After playing with the TUF Gaming FX705, I have another ASUS gaming laptop. This one is aimed at those who are looking for a gaming machine on a budget. Gaming and budget don’t go always hand in hand, but this particular model can make them work together.
What I have here is the TUF Gaming FX505DY. It’s practically a smaller version of the previous TUF Gaming laptop I have, plus it’s running on pure AMD power.
I’ll not make this long, so let’s get right to it.
It has a plastic body with a distinct design
The vents face backwards
All the ports are on the left
There’s virtually nothing on the right side
It sports a 15.6-inch IPS-level 120Hz display…
… with slim bezels
Still, the webcam stays on top
The keyboard has a three-stage red backlight
Decent-looking for its price
The looks of the FX505 is not much different from its bigger cousin, the FX705. Also, the overall aesthetic is pretty much copied from the ROG line of premium gaming notebooks. Design-wise, the FX505 is not lacking; it’s certainly a gaming notebook when you see it.
The FX505 borrows the keyboard design of other new gaming laptops from ASUS, which is good. The layout is ideal for games, although the keys feel a bit mushy. As for the trackpad, it’s okay. It uses Windows Precision and it’s responsive to every gestures.
No one would suspect that this is a budget gaming machine. The slim bezels of the 15.6-inch Full HD display make the FX505 truly modern-looking. Gone are the day of fat bezels, even on a budget laptop. It does have a pretty big chin, but I prefer to trade that for slimmer side bezels. This also means that the FX505 is smaller than conventional 15-inch notebooks out there.
Not only that, the 120Hz refresh rate of the panel adds greater value to the FX505. I wasn’t expecting a high refresh rate on budget gaming laptops, so having it is really a treat. Everything on the screen is smooth and buttery. I am writing this article on the FX505 and it’s always fun to see scrolling smoother than my everyday laptop.
While the added features are welcome, ASUS still has keep the FX505 within budget. The laptop’s plastic body feels hollow, but ASUS says this laptop has passed US military-grade tests, so I’ll just have to take their word for it when it comes to durability.
Upgrade the memory, ASAP!
Let’s get to the specs. The TUF Gaming FX505DY (that’s the specific model name) is powered by the new AMD Ryzen 5-3550H processor with Radeon RX560X discrete graphics. Ryzen chips already have a capable GPU on their own, but nothing beats having a dedicated one. Unfortunately, ASUS is selling this particular with 4GB of DDR4 memory. That’s part of the cost-cutting methods, and it’s a bottleneck.
The processor and the GPU are more than capable to run most games in medium to high settings nicely, but the available system memory couldn’t keep up. 4GB of memory might be enough to let me use the FX505 for browsing, watching videos, typing, and other stuff, but it ruins the gaming experience.
I am no hardcore gamer, so my go-to game is often Cities Skylines. Guess what? I wasn’t able to even load my cloud save on Steam. The loading screen for the game always stops midway.
Of course, I tested other games. I’m glad to report that both battle royale games — CS:GO and Fortnite — run above 60fps on high settings. But, that’s not without hiccups. Due to the limited 4GB RAM, even though the GPU can handle the titles well, you can’t escape the lag. Maybe games that don’t have open-world maps won’t be as affected, but I can’t say for sure.
Is this your GadgetMatch?
No doubt that the TUF Gaming FX505 (specifically FX505DY) is a good option in its range. It might even be the best one considering the features it offers and its price tag. For just PhP 39,995, you can already grab a decent starter gaming laptop that has a 120Hz display, slim bezels, and ROG-esque design.
The display alone is a great selling point, but the 4GB RAM will never do it justice. I wish I could test out more games on the laptop, but I couldn’t even run my staple titles without any hiccups. The low memory is simply a pain and it limits the capabilities of the laptop.
Out of the box, this variant of the FX505 is not totally ready for gaming. If you’re getting one of these, make sure to buy some extra RAM. An additional 4GB stick doesn’t cost much; it’s even cheaper than fancy gaming mice out there.
A beginner’s guide to Harry Potter: Wizards Unite
Niantic, Inc. has just rolled out its brand new game to over 150 countries worldwide over the weekend. Harry Potter: Wizards Unite is also a location-based game that uses augmented reality and builds on the current platform of the company’s games Pokémon Go and Ingress.
Quick disclosure: I’m far from being a Potterhead so I might not get the right terms related to the franchise in this article. Although, I’m a long-time and current player of Pokémon Go hence I checked out Wizards Unite.
Onto the game itself. If you’re like some players I know who would rather just get to the game right away and skip the numerous pages of introduction and dialogues, the main plot of the story is pretty simple. A mysterious event called Calamity has struck resulting in certain magical items and beings to scatter in the real world.
It is your job as part of the Statute of Secrecy Task Force to bring these items, people, and creatures back to the Wizarding World and complete your registry. This registry acts like your Pokédex and tells you what you have and things to look out for.
Throughout the game, you will come across different terms, items, and structures. Let’s take a quick look at the basic elements of the game:
Professions – Just like in the books and movies, you can choose from three types of professions once you reach level six. These are Auror, Magizoologist, and Professor.
Each has its own strengths and weaknesses and complements the other two during battles. It’s important to note that you can later on switch professions if you wish to but the upgrades already bought could no longer be reattributed.
Confoundables vs Foundables – In Wizards Unite, foundables are those you hunt down to bring back to their proper time and location. Meanwhile, you banish the confoundables that are responsible for getting the foundables stuck in our world.
Casting Spells – In order to banish confoundables, you need to cast spells by accurately tracing the pattern shown on your smartphones. There are about ten spells available as of the time of writing but the company says they will eventually be adding more. In addition to accuracy of tracing, speed also plays a big part to achieve a “Masterful” trace (there’s Fair, Good, Great, and Masterful).
Spell Energy – You’ll need to have spell energy to cast spells. Initially, you’re allotted up to 75 energy points and you use them whenever you try to cast spells on the confoundables. When it reaches zero, it’s basically the equivalent of running out of Pokéballs and you could no longer “catch” foundables.
Structures – Structures like Inns and Greenhouses are your way of getting more spell energy and ingredients to make useful potions. Inns will give out energy by dining in them, while Greenhouses churn out ingredients to make different potions. So playing in areas densely populated with Inns and Greenhouses will ensure you have the resources for a more efficient grinding session.
There’s a third kind of structure and it’s the Fortress. A fortress is a place where up to four friends can join forces and battle together different sets of magical creatures to further upgrade their abilities and come across rarer entries for the registry. Every tier gets tougher and tougher so it encourages players to team up with new players and overcome stronger foes.
Potions – As mentioned earlier, you can concoct your own potions by getting ingredients from Greenhouses. As per usual, these potions vary with different effects and can be used in battles either to heal yourself, make the spell more effective, or prevent the foundable from departing away and missing the chance to add it to your registry.
Portkeys – To get you moving while playing the game, you’ll be able to collect Portkeys that only open after walking certain distances in the real world. Right now there are 2KM/5KM/10KM variations of Portkeys and once it’s opened, it has the power to bring you to different locations so you can collect items and even XP.
Now that most of the basics have been covered, here are some tips to keep in mind while playing based on me and my wife’s experiences.
- Download all assets as soon as you can. This will make loading times faster while performance will be more stable.
- Turn on Trace Auto-Align to make encounters with AR slightly faster
- An Inn with a green color serves up to 10 energy points, purple and blue give up to seven, brown up to six, and a pink one only dishes out a maximum of three energy points.
- Master Notes are secret patterns that reduce brewing time of potions. Figure it out by checking the available patterns at the Potions Info page.
- As the stages you battle in Fortresses level up, magical creatures grow stronger. Having a friend to fight alongside you will be needed even more so in the higher tiers of Fortress matches.
- If you see a floating icon with a beam of light above it, it means it’s a high risk foundable with high rewards. Be sure to get it!
- Use Dark Detectors for rarer foundables to appear, Exstimulo potions against higher risk foundables, and Baruffio’s Brain Elixir before claiming rewards like Portkeys to get double XP.
- Flags and smoke from Greenhouses and Inns, respectively, signify they’re still on cooldown.
- Be sure to have enough energy before battling at Fortresses. Quitting during an unfinished session will render the Runestone useless.
- Turning off AR during encounters is easier for the phone and will save precious battery life.
- Just keep on playing. Niantic’s games reward players who just keep on exploring new things (or simply staying) in the game.
If there’s anything we missed or if you want to add to these tips, be sure to leave a comment!
Dr. Mario World is coming to Android and iOS in a few weeks
A classic coming back to life!
After a week from E3 2019, Nintendo has announced the release of its latest mobile game. The Japanese game company has been reviving its classic titles lately and the newest one coming to our phones is Dr. Mario World.
A new trailer for Dr. Mario World gives us our first look at the game. From the looks of it, it’s going to be pretty different yet familiar. Instead of a Tetris-style gameplay where the capsules fall down the screen, Dr. Mario World will require players to drag the capsules on the playing field. Since the game will be played on phones with touchscreens, this approach makes better sense than left-right buttons.
Like most free-to-play titles, the game will have in-app purchases that’ll help players progress in the game. The game also has countdown timers and character customizations.
The original Dr. Mario game came out in 1990 and it instantly became one of the best Nintendo titles. It was originally developed for the NES. It was ported and remade for multiple platforms after.
Taiwan Excellence is holding its first esports cup in the Philippines
With a prize pool of P360,000
Esports continue to grow in the Philippines thanks to the help from both organizations and major brands. The latest to make its mark in the local competitive scene is Taiwan Excellence, which will be holding an esports cup in Manila beginning in July.
With the help of the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) and Taiwan’s Bureau of Foreign Trade (BOFT), there’ll be a PhP 360,000 prize pool for the expected 2,000 participants from across the country. The featured games are Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) and League of Legends (LOL).
Registration for the tournament begins on June 15. The first phase of the competition will start on July 6 for CS:GO and August 3 for LOL. The grand finals will happen from October 4 to 5 at SM North EDSA The Block, Quezon City. Taiwan Excellence’s esports cup was previously held in Malaysia and Thailand.
“Taiwan is known for its breakthrough electronics industry, with renowned innovations and quality products being developed for global distribution. Now with esports, we take pride in sharing that industry-leading brands are from Taiwan, with Filipino gamers,” said C.T. Wu, director of the Strategic Marketing Dept. at TAITRA.
Xiaomi Mi 9 SE Review: For those who like it small
A pocketable flagship-like phone
ASUS ROG Zephyrus S (GX701) review
Refinement of a modern classic
OPPO A5s Review: Is it really any different?
Bang for the buck, at a cost of key features
OPPO officially introduces Under-Screen Camera technology for phones
Vivo steals the show at MWC Shanghai 2019 with 5G and 120W charging tech
Vivo’s Super FlashCharge 120W will fully charge your phone in an instant
Honda officially launches the all-new BR-V in the Philippines
Nokia 1 proves that Android Go phones can also get Pie
Best Budget Smartphones in the Philippines below P10,000
Best Midrange Smartphones in the Philippines from P10,000 to P20,000
Best Midrange Smartphones from $200 to $400
Best Upper-Midrange Smartphones in the Philippines from P20,000 to P30,000
Best Premium Smartphones in the Philippines above P30,000
Deals2 weeks ago
Pocophone F1’s cheaper price makes it an even better flagship-specced phone
News1 week ago
Huawei dealers offer ‘Special Warranty Program’ that promises 100% refund
News2 weeks ago
Some Huawei phones are showing unwanted ads on lock screens
Features2 weeks ago
6 best smartphones of 2019 (so far)
News2 weeks ago
Xiaomi Mi 9T is basically the Redmi K20 for the European market
News2 weeks ago
Xiaomi unveils Mi Band 4 with a colored display and 20-day battery life
Deals4 days ago
Comparison: Globe ThePLAN vs Smart Signature Postpaid Plans
Accessories2 weeks ago
Singaporean designer brand UNIQ brings its stylish accessories to the Philippines