Hands-On, Laptop

Asus TUF Dash F15 Hands-On: Affordable RTX 3060 Gaming Laptop!

Given that it’s almost impossible to purchase the latest desktop GPUs in the market currently, gaming laptops are even more compelling now for gamers that still want to get a taste of the latest RTX 3000 graphics cards. But opting for a gaming laptop means you won’t get quite as good value for money, but the Asus TUF Dash F15 is a little bit different.

Retailing from only RM4,699, the Dash F15 offers pretty good bang for your buck. For that kind of money, you’re getting an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 GPU in a slim and light chassis – it’s really quite an attractive gaming laptop. If you’re looking to get a mobile gaming machine at this price point, you can’t go wrong with the Dash F15.

First, let’s break down the three different variants of the TUF Dash F15 available in Malaysia. The base model, as mentioned, retails at only RM4,699. It features an RTX 3060 GPU, an Intel Core i5-11300H processor paired with 8GB of RAM, 512GB of SSD storage, and a 15.6-inch 1080p IPS screen with a fast 144Hz refresh rate.

A tier up is the RM5,499 variant of the Dash F15. It has similar hardware as the aforementioned model, but it swaps out the processor for a faster Core i7-11370H chip paired with more RAM at 16GB. With a more capable processor and extra RAM, this is the configuration to get for the best price-to-performance ratio.

If you want even better gaming performance, there’s the range-topping RM6,999 Dash F15. Not only is this model equipped with a beefier RTX 3070 GPU, it also comes with an even faster 240Hz 15.6-inch 1080p IPS screen, a Core i7-11370H processor paired with 16GB of RAM, and a 1TB SSD.

the TUF Dash F15 that we got for this hands-on – and subsequent review, of course – is the mid-tier RM5,499 configuration; the one I personally believe offers the best performance for the money. Of course, the RM4,699 base model is good too, but its 8GB of RAM is the absolute bare minimum; 16GB RAM is a more practical capacity.

Anyway, let’s talk about the Dash F15’s performance now. Though I haven’t ran any intensive games on the gaming laptop yet, I’m confident the RTX 3060 and Core i7-11370H processor will be able to run AAA games without much difficulty.

While the Dash F15’s RTX 3060 only has a 85W TGP (the max TGP for this GPU is 115W), it should still be powerful enough to offer a pleasant gaming experience. I’ll definitely test out this laptop’s gaming performance extensively in the full review.

Complementing the fast hardware of the TUF Dash F15 is an equally fast 144Hz 15.6-inch 1080p IPS display. The high refresh rate offers good motion clarity in fast-paced games, and the screen itself looks reasonably good too. While I do wish the panel was brighter, it still has quite punchy colours with decent viewing angles.

But my favourite aspect of the Dash F15 has to be its slim, lightweight nature. Measuring only 19.9mm thin with a 2kg chassis, it’s really quite a portable machine. Granted, it’s not the slimmest or lightest gaming laptop around, but at this price point, you’d be hard-pressed to find an alternative with a similarly thin and lightweight chassis.

Build quality of the Dash F15 is quite good too. Although it is made mostly of plastic – only the top lid is metal – it still feels quite solid. The chassis doesn’t creak with added pressure, it doesn’t feel hollow, and I love how smooth the palm rest area feels.

And then we have the input devices of the TUF Dash F15. The keyboard, for one, is quite good. It offers just enough key travel to not feel shallow, and the keys are quite tactile as well, which make for a pleasant typing experience. The trackpad can accurately track my fingers too, and it can recognise gestures with no issue at all.

All in all, the Asus TUF Dash F15 is a pretty attractive gaming laptop that offers good value for money. It has solid build quality with a thin, lightweight chassis, a fast 144Hz screen, a capable RTX 3060 GPU, and most of all, a reasonably affordable price tag for a gaming laptop of this calibre.

Really, from only RM4,699, the Dash F15 is one of the most affordable RTX 3060 gaming laptops in the market now. On top of that, its thin and lightweight chassis is definitely worth highlighting again here; gaming laptops at this price point are usually much thicker and heavier.

If there’s any downside to the TUF Dash F15, it would be the laptop’s 10nm Core i7-11370H quad-core processor. Now, I’m sure this chip can keep up with the RTX 3060 GPU, but it would’ve been great if Asus had went with, say, the 7nm AMD Ryzen 7 5800H octa-core processors instead for better power-efficiency and processing power.

Nonetheless, I’ll be using the Dash F15 as my daily driver for the next couple of weeks, and I’m quite excited to put it through its paces. It’ll be interesting to see just how fast this gaming laptop is, and whether or not it can return good enough battery life to double as a productivity laptop.

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