The Asus TUF Dash F15 (Amazon, $1,289.00) is a versatile gaming laptop that adapts to its surroundings. It’s small enough to carry around, powerful enough to run demanding game titles, and adaptable enough to save battery life by turning off its discrete graphics card when possible. The matte black aluminium chassis looks as good in an office as it does in a game cafe, which is unusual for budget gaming laptops. If you can’t stand the heat or noise, you’ll have to use it at a desk with headphones.
Concerning the Asus TUF Dash F15
The following are the specifications of the laptop we tested:
Intel Core i7-12650H processor
Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 6GB GDDR6 graphics
16GB DDR5-4800 MHz RAM
SSD storage of 512GB
Display: 15.6-inch 1920 x 1080p @ 144Hz display with 62.5% sRGB coverage (measured)
Ports include two USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 ports, one Thunderbolt 4 port, one USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 port, one HDMI 2.0b port, one RJ45 Ethernet port, and one headphone/microphone jack.
Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2 wireless connectivity
Camera resolution: 720p
Battery capacity: 76Whr lithium-ion
4.41 pound weight
Dimensions: 13.94 x 9.88 x 0.78 inches
Limited warranty of one year
The Asus TUF Dash F15 comes in a variety of configurations. You can also get an Intel Core i5-12450H processor or the Intel Core i7-12650H processor we went with; an Nvidia RTX 3050, 3050Ti, or 3070 GPU; a 300Hz 1920 x 1080p display with 100% sRGB colour gamut coverage or a 165Hz 2560 x 1440p display with 100% P3 colour gamut coverage; 8GB TO 16GB of DDR5 memory; and 1TB SSD storage. The configuration we tested costs $1,300, with other options starting at $1,000.
The Asus TUF Dash F15 features many classic gamer design elements. This includes white WASD keys on an otherwise black keyboard, an edgy grille and power button design, and a thickness that allows for powerful fans to be housed. It would have been nice to have programmable RGB-backlit keys, but the white glow is at least visually appealing.
However, the matte-black body, lack of distracting logos, and non-optional RGB elevate the look above that of a standard gaming laptop.
Even better, while it cannot compete with similar midrange laptops with insane cooling (see the Dell G16), the Dash F15 is noticeably thinner and lighter without sacrificing much performance.
It’s jam-packed with features.
The Dash F15 has a number of features that make it more than just a gaming machine. On the sides, you’ll find an Ethernet port, two USB-A ports, a Thunderbolt 4 port, one USB-C data port, and an HDMI 2.0b port (though the port distribution could be more even—all but one USB-A port are on the PC’s left side).
The trackpad is large, smooth, and responsive to input, allowing for easy navigation and multi-touch gestures. Meanwhile, the full-size keyboard has large, springy keys that feel great when pressed against the sturdy chassis of the laptop. Although the numpad is small, the main QWERTY keys are large and easy to use.
The TUF Dash F15 isn’t afraid to let users experiment with the graphics and processor settings. The TUF Dash F15 includes a MUX switch that allows users to switch between integrated graphics (iGPU) and a dedicated graphics card.
If the iGPU is enabled, the laptop will use the GPU that is best suited to the task—this is great for battery life, but it comes at a slight performance cost if the laptop must use some overhead to determine which GPU to use. If you disable the iGPU, the F15 will always use its RTX 3060 graphics card for graphics; gaming performance improves slightly, but battery life suffers.
The TUF Dash F15 includes a MUX switch that allows users to switch between the two graphics options.
You can also use the fan profiles to tailor your cooling if you want the fans to turn on sooner or later than they do by default. Although you cannot overclock the processor or graphics card, you can change whether it uses full power or optimises battery life (and the graphics card can use up to 105W).
Having said that, you won’t have to keep your laptop plugged in all the time. The Dash F15 lasted about six hours and 16 minutes in our battery test, which simulates an average workday’s load by cycling through web pages at 200 nits brightness from full charge to depletion. It’s not a lot for a gaming laptop (the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 and Asus ROG Strix G15 AMD Advantage both have nine-plus hours of battery life), but it’s enough for a day of office work or lectures.
This is with the laptop’s graphics set to “optimised” mode in the included Armory Crate software, which toggles the discrete GPU on and off depending on the intensity of the task being performed—in this case, the battery test was performed with the integrated GPU. When you set the graphics mode to “ultimate,” your battery life will suffer significantly because the laptop will usually default to the more power-hungry discrete GPU.
“Eco mode” completely disables the discrete GPU, resulting in the longest battery life, but if you want to run anything graphically intensive, you must switch back to one of the other modes.
The TUF Dash F15 is an excellent choice for an eSports PC that can handle 1080p games with high graphics settings at 144Hz. Its Nvidia RTX 3060 graphics card and Intel Core i7-12650H processor place it squarely in the middle of the gaming laptop market, a step above budget laptops like the HP Victus 15, but below high-end laptops like the Acer Predator Triton 500 SE or the Asus ROG Strix G15 Advantage.
The TUF F15 performs admirably in graphics benchmarks for its hardware. It received 8701 points in 3DMark’s TimeSpy and 18935 points in Firestrike. The Dell G16 scored 8809 points in TimeSpy and 18935 points in Firestrike while also sporting an RTX 3060 graphics card. Their in-game performances are also on par with one another.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider, a moderately graphically intense game, ran at 104 frames per second (fps) on the Dash F15 and 108fps on the Dell G16 at the highest 1080p graphics setting. The MSI Stealth 15M, another laptop with an RTX 3060 graphics card and a more efficient Intel Core i7-1280P processor, achieved 103 frames per second.
Other games were comparable. The TUF F15 ran Total War: Warhammer III at 62 fps and Cyberpunk 2077 at 62 fps on their highest graphics settings at 1080p (without ray tracing enabled). Cyberpunk 2077 ran at 26 frames per second with ray tracing enabled. The Dell G16 ran Cyberpunk 2077 at 23fps with ray tracing, but only at 73fps without (about 10fps higher than the Dash F15). Warhammer III ran at 63 frames per second.
Its processing power is equally impressive. In synthetic benchmarks, the Dash F15 ranks among our top laptops. The laptop scored 12993 points in the multicore test and 1794 points in the single-core test in Cinebench R23. In comparison, the Dell G16 scored 16331 in the multicore test and 1752 in the single-core test, thanks to a slightly more powerful Intel Core i7-12700H processor. While the Dell G16 performs better in processor-intensive tasks like 3D image rendering, both laptops perform similarly in more mundane, single-core tasks like surfing the web or watching videos.
Geekbench 5 demonstrates a similar story. In the multicore test, the Dell G16 slightly outperforms the Dash F15’s 11522 points by about 1000 points, but their single-core performance is nearly identical (the Dell G16 scored 1770 points and the Dash F15 scored 1812 points). In comparison, the AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX processor in the Asus ROG Strix G15 Advantage scored 7715 points in the multicore test and 1505 points in the single-core test, both significantly lower than the Dash F15’s, but the Strix G15 compensates with a Cinebench score of 13332 points.