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A review from a mostly satisfied owner,
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This review is from: ASUS S56CA-WH31 15.6-Inch Ultrabook (Personal Computers)
I purchased this computer (S56CA-WH31) for my son to use at college, and have been configuring it for him for the past couple of days. Here are a few of my impressions so far:
The overall construction is very good except for one issue - the DVD tray extends out from the side of the laptop by about 1 mm. One on-line reviewer noticed that the fit of the DVD tray was off in his review model also, but I am surprised that this got through into the production models. It is not a big issue, but it definitely detracts from the look of the aluminum body.
The screen is bright and clear and has good viewing angles. The keyboard is nice and big and works well with my hunt and peck. The large scroll pad is nice, and I am liking the imbedded buttons more than I thought I would.
The operating system is Windows 8 core (not pro). There is an ASUS-branded software DVD player, so I didn't have to upgrade to pro to get the windows media pack for DVD play as I feared I might have to. There is no utility to create recovery DVD's even though the paper manual refers to one called AI recovery. There is a Bluetooth module, so the "reviewer" who says that there isn't one is wrong.
The 500 GB hard drive is partitioned into a number of system and recovery partitions and a C: system partition of about 186 GB along with a D: data "drive" of about 258 GB. I used the Windows 8 disk manager to first remove the D: partition, expand the system "drive" to around 400 GB, and then used the rest of the space for a 39 GB D: drive just in case the recovery software expects to find the D: drive there.
I installed Start8 from Stardock to get a start menu back on the desktop, and have ordered a 4GB SODIMM to expand the memory up to 8 GB ($25) - I figured more memory would be useful especially with the imbedded HD-4000 graphics.
I don't know what the reviewer who was complaining that this was a "slow" computer was talking about. It has a windows experience score of 4.8, which is not bad for an I-3 without turbo-boost and with imbedded graphics. It won't play highly graphics intensive games, but that's not what I bought it for, not should you expect it from the online specs.
Hope this is good enough for an initial review.
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Showing 1-10 of 16 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 28, 2012 11:26:29 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 28, 2012 11:28:06 PM PST
Hi, I have bought the same laptop and want to upgrade the RAM to 8 GB. Which is the appropriate RAM for this laptop ?
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 29, 2012 7:24:14 AM PST
The best way to find out what type of a RAM module you need is to do what I did and go to one of the memory manufacturer's sites like www.kingston.com, or www.crucial.com, and use their on-line tools that let you put in your computer model data in and tell you what kind of SODIMM you need.
Posted on Nov 29, 2012 9:11:26 AM PST
[Deleted by the author on Nov 29, 2012 9:11:52 AM PST]
Posted on Nov 29, 2012 9:12:16 AM PST
Silly me I cant find this on www so: Does it have a backlit keyboard? &
Thank you for a really informative review.
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 29, 2012 9:57:27 AM PST
No, it does not have a backlit keyboard.
Posted on Nov 30, 2012 10:11:12 AM PST
I'm trying to do a clean install of Windows 8 after upgrading to the SSD as well. All I see when I replace the HDD with the SSD is the BIOS which doesnt have an option to boot off a CD. Would you please share how you got it to boot off the CD?
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 30, 2012 10:24:52 AM PST
I think you replied to the wrong post. I did not replace the hard drive. I think you want to post this to M McFall's review, titled "Good for the Casual User..." - he did replace his hard drive with an SSD.
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 30, 2012 3:55:50 PM PST
Michael M. says:
PC3-12800 1600Mhz 1.5v DDR3 SODIMMs
I'm putting in a 8GB Corsair Vengeance PC3-12800 1600Mhz DDR3 CL9 SODIMMS in mine. Factory Case Latency (CL) is CL11, I believe.
Posted on Dec 1, 2012 6:10:40 AM PST
[Deleted by the author on Dec 1, 2012 6:11:47 AM PST]
Posted on Dec 1, 2012 6:12:20 AM PST
[Deleted by the author on Dec 1, 2012 6:12:35 AM PST]