Apart from the Republic of Gamers (ROG) gaming laptops series from ASUS, the company’s The Ultimate Force (TUF) series of laptops are aimed at delivering users with sophisticated a gaming experience that fuses both affordability and durability. The FX504 gaming laptop from this series is one of the new entrants to the brand’s TUG gaming lineup, which combines fine hardware-enhanced with high-end specs.
The ASUS TUF FX504 belongs to the budget gaming laptops because laptops in the series start from $599 and vary in pricing according to their specifications. While the machine does look the part to be considered a gaming rig, it, however, can be considered a versatile device, because you can use it as your day-to-day notebook as well. What this means is that, if you are looking for a device that performs great as your office laptop while also catering to your gaming needs, then the FX504 is a top contender you should consider.
With its affordable price point, great hardware specs, and some more perks, this TUF gaming rig can be quite a promising unit with great potential to be your next gaming notebook.
In-Depth Review of ASUS TUF FX504
The TUF FX504 seems to have borrowed a few elements in terms of design from the brand’s ROG lineup of gaming laptops. Nevertheless, the overall design of the laptop is brand new and totally different from that of its predecessors, the FX503 series. The design is fresh and distinct, with diagonal cuts in radiant red, giving it a tough, gaming look and feel. As usual, the ASUS logo is present bang in the center, in reflective red too. The red theme is carried all over the device, with highlights on the inside as well. ASUS offers the TUF FX504 in four different color variants, namely, Red Matter, Black Matter, Premium Steel, and Fusion, enabling users to choose one that best suits their interest.
When it comes to building, the ASUS TUF FX504 is almost completely made from plastic, though the unit resembles metal with its brushed metal finish. Due to this, the device weighs only 3.09 pounds, which makes it one of the thinner gaming laptop models in this sector. Also, despite the use of plastic in its construction, the machine still looks and feels solid and can be long lasting as well. With a thickness of 0.9 inches, the profile of the laptop is also thin, and the device belongs to the portable gaming laptops list.
The ASUS TUF FX504 offers a 15.6-inch full HD IPS level display. Since this is a matte display, reflections and glares wouldn’t be a big concern for users even when you use the device outdoors or under a lit environment. One of the positives of this device’s display is its 120 Hz refresh rate with a response time of 3ms. Though this could be considered a plus, taking into account the fact that there are models that come only with a 60 Hz panel, knowing that there are laptops in the same price range that offer 144 Hz refresh rate display makes you think twice about this purchase. Nevertheless, this refresh rate delivers fairly fast onscreen results, which is important in gaming.
Yes, there are some obvious flaws with the display; while the screen appears sharp most of the time, it loses points when you get into details. The colors are dull and the overall display is quite dim and lifeless, as a result of which you may not be able to enjoy the hard-core graphics in your latest games. Also, the bezel is relatively too big, especially when compared to those models that come with extremely narrow ones. The webcam you get with the laptop comes with 720p resolution and isn’t really great with color outputs either.
The ASUS TUF FX504 that we are reviewing is powered by 8th generation Intel Core i5 processor, has 8 GB of DDR4 memory, and 1 TB FireCuda SSHD. Of course, you get to choose from different configurations based on your budget. Now, when you look at these configurations, one thing that should immediately catch your attention is the 8 GB memory, which is really underwhelming and insufficient for gaming purposes. This is a huge downfall considering the fact that this is indeed a gaming laptop and also the price tag. But, thanks to the 1 TB FireCuda SSHD, known to be the world’s fastest hard drive, your games will load faster and the device itself feels snappy.
Moving on to the processor, the inclusion of an i5 processor is again a disappointment because most laptops in this segment come with the latest 8th gen i7 processor, which can deliver better overall performance. Yes, the device is still powerful, but it could’ve been better.
In the case of cooling, the device comes with dual fans with anti-dust technology. The dual fan design is able to improve airflow, as a result of which the laptop tends to remain cool both during regular tasks and while gaming as well. And with the anti-dust tunnels, you could expect your device to last longer.
The ASUS TUF FX504 comes with the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 10-series GPU, GTX 1050 2 GB. While this GPU is capable of delivering good gaming performance, almost as good as a desktop, with decent energy-efficiency, there are other variants of the laptop that come with better graphics cards, like the GeForce GTX 1050 Ti, which is known to as much as 25% faster than the GTX 1050 version. Yes, those better versions of the graphics card are available for an additional amount; however, they can be extremely helpful in the long run when games become more demanding or when you wish to move on to playing more intense games.
When it comes to connectivity options, what you get with the TUF FX504 is more or less similar to what you see on most other laptops. The device has 1 COMBO audio jack, 1 Type A USB 2.0 port, 2 Type A USB 3.1 ports, 1 HDMI port, and 1 RJ45 LAN Jack. These ports and slots make entertainment and productivity easy and efficient, in addition to gaming. With the HDMI port, you can set up an external display to enjoy outstanding gaming visuals. For Wi-Fi, you get the Integrated 802.11 AC, and there is built-in Bluetooth as well.
Keyboard and Touchpad
The keyboard is one of the delightful aspects of the ASUS TUF FX504 gaming laptop. Most laptops in the budget to mid-range segment usually come with a lackluster keyboard, which certainly isn’t the case here. The WASD keys, as in most other gaming laptops, are highlighted in red, which makes finding your position easy. The keyboard is backlit, which makes gaming in the dark easy as well. The keys are rightly placed and have just enough space between them, and keystrokes also tend to be smooth. The desktop-inspired keyboard also happens to be highly durable, with 20 million key presses as its lifespan. The touchpad is decent too.
The ASUS TUF FX504 has built-in speakers that are designed to emit nice and loud audio. With the DTS Headphone: X Support, you get to experience traditional 7.1-channel surround sound from the device, whether you are playing games, watching movies, or listening to music. You get to choose from different content modes to customize the audio output to match your activities. While the overall audio quality from the laptop is good, it lags a bit when it comes to delivering bass.
The TUF FX504 is backed by a 3-cell 48 Wh battery. Getting straight to the point, battery life is not one of the upsides for this machine. While we have come across gaming laptops in the segment last for about 5 hours with regular tasks, the FX504 manages to run for only less than 3 hours, and as always, the number reduces further with gaming. This might be a good option for basic to medium-level gaming but if you are hoping to use this device for both work and play, you may have to reconsider.
For a gaming laptop in this price range (starting at $600), the ASUS TUF FX504 is a great but, considering the 8th gen Intel Core processor, GeForce GTX 10 series graphics card, and the 120 Hz display. While the device’s quirky design is like by a lot of gamers and therefore can be considered a plus, there are some aspects where the machine definitely falls behind its competition, like its battery life, insufficient 8 GB memory, and dull display. So, are there better options? Yes, there are. But, if you wish to spend as little money as possible for a decent gaming laptop, you could go with the TUF FX504, because this is one device that offers solid value for money, which is exactly what many gamers want.
- Good quality keyboard.
- Solid audio output.
- Doesn’t heat easily.
- Good gaming performance.
- 8 GB memory, insufficient for gaming.
- Poor battery life.
- Dull and bland overall display.
- Slower storage.