High-end tech can become scarily expensive. Top phones, TVs and, yes, gaming laptops often have price tags that seem fantasy land stuff to many of us. Some phones cost more than half-decent first cars. It’s a reality. The Asus TUF Gaming FX505DY is one of the best models to look to if you like to see tech prices firmly rooted to reality.
Trade-offs aren’t too bad either: a slightly soft-feeling keyboard, just-OK display colour and all-plastic outer build.
The Asus TUF Gaming FX505DY starts at £749/$699. At this price you get a Ryzen 5 3550H CPU, 8GB RAM, a Radeon 560X graphics card and 1TB hard drive with a solid state portion to keep Windows 10 running quick.
This means it’s a similar price to the Dell G3 15 with roughly comparable specs. Amazon has it available to order at just under £700. You can also order from Amazon US.
Our review model has some significant upgrades, but as the CPU and GPU remain the same, most of the impressions here will also apply to the base version. This spec has 16GB RAM, a 512GB SSD and a 1TB hard drive.
The Asus TUF Gaming FX505DY includes a one-year warranty. Check out the best gaming laptops we’ve reviewed.
Design & Build
Asus has pulled off a clever marketing trick with the TUF Gaming FX505. Its exterior is plastic, lacking the aluminium panels found in some higher-price models, but Asus sells this design to us as “tough” rather than “basic”.
These claims are based on MIL-STD 810G testing, standards set by the US military. Whenever you see this impressive-sounding jargon, you might want to look a little deeper into what it actually means. There are absolutely loads of MIL-STD 810G tests, and consumer tech will usually have only been submitted to a few of them.
In the FX505’s case, Asus says the laptop was tested for vibration, shock force, high altitude, temperature and humidity. We couldn’t find any mention of liquids testing, so keep that glass of well away from the keyboard. Some laptops, particularly those made with the classroom in mind, do actually have reservoirs under the keyboard to keep water from damaging the internals.
The Asus TUF Gaming FX505DY does have some of the hardy feel of one of those education-geared laptops, though. Its plastics are fairly tough, refusing to bend significantly under normal-use pressure. And, contrary to some reports from the US (which may have been from pre-production models), there’s no major flex to the keyboard base. This is the area in which a build shortfall becomes most obvious when you actually use a laptop.
Asus TUF Gaming FX505 design
Trying to make bare plastic look like brushed aluminium never works that well. However, subtlety is not the aim here. Asus was out to give the TUF Gaming FX505DY a distinct “gamer” look using conventional lower-cost laptop materials. And it has done just that.
A fairly conventional core design also makes the Asus TUF Gaming FX505DY much more portable than many gaming laptops. It’s 26.8mm thick and weighs 2.2kg. This is clearly not an ultraportable, but occasionally carrying it around in a rucksack won’t fill you with instant regret.
Keyboard & Trackpad
There is an extra feature in the keyboard. The Asus TUF Gaming FX505DY has 1.8mm keystroke action, much deeper than the average thin and light model.
Key action is on the soft side, though, so you don’t get the lightning fast feel of the best gaming keyboards around. It’s not a star, but is reasonable, and buoyed by the relative lack of flex thanks to, we imagine, a stabilising backplate underneath the keys.
There’s plenty of gamer character here too. The lettering and side of the keys are red, which gives the multi-level backlight a pleasant hue – if you’re into that kind of thing. Unlike some gamer models, you can’t change the colour of the keyboard light.