The new TUF gaming laptop range seems to offer a balance between price, design and performance.
Last Updated: June 2, 2020, 1:32 PM IST
ASUS has brought its new AMD-based TUF gaming laptops to India. The range includes two models, the A15 and A17, both of which will be offered with the new AMD Ryzen 4000 CPU range. The updated TUF range comes with a revamped design and seems to take some inspiration from the higher-end ROG range.
ASUS TUF A15, A17 Specifications
The new TUF A15 and A17 will be offered with either the Ryzen 7 4800H or the Ryzen 5 4600H processors. As the name suggests, the A15 is the 15.6-inch model while the A17 comes with a 17.3-inch display. Notably, the 15-inch model will be offered with upto 144Hz refresh rate while the A17 will come with up to 120Hz refresh rate.
Both the notebooks can be configured with up to 32GB of DDR4 3200MHz RAM along with dual storage slots to install PCIe Gen 3 SSD as well as SATA HDD. Graphics options on the A15 range from the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 to the RTX 2060 while the A17 is limited till the GTX 1660Ti.
The notebooks also offer a wide range of connectivity options including a USB Type-C 3.2 (Gen 2) with display support (DP1.4). Other than that there are two USB Type-A 3.2 (Gen 1) ports, a USB Type-A USB2.0 port, an audio jack combo, an ethernet port, and HDMI. sadly there is no Wi-Fi 6 support here.
Other features include DTS:X Ultra audio support, special self-cleaning fans with anti-dust tunnels, and two colour options: Fortress Gray or Bonfire Black.
As for the pricing, the new TUF A15 gaming laptop range starts from Rs 62,990 while the A17 starts at Rs 60,990. The TUF A15 Bonfire Black colour option will be available from Amazon India, while the A15 Fortress Gray colour option will be available across offline stores, Reliance Stores as well as Amazon India. The TUF A17 will be selling on Flipkart from mid June onwards.
We are currently testing the new TUF A15 loaded with the Ryzen 7 4800 CPU and GTX 1660Ti GPU. The notebook definitely feels solid and well suited for gaming enthusiasts and serious esports gamers.
E-commerce is open again. This means you can now order from Amazon and Flipkart and the orders will be delivered to you in all parts of the country, except in containment zones. This must come as a great relief for those who suddenly shifted to the world from home routine ahead of the lockdown to flatten the COVID curve, a few weeks ago. Chances are, you may not have had a good laptop or PC at home, for it perhaps wasn’t really a critical requirement thus far. But now, you can buy a new laptop or PC to rock the work from home situation, and not be bogged down by an aging and sluggish PC, a bad keyboard, a cracked screen or something you were simply bored of. It is also expected that work from home will be quite a regular thing for a lot of workers in a lot of companies, which means you should be armed with a good computing device.
Do not make the same mistake again of thinking the smartphone can be a PC replacement, because when it really comes down to it, you will need a laptop to get genuine work done. Here are some of the best budget laptops, some running Windows 10 and some Google Chromebook options, which you must add to your arsenal of work from home tools. So that this purchase remains light on your pocket, we are looking at laptops under the Rs 40,000 price point—to get the perfect blend between performance and longevity without breaking the bank. Plus, they should look good too.
HP Chromebook x360 – 12b-ca0006tu
The biggest advantage of the Google Chrome OS software for computing devices is the sheer simplicity of everything. It is incorrect to assume that you must be locked into the Google ecosystem to be able to use a Chromebook—the variety of apps available for the Chrome OS is as wide as Android phones. That is why the full-fledged Play Store is also available on the Chromebooks. Microsoft’s Word, Excel and PowerPoint apps? The Spotify app? Video streaming apps. You name it, and the whole wide world of productivity, utility and entertainment apps are available. For any Android phone user, the switch could prove to be close to seamless—and that is a genuine value addition. In fact, this works brilliantly with the Intel Celeron N4000 processor with 4GB RAM, 64GB internal storage and a card slot if you wish to use that for adding more storage space. What’s most interesting is the square-is aspect ratio of the 12-inch display, and the hinge allows it to be folded all the way back into a sort of a tablet mode. Windows machines have never performed as well on this sort of hardware.
Dell Inspiron 14 5490
Around Rs 35,585
This started out with a price tag above the Rs 40,000 mark but price corrections have now pushed this beneath that virtual ceiling we have for this buying advice. That means you get the newer 10th generation Intel Core i3-10110U processor with 4GB RAM and a fast 512GB SSD. There is a 14-inch Full HD display which should do well for most productivity and entertainment tasks. The keyboard is not backlit though—perhaps you need to keep that in mind in case working in a dimly lit room is your thing. Dell’s ExpressCharge Boost tops up a fully discharged battery to 35% in 20 minutes and up to 80% in 60 minutes—great if you need to splash and dash. Then there is the Dell Mobile Connect app which pairs your iPhone or Android smartphone with your laptop, which mirrors most things from your phone on the laptop itself, thereby reducing distractions.
Lenovo IdeaPad 330
Around Rs 19,990
If you really are on a strict budget, the Lenovo IdeaPad 330 (model number: 330-15IKB) could be a steady enough pick. Do not expect this to be powerful or do anything more than basic computing, but what you get is a comfortable 15.6-inch HD display. This runs an Intel Celeron processor, along with 4GB RAM. There is a 1TB hard drive, and these basic specs are really all you should expect at this price. While there are many similarly priced laptops that don’t give you a preloaded Windows 10 operating system, this one does—and that is very important. A keyboard that is well laid out and the build quality doesn’t really betray its budget price tag.
Acer Aspire 5 A515-43
Around Rs 38,369
This started out in life with a price tag around Rs 50,000 and that means you get specifications which are quite powerful. This runs the AMD Ryzen 5 3500U quad-core processor (for some reason, many potential laptop buyers still have a bit of mistrust towards AMD machines). This has 4GB of RAM to get Windows 10 and your apps purring along. What should also make a difference is the 512GB SSD, which will speed up performance. You get a 15.6-inch Full HD IPS display. The keyboard isn’t backlit. The laptop weighs around 1.8kg. You should probably also consider this if you are taken in by the large screen goodness of the Lenovo IdeaPad S145 (model number 81W800FXIN).
Lenovo IdeaPad S145
Around Rs 35,010
We are specifically talking about the Lenovo IdeaPad S145 (model number 81W800FXIN) which runs the Intel Core i3-1005G1 processor with 4GB RAM and 256GB SSD. It looks like it means business and has the sort of serious personality that most good productivity centric machines have. This is ideal if you prefer large displays—this has a 15.6-inch Full HD screen for you to work on. Not the lightest, tipping the scales at 1.85kg, but that’s the compromise for a large screen laptop. You will quite like the keyboard, which has the sort of inspiration from the more expensive ThinkPad laptops, which make these genuinely good to type on. Lenovo also doesn’t clutter Windows 10 too much by preloading apps, which should also be good in the long run.
HP Notebook – 15s-du0093tu
And this price point, you get multiple laptops running the older generation Intel Core processors as well as some Celeron versions. However, this HP Notebook – 15s-du0093tu should hold up well with the Intel Core i3-8145U processor, with 8GB RAM and a 1TB hard drive. What you get is a 15-inch Full HD display, Windows 10 preloaded and six months of 25GB bundled Dropbox storage. This weighs 1.74kg and is 19.9mm thick. You also get a fingerprint sensor as an added authentication layer to keep your data safe. The HP Fast Charge feature charges a fully discharged laptop battery to 50% in 45 minutes, which should be handy in case you need to get stuff done in a hurry and don’t have access to power at the time. Oh, and the keyboard is backlit too.
Intel has finally launched its high-performance 10th-generation laptop processor range. This means that we would finally get to see more powerful gaming laptops as well as high-end studio notebooks. The highlight of the new range is that the company has managed to break the 5GHz barrier with the new six and eight-core i7 processors reaching up to 5.1Ghz (boost speed) on a single core.
If you think that is not enough, then you probably need the eight-core Core i9-10980HK which can go up to 5.3GHz and is also unlocked for overclocking. The new range includes two Core i5 models, three Core i7 models and the top of the line Core i9 mentioned above.
With this new range, Intel should stand tall against AMD’s 4000 series Ryzen mobile processors, which also offer up to eight cores, but lower 4.4GHz maximum clock speed. Having said that, AMD’s chips are based on the 7nm architecture, so they are more power-efficient and also offer better eight-core Radeon Vega graphics. Of course, nobody relies on integrated graphics, especially on gaming notebooks.
Now Intel says that one can expect around 44 percent improved performance on Assassin’s Creed Odyssey at 1080p resolution with high settings when compared to the three-year-old Core i7-7700HQ. The Core i9 variant is said to be 54 percent faster in Red Dead Redemption 2, compared to the i7-7820HK. Click here for more info on the new chips.
Apart from that, the chips come with integrated Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201 (Gig+) which is said to offer three times faster downloads and low-latency wireless performance. There is Intel’s Turbo Boost Max Technology 3.0, Adaptix Dynamic Tuning Technology and Intel Extreme Tuning Utility for intelligent performance tuning. The chips also support Thunderbolt 3 offering four times more bandwidth than USB 3.1, Intel Optane memory as well as support for DDR4-2933 memory.
It is not quite clear as to how the stolen test files may affect the overall safety of the new Microsoft Xbox platform.
Last Updated: March 27, 2020, 5:55 PM IST
US-based semiconductor company AMD claimed that a hacker has obtained source files for some of its current and future GPUs, including details about the Xbox Series X. “In December 2019, we were contacted by someone who claimed to have test files related to a subset of our current and future graphics products, some of which were recently posted online, but have since been taken down,” AMD spokesperson said in a statement.
The stolen material include source code for Navi 10 (think Radeon RX 5700 series), the future Navi 21 and the Arden GPU inside the Xbox Series X. In an interview with TorrentFreak, the alleged hacker has claimed they will just leak everything if they are not able to sell the information. The alleged hacker has valued the information at $100 million, though it’s not exactly clear if that’s its actual value.
AMD has filed multiple takedown notices to Microsoft-owned open source software development platform GitHub, where the source code for the Navi GPU was hosted until recently. “While we are aware the perpetrator has additional files that have not been made public, we believe the stolen graphics IP is not core to the competitiveness or security of our graphics products. We are not aware of the perpetrator possessing any other AMD IP,” added AMD spokesperson.
Microsoft has announced that the Xbox Series X will be using a custom AMD Zen 2 CPU with eight cores at 3.8GHz each and a custom AMD RNDA 2 GPU with 12 teraflops and 52 compute units at 1.825GHz each, coming with 16GB of GDDR6 RAM with a 1TB custom NVMe SSD storage drive. Microsoft is targeting overall performance at 4K 60fps, up to 120fps.
“While the Xbox Series X will deliver a massive increase in GPU performance and continue to redefine and advance the state of art in graphics with new capabilities such as hardware-accelerated raytracing,” Jason Ronald, Director of Product Management on Xbox Series X said in a statement. The tech giant is also using a solid-state drive on the Xbox Series X, and the focus is on speed and load times for next-gen games.
The Xbox maker is using “Xbox Velocity Architecture,” that is designed to improve the integration between hardware and software for streaming of in-game assets. Microsoft has partnered with the HDMI forum and TV manufacturers to enable Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM) and Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) on the Series X as part of its HDMI 2.1 support.
Larry Hryb, the head of Microsoft Xbox Live recently announced a new quick resume feature for the Xbox Series X, which would instantly resume multiple games after the console has rebooted, or even after switching titles. Overall, the Xbox Series X will come with a significant upgrade over the Xbox One X in terms of processing power and will house new features for the immersive gaming experience.
Apple could replace Intel processors with AMD in its future MacBook and other Mac devices according to a report. The rumours surfaced after the code for macOS Catalina 10.15.4 beta showed references to AMD’s APUs, TechRadar reported quoting a tipster. As per the @_rogame, the codes do not directly contain references to AMD but its Accelerated Processing Unit (APU), which is a combination of both CPU and GPU. Apple uses AMD graphics in select MacBook Pro, iMac, iMac Pro and Mac Pro models, but it relies on Intel processors for all the MacBook laptops and PC devices.
If references to AMD’s APU are anything to go by, it can be assumed that Apple’s rumoured gaming laptop will be powered by APUs instead of Intel processors. There is no surety if Apple’s future laptops will feature AMD chips in the future, though the tech giant is probably testing it. The reports of the switch to AMD came to the fore after Apple witnessed a decline in Mac sales due to Intel’s chip shortages, reported TechRadar. Intel’s 14nm (nanometer) and 10nm processor chips have faced supply issues since September 2018. The semiconductor chipmaker’s next-generation 10nm chips got delayed due to manufacturing problems faced by 14nm CPU.
Sony has officially rolled out a dedicated website for its next-gen gaming console, the PlayStation 5. The launch of the portal hints that the company is getting closer to finally launch the console. The homepage of the PS5 website was spotted by a Reddit user. The website is available in UK and German versions. Unsurprisingly, the website gives little information about the gaming console.
The website does, however, let users sign up to receive updates on the upcoming PS5 through email.
“PlayStation 5 is Coming” says the website. The PS5 was rumoured to officially roll-out in markets during the 2020 holiday season and the website confirms the same.
The PS5 is going to be pitted against Microsoft’s upcoming Xbox Series X, which is also releasing in the same period. According to a GamesRadar report, Sony hasn’t decided on the final pricing of the PS5. The report said that the cost will most likely be decided close to its launch and will be perhaps dependent on the competition.
The PS5 will be running on an AMD CPU chip, which will be based on the third generation of AMD’s Ryzen line. The CPU will be an eight-core, custom-made one, which will be based on AMD’s 7nm Zen 2 microarchitecture.