ASUS TUF Dash F15 Review
PC & Hardware

ASUS TUF Dash F15 Review

The 2021 ASUS TUF Dash F15 may well be the best value-for-money gaming laptop for the coming months.

We finally have our hands on the TUF Dash F15!

Unveiled at CES 2021, the 2021 TUF Gaming A15/A17 models are fitted with the AMD Ryzen 5000 CPUs and updated RTX 3000 graphics, while the Dash F15 comes equipped with the latest 11th Gen Intel processors and the Nvidia RTX 3070 GPU.

With a sleek new chassis and narrow bezels, the ASUS TUF series has been given a design refresh along with the new minimalist TUF logo and branding. ASUS says the laptop is now 20% smaller and 10% lighter than the previous models while still providing impressive performance, mobility, durability, and long battery life on a budget.

ASUS TUF Dash 15 Review

In terms of hardware, the TUF Dash F15 comes with up to a 11th gen Intel Core i7-11375H with clock speeds up to 4.8GHz, 32GB DDR4 memory clocked at 3200 MHz, Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 with 8GB of GDDR6 memory and a 512GB M.2 SSD for storage. The display can be configured up to a 15.6-inch screen with a WQHD resolution of 2560 x 1440 IPS panel and a refresh rate of 165 Hz.

The TUF Dash F15 also comes with Wi-Fi 6, Thunderbolt 4 and also supports 100W USB Type-C PD Charging. All in all, this looks to be a very promising gaming laptop, read more to find out what it can do.

Specifications

Our review unit the Asus TUF Dash F15 FX516P has the following specs:

CPUIntel Core i7-11370H Processor 3.3 GHz, 4 cores (12M Cache, up to 4.8GHz)
RAM16GB (2 x 8GB) 3200 MHz DDR4 oboard 2x SO-DIMM socket for expansion, total up to 32 GB SDRAM, Dual-channel
GPUNVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 8GB GDDR6
Storage512GB M.2 2230 PCIe SSD
Display15.6″ (16:9) LED-backlit FHD (1920×1080) 144Hz Anti-Glare IPS-level Panel with Adaptive Sync
Ports1 x Thunderbolt 4 (Supports USB4.0, Display port 1.4a, PD3.0) 3 x USB 3.2 Gen1 (Type-A) 1 x HDMI 2.0 1 x 3.5mm audio jack 1 x Kensington lock 1 x RJ45
ConnectivityWi-Fi 6 802.11AX
Bluetooth 5.2
CameraNo webcam
Audio2 speakers, DTSX: Ultra Two-Way AI Noise Cancelation 1x 3.5mm combo audio jack
Battery76Whr battery 200W power adapter Support for 100W Type C PD Charging
Dimensions360 x 252 x 19.9mm 2.0 kg

Packaging

The TUF Dash F15 comes in a solid brown cardboard box with a carry handle and the TUF gaming logo on the front. Inside, the laptop and the accessories are protected by cardboard compartments. In the box you will find:

  • The ASUS TUF Dash F15 laptop
  • 200W power adapter
  • Power cable
  • User guide and warranty

Watch our quick unboxing video:

Design, Build Quality & Ports

The TUF Dash F15 comes in two color variants: Moonlight White and Eclipse Gray. Our model is the Eclipse Gray.

With clean lines, sharp angles and a redesigned logo & branding, the TUF Dash F15 comes in a sleek chassis at 19.9mm thin and has some similarities to last year’s Zephyrus G15. The laptop is compact and lightweight with its dimensions of 360 x 252 x 19.9mm and super portable at 2.0 kg, considering it comes with all the latest hardware, allowing it to slip easily into backpacks.

Like its predecessors, the TUF Dash F15 also undergoes MIL-STD-810H tests, a military-grade durability certification, that guarantees it reliable and durable against drops, vibrations and extreme weather.

Most of laptop frame is made of hard plastic, except the lid which is made of aluminum. The screen bezels are narrow and the hinges reliably hold the display lid in position and the laptop can be opened with one hand. The build quality is good, the laptop is well-built and quite stiff, it does not seem delicate. However, the interior and the lid is a fingerprint magnet and shows smudges and fingerprints easily.

The TUF Dash F15 offers excellent connectivity except for a card reader. On the left side are the power port, Ethernet, HDMI, one USB 3.2 Gen1 Type-A and one Thunderbolt 4 port with support for support for USB4.0, Display Port 1.4a, PD3.0. There also a separate combined audio jack for a headset or mic.

Asus TUF Dash F15 FX516P Review
ASUS TUF Dash 15 Review

With Thunderbolt 4, the TUF Dash F15 can hook up an external GPU, connect two 4K displays at 60Hz, or one 8K UHD TV or monitor. On the right are two USB 3.2 Gen1 Type-A ports and a Kensington lock slot. The remaining area is occupied by air vents.

Asus TUF Dash F15 FX516P Review
ASUS TUF Dash 15 Review

There are no ports at the back except for three LED indicators. On either side are the cooling vents apart from the ones above and either sides of the keyboard and the base.

At the base are the ventilation grills for the fans and cutouts for the speakers.

Display

The display is 15.6-inch Full HD 1920×1080 IPS panel with a 144 Hz refresh rate and adaptive-sync. This provides a smooth, clear picture without frame breaks. With adaptive sync, the display’s refresh rate synchronizes with the GPU’s frame rate to reduce lag, minimize stuttering and eliminate visual tearing for ultra-smooth and immersive gameplay. If you are coming from 60Hz displays, the difference is going to be tremendous.

There is no webcam on the new TUF Dash F15. On the bottom logo is the ASUS logo. The screen has a matte surface with anti-glare coating and the viewing angles are great.

Asus TUF Dash F15 FX516P Review
ASUS TUF Dash 15 Review

While the display is great for gaming and movies, if you professionally work with graphics or video content, then this is not the best screen. We recommend upgrading to the 240Hz Full HD panel which has a higher sRGB coverage of 100%.

With a maximum brightness of 280 nits and a contrast ration of around 1300:1, the display is bright enough for indoor viewing but rather difficult in bright outdoor environments. Also, the display does not support HDR content.

Keyboard & Trackpad

The TUF Dash F15 has a single-zone RGB chiclet-type keyboard without the numeric keypad. The power button is separated from the keyboard to avoid accidental clicks. There are four additional keys above the keyboard for volume control, mic control and a dedicated key for ASUS Armory Crate software. The keyboard design is good, it’s also worth noting the brushed metal finish here, giving it a sleek look.

The keys are full-sized except for the up and down arrow keys and the row of function keys at the top. The keyboard has a low key-travel of 1.7mm and the typing experience is good.

Asus TUF Dash F15 FX516P Review
ASUS TUF Dash 15 Review

The WASD buttons are highlighted separately – all keys are black except the WASD block, which is transparent and it glows more stronger when the backlight is on. The RGB lighting automatically turns off when you stop using it and looking quite striking when it turns on upon press any key. However, the keyboard lights up only in a single color but can switch through different illumination modes and brightness levels.

The keyboard is pretty good and feels great while typing, the only complaint we have is that the arrow keys are too small. In addition, ASUS promises a durability of 20 million keystrokes.

Using the touchpad is accurate and convenient and the buttons are integrated into the surface of the touchpad. It easily recognizes touch and gestures, while the buttons have a deep and even stroke feedback. The touchpad can be turned off completely so that when playing with a connected mouse, it does not register false clicks.

The touchpad is a bit small but good enough for normal use, we recommend using an external mouse when gaming. The cursor moves clearly and we did not experience any difficulties with input. Multi-touch gestures are recognized and handled properly.

Performance & Benchmarks

In terms of performance, our review model is equipped with a 11th Gen Intel Core i7 11370H processor with 4 cores and 8 threads, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 graphics card with 8GB DDR6 memory, dual-channel 16GB DDR4 3200MHz RAM and a 512GB PCIe M.2 2230 PCIe SSD storage.

CPU & RAM

The i7-11370H has four cores at a clock frequency of 3.30 GHz each reaching up to 4.80 GHz. The CPU throttles to under 35W when the GPU is active and boosts to 64W when on its own.

Asus TUF Dash F15 FX516P Review
ASUS TUF Dash 15 Review

In terms of RAM, The TUF Dash F15 is equipped with 16GB of dual-channel DDR4 RAM at a frequency of 3,200Mhz.

GPU

Under the hood the new TUF Dash F15 is powered by the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 GPU, the second fastest Ampere graphics card for laptops so far with improved raytracing and tensor cores.  

Built on the 8 nm process, the RTX 3070 offers 8 GB GDDR6 graphics memory with a 256 Bit memory bus and based on the GA104 core with 5120 shaders at a frequency ranging from 780 MHz to 1250 MHz.

Asus TUF Dash F15 FX516P Review
ASUS TUF Dash 15 Review

With the new Ampere cards, there is no more Max-Q variant (the energy-efficient version specially designed for thin and portable laptops for longer battery time) but every OEM can choose to implement Max-Q technologies such as Dynamic Boost, Whisper mode etc. The same 3070 GPU can differ in performance on different laptops based on the thermal design offered and the TGP which varies from 80 to 125 Watt.

Storage

Our review unit came with a 512GB PCIe M.2 SSD. However, depending on the region, they may be different. Storage can be expanded further with another M.2 SSD.

Asus TUF Dash F15 FX516P Review
ASUS TUF Dash 15 Review

The SSD offers great performance with read speeds of up to 3,513MB per second and write of up to 2,924MB.

Performance Benchmarks

BENCHMARKSCORE
Cinebench R20 single core588
Cinebench R20 multi core2,691
PCMark 10 Benchmark6,044
3DMark Time Spy7,544
3DMark Fire Strike17,112
3DMark Sky Diver30,624

Gaming Benchmarks

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 in combination with Intel i7 11370H provides an excellent gaming experience with FHD resolution at maximum quality settings in most games. It can run all modern games easily above 60fps on very high to ultra-settings.

BENCHMARKSCORE
Far Cry 588fps
GTA V85fps
Red Dead Redemption 261fps
Rise of the Tomb Raider91fps

Temperature & Noise

The TUF Dash F15 is cooled by five copper heat pipes along with dual 83-blade fans made of liquid crystal polymer, helping dissipate heat through four heatsinks and fan outlets. ASUS says its self-cleaning thermal module have been upgraded to leave up to 5% more space around the fan, improving airflow by up to 15% and prevents the buildup of dust on the fan blades, heatsink fins, and other cooling components.

Temperatures are stable even after prolonged use and the laptop, as a whole, does not overheat. Unfortunately, there is a lot of noise when gaming or running intensive apps.

In most cases it is either fully quiet or very loud. In the silent mode, it is extremely quiet, you can comfortably browse the web or do some casual work. In turbo mode, when the CPU is on load, it’s the opposite – the noise increases noticeably. Add GPU intensive tasks and the noise increases much higher. Although this also not unusual when it comes to gaming laptops, it’s a bit irritating that it’s either completely quiet or very loud.

During less demanding tasks, the laptop’s keyboard and palm rest remain cool. Only the top area above the keyboard is slightly warmer. Unfortunately, the situation is different when gaming, the laptop base heats up even more which prevents using the laptop comfortably on your lap.

ASUS let you overclock a bit in Turbo-mode. It’s activated through the Armory Crate app or through switching through modes using the dedicated button above the keyboard. Turbo mode switches fans to a higher speed with a slight increase in the GPU frequency.

Upgradability

It is worth praising ASUS for including the additional SSD bay and removable RAM modules for expansion. You can easily remove the pop-open screws at the bottom of the chassis to add in an additional M.2 SSDs and/or upgrade the RAM modules for up to 32GB of dual-channel RAM.

Software

The Armoury Crate app helps with controlling the fan speed in terms of CPU and GPU performance by switching through different power profiles and monitoring the system status. The app is also available on Android & iOS to remotely control these settings via your smartphone.

ASUS TUF Dash 15 Review
ASUS TUF Dash 15 Review

When plugged into a power source, the performance mode is automatically switched on and energy-saving silent mode on battery. There is also a turbo mode with increased fan speed and slight overclocking.

Armoury Crate also provides the ability to create custom performance profiles for individual applications and scenarios. Four pre-defined profiles are available by default; Windows, Silent, Performance, and Turbo. The app also contains settings for the RGB keyboard backlights.

Armoury Crate unifies system and lighting controls to put essential settings in a single utility app. Its customization options let you personalize aesthetic effects, fine-tune game profiles, and adjust audio settings to fit your preferences. With Scenario Profiles, you can define and custom preferences that automatically adjust performance and other settings when you launch your favorite apps and games.

Battery & Audio

The new ASUS TUF Dash F15 has a 76Wh battery, which was enough for about 6 hours of casual usage (web browsing, text editing and some music) at 50% brightness.

Idle (one third brightness, no WiFI)9h 30 min
Web Browsing (one third brightness)7h 50 min
Video Playback (one third brightness)7h 15 min
Gameplay Test (screen brightness at 50%, Wi-Fi off)1hr 1mins

Audio is powered by two integrated speakers at the front. The sound quality is clear and loud enough to fill small to medium-sized rooms and is better than most ultrabooks. For better audio quality, there is also a headphone output that is powered by DTS: X Ultra technology which delivers high-fidelity 7.1-channel virtual surround sound for theater-quality audio with stereo headsets.

There are multiple preset modes for music, movies, and games to optimize your experience further, while a built-in equalizer lets you fine-tune your settings.

Verdict

With a sturdy design that matches its name, the Asus TUF Dash F15 is a super-slim gaming laptop that can also double as an on-the-go workstation with a decent battery life. The display on the laptop is pretty decent too, good contrast-ratio and high refresh rate of 144 Hz will delight esports and competitive multiplayer gamers.

The TUF Dash F15 is also compact and extremely portable to carry around with you, something quite remarkable considering the hardware inside. Equally noteworthy is the option to upgrade the memory to 32GB of DDR4 RAM and the dual M.2 PCIe support.

But there are performance-based limitations because of its ultra-portable size and might not match what you expect from RTX 30-series as its GPU is constrained to a low power level but it runs relatively cool and quiet. Some of the other disadvantages are the lack of a webcam, SD card reader and biometrics.

With that said, the TUF Dash F15 offers plenty of ports, Thunderbolt 4, Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 and an Intel Core i7 processor which is a great deal for the asking price of AED 6,299.  

Hope you liked our review of the FA506. Please do let us know your opinions, suggestions and feedback in the comments.

8.8

ASUS TUF Dash 15 Review

With a sturdy design that matches its name, the Asus TUF Dash F15 is a super-slim gaming laptop that can also double as an on-the-go workstation with a decent battery life. The display on the laptop is pretty decent too, good contrast-ratio and high refresh rate of 144 Hz will delight esports and competitive multiplayer gamers.

THE GOOD
  • Great performance
  • Full HD @ 144 Hz screen
  • Good keyboard
  • Decent battery life
  • Thunderbolt 4 + Wi-Fi 6 support
  • Great portability
  • Upgradeable RAM & SSD
THE BAD
  • No webcam
  • No biometrics
  • Gets pretty loud and hot when gaming
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