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ASUS TUF FX505GE Gaming Laptop Review – Small But Beastly

ASUS TUF FX505GE Review

ASUS’ new TUF gaming range is adorably-beastly. The FX505GE is a 15-inch baby laptop that packs quite a lot of heat under its hood that kind of reminded me of Jack Jack from The Incredibles 2. Why? Because just like the TUF FX505GE, Jack Jack was a small, yet deadly machine. 

Movie references aside, the TUF FX505GE does well to hold its own, Its 15-inch full HD display, GTX 1050 Ti GPU and 8th-gen Core-i5 CPU all combine to form a portable and powerful gaming device. 

ASUS TUF FX505GE Tech Specs

  • CPU: Core-i5 8300H / Intel HM370
  • Display: 15.6-inch FHD 60Hz IPS
  • Memory: 8GB DDR4 RAM
  • GPU: NVIDIA GTX 1050 Ti 4GB
  • Storage: 128GB SSD + 1.5TB HDD
  • Keyboard: RGB Red Backlit full-sized
  • Ports: 2x USB 3.1 | 1 x HDMI | 1 x USB 2.0 | 1x Audio Jack
  • Weight: 2.2Kgs

Design

The ASUS TUF FX505GE has a plastic outer shell. While it looks premium, upon touching its casing, you realize that it is all plastic and a cheap build at that. Inside it is the same story. The bottom of the device looks to bare a brushed metal design but it is actually plastic meant to give you the illusion of it being metal. 

Its display is great, it has very little bezel compared to much of the other gaming laptops on the market which gives it that futuristic look and feel and also helps reduce the overall size of the laptop too. In terms of design aesthetics, the FX505GE is fierce. Its red edges give you that “gaming” experience and its exterior shell has this great decal design that sets it apart from other standard laptops on the market. 

According to ASUS, the FX505 range has what they are calling Overstroke technology on their keyboard. This design means half the travel time when typing and pressing keys and they are not lying. They feel great and there is a satisfying click every time you press in a key. It does not beat my Helio 500’s keyboard by a long shot, but its a great step in the right direction. 

My one issue with the keyboard was its size. Buttons were too cramped together and it was uncomfortable to type at times. The touchpad is also a major dealbreaker for me on any device but FX505GE had a decent one. It is large and chunky and the all-click spacing made it easier to move around. 

In terms of ports, the ASUS FX505GE has everything you need to make use of the device from a standard point of view and when it comes to WiFi, the MU-MIMO chipset means less lag thanks to its Wave2 technology. The chipset in the FX5050GE promises to be 12 times the amount of a standard 80MHz chip but good luck finding a router with that support. Most standard or even high-end devices just support 80MHz let alone the 120MHz required to fully make use of the Wave2 tech in the FX505GE.

Performance and Experience

The FX5050GE is a little monster but it does have issues with cooling. We are in the middle of summer in SA at the moment and just leaving the device on the desktop for a few minutes caused the fans to kick in and they are pretty loud. The HyperCool tech inside the FX5050GE promised to collect dust while it goes about its colling and also offers various fan modes to help reduce the sound. The device does stay cool during even heavy use but the fans may get in the way when you are not using a headset and they do have that typical laptop squeak sound to them while spinning. I do commend ASUS for the anti-dust trap because I am seriously OCD when it comes to these things. 

In terms of performance, the FX505GE packs quite the power under its hood. Running the Final Fantasy XV benchmark on ultra settings, the score was 2837 which is slightly slow but not bad considering I pumped all the settings up to max and added as many extras as possible. The Unigen Heaven Benchmark running on extreme also managed a 901 which is pretty low, to be honest. Both of these benchmarks left the GPU running at around 85-88 degrees Celsius which is high. The fans were squeaking and the heat underneath it was quite intense. 

I then turned down settings and it managed to ease the load. Coming to the conclusion that the GTX 1050Ti in the FX5050GE could easily provide you with some medium to high gaming experiences but even on high settings on Battlefield V, the frames dropped to around 35fps. You will have to customize everything to really get the most out of the hardware but the simplest way was to just set it on medium and enjoy the stable 60FPS.

CPU-Z’s multi-thread score came in at 3490 and single thread at 479 which is great too. I spent some time on Battlefield V and matches were smooth, gameplay was crispt and the display packed quite a decent colour gamut. According to ASUS, the display has 100% colour spectrum and they aren’t lying. The display is okay. It could be a bit brighter for my liking as even on the brightest setting, the display feels dim. 

Battery life on the device is pretty great when using it for standard operations. It managed to get a few hours in before going flat on me, this was when I was not gaming. As for gaming, well, you may want to keep it plugged in. Performance drops while on battery which is normal in a device like this. It most likely has one of the better battery setups for a gaming laptop I have used in a while, especially when using it for typing and some light Photoshop (maybe a Netflix binge here and there).

ASUS TUF FX505GE Review

Lastly, I struggled to find the built-in programs to help tweak the device’s hardware load. The fan settings and overboost mode just seemed to not be on the device at all which kind of annoyed me. I would have loved to dive into those settings and benchmark using some overclocked tools but alas. 

Verdict

The ASUS FX5050GE is a great entry-level device. Its GTX 1050Ti will deliver medium to high settings without putting up a fight at all. Battlefield V ran pretty well with a few tweaks and the benchmarks speak for themselves on other games. For a gaming laptop that costs just under R19,999, I would rather recommend looking at the Acer Helios 300 that comes with a far better GTX 1060 GPU in it. The ASUS FX5050GE just feels way too cheap. Its build is plastic, the screen is dim and the performance, while being great, can be outmatched by another brand at a cheaper price. 

This review is based on a demo unit sent to us by ASUS Africa

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