tasks like using an office suite, email, Web browsing, as well as the odd session of film and video streaming. Battery life is a huge deal for them, as they use the computer on the move, and for the same reason, most mainstream users prefer relatively light and easy-to-carry notebooks. 

A gamer, on the other hand, is looking for a machine capable of handling extremely high-end graphics, high-resolution display, staggeringly detailed sound, a super responsive and large keyboard (preferably with RGB backlighting) with a massive trackpad, plenty of ports to plug in accessories, and most important of all, plenty of cooling options to ensure the notebook can survive very intense gaming sessions. Battery life and weight are not that great priorities here as such.

This is why gaming notebooks are very different from their mainstream counterparts. They normally boast more powerful specs (especially in terms of handling multimedia), come with an edge-y design, and tend to be bulky in size, and slim in terms of battery life. Mainstream notebooks on the other hand are just the opposite — they tend to boast decent-rather-than-spectacular specs and tend to focus on slim form factors and plenty of battery life. It is not as if the two are totally incompatible — a mainstream user can do most of their tasks on a gaming notebook, and a gamer might be able to get through some gaming sessions on a high-end mainstream notebook, but neither would be happy with their experience. 

It is a bit like having a super powerful Royal Enfield on one side and a fuel-efficient basic Hero Honda on the other — they are both motorbikes, and both are used for going places, but they are meant for very different users. 

Asus TUF Gaming F15 review: Bridging the gaming and mainstream divide 

The recent times, however, have seen some brands trying to find a middle path between these seemingly two utterly apart poles of notebook users. Mainstream computers have started getting a bit more muscular in the multimedia department but they are held back by their need for good battery life and slim forms. 

Also Read  Web2 To Web3: Why Transition Is Essential For Future of Gaming In India

The more significant effort in this bridge-building is coming from gaming notebook manufacturers who are now attempting to cram some serious gaming muscle into the sort of form factor that would be portable and acceptable even to a mainstream user, as they chase volumes instead of being content with a tiny niche. 

The idea is simple: do everything on a single machine. This sought-for simplicity, however, at times seems to verge on digital utopia as compromises on hardware and design scuttle most gaming notebooks that you can also carry to work easily.

Asus is looking to change that with the TUF Gaming F15 notebook. 

Asus TUF Gaming F15 review: An out-and-out gaming notebook that fits into regular life too

Let’s get one thing straight — the TUF Gaming F15 is a gaming notebook, first and foremost. It has a distinct-yet-understated design — we got the Mecha Gray colour variant which has only a logo in the centre and very visible screws in each corner, with the lower part of the notebook visible from the upper side through a gap between the two hinges of the cover. There is an array of ports and vents on the sides. 

It is a big notebook, but what struck us was how relatively understated it was. It did not scream for attention like most gaming notebooks do. It would not look out of place in a corporate office too, with its brushed metal lid. 

Opening the notebook reveals a complete keyboard, with a number pad as well. It is a backlit keyboard and as this is a gaming notebook, you can tweak the backlighting using Asus’ software. The keys are not the largest but are well-spaced and there is an adequate-sized trackpad below them. In terms of keys, you have pretty much what you would get on a proper desktop.  

There is a truckload of ports on either side. In all, you get two full-sized USB ports, two USB Type-C ports (one with Thunderbolt support, which means you can use it for charging and to connect it to another display as well), an HDMI port, a LAN port, a 3.5mm audio jack, a slot for charging, and a Kensington lock slot. There is enough here for gamers to attach gaming accessories, such as additional speakers, joysticks, and gamepads. And also for a corporate executive to plug in everything from a projector to a printer — the LAN port is as handy for intense multiplayer gaming sessions as in an office environment, where wired connections still rule the Web surfing roost. You also have Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth v5.1 connectivity. The notebook comes with Windows 11 preinstalled so will blend right into most networks, whether gaming or enterprise. 

Also Read  OnePlus Nord Watch India Launch Soon, Company Confirms: Expected Specs, Price And More

What’s more, for a gaming notebook with a full-fledged keyboard (complete with a number pad), the TUF Gaming F15 is remarkably light. It weighs at about 2.2kg. For context, that is about as much as the weight of the 16-inch MacBook Pro. This is no featherweight, to be sure, but it can be carried around without too much difficulty. And it is as tough as its name indicates — it comes with military-grade toughness and has been tested for “drops, vibration, humidity, and extreme temperatures,” to quote Asus. It definitely has a very tough feel to it, even though most of it is plastic. 

Asus TUF Gaming F15 review: A gaming beast, a multimedia monster 

It might not be out of place in an office but the TUF Gaming F15 is primarily a gaming device. And that is borne out by its hardware. Our unit was powered by a 12th generation Intel Core i7-12700H Processor with 2.3GHz clock speed, and came with 16GB RAM, 1TB storage, with graphics handled by an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 chip. You also get other variants, with a Core i5 chip, 8 GB RAM, and a GeForce RTX 3070/ 3050 graphics processor. 

All of this comes together to deliver a very impressive gaming performance in notebook terms. Whether it is Overwatch or Call of Duty or Assassin’s Creed, the TUF Gaming F15 sailed through them effortlessly, with no lags whatsoever. 

The dual speakers with Dolby Atmos deliver a rich sound, although we can see gamers either opting for headphones or their own speaker setup, especially for stealth-based titles. 

The keyboard is comfortable to use, although we skipped using the trackpad for our gaming sessions, preferring instead to go with a dedicated gaming mouse. The display could have been a little brighter perhaps (especially noticeable in games with lots of dark areas, when you play in well-lit environments) but you still end up getting brilliant colours and a lot of detail. 

Best of all, the action just keeps flowing seamlessly. This is a professional-level gaming notebook. And the vents around it ensure that it does not heat up too much. 

The hardware also makes this a very capable notebook for other tasks as well. We were able to edit videos and run Photoshop and other hefty software on the notebook without any hassles whatsoever. 

Also Read  Woman Allegedly Killed After Redmi 6A Phone Explodes, Claims Youtuber

Multitasking is a breeze, and that display in combination with those capable speakers means that watching videos and films on the notebook is an engaging experience. And of course, its relatively light form factor means you can actually carry this notebook around easily. We can see a lot of content creators loving this device, simply because of the power it packs into a portable (for the specs) form factor. 

Asus TUF Gaming F15 review: Good battery life too…for a gaming notebook

We kept the battery life for the last. Anything more than three hours of battery life on a gaming notebook is supposed to be a bonus. Well, the TUF Gaming F15 goes past that mark pretty comfortably. With screen brightness at around 50 percent (which is really more than adequate), we were able to get around six to seven hours of battery life from the notebook, while doing relatively routine tasks like browsing the Web, working on MS Office files, and handling mails and messages. 

With more careful handling, the battery could last close to eight hours and that is very impressive for a gaming machine. Mind you, you are unlikely to get more than an hour and a half of heavy-duty gaming out of it on a full charge. 

Asus TUF Gaming F15 review: A pretty good allrounder with a distinct gaming flavour 

The Asus TUF Gaming F15 is one of those rare gaming notebooks that, when not flying through gaming sessions, can also step into the shoes of a regular and even high-end workhorse. No, it is not perfect. Some might find the keys a little too small for heavy-duty typing and the webcam is very ordinary and totally out of sync with the Zoom-call era. Still, others might complain about the slightly edgy design and the fact that the battery life, while good for a gaming notebook, does not get into double figures.

But even after taking all that into consideration, we think it is a great option for those who want a high-end notebook that’s like a MacBook Pro, but with a strong gaming side and with Windows onboard.  

And that is high praise for a notebook with a starting price of Rs 1,15,990 (which includes one month of free Xbox Game Pass for PC subscription). The Asus TUF Gaming F15 deserves it. It can be all play. And all work too.