Asus TUF Gaming A15 (2023) laptop review: Don’t rock the boat

Asus TUF A15

The TUF Gaming A15 is the latest refresh for Asus’ rugged laptop brand, offering decent performance and good build quality.

We have a deep fondness for the TUF brand from Asus. In a world of PCs and laptops consistently trying to shrink their profile, Asus stands apart with these chunky and angular devices meant for power users.

Bolstered by an Nvidia RTX 4060, and an AMD 7735HS CPU, which is new to us. However, despite the fresh hardware and great looks, is this all that Asus wrote?

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Key Specs

  • GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060
  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 7735HS
  • RAM: 16GB DDR5
  • Display: 15.6-inch, FHD “IPS-level” TN panel
  • Storage: 1x 512GB PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD
  • Operating System: Windows 11 Home
  • IO: 1x 3.5mm Combo Audio Jack, 1x HDMI 2.1, 2x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A, 1x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C, 1x RJ45 LAN port, 1x Type C USB 4
  • Price: $1699

Design

As we’ve just said, the design of the Asus TUF A15 is a delight to look at. Its severe angles feel unique in a sea of plastic and metal slabs. While we often appreciate uniformity and blandness when it comes to PC cases, with a laptop that’s constantly in view it’s great to have something like it.

Asus TUF A15 closed

The major upside to Asus’ design aesthetics with the TUF brand is that they’ve managed to get away from the overtly “gamery” side of things. The only RGB here is on the keyboard, and it’s for functionality more than showing off. Nighttime sessions backed by the light hue of a red keyboard, or popping it to a bright white for visibility when tapping out words is complimented by the translucent plastic.

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Rugged case, soft inner meat

However, the TUF A15 seemingly aiming for a more rugged, all-terrain purpose has a key flaw in the keyboard. The flimsy plastic on each key makes the chiclet keyboard made us fearful of breakages. As soon as we sat down with the laptop, the outer left shift key was rocky.

Now, we’re in a unique position where this laptop wasn’t fresh out of the box but had come from another reviewer. After passing some checks to see that everything still works, it gets passed on.

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This still causes us some concern, that if a laptop designed to be “tough” is already experiencing small faults, how soon until it snowballs into a bigger issue?

Asus TUF A15 keyboard

Features

The Asus TUF A15 is not filled with anything to really take note of. It’s not a criticism, the A15 is – outside of the tech underneath – a fairly rudimentary laptop. It houses USB-4 but doesn’t support the latest USB-C power delivery protocol (PD), 3.1. This means that there is no other option to lug around the 240W power brick.

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USB-C PD 3.1 now supports up to 240W, making this harder and harder to justify. It was introduced in 2021, meaning that there have been two refreshes to this level of TUF laptops since then.

Dim screen, great refresh rate

The 144Hz panel, while great for gaming, feels dim. Asus makes out it is an IPS display, but it’s actually an “IPS-level” display. This is merely marketing for a better-than-usual TN display, which is cheaper to put into a laptop, but is significantly less bright or accurate than its IPS counterparts.

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However, setting that aside, it’s very responsive, and during our sessions of Hrot and Warhammer 40K: Boltgun, we never noticed any issues with it aside from the brightness. The 144Hz capability also means that esports enthusiasts will feel comfortable keeping up during the grind to their next rank.

Limited storage

We do have a bone to pick with Asus – among many other manufacturers – for fitting the A15 with a measly 512GB SSD. In 2023, and with games getting much larger, it’s become a hindrance to the overall enjoyment gaming has. If you’re a fan of Call of Duty, Forza Horizon 5, and Diablo IV, you’ll quickly find that the laptop gaming experience will also require an external drive.

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For a company promoting a laptop with the word “Gaming” in the name, it feels like storage is often forgotten about and Asus needs to start properly considering it in the future.

Asus TUF Gaming A15 (2023) benchmarks

As we go into below, we found that the A15 works better with DLSS and supersampling, and the benchmarks clearly show the benefits. This is a laptop that, thankfully, has access to DLSS 3 as well. It offers a boon to those wanting to play games not intended for this level of hardware.

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Game benchmarks

Game/SettingAverage FPS*
Resident Evil 4 Remake (No FSR)92
Resident Evil 4 Remake (FSR)100
Diablo 4 (DLSS Perf/No Frame Gen)149
Diablo 4 (DLSS Perf/Frame Gen)150
Diablo 4 (No DLSS)149
CSGO221

*To get the best out of the laptop, we set everything in Armory Crate to “Ultimate”, but with DLSS, we found similar results on lower-performing modes.

3D Mark benchmarks

BenchmarkScore
Time Spy Extreme4720
Speed Way2479
TestOffOn% Increase
DLSS1159436.36
XeSS1130173
FSR315681

Gaming performance

Asus TUF A15 side

Most of our time with the Asus TUF Gaming A15 was spent on Diablo 4 and some lower-end boomer shooters. However, we found that most higher-end games in the AAA bracket hinged on support from supersampling.

Nvidia DLSS is king

The RTX 4060 inside is a cutdown version of the full-fat version from desktops, and it often shows when turning off DLSS and FSR. Diablo 4 – with high-resolution assets installed – would dip to much lower frames when playing intense battles.

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All of this was rectified by turning back on DLSS, and with the 4060 inside being able to use DLSS 3, frame generation fixed almost all our performance issues.

AMD FSR is lesser

FSR, meanwhile, looks murkier on this screen than on other laptops we’ve tested recently. The dim panel makes the smudgy look that FSR still suffers from even worse. Resident Evil 4 Remake – which ran fine at 1080p – looked unintentionally ugly while using AMD’s supersampling.

Players who pick this laptop up will find that supersampling will be mandatory the more mature this generation of games gets. Thankfully, because Nvidia hardware is onboard and the AMD chip is superb, it means you’re not going to be shackled by an over-reliance on FSR and XeSS.

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Verdict: 3/5

The Asus TUF Gaming A15 is a great refresh, propped up by Nvidia’s fantastic software and AMD’s latest slew of powerful laptop chips. It routinely felt great to game on and should provide anyone on a budget with an excellent avenue into a full system to have on the go.

However, it is an unremarkable laptop with a few issues that should hopefully be fixed in the next refresh.

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