With the TUF series, Asus offers gaming laptops for PC gamers whose budget is rather limited – the “good and cheap” version of the ROG series, so to speak. But where are savings made with the inexpensive alternative? And is it worth buying the 17-inch version in the form of the Asus TUF Gaming A17? GIGA found it out for you in the test.

ASUS

Asus TUF Gaming A17 in the test: conclusion

The Asus TUF Gaming A17 makes a solid impression on paper. With the Ryzen 7 4800H, a current and powerful processor is used, the GTX 1660 Ti supplies the 120 Hz display in many games with enough FPS to benefit from the high refresh rate. 16 GB RAM and the 512 GB SSD are sufficient for everyday use. Hardware and performance values ​​make the version of the Asus TUF Gaming A17, which costs around 1,170 euros, look like a real price-performance breaker.

But you can tell that Asus has saved elsewhere for this. I let the plastic case go through because of the relatively low price, but it looks different with the battery. With a capacity of 48 Wh, the gaming laptop is exhausted after just 3 hours in normal office use. The notebook's lights go out after a little more than 50 minutes under load.

The loud fan noise under load is also annoying. These really turn up in games and can be perceived as annoying even with closed headphones on. Another negative point of the Asus TUF Gaming A17 is the display. Although an IPS panel is installed here, the colors look incredibly pale and lifeless – this fact is particularly noticeable when watching series and films.

Then, at the latest, you will notice that the maximum volume of the speakers is very low. In combination with the fan, which tends to start when streaming video content, this can become a real problem, depending on the video. In particular, low frequencies are neglected by the Asus TUF Gaming A17 – action films, for example, lack the typically brute force of sound.

With the connections, however, there is almost nothing to complain about. In addition to two USB 3.0 Type-A ports, there is also a 10 Gbit / s-capable USB-C port, an audio combo socket, a USB 2.0 port, a classic LAN port and an HDMI -Connection. Only an SD card reader is missing.

The stylish RGB lighting of the keyboard and the number block on the right side should also be positively emphasized. The layout of the keys is consistent and the pressure points feel surprisingly clear despite the lack of mechanical switches.

All in all, Asus' TUF Gaming A17 is clearly aimed at PC gamers who want one thing: high performance at a low price. Because that's exactly what you get with the gaming laptop. For this, however, customers have to forego numerous amenities and be satisfied with a pale display, below-average battery life and quiet speakers. If you can live with it, you should take a closer look at the Asus TUF Gaming A17.

advantages

  • high efficiency
  • liquid 120 Hz display with short response times
  • many upgrade options (mass storage + RAM)
  • chic RGB lighting
  • relatively cheap

Disadvantage:

  • The display lacks color brilliance
  • low battery life
  • gets very loud under load
  • Video quality of the webcam is below average
  • Speakers are too quiet

Test evaluation for the Asus TUF Gaming A17

  • Workmanship, feel and design: 7/10
  • Display: 6/10
  • Performance: 8/10
  • Video and audio: 7/10
  • Connectivity and storage: 9/10
  • Battery and everyday life: 6/10

Overall: 7.2 / 10

Asus TUF Gaming A17 in the test: A performance monster at a low price

The latest eight-core processor from AMD, 16 GB RAM, Nvidia GTX 1660 Ti and a 120 Hz display – just listing the key technical data is enough to make PC gamers realize that this gaming laptop has something to offer. This is also reflected in the performance of the 17-inch notebook – both in benchmarks and in normal games.

In Cinebench R15, the Asus TUF Gaming A17 achieved an impressive 1,799 points in turbo mode and can almost keep up with the Ryzen 7 2700X. The built-in Ryzen 7 4800H can also cut a good figure in the more recent R20 run. At the end of the test there are 4,138 points on the display – a great result!

But not only the CPU is convincing. In combination with the GTX 1660 Ti, the gaming laptop achieved an overall rating of 13,917 points in the Firestrike benchmark from 3DMark.

Fortunately, this performance is not only evident in standard benchmark software, but also in current games. The performance was tested in the titles Hitman 2, Call of Duty: Warzone, Valorant and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. All games were run in full HD resolution, the graphics settings were set to "high":

In graphically opulent games such as Metro Exodus, the frame rate can sometimes drop below 60 FPS on maximum settings – the GTX 1660 Ti then runs out of breath. The tested games, however, achieved far more than 60 FPS on average and therefore benefit from the gaming laptop's 120 Hz display. Thanks to FreeSync support, there were also no annoying tearing artifacts. And although the display is an IPS panel, the response times are not negative. With fast movements, opponents are no longer clearly recognizable, at the same time the rough outlines can be identified at any time and easily assigned to their associated playing objects.

In the video we explain the difference between FPS and Hz – and why more is really better in this case:

All in all, the Asus TUF Gaming's performance in games can definitely convince. For a price of 1,170 euros, you get a surprising amount of performance here.

Asus TUF Gaming A17 in the test: Why performance isn't everything

The bottom line is that the gaming experience with the Asus TUF Gaming A17 is very satisfactory. Games could be loaded quickly thanks to the PCIe SSD, the frame rates always remained stable and fluid, and the 120 Hz display shows its strengths especially in first person shooters. But a gaming laptop also has to be able to hold its own in other areas – and that is not always the case with the Asus TUF Gaming A17.

The colors shown on the display appear incredibly dull, almost lifeless. This is due, among other things, to the rather poor color space coverage. In other words: image or video editing is only possible with this device if you connect an external monitor. The maximum display brightness of 250 cd / m² also leaves a lot to be desired. In the “quiet little room”, the value is perfectly sufficient to be able to recognize image content without any problems – but once the sun shines on the display, you will have to look for a new job quickly.

When searching, you should also always make sure that the corresponding location definitely has a power outlet, because the Asus TUF Gaming A17 is definitely not an endurance runner. The 48 Wh battery ends after about 3 hours even with light office work at 75 percent brightness. After all, with a weight of 2.6 kilograms, the 17-inch laptop weighs relatively little. But you don't want to carry it all day in your backpack.

The advantage of the small 48 Wh battery is only revealed when you turn the notebook over and unscrew it. By the way, thanks to the classic Phillips screws, this works without any problems. Thanks Asus! In addition to two M.2 slots, there is also a device for a 2.5-inch hard drive or SSD in the laptop case. In this way, the storage space of the gaming laptop can be expanded – definitely a nice option for data messis.

What it could have been a little more of is level – with the speakers. Even at maximum volume, the built-in drivers are anything but loud. They also lack a bit of bass. Together with the rather poor display and the clearly visible backlight bleeding, watching series and films in the evening on the Asus TUF Gaming A17 is really no fun.

Asus TUF Gaming A17 in the test: Office work left mixed results

The keyboard of the Asus TUF Gaming A17 left a consistently positive overall impression. Pressing the individual keys feels good, the layout is right. Typos rarely occur this way. The placement of the diamond over The Enter key, on the other hand, almost drove me crazy.

The existing numeric keypad should be positively emphasized, but its width has been shortened compared to the "normal" keyboard. As a user, you have to get used to this at first. The key combination, however, is really awesome +. With this duo the Windows computer can be opened – and let's be honest, in 90 percent of the cases this is exactly the program that you want to use with the numeric keypad anyway.

The touchpad precisely transfers the gliding of the fingertips to the operating system, and the feel is also convincing. The trackpad just doesn't seem to be particularly “smart”. A stray lint is enough to paralyze the touchpad. In this case, a quick wipe over the surface is enough to eliminate the troublemaker, but it is still annoying. The two mouse buttons have been moved from the touchpad to two additional pads that offer a good pressure point. I only miss a correct click.

On the other hand, the 0.9 MP webcam in the Asus TUF Gaming A17 failed. The quality of the internal microphone is quite acceptable, so that it can be used in a call without any problems, but the video recordings are anything but good. The camera struggles, especially in poor lighting conditions, and gives the entire area an unhealthy yellow tinge. Contrast and color saturation are also not convincing. But at least the gaming laptop has a webcam. In the significantly more expensive Asus ROG Zephyrus 14, this was deleted.

Since the Asus TUF Gaming A17 in the configuration I tested is currently only available without a pre-installed operating system, we will not provide any explanations. However, Windows 10 was already preinstalled on the test laptop provided.

Asus TUF Gaming A17 in the test: Technical data at a glance

Display 17.3 inch full HD screen with IPS panel @ 120 Hz, matt
processor AMD Ryzen 7 4800H (8 cores, 16 threads, maximum boost clock 4.2 GHz)
graphic card Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti with 6 GB VRAM
Storage 512 GB PCIe SSD
random access memory 16 GB DDR4 RAM (two slots, both occupied)
connections
  • 3x USB Type-C (including 2x Thunderbolt)
  • 1x headphone / microphone combo connection
battery pack 48 Wh
operating system
Weight 2.6 kg
price 1,170 euros

7.2/ 10

“A smart gaming laptop at a low price – but nothing more. The Asus TUF Gaming A17 offers decent performance, but has to accept numerous compromises. Anyone who can come to terms with this should give the gaming notebook a chance. "

Robert Kohlick
Robert Kohlick, GIGA expert for gaming hardware, PCs and laptops.

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