ASUS TUF Gaming A15 review: cheap but powerful

Despite its price, the ASUS TUF Gaming A15 offers excellent gaming value.
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ASUS TUF Gaming A15 review: cheap but powerful - W3Tekno
Our Verdict
Reasons To Buy
  • Good battery life
  • Good all-rounder
  • Great performance for price
  • Reasons To Avoid
  • Okay screen
  • Tiny hard disk
  • No biometrics
  • At £1,199.99, the ASUS TUF Gaming A15 is neither a cheap nor an expensive gaming laptop; the ASUS ROG Zephyrus M16, for example, costs almost £3,500. The ASUS TUF Gaming A15 is a reassuringly solid PC with a good chassis; while the highlighted WASD keys distinguish it as a gaming PC, it'll also fit in well in the office or at school.

    Professional creatives who work with Photoshop frequently and also do a lot of video editing or animation may need more power than the ASUS TUF Gaming A15 can offer. It's an excellent laptop that can do it all, but if you want to see what else is out there, check out our list of the best Windows laptops. If you're looking for something with a bit more artistic flair, our guide to the best laptops for video editing has you covered.

    Key Specs
    CPU:AMD Ryzen 7 7735HS with Radeon Graphics, 3.20 GHz
    Graphics:NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4060
    Screen:1920 x 1080 pixels, 144Hz Refresh Rate
    Ports:2x USB-A 3.2 Gen 1, 1x USB-C 3.2 Gen 2, 1x USB-C 4.0, 1x HDMI 2.1 output, 1x 2.5Gbp Ethernet port, 1x 3.5mm audio jack
    Networking:Bluetooth 5.3, Wi-Fi 6
    Dimensions:35.4 x 2.49 x 25.1 cm

    Design And Display

    ASUS TUF Gaming A15 review: Design And Display

    The ASUS TUF Gaming A15 features a configurable backlit keyboard, typical of the coloured keyboards of gaming laptops. The ASUS TUF Gaming A15 has a somewhat restricted colour palette compared to high-end ASUS gaming laptops; the only options are static, breathing, colour cycle and flashing monochromes, and the WASD buttons stand out because they are transparent.

    Data entry and other numpad operations are facilitated by the half-width numpad on the keyboard. The keyboard is generally well-built, with a shallow but pleasant action. The ASUS TUF Gaming A15 has a different button sequence for volume up and down, mute the microphone and Armory Crate (customisation app). However, I couldn't figure out why the mute button is on the F row and not right next to the volume buttons.

    While the touchpad is fast, low friction and a good size, most gamers will prefer to use a mouse for the best control. While I have high standards when it comes to touchpads, I had very few issues with this one.

    For some reason all ports (except one) on the ASUS TUF Gaming A15 are on the left side. This means that if you use a lot of wired inputs, you're going to get cable jams and should probably forget about using right-angled cables. However, the ports themselves are of good quality. There are two USB-A ports, two USB-C connections and a USB-C 4.0 connector that can be used to charge the laptop (although probably not fast enough for gaming).

    The ASUS TUF Gaming A15 has a "Mecha" theme, but thankfully it's not too obvious; the only noticeable design element is the embarrassing "CAUTION, HIGH FRAMERATE ZONE" motif located under the keyboard and partially obscured by the AMD Ryzen sticker. Due to its rugged construction and "military-standard durability" (designed to withstand shocks, drops, humidity and high temperatures), it should be able to withstand being carried in a student bag on a daily basis. At 2,2kg it's not too light, but the added weight gives it a solid and substantial feel.

    Audio And Visual

    ASUS TUF Gaming A15 review: Audio And Visual

    High-contrast features, such as writing on a contrasting background, still come through effectively when the ASUS TUF Gaming A15's display is at maximum brightness and blacks are quite strong, while light hits the screen directly. You won't want to take the ASUS TUF Gaming A15 to play Starfield in the park because darker, lower-contrast components suffer.

    Vivid, Standard, Cinema and FPS are some of Armory Crate's most common settings, giving you some working versatility. Colour accuracy isn't great, but if you're looking for a laptop for quick photo editing between games (and you have a display at home with better colour accuracy), this would be an excellent choice for you.

    The WQHD display, which has a resolution of 2560x1440 as opposed to the 1920x1080 variant I used for this review, was something I was unable to test. Given that games are starting to be optimised for 4K, this laptop version will probably be more durable in the future.

    For a laptop, the sound of the ASUS TUF Gaming A15 is pretty impressive. The ASUS TUF Gaming A15 has a strong lower-midrange with an excellent stereo image and a slightly dark sound where laptop speakers typically have a lot of treble. When the laptop is on the lap the trebles are indeed a little subdued, but when the laptop is moved to a table the trebles come to the fore (and don't sound very pleasant); this is probably because most of the treble is coming from the base of the laptop.

    The only major issue I have is that the high end could have been a little better. The speakers manage to handle clear sound with a reasonable volume and a respectable dynamic range. There's also built-in Dolby Atmos capability, but you'll need good headphones for sound editing (as with other laptops) if you want to use this feature.

    The built-in microphone also has some intriguing features, including cardioid, stereo and omnidirectional polar patterns - an intriguing choice for an integrated microphone. There are also a number of robust noise suppression options for the mic and speakers, including ones suitable for both single and multiple voices.


    ASUS TUF Gaming A15 review: Features

    The ASUS TUF Gaming A15's heat was one of the first things I noticed; strangely, the moment it got the hottest during my time with it was when I first powered it up and did updates, the top was almost too hot to touch. While this may seem like a worrying indicator, the use of fans and passive cooling is probably to blame for the heat. The laptop continued to heat up while playing Starfield, but not as much. The arc-flow fans, ambient cooling, and four exhaust vents (two on the back and one on each side) that are part of the ASUS TUF Gaming A15's cooling system help keep the laptop fairly quiet while gaming.

    Fortunately the ASUS TUF Gaming A15 arrived devoid of additional software, although I'm still not sure why Microsoft insists that Teams is a necessary starter programme. In addition, McAfee was included before it was suddenly replaced by the more than adequate Windows Defender.

    The ASUS TUF Gaming A15's small hard drive is one of my main complaints about it as a gaming laptop. 512GB may not sound small, but given the size of most high-end games, that won't get you very far. There is enough space for only 3,6 Starfield or almost 7 Assassins Creed Odyssey. Fortunately, there is room for an additional hard drive, which makes memory expansion not too difficult.

    It also lacks biometric security features like a fingerprint scanner and a camera that isn't good enough for Windows Hello or streaming.

    However, the ASUS TUF Gaming A15 has a MUX switch and auto MUX option that improves performance and reduces lag during gaming and supports G-sync. When you plug or unplug the charger, the MUX switch causes a one-second screen stutter, but overall it has little negative impact.


    The ASUS TUF Gaming A15 performed well in benchmarks, ranking highly in both the GeekBench 6 test and the Cinebench R20 Multi-Core test (both of which evaluate performance capabilities). It also performed well in the PCMark 10 Home test, scoring 6924 points overall and earning outstanding scores in digital content production (with video editing being the lowest).


    ASUS TUF Gaming A15 review: Gaming

    The ASUS TUF Gaming A15 handled the recently released Starfield without issue, which is surprising given Bethesda's track record for problems. There were no bugs or lag when playing at maximum quality settings, but prolonged play did cause the laptop to heat up. In benchmarks for Assassin's Creed Odyssey, the ASUS TUF Gaming A15 achieved 75 FPS, with a minimum of 14 and a maximum of 140.

    I also had an extensive session of Stonehearth, my make-or-break quiz. It's an old game, but it's one of my favourites, and due to its rather clumsy CPU-sucking AI algorithm, it can crash and cause problems on almost any machine (even my editing PC). I've managed to crash it repeatedly on almost every laptop I've tested, but the ASUS TUF Gaming A15 was able to run it with no issues at all, which is pretty amazing to me.

    The ASUS TUF Gaming A15 also performed well in 3D Mark's gaming-specific tests, scoring 10,023 points in Time Spy, a graphics card test, beating most regular gaming PCs and gaming laptops. In Fire Strike, a stress test for the CPU and GPU using a physics engine, it scored 23,054, once again outperforming most regular gaming PCs and gaming laptops. However, in Night Raid, a game created specifically for portable devices, it scored 54,758 points, almost matching high-end gaming PCs.

    Battery Life

    ASUS TUF Gaming A15's battery life is exceptional, lasting over ten hours in the PCMark 10 battery test and nearly two hours during extended gaming. ASUS TUF Gaming A15 is a great laptop to take on the go without having to constantly search for a power outlet, as it charges quickly and delivers a 50% charge in around 30 minutes.

    Should I Buy The ASUS TUF Gaming A15?

    If you're looking for a gaming laptop within your budget range, the ASUS TUF Gaming A15 is an obvious choice. It succeeds in achieving its goals; it's reasonably priced, incredibly functional and expertly equipped to handle gaming and low-end content development. However, if you need a PC that can handle rendering and other more demanding activities, you might want to look elsewhere. The ASUS TUF Gaming A15 is a very reliable and highly functional gaming laptop. If you have a bigger budget, you may want to consider the version with a higher resolution display.


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