Summary: The Asus TUF FX705 17-inch series is one of the better value devices in its class. It's compact and well-built, offers an RGB keyboard and optional 144 Hz IPS screen, performs pretty well, runs cool and lasts for a fair while at a cost. Indeed there are quirks though, and most importantly regarding the fact the CPU / GPU reaches high temperatures with games and does not do 100% of their ability.
- well made, nice design lines
- gets a matte 144 Hz IPS screen
- good performance with everyday tasks and simpler games
- very fast wireless
- 64 Wh battery, but only average battery life
- should be affordable
- just an average-quality IPS panel
- the CPU / GPU run at very high temperatures with demanding games
- the GPU does not perform at the best of abilities (on our sample)
- loud fans with games and other demanding loads
- average speakers
This article gathers all of our impressions on the 17-inch ASUS TUF FX705 gaming laptop line.
We have spent several weeks with the GM FX705 high-end configuration (i7-8750H processor, GTX 1060 graphics, dual storage) and we have to know the strong points and quirks.
This laptop has a few aces on its sleeves: sturdy construction, compact form factor and quite light (for 17-inch), performance, IPS 144 Hz screen and last but not least, aggressive price. Not without deficiencies or strong competitors, but this is one of the better offers in its class and I hope many of you will have it on your visor in the coming months.
Read on to discover where the advantages of the Asus TUF FX705 GM are, where it leaves room for improvement and how it costs against alternatives out there.
Specs as reviewed Asus TUF FX705 GM Gaming Laptop
- Screen 17.3 inch, 1920 x 1080 px, 144 Hz, IPS, non-touch, matte
- Processor Intel Kaby Lake Core i7-8750H CPU
- Vide0 Intel HD 630 + Nvidia GTX 1060 6GB
- Memory 16 GB DDR4 (2x DIMMs)
- Storage 256 GB SSD (M.2 PCIe) + 1 TB 5400 rpm HDD (2.5″)
- Connectivity Gigabit LAN, Wireless AC (Intel AC 9560) , Bluetooth 5.0
- Ports 1 x USB-A 2.0, 2 x USB-A 3.1, HDMI 2.0, LAN, mic/headphone, Kensington Lock
- Battery 64 Wh, 180 W charger
- OS Windows 10
- Size 400 mm or 15.74” (w) x 280 mm or 11.02” (d) x 27.6 mm or 1.08” (h)
- Weight 5.75 lbs (2.6 kg) + 1.1 lbs (.5 kg) for the charger
- Extras AURA 4-zone RGB backlit keyboard, webcam, DTS headphone output
Design and exterior Asus TUF Gaming FX705
The Asus TUF FX705 is a fairly thin, light and well built computer.
It gets small 7.2 mm bezels around the screen, but a thicker 14 mm forehead that accommodates the camera and microphones, as well as a big chin that pushes the screen upwards. That aside, at 5.8 lbs (2.6 kg), it’s lighter than most other 17-inchers and merely a bit heavier than most mid-range 15-inch laptops.
Reduced size and weight, reinforced with a strong lid, makes the FX705 the perfect laptop for those of you who carry your laptop in your backpack. The TUF series is also MIL-STD-810 certified, which means "certified to withstand everyday hazards" according to Asus. All laptops have to do that, but hey, this has to be harder and more reliable than the average group.
The lid is made of thick metal parts and is much stronger than other Asus laptops, with hardly giving or flexing. The rest of the construction is made entirely of plastic, but most types are tighter and of good quality, and while there are still some flexes on the keyboard deck, this laptop feels sturdy and well made. Some material is subjectively ugly, like textured plastic around the screen.
The series is also neater than other Asus game lines. The FX705 is available in a Gold Steel or Red Matter color scheme, and we got the first, mostly dark gray, with a smooth ASUS gold backlit logo on the hood. It's illuminated by a panel, so it can't be turned off, but at least there are no other lights and annoying design elements to handle. The Red Matter version gets a red backlit logo and some red accents around the lid and on the armrest, so it's not as clean as this one.
As far as practicality goes, the FX705 sits well on the table, thanks to the abundance of rubber feet in the abdomen, getting a spacious palm rest with around blunt edges and corners, and two strong hinges keeping the screen in place as prescribed. go up. They make it possible to open the screen with one hand and lean up to 145 degrees, enough for table use.
I must mention the awkward status LED is placed, just below the screen, and the fact that the power button is always on, which can be annoying when watching movies in a dark room.
Cooling is very important in gaming laptops, and the FX705 shares a design with the smaller FX505, with intakes on the stomach, above the keyboard and on the side, and output on the back edge. We will talk more deeply about the cooling system and its behavior further.
One of the last aspects mentioned here is IO, which offers the basics you need on a computer like that (3x USB-A slot, HDMI 2.0, LAN, audio output), but without USB-C and without a card reader. On top of this, all connectors are grouped on the left edge, which is good news for right-handed users, but at the same time it might kill this for left-handed people.
Overall, Asus did well with the TUF FX705. This is a well-made computer with a fairly compact and lightweight shape, a little fluff design and some ergonomic weaknesses. But most are made of plastic, so it doesn't feel premium like some other options out there, and only gets a very basic set of ports.
Keyboard and trackpad
As far as I know, Asus offers the FX705 with two keyboard options: a red backlit version and a 4-zone RGB Aura keyboard, similar to one of the ROG GL704 Scar II models. We got the last one in our unit.
This is the same keyboard used on the smaller FX505 version, with a fairly standard layout, but narrow arrow keys and NumPad parts. The WASD key is made of clear plastic, which allows illumination to shine. 4-zone RGB lighting is implemented with this keyboard variant, can be controlled via the TUF AURA software that has been installed.
This keyboard feels different from the FX505 that we reviewed a while ago. There is less flexing on the main deck of this unit, but it turns out that doesn't lead to increased experience. For me, the key to the FX705 feels like they need a strong and uncomfortable press to act, boosted by their 1.8 mm depth and the fact that I'm used to shorter and softer feedback, taking a toll on typing speed and accuracy I .
Asus advertises some kind of overstroke technology that is implemented with this keyboard, which in theory should help register scratches without pressing the button completely, but for some reason that doesn't work as expected in this unit.
In conclusion, for me this is not the fastest keyboard or the most comfortable to type, even with a few thousand words on the bag on it. However, it comes from an older laptop or from a desktop keyboard, you might enjoy it. Gamers will also appreciate several features, such as increased reliability (both for up to 20 million keystrokes) and rollover n-keys.
Asus offers the TUF FX705 lines with either a 60 Hz or a 144 HZ 17.3-inch IPS panel, both with matte finishes. We got the latter on our test model.
It’s a fast screen with good response times, so a great option for gamers, especially when paired with the GTX 1060 graphics that can deliver sustained frame-rates with most titles. There’s no GSync, so you’ll still get some tearing and artifacts in certain conditions, but those are far less annoying, or even noticeable, than on a standard 60 Hz screen.
The panel’s quality on the other hand is only slightly above average, with good colors, black-levels and contrast, but rather low maximum brightness and some uniformity issues. Details below, taken with a Spyder4 sensor:
This panel is calibrated well outside the box, but you can still provide our calibrated profile to get the corrected white and gray levels.
This won't do anything about uniformity, but I think it's a matter of quality control with our special unit and you have to get a better version on your device. Be sure to test it and RMA products if you draw a short stick.
Hardware and performance
We had to test the mid-range configuration of the TUF Gaming FX705 series, FX505GM model with an Intel Core i7-8750H six core, 16 GB RAM (2x DIMM), dual storage and Nvidia GTX 1060 6 GB graphics chips.
The included 256 GB PCIe SSD offers fast read speed and average writing, but faster than the 128 GB version we got on the FX505 which was reviewed and I think most will find it pretty good. If not, you can always increase it.
Components are easily accessed after passing the rear panel, which is held by a handful of Philips screws. Inside you will find two memory slots and two storage drives. The CPU and GPU are soldered on the motherboard and cannot be upgraded.
As far as performance goes, this laptop can easily handle everyday tasks, while walking quietly and coolly. Asus offers three fan profiles: Silent, Balanced and Overboost. I advise most to keep your laptop on Balanced, because management does a good job of keeping fans silent with daily use and just kicking them with multitasking and more demanding burdens. Further down we will discuss how the Silent and Overboost modes affect performance when playing games.
First, we test CPU performance by running Cinebench R15 Multi-Core several times in a circle and recording the frequency, temperature, and CPU score.
Outside the box, i7 in our sample rose to a maximum of Turbo Boost Frequencies, but quickly reached 95 degrees Celsius and was stable at around 2.8 - 3.1 GHz and the temperature was off around 70-75 degrees Celsius. This is an aggressive limitation, more aggressive than the FX505 we tested a few weeks ago, and translates in scores of only around 1000-1050 points in concurrent testing. Please keep in mind that our sample is pre-production, and we hope the final retail version will appear closer to the FX505.
There’s a 64 Wh battery on the Asus TUF FX705, which is about average for a 17-inch laptop these days. There’s Optimus on-board, but also powerful hardware and a hungry 144 Hz 17-inch screen, so you’re not going to get great battery life with this laptop.
Here’s what to expect, with the screen set at 40%, roughly 120 nits of brightness.
- 14.5 W (~4 h 25 min of use) – text editing in Google Drive, Better Battery Mode, screen at 40%, Wi-Fi ON;
- 12.5 W (~5 h of use) – 1080p fullscreen video on Youtube in Edge, Better Battery Mode, screen at 40%, Wi-Fi ON;
- 12 W (~5 h of use) – Netflix in Edge, Better Battery Mode, screen at 40%, Wi-Fi ON;
- 12.5 W (~5 h of use) – 4K fullscreen .mkv video in the Movie app, Better Battery Mode, screen at 40%, Wi-Fi ON;
- 18 W (~3 h 30 min of use) – browsing in Edge, Better Performance Mode, screen at 40%, Wi-Fi ON;
- 52 W (~1 h 20 min of use) – gaming on battery, High Performance Mode, screen at 30%, Wi-Fi ON.
You should get longer runs if you opt for the 60 Hz screen version or switch the keyboard’s illumination off.
This particular configuration of the TUF FX505 comes with a 180 Wh power brick and a full charge takes around 1 hour and 30 minutes.
Price and availability
The Asus TUF Gaming FX705 is not yet available in stores at the time of this article (September 2018), but as far as we known right now, is expected for Q4 2018.
Asus offers configurations with GTX 1050 Ti (FX705GE) and GTX 1060 graphics (FX705GM), and the latter should sell for a few hundreds less than the similarly specked ROG GL704 models, which start at $1799 for the 1060 / 144 Hz screen configurations.
We’ll update this section once we know more.
Just like we concluded in our article about the 15-inch FX505, the bigger 17-inch FX705 series is also one of the better value devices in its class.
It’s compact and well built, looks simple enough that will be accepted in stricter work/school environments, offers an RGB keyboard and optional 144 Hz IPS screen, performs fairly well, runs cool and lasts for a fair while on a charge. At the same time, it does have its quirks: the keyboard requires firmer strokes to actuate, there’s no card-reader or USB-C port, the GTX 1060 GPU only runs at about 90% of its abilities (inside this test unit), the cooling keeps the CPU and GPU at high temperatures, the speakers are merely average and the IPS screen is not very bright or color-uniform.
Given the hot components and snipped GPU performance, I’d primarily recommend going for one of the more affordable FX705GE configurations with GTX 1050 Ti graphics. The GTX 1060 models are definitely better at handling modern games, but if the final retail models behave like our test unit, I personally wouldn’t be comfortable with a computer than keeps the CPU/GPU at 85-95 C with games, this can lead to reliability issues down the road. Thus, I’ll once more stress to check out other reviews to find out exactly how the retail versions of the FX705GM perform and handle heat.
Asus plans to compensate for the FX705’s shortcomings with an aggressive pricing, in order to compete with the other affordable 17-inch laptops on the market. The Lenovo Legion Y730 is a close competitor you should check out when available, while the 17-inch Acer Predator Helios is a cheaper, but bulkier option, with a smaller battery.
This aside, if the budget allows and you’re after a GTX 1060 configuration, you should also consider devices like the Asus ROG GL704 or the MSI Raider GE73, which are overall better laptops with nicer builds, keyboards, screens and thermals, but not necessarily better-value options for your money.
This pretty much wraps-up our review of the Asus TUF FX705GM. The comments section below awaits your feedback, opinions and questions though, and we’re around to help out if we can.
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