Saturday, June 22, 2024

Asus made the best-looking budget gaming laptop I’ve ever seen


Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

Computex 2024 logo.

This story is part of our coverage of Computex, the world’s biggest computing conference.

Asus’ TUF Gaming line has always been among the cheap gaming laptops you can buy, but they’ve always been a bit ugly and thick. But at Computex 2024, Asus has unveiled its completely redesigned TUF A14, a follow-up to the TUF A15. Asus has cleaned up the look quite a bit, reducing it from around a full inch in thickness to just 0.78 inches. They’ve also been reduced from 5 pounds to just 3.2 pounds.

In fact, the new TUF A14 (and A16) look more like Asus’ celebrated ROG Zephyrus G14 than the company’s previous budget laptops.

Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

The new TUF A14 will be powered by AMD’s latest “Strix Point” Ryzen AI HX 370 12-core processor, which claims to offer considerable gains over its predecessor. You also get faster LPDDRX5 memory clocked at 7500MHz and dual M.2 SSD storage slots, both of which support up to 2TB PCIe Gen 4 drives. GPU options will include Nvidia’s RTX 4050 or 4060 with a 100W TDP and a built-in MUX switch with Nvidia’s Advanced Optimus support.

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The display specs also sound pretty good with the option of a 14-inch 16:10 QHD+ IPS panel with a 165Hz refresh rate, 3ms response time, 100% sRGB coverage, and 400 nits of peak brightness. In terms of port selection, there’s a USB 4 Type-C port that supports DisplayPort 2.1 and Power delivery 3.0 (100W), a USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A port, HDMI 2.1, an audio combo jack, and USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C port.

The battery is rated at 73 watt-hours, and Asus will be bundling a 200W charging brick with the laptop.

Other notable features include a military-grade chassis with metal bottom and top covers, a 1080p webcam with IR support, a 1.7mm travel distance keyboard, dual Arc Flow fans coupled with heat pipes for efficient cooling, and a larger touchpad.

Pricing and availability is yet to be confirmed, but considering how the TUF series usually targets the affordable segment, we wouldn’t be surprised to see a sub-$1,000 price point. Hopefully the more modern design doesn’t entice Asus to upcharge for the improved looks, especially since a laptop like this could be a great college laptop if it’s not too expensive.

Asus is also updating the 16-inch TUF A16 with similar specifications and new design like the 14-inch model, with the only difference being the larger display and the option of a more powerful RTX 4070 GPU. It’s also a bit thicker and heavier, as you’d expect, at 4.85 pounds and 1.01 pounds. The other change is that the TUF A16 comes with just a 720p webcam.

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