|Screen Size||15.6 inches|
|Screen Resolution||1366 x 768|
|Max Screen Resolution||1366x768|
|Processor||1.8 GHz Core i3-3217U|
|RAM||4 GB DDR3|
|Memory Speed||1600 MHz|
|Hard Drive||500 GB flash_memory_solid_state|
|Graphics Coprocessor||Intel HD Graphics 4001|
|Number of USB 2.0 Ports||2|
|Number of USB 3.0 Ports||1|
ASUS S56CA-WH31 15.6-Inch Ultrabook
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- Intel Core i3-3217U 1.8 GHz
- 4 GB DDR3
- 500 GB 5400 rpm Hard Drive, 24 GB Solid-State Drive
- 15.6-Inch Screen, Intel HD Graphics 4000
- Windows 8
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
There are a lot of pros and cons to this ultrabook, but some of are non issues to casual users, while others make this ultrabook better suited to advanced users (or advanced users who set it up for a casual user).
OUT OF THE BOX:
The quality and appearance is great. The aluminum body and top lid are very sleek looking. The darker brushed aluminum on the top does tend to discolor and pick up fingerprints with ease. It's not terribly heavy and while the base is very sturdily built, the screen lid feels a bit flimsy. The top lid appears to be a combination of flimsier plastic, with a very thin brushed aluminum overlay. Lightly pressing on parts of the lid causes the LCD screen to have fluctuations. Despite the notebook being light, you'll want to resist picking up the notebook by the lid/screen, as it may risk damaging the LCD.
The glossy screen is clear, but has very poor viewing angles. 1366 x 768 resolution is merely adequate. Minor backlight bleeding on right and left edges. Colors are bright, vibrant, with a lot of contrast, but actual gamut (range of natural colors it can reproduce) is only average.Read more ›
Upgrading the internal HDD to a 240GB SSD has fixed all of the problems I mentioned in my previous update. The computer now runs incredibly fast.
I will add, however, that trying to reinstall Windows 8 with the same product key was impossible except by using an unmodified x64 iso of Windows 8. For some reason, I could not download the iso from Microsoft and had to find it elsewhere. After finally getting the proper iso, the reinstall was a breeze, and the OEM product key was entered in automatically (make sure you have secure boot enabled). I also formatted the internal 24GB SSD and now use it to store my internet browser's cache to extend the life of my 2.5" SSD. Not having the Intel Rapid Start or Asus Instant On features has not created any noticeable affect on performance or resume speeds.
*UPDATE AFTER 2 WEEKS OF USE*
Do NOT buy this laptop if you don't intend to upgrade the internal Hard Drive to an SSD. The performance of the internal HDD bottlenecks the entire computer. I cannot listen to a 320kbps mp3 while browsing the internet without it skipping/stuttering, and I cannot listen to a FLAC file doing nothing else without it skipping. I also cannot watch an SD .avi file without it skipping/stuttering at least 10 times during a 40 minute TV show, and I cannot play Worms: Reloaded (a very simple game that this computer should be able to handle) without it locking up for a second or two EVERY 3 SECONDS. Either the internal HDD is EXTREMELY slow (my guess because my RAM and CPU usage are always well below 100%, and it's not just video but also audio that skips) or my unit is defective in some other way.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Battery died about 9 months into getting it. Warranty replaced it - I had to pay for shipping. The top of the screen (the plastic part) was unclipped. Read morePublished 19 days ago by Thomas Anderson
Read before you buy:
I literally NEVER, EVER take the time to write reviews but I hate this laptop so much I'm actually going to take the time to try to convince you not... Read more
Completely satisfied, added another 4gb of memory and it runs better.......Published 8 months ago by Daniel R. Czajkowski
bad customer service. Got a notice to upgrade to windows 10 and computer hangs. Called Asus tech support 5 times and trying to get system restored, but always failed. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Jay Tang
I bought this laptop. I regret I did. I was warned about ASUS quality and bought it based upon price/advertised performance. Read morePublished 10 months ago by M1
I bought this computer in 2012. So I've been using it for quite some time.
Pros: easy to carry, it is still alive, design is beautiful,
Cons: runs slow, does... Read more
Great machine...I also use this machine to play in parties and no let down to performPublished 17 months ago by WINSTON THORNE
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