If there isn’t a need for heavy-duty internals during your day-to-day workload, then Asus’ TUF Dash 15 perform well enough for your needs. There may be laptops on either side of the TUF Dash 15’s retail price but that doesn’t mean the mid-ranger from Asus can’t stand out.
The TUF Dash 15 starts at Rs 90,990 and comes packed with Intel’s 12th-gen CPUs (yes, we haven’t seen any 13th-gen laptops yet) and Nvidia’s RTX 3060 GPU. Does it perform well enough to be a contender on your shopping list? Let’s find out.
Design: TUF, TUF and thoroughly tough
Yes, as the name of the laptop series suggests, the TUF Dash F15 is mighty tough. All TUF series laptops undergo stringent military-grade testing and are also resilient to extreme weather conditions.
The TUF Dash F15 has a minimalist look which white WASD keys and an aluminium lid. The off-black colour variant looks sleek and premium.
The TUF Dash F15 isn’t lightweight. It comes in at 2kg. I’m not sure where Asus would have cut down to make this laptop more portable, but it is chunky, no doubt. Furthermore, the charger is huge and adds a lot of weight when being carried around. There’s a 76Whr battery. To fully charge the TUF Dash F15, you’d need roughly 90 minutes of time. The bundled 180W charger does a good job of charging this laptop in a relatively quick time.
The laptop’s design though isn’t one that will stand out. It will stand the test of time though thanks to undergoing military-grade testing that I mentioned above.
I’ll say it upfront. The TUF Dash F15 isn’t the Asus gaming laptop I’d pick up. But I do know of a certain set of consumers who would. Pair this laptop (that comes with a Thunderbolt 4 port) with an external screen and it can become a dedicated workstation.
Just remember to pick the right combination. Here’s a hint: The base version is absolutely not recommended.
What’s good, you may ask?
The laptop performs above average for what it costs. Yes, if you’re an eSports aficionado or someone who wants to play Microsoft Flight Simulator on full settings, then this isn’t the laptop to get.
The 15.6-inch QHD panel (with a 165Hz refresh rate) performed well for prolonged gaming sessions. There is also an option of getting a 300Hz panel with the TUF Dash F15. It’s a standard display that offers smooth scrolling.
There’s a large trackpad with good feedback and almost no lag. The keyboard can take a while to get used to as it is cramped. Once you do get used to it though, it provides a good typing experience (yes, I typed this review on it) with a decently high WPM rate.
The TUF Dash F15 comes in two variants. One with a Core i5 and one with a Core i7. The base model comes with just 8GB of DDR5 RAM and a 512GB SSD. Asus sent over the Core i7 and 16GB of DDR5 RAM variant for review. These days, I’m on a casual gaming spree. I keep playing FIFA, Age of Empires 2: Definitive Edition, and Forza Horizon, on repeat. These games run sufficiently. As a bonus, this year’s TUF Dash F15 gets the much-loved MUX Switch. It basically relays the GPU’s information directly to the display. This in turn improves the in-game FPS.
I’m not going to dive deep into each game’s performance, but if your gaming sessions are a passion more than a profession, then the TUF Dash F15 will serve you just right! The good thing is that the laptop remains cool for large periods of time unlike some of its competitors.
I’d suggest you spring for the Core i7 variant as that’ll serve you well for a longer period of time.
What’s not so good?
The screen falters when trying to do some editing on Photoshop or watching videos on Netflix or Amazon Prime. The viewing angles are strictly okay and peak brightness is just 300+ nits It isn’t the most colour-accurate display in the segment even though it covers 100% DCI-P3 colors. This is why one would struggle to get work done if they’re a content creator.
The keyboard felt a bit cramped thanks to the addition of a Numpad on the right-hand side.
If you’re trying to multitask with Photoshop, 50 Google Chrome tabs, YouTube videos in the background, and more, then you’re bound to see a slowdown in performance.
Like most gaming laptops, the TUF Dash F15 offers a disappointing battery backup experience. I constantly knocked out the battery within four hours and a half. If I was to start a gaming session (which I never recommend you do on a battery backup) without having the laptop plugged in, then the laptop would go blank within 90-minutes.
Here’s a word of caution: If you can, please avoid the 144Hz panel. I’ve heard from a lot of others that it isn’t up to the mark. My QHD with a 165Hz refresh rate worked remarkably well. There’s also a variant with a 300Hz refresh rate if you’re one of those that need it.
Is this the laptop for you?
The TUF Dash F15 checks most of the boxes. To be honest, you must know if you’re the target consumer before picking up this laptop. The TUF Dash 15 does deliver a quality gaming experience at a relatively affordable price point. With a minimalist design, the laptop can be good for both casual and professional settings.
With sub-par battery life, average speakers and lack of Windows Hello authentication, one must consider whether those features are vital to your daily use case. The TUF Dash F15 is far from my favourite gaming laptop from Asus, and that says quite a lot.
The one thing that sets the TUF Dash F15 apart from its competitors is that it meets military-grade MIL-STD standards. That’s something that is vital to a considerable number of consumers. If that’s the case, then the TUF Dash F15 should be top of your list.