If you're still with me, congratulations, you've made it to the end. We've seen some interesting results in the various benchmarks that we've put the ASUS S56C through. Now it's time to analyze all of the results as a whole and see how this machine stacks up. Through our testing, the ASUS S56C didn't have any major disappointments, save for the lack of a solid state drive. It performs roughly in line with where it should, after taking price, size, and market into account.
It's not going to set any world records, by any means, but if that's what you're after, you're better off using ASUS' gear on the desktop side of things. For a college student, which I happen to have experience being, it's probably enough for most majors, though CAD and other engineering students may want something with a bit more horsepower.
It's also a good machine in respect to its cost. At $699 or less, the machine can do browsing, Word documents, and even programming with fairly good speed. The keyboard is definitely a strong point and most should be perfectly content using it. I just wish it had a backlight, but again we need to reflect on the price in this area.
Battery life is so-so. For the machine's cost, it's definitely more than adequate, though I like to use my systems when I'm out and about. I have very few qualms about the machine and battery life is towards the bottom of that list.
On a budget, the ASUS S56C would make a pretty good purchase decision. It won't be as capable as some of the other systems that have graced my lab, but it's no slouch, either. $699 or less won't hurt the bottom line too much, and isn't out of reach for college students or those looking to pick up an Ultrabook. $699 is more in line with the pricing that Intel was hoping Ultrabooks would retail at. It's no premium machine by any stretch of the imagination, but can do most of what those more expensive machines can do.
A solid state drive would be a beautiful inclusion and would definitely make this system more irresistible. But, as the machine sits, it's not a bad option for those out shopping on a budget. It would make a great holiday gift for the high school senior heading off to college in the fall, or for the spouse who was out looking for a new system.
It's important to note that the system comes with a one-year accidental damage warranty. I'm not sure of the full details of the program, but accidental damage warranties have saved me before when I dropped my system.
I have only one real, major qualm with the system. If you noticed in some of the pictures (see Accessory Ports page), the optical drive is a bit maligned. It didn't inhibit use, but it is definitely an annoyance that I would probably try and get ASUS to fix.
So, where does that leave us? The machine is a good buy. As you would expect it comes installed with Windows 8 and it's a solid performer for the price with very few things detracting from its performance and aesthetics. It looks good and is very capable. For $699, or less, the ASUS S56C should be on your list of laptops to take a peek at for those on a budget.