The ESGS (Philippine E-sports and Gaming Summit) is well underway and its unfortunate that I won’t be able to participate in the festival this go-round. There’s plenty of gaming grade material to be found there and plenty of discounted items too so I really suggest you pay a visit especially if you’re building a rig ATM or are looking to game using a laptop as well. Despite this however, I would like to let you in on a laptop from Asus that might have slipped your view because of all the ROG offerings currently available.
A few days ago, I’d been asked for a laptop recommendation with a specific budget in mind, around the Php 30k mark which is around the median of notebooks back then. Naturally, I asked what the device was going to be used for because that alone would impact the type of computer that would be a best fit for the user and the answer was of course work stuff AND some level of gameplay… and so I went looking around… I had told this friend of mine that it would be in the future owner’s best interest to ramp up the budget a little, working towards the very first notebook computer that stems out of the Nvidia MX series into the 10-series discrete lineup.
Enter the Asus X560UD. TBH, at this price point, there truly is plenty of power within this 15″ laptop – this mix of 8th gen intel core i5 processor and GTX1050 is practically a godsend in this space of Php 45k. And it’s not just the internals too. This particular model sports really cool trims in the shade “Lightning Blue” which is sure to catch the eyes of onlookers because of the unexpected combination.
It certainly distances itself from most of the mainstream offerings by adapting this color scheme which also moves it away from either the TUF or the ROG lineup
Here’s what I liked about the X560UD:
The 15.6″ FHD matte screen is quite refreshing. While it is not as vibrant as its glossy counterparts, the sheer size allows for much more detail to be present at screen and there’s something to be said for it.
The full keyboard contributes to this feeling by “pushing the user to the left side rather than on center because of the presence of the numpad which, while a little undersized, provides the functionality power users might miss coming from more compact form factors (up to 14”).
The design of the lid and the chassis makes it almost completely unsusceptible to fingerprints or being dirty in general – you won’t need to wipe it off everytime you take it out for a session. In line with this, the battery is also quite the performer. The X560UD is great for lengthy binge (or work) sessions off the wall. It isn’t very light but the two hours we had used it for a couple of episodes didn’t make that much of an impression on the battery bar and this is a huge difference coming from high powered slim devices which wouldn’t hold up to such stresses.
It isn’t without compromise however as there are a few things a user might find lacking with this particular model when comparing it to the higher end devices on the Asus lineup. The sound, for one, isn’t all that exciting, at max setting it doesn’t feel enough to share for a viewing party, you’d be better off jacking in headphones or an external speaker for a better listening experience.
There is also no backlighting on the keyboard which means using it in complete darkness is not at all advisable. I honestly never thought I’d miss that feature until I attempted to work on the X560UD late at night without a task light.
At this size, I’d have expected a full SD card slot to be present but this was not a part of the I/O ports available. There’s also very little visual feedback from the keyboard like the caps lock / num lock light, even the power indicator is on the side hence you’d need to monitor all of these from the taskbar – you’d literally not know the unit was turned on if it shuts off the display from being idle.
I ran benchmarks for rendering to find out how it performs agains my current daily driver and, while it doesn’t come as a surprise that it should be faster, it’s definitely dependable considering the combination. Here is my current “control” setup:
And here is the X560UD:
You can see that the processor on the X560UD, even though it’s clocked at a lower speed than mine, it performs practically three times faster doing the same task – of course this all boils down to the X560UD having four physical cores but still quite the feat. The GPU performance is very decent for a 1050 rendering the scene in under 5 minutes. I would say that the complexity of this particular interior model is right smack in the middle of presentation outputs and knowing that you can deliver a frame in under 5 minutes provides peace of mind under pressure of a deadline. I had run Cinebench as well but for some reason it won’t run on my daily machine so I can’t quite compare. Here are they for potential number crunching in the future:
As you can see, there are several minor issues one might find if you go for something that is not a part of the gaming lineup, nonetheless, the power that the X560 carries for it’s price is definitely present and ready to perform. That and it is quite the looker with its blue color scheme. Long story short, if you’re looking to game on a laptop within a budget, Asus got your back with the X560UD with an SRP of Php 44.995.
Here is its, or rather its current version’s, listing from the Villman website – http://villman.com/Product-Detail/ASUS_X570UD-E4006T