ASUS TUF Gaming F17 (FX706, 2021) review – trimmed the right corners

It wasn’t long ago before we showed you the ASUS TUF Gaming F17 FX706. However, like many other manufacturers, ASUS itself has released facelifts of some of its most popular laptops. Including the FX706. Generally, it looks pretty similar, but it brings a lot of new hardware.

Since it was released in 2021, you can’t expect Alder Lake chips. Nevertheless, their Tiger Lake counterparts are pretty capable in both games and productivity. What else is great for gaming and productivity is the RTX 3060 GPU, which you can find inside of it. It comes with 95W of TGP, and 6GB of GDDR6 graphics memory.

As you may know, the TUF brand is all about rigidity. This explains the industrial design. To complement that, the laptop covers a set of military-grade tests, called MIL-STD-810H.

Perhaps even more impressive is the fact, that the device can be paired with a fantastic 1080p 300Hz IPS panel. It comes with an Adaptive sync technology, which is super lenient on the battery.

You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/asus-tuf-gaming-f17-fx706-2021/

Contents


Specs Sheet

ASUS TUF Gaming F17 (FX706, 2021) - Specs

  • AUO B173HAN04.9 (AUO978F)
  • Color accuracy  4.6  3.8
  • HDD/SSD
  • up to 2000GB SSD + up to 1000GB HDD
  • M.2 Slot
  • 1x 2280 M.2 PCIe 4.0 x4 + 1x 2280 M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4  See photo
  • RAM
  • up to 64GB
  • OS
  • Windows 10 Home, Windows 11 Home, Windows 11 Pro, Windows 10 Pro
  • Battery
  • 48Wh, 3-cell, 90Wh, 4-cell, 48Wh, 3-cell , 68Wh, 4-cell
  • Body material
  • Plastic / Polycarbonate, Aluminum
  • Dimensions
  • 399 x 269 x 23.9 ~ 24.8 mm (15.71" x 10.59" x 0.94")
  • Weight
  • 2.60 kg (5.7 lbs)
  • Ports and connectivity
  • 3x USB Type-A
  • 3.2 Gen 1 (5 Gbps)
  • 1x USB Type-C
  • Thunderbolt 4, DisplayPort
  • HDMI
  • 2.0b
  • Card reader
  • Ethernet LAN
  • Wi-Fi
  • 802.11ax
  • Bluetooth
  • 5.2
  • Audio jack
  • 3.5mm Combo Jack
  • Features
  • Fingerprint reader
  • optional
  • Web camera
  • HD
  • Backlit keyboard
  • optional
  • Microphone
  • Array Microphone with AI Noise Cancelling
  • Speakers
  • 2x 2W, DTS: X Ultra
  • Optical drive
  • Security Lock slot
  • Kensington Lock

All ASUS TUF Gaming F17 (FX706, 2021) configurations

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What’s in the box?

Inside the packaging, there are some paper manuals, a 200W power adapter, and a sheet with TUF-related stickers.


Design and construction

This notebook comes in two variations. One of them is made of plastic and has a slightly more aggressive approach. The other has a metal lid and looks sleeker. Both options weigh 2.60 kilos, but the one with the aluminum lid is slightly thinner – 22.1-23.9mm vs 23.3-24.8mm. By the way, the base has pretty good rigidity.

We weren’t able to open the lid with a single hand. However, we see thin top and side bezels. Surprisingly, unlike the more premium ROG devices, this one has an HD Web camera, which makes it usable for conference calls.

Moving to the base, we see a lot going on. The power button is separated from the rest of the keyboard. A keyboard, which has a single-zone RGB backlight, configurable through Aura Sync. In addition, you get transparent WASD keys and separated Arrow buttons, which are a bit too small.

On the bright side, the keyboard is good for typing and gaming, thanks to its rather long 1.8mm key travel and clicky feedback. You can also see that some of the shortcut buttons include a performance preset modifier, as well as Aura controls.

The touchpad here is medium-sized but features dedicated buttons. They are okay to use, and thankfully, don’t require a lot of pressure.

Looking at the bottom panel, we see a couple of speaker cutouts, as well as a ventilation grill. Actually, the vent here is smaller than it appears, but we think that the placement is more important than the surface area.

Ports

On the left side, there is a power plug, a LAN port, an HDMI 2.0b connector, followed by two USB Type-A 3.2 (Gen. 1) ports, a Thunderbolt 4 connector, and an audio jack. Then, on the right, there is a security lock slot and another USB Type-A 3.2 (Gen. 1) port.


Disassembly, upgrade options and maintenance

To take this notebook apart, you need to undo 11 Phillips-head screws. The top left one remains attached and lifts the bottom panel, which allows you to start the prying process from there. After you are done, lift the panel away from the chassis.

This unit is equipped with a 90Wh battery pack. And if you want to remove it, you first need to unplug the battery connector. Then, simply undo all four Phillips-head screws, and you will be able to remove the unit from the device.

Here, you can see two SODIMM slots. According to ASUS, it supports up to 32GB of dual-channel memory. There are two M.2 PCIe x4 slots, of which one supports Gen 4 drives.

Cooling-wise, we see a design with three heat pipes, shared between the CPU and the GPU. A fourth one is actively cooling the graphics memory and the VRMs.


Display quality

ASUS TUF Gaming F17 (FX706, 2021) is equipped with a Full HD 144Hz IPS panel, model number AUO B173HAN04.9. Its diagonal is 17.3″ (43.94 cm), and the resolution is 1920 х 1080 pixels. The screen ratio is 16:9, and we are looking at a pixel density of – 127 ppi, and a pitch of 0.2 х 0.2 mm. The screen turns into Retina when viewed at distance equal to or greater than 69cm (27″) (from this distance one’s eye stops differentiating the separate pixels, and it is normal for looking at a laptop).

Viewing angles are comfortable. We offer images at 45° to evaluate image quality.

Also, a video with locked focus and exposure.

The measured maximum brightness of 269 nits in the middle of the screen and 266 nits as an average for the whole area, with a maximum deviation of only 5%. The Correlated Color Temperature on a white screen is 6380K – slightly warmer than the optimal for the sRGB standard of 6500K.
In the illustration below you can see how the display performs from a uniformity perspective. In other words, the leakage of light from the light source.

Values of dE2000 over 4.0 should not occur, and this parameter is one of the first you should check if you intend to use the laptop for color-sensitive work. The contrast ratio is very good – 1400:1.

To make sure we are on the same page, we would like to give you a little introduction to the sRGB color gamut and the Adobe RGB. To start, there’s the CIE 1976 Uniform Chromaticity Diagram that represents the visible specter of colors by the human eye, giving you a better perception of the color gamut coverage and the color accuracy.

Inside the black triangle, you will see the standard color gamut (sRGB) that is being used by millions of people on HDTV and on the web. As for the Adobe RGB, this is used in professional cameras, monitors, etc for printing. Colors inside the black triangle are used by everyone and this is the essential part of the color quality and color accuracy of a mainstream notebook.

Still, we’ve included other color spaces like the famous DCI-P3 standard used by movie studios, as well as the digital UHD Rec.2020 standard. Rec.2020, however, is still a thing of the future and it’s difficult for today’s displays to cover that well. We’ve also included the so-called Michael Pointer gamut, or Pointer’s gamut, which represents the colors that naturally occur around us every day.

The yellow dotted line shows ASUS TUF Gaming F17 (FX706, 2021)’s color gamut coverage.

Its display covers only 51% of the sRGB/ITU-R BT.709 (web/HDTV standard) in CIE1976.

Our “Design and Gaming” profile delivers optimal color temperature (6500K) at 140 cd/m2 luminance and sRGB gamma mode.

We tested the accuracy of the display with 24 commonly used colors like light and dark human skin, blue sky, green grass, orange, etc. You can check out the results at factory condition and also, with the “Design and Gaming” profile.

Below you see the scores of ASUS TUF Gaming F17 (FX706, 2021) with the “Gaming and Web design” profile.

The next figure shows how well the display is able to reproduce really dark parts of an image, which is essential when watching movies or playing games in low ambient light.

The left side of the image represents the display with stock settings, while the right one is with the “Gaming and Web Design” profile activated. On the horizontal axis, you will find the grayscale, and on the vertical axis – the luminance of the display. On the two graphs below you can easily check for yourself how your display handles the darkest nuances but keep in mind that this also depends on the settings of your current display, the calibration, the viewing angle, and the surrounding light conditions.

Response time (Gaming capabilities)

We test the reaction time of the pixels with the usual “black-to-white” and “white-to-black” method from 10% to 90% and vice versa.

We recorded Fall Time + Rise Time = 30 ms.

After that, we test the reaction time of the pixels with the usual “Gray-to-Gray” method from 50% White to 80% White and vice versa between 10% and 90% of the amplitude.


PWM (Screen flickering)

Pulse-width modulation (PWM) is an easy way to control monitor brightness. When you lower the brightness, the light intensity of the backlight is not lowered, but instead turned off and on by the electronics with a frequency indistinguishable to the human eye. In these light impulses, the light/no-light time ratio varies, while brightness remains unchanged, which is harmful to your eyes. You can read more about that in our dedicated article on PWM.

The backlight of the ASUS TUF Gaming F17 (FX706, 2021) doesn’t use PWM to adjust its levels of brightness. This means the display is comfortable for use, without presenting any excessive eye strain in this aspect.

Blue light emissions

Installing our Health-Guard profile not only eliminates PWM but also reduces the harmful Blue Light emissions while keeping the colors of the screen perceptually accurate. If you’re not familiar with the Blue light, the TL;DR version is – emissions that negatively affect your eyes, skin, and your whole body. You can find more information about that in our dedicated article on Blue Light.

Buy our profiles

Since our profiles are tailored for each individual display model, this article and its respective profile package are meant for ASUS TUF Gaming F17 (FX706, 2021) configurations with 17.3″ FHD IPS AUO B173HAN04.9.

*Should you have problems with downloading the purchased file, try using a different browser to open the link you’ll receive via e-mail. If the download target is a .php file instead of an archive, change the file extension to .zip or contact us at [email protected].

Read more about the profiles HERE.

In addition to receiving efficient and health-friendly profiles, by buying LaptopMedia's products you also support the development of our labs, where we test devices in order to produce the most objective reviews possible.

Office Work

Office Work should be used mostly by users who spend most of the time looking at pieces of text, tables or just surfing. This profile aims to deliver better distinctness and clarity by keeping a flat gamma curve (2.20), native color temperature and perceptually accurate colors.

Design and Gaming

This profile is aimed at designers who work with colors professionally, and for games and movies as well. Design and Gaming takes display panels to their limits, making them as accurate as possible in the sRGB IEC61966-2-1 standard for Web and HDTV, at white point D65.

Health-Guard

Health-Guard eliminates the harmful Pulse-Width Modulation (PWM) and reduces the negative Blue Light which affects our eyes and body. Since it’s custom tailored for every panel, it manages to keep the colors perceptually accurate. Health-Guard simulates paper so the pressure on the eyes is greatly reduced.

Get all 3 profiles with 33% discount


Sound

ASUS TUF Gaming F17 (FX706, 2021)’s speakers produce a sound of good quality. Its low, mid, and high tones are clear of deviations.


Drivers

All drivers and utilities for this notebook can be found here: https://www.asus.com/Laptops/For-Gaming/TUF-Gaming/2021-ASUS-TUF-Gaming-F17/HelpDesk_Download/

Battery

Now, we conduct the battery tests with Windows Better performance setting turned on, screen brightness adjusted to 120 nits, and all other programs turned off except for the one we are testing the notebook with. This device’s 90Wh battery lasted us for 11 hours and 26 minutes of Web browsing, or 8 hours and 20 minutes of video playback.

For every test like this, we use the same video in HD.

In order to simulate real-life conditions, we used our own script for automatic web browsing through over 70 websites.


CPU options

This laptop can be found with Core i5-11260H, Core i5-11400H, Core i7-11600H, Core i7-11800H, or Core i9-11900H. The first three of them come with six cores and twelve threads, while the latter two feature 8 cores and 16 threads.

ASUS TUF Gaming F17 (FX706, 2021) CPU variants

Here you can see an approximate comparison between the CPUs that can be found in the ASUS TUF Gaming F17 (FX706, 2021) models on the market. This way you can decide for yourself which ASUS TUF Gaming F17 (FX706, 2021) model is the best bang for your buck.

Note: The chart shows the cheapest different CPU configurations so you should check what the other specifications of these laptops are by clicking on the laptop’s name / CPU.


GPU options

Graphics-wise, you can choose from the RTX 3050 (75W), RTX 3050 Ti (75W), or the RTX 3060 (95W).

ASUS TUF Gaming F17 (FX706, 2021) GPU variants

Here you can see an approximate comparison between the GPUs that can be found in the ASUS TUF Gaming F17 (FX706, 2021) models on the market. This way you can decide for yourself which ASUS TUF Gaming F17 (FX706, 2021) model is the best bang for your buck.

Note: The chart shows the cheapest different GPU configurations so you should check what the other specifications of these laptops are by clicking on the laptop’s name / GPU.


Gaming tests

Metro ExodusFull HD, Low (Check settings)Full HD, High (Check settings)Full HD, Extreme (Check settings)
Average FPS126 fps66 fps32 fps

Borderlands 3Full HD, Medium (Check settings)Full HD, High (Check settings)Full HD, Badass (Check settings)
Average fps97 fps82 fps68 fps

Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon WildlandsFull HD, High (Check settings)Full HD, Very High (Check settings)Full HD, Ultra (Check settings)
Average99 fps86 fps57 fps

Shadow of the Tomb Raider (2018)Full HD, Medium (Check settings)Full HD, High (Check settings)Full HD, Highest (Check settings)
Average107 fps103 fps72 fps

Temperatures and comfort

Max CPU load

In this test we use 100% on the CPU cores, monitoring their frequencies and chip temperature. The first column shows a computer’s reaction to a short load (2-10 seconds), the second column simulates a serious task (between 15 and 30 seconds), and the third column is a good indicator of how good the laptop is for long loads such as video rendering.

Average core frequency (base frequency + X); CPU temp.

Intel Core i7-11800H (45W TDP)0:02 – 0:10 sec0:15 – 0:30 sec10:00 – 15:00 minMax Fans
ASUS TUF Gaming F17 (FX706, 2021)3.56 GHz (B+55%) @ 92°C @ 104W3.54 GHz (B+54%) @ 94°C @ 90W3.30 GHz (B+43%) @ 89°C @ 75W
MSI Sword 153.16 GHz (B+37%) @ 94°C @ 60W3.01 GHz (B+31%) @ 95°C @ 56W2.98 GHz (B+30%) @ 95°C @ 54W
Dell XPS 15 95103.41 GHz (B+48%) @ 99°C @ 82W3.00 GHz (B+30%) @ 99°C @ 63W2.71 GHz (B+18%) @ 93°C @ 48W
Lenovo Legion 5i (17″ Intel, 2021)3.84 GHz (B+67%) @ 96°C @ 113W3.69 GHz (B+60%) @ 96°C @ 101W3.36 GHz (B+46%) @ 81°C @ 80W
Dell G15 55113.67 GHz (B+60%) @ 97°C @ 100W3.54 GHz (B+54%) @ 98°C @ 91W3.43 GHz (B+49%) @ 93°C @ 79W
Acer Predator Helios 300 (PH317-55)3.67 GHz (B+60%) @ 90°C @ 103W3.66 GHz (B+59%) @ 99°C @ 103W3.40 GHz (B+48%) @ 99°C @ 84W
ASUS ROG Zephyrus M16 GU6033.87 GHz (B+68%) @ 95°C @ 106W3.90 GHz (B+70%) @ 95°C @ 109W3.58 GHz (B+56%) @ 86°C @ 80W
MSI Creator Z16 (A11Ux)3.12 GHz (B+36%) @ 96°C @ 68W3.03 GHz (B+32%) @ 95°C @ 62W2.76 GHz (B+20%) @ 95°C @ 53W2.90 GHz (B+26%) @ 95°C @ 59W
MSI GE76 Raider (2021)3.22 GHz (B+40%) @ 95°C @ 67W3.11 GHz (B+35%) @ 94°C @ 62W3.14 GHz (B+37%) @ 94°C @ 61W3.26 GHz (B+42%) @ 94°C @ 64W
ASUS TUF F15 (FX506, 2021) (Turbo Mode)3.98 GHz (B+73%) @ 86°C @ 102W3.88 GHz (B+69%) @ 95°C @ 100W3.44 GHz (B+50%) @ 87°C @ 77W
MSI Pulse GL763.16 GHz (B+37%) @ 95°C @ 65W3.00 GHz (B+30%) @ 95°C @ 59W2.87 GHz (B+25%) @ 95°C @ 55W
MSI Pulse GL662.94 GHz (B+28%) @ 94°C @ 58W2.76 GHz (B+20%) @ 94°C @ 52W2.77 GHz (B+20%) @ 94°C @ 52W

Although the TUF Gaming F17 performs really well in this test, it is surprising to find, that the clocks and temperatures are worse than those on the 15-inch model.

Real-life gaming

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060GPU frequency/ Core temp (after 2 min)GPU frequency/ Core temp (after 30 min)Max Fans
ASUS TUF Gaming F17 (FX706, 2021)1548 MHz @ 80°C @ 95W1540 MHz @ 81°C @ 95W
HP Omen 17 (2021, 17-ck0000)1861 MHz @ 72°C @ 129W1857 MHz @ 73°C @ 130W
Lenovo ThinkBook 16p Gen 21535 MHz @ 69°C @ 75W1517 MHz @ 76°C @ 75W
Lenovo Legion 5i (17″ Intel, 2021)1886 MHz @ 75°C @ 127W1879 MHz @ 76°C @ 127W
Lenovo Legion 7 (16″, 2021)1867 MHz @ 70°C @ 126W1858 MHz @ 74°C @ 127W
Lenovo Legion 5 (15″ AMD, 2021)1831 MHz @ 75°C @ 129W1815 MHz @ 80°C @ 129W
Lenovo Legion 5 Pro (16″)1803 MHz @ 76°C @ 129W1787 MHz @ 81°C @ 129W
MSI GP66 Leopard1863 MHz @ 72°C @ 124W1852 MHz @ 75°C @ 125W1849 MHz @ 69°C @ 127W
MSI GP76 Leopard1860 MHz @ 71°C @ 129W1857 MHz @ 73°C @ 128W1869 MHz @ 67°C @ 128W

Here, we can see that the laptop is able to fulfill the 95W power budget of the RTX 3060. This comes at a price though, as the temperatures are a bit high.

Gaming comfort

In addition to that, the fans are also quite loud, but on the bright side, the maximum temperature of the keyboard area is within reasonable margins, which is great.


Verdict

Choosing a gaming laptop in 2022 is being more difficult than ever. One of the main questions that arise, is should you wait for 12th Gen Intel-based, or Ryzen 6000H laptops to appear on the market, or the “old” generation is still good enough. While we will know the answer to that, as soon as we get our hands on a new-gen product ourselves, the Tiger Lake-H45 CPUs are probably the best you can get for gaming.

Well, this laptop, in particular, showed that well-balanced hardware can do miracles for productivity and gaming. AAA titles run smoothly, but probably the most useful factor here is the fantastic software. The so-called Armoury Crate lets you choose between different performance presets, and change the graphics card priority (although we couldn’t find any indication of a MUX switch).

In addition to that, there is Adaptive-Sync display support. You can set it to Auto, to let the laptop choose between 144Hz and 60Hz when on battery, or completely use the slower refresh rate to preserve battery life. This lets the device run for more than 11 hours of Web browsing, or nearly 8 hours and a half of video playback.

How about the display quality, though? Well, ASUS TUF Gaming F17 (FX706, 2021)’s IPS panel has a Full HD resolution, comfortable viewing angles, and a very good contrast ratio. Unfortunately, it covers only half of the colors found on the Web. On the bright side, though, there is no PWM for brightness adjustment. And it is fantastic to see a 144Hz refresh rate on a budget-conscious laptop.

However, having to stick to a certain budget means that you have to cut some corners. You can either cut one thing very badly or do minor trimming everywhere. Well, we suppose the latter was in place here. Take a look at the design. You get two options, regarding the lid cover material – one is metal, while the other is plastic. The rest is also plastic on both models. This would mean that the build quality is compromised, right? Wrong! The laptop not only complies with the MIL-STD-810H certification, but it is also pretty sturdy in real life.

Its keyboard is good for both gaming and typing, while the touchpad works pretty smoothly with the 144Hz display. And its dedicated buttons will be a treat to some people.

Next comes the I/O. Generally, it is great with a Thunderbolt 4 connector on board, as well as a wide variety of ports. However, it lacks an SD card reader. Again, this shows that the cost-cutting is being very marginal.

An area, where you won’t see compromised though, is the upgrade options. You get two SODIMM slots for memory upgrades – pretty standard. But wait to hear about the storage! There are two M.2 PCIe x4 slots, and what is really great is that one of them fits Gen 4 drives. You can’t say no to new tech, right?

If you are willing to spend more on a gaming device, there are a couple of better options on the market. For instance, both the MSI GP76 Leopard and the Lenovo Legion 5i (17″, 2021) feature 130W versions of the RTX 3060 and can be specced higher. This includes the ASUS ROG Strix G17 G713. However, the amount of features and new tech crammed in this price category, makes us wonder how is ASUS getting profit from selling this device. Of course, it has its downsides, but it’s fantastic to see the sheer value, the TUF Gaming F17 (FX706, 2021) provides to its users.

You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/asus-tuf-gaming-f17-fx706-2021/

Pros

  • Tough chassis
  • 2x SODIMM + 2x M.2 PCIe x4 (one of which supports Gen 4 SSDs)
  • 144Hz refresh rate (AUO B173HAN04.9)
  • No PWM (AUO B173HAN04.9)
  • Thunderbolt 4 + HDMI 2.0b (G-Sync)
  • Adaptive Sync support (AUO B173HAN04.9)
  • Great battery life for a gaming laptop


Cons

  • No SD card reader
  • Covers only 51% of sRGB (AUO B173HAN04.9)

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Joanna
Joanna
1 year ago

It is the laptop which my employer bought me to use at work. First of all, I did not receive any warning that I cannot open the laptop to clean it. So I lost the warranty because later I read that I am forbidden from opening it. Secondly, its wifi card is located exactly under the ssd drive (as far as I can see, they touch each other) and the first wifi card worked for a year. The second card worked for a month, now I have to buy a third one. SSD drive gets hot and damages the wifi… Read more »