The all-around notebook that’s also built for games.
If you’re looking for a notebook that’s fit for everyday use as well as handling games, the ASUS TUF Gaming A15 FA506 could be the right choice. It sits just below the more powerful ROG line, which comes as a more budget-friendly alternative.
More than a hardware upgrade of last year’s model, the FA506 brings cosmetic changes in the design. The screen has a narrow top bezel with a reversed notch, which was done so that the status LEDs are still visible even when the screen is closed. At 2.3 kilograms, the FA506 is made to be more durable – it’s shock, vibration, high & low temperature resistant.
I do like the minimal look at the back of the screen, which only highlights the TUF logo. You get a full-size, chiclet-style keyboard with a separate numeric pad along with separately-colored W, A, S, D keys. The I/O ports are spread on both sides and it’s plentiful: you have two USB-A 3.2 and a single USB-A 2.0 along with USB-C gen 2, HDMI 2.0b, Ethernet and a headphone/microphone input. There’s also Bluetooth 5.0 and 802.11ac for Wi-Fi connectivity.
The FA506 comes with a 15.6-inch, 1080p IPS panel with a 144Hz refresh rate. The increased refresh rate offers a smoother feel when using the notebook, and is of course more beneficial for games.
Now let’s look at the hardware. The FA506 comes with an AMD Ryzen 7 4800H CPU along with 16GB of RAM (configurable up to 32GB) and a 1TB SSD. The graphics is handled by an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060. What’s more, the FA506 is easily upgradable – all you need is a standard screwdriver. Pop open the easy-open chassis and you’ll have immediate access to the memory slots and the storage bays.
In terms of cooling, Asus has packed the FA506 with multiple heat pipes and heatsinks that draw heat away from the main components. This allows it to operate efficiently without worrying about the heat. The notebook also has self-cleaning fans that trap incoming dust and dirt and then blow them out from the chassis. This can help prevent the build-up of dust that can affect the performance of the notebook in the long run.
The FA506 also has different Operation modes that you can choose depending on what you will be doing. Silent will offer the best performance for gaming and is good for light workloads. Performance, which is the default mode, carefully balances performance and temperature to keep noise levels under 40dB. If you want to go all out, you can also select Turbo, which puts all the hardware into high gear but only works if the notebook is plugged in.
But now we get to the good part – how does it perform? As for a daily driver, the FA506 handled tasks with ease from productivity work and even some slight image and video editing. As for the games, I’m happy to say it perfectly handles the latest games with acceptable frame rates on both Performance and Turbo modes.
For Shadow of the Tomb Raider, I managed to get an average of 84 fps on Performance and there was a minor boost to 87 fps when I switched to Turbo mode. In The Witcher 3, the FA506 gave us 61 fps on Performance and 63 fps on Turbo. Lastly, Far Cry 5 managed to showcase the difference between Performance and Turbo mode, getting an average of 69 fps and 92 fps respectively.
In real-life scenarios, I mostly stuck with Performance mode when playing games, and the experience has been mostly stable and fluid. The ROG models can of course offer more power, but I’m satisfied with the performance I’m getting on the FA506.
For what it’s worth, I’m happy to say that the ASUS TUF Gaming A15 FA506 perfectly balances the performance you need for either daily or gaming use.
Retailing for 5,499 AED, the ASUS TUF Gaming A15 FA506 is now available across the UAE, including Sharaf DG, Amazon, Dubai Duty Free, E-City, Emax, Jumbo, and Computronics.
+ Great 144Hz display
+ Better than expected performance
+ Sleek design
– None to mention
Final Rating: 4/5