Specifications, Configurations and Pricing
The budget-conscious ASUS S56C won't blow you away with its specifications. It uses a run-of-the-mill Intel dual-core processor, the i5-3317U to be exact, which is an ultra-low voltage processor, denoted by the U at the end of the name. This processor only consumes 17W of power, which bodes well for this machine's battery life.
You won't be playing many games, at least not at high settings, with the S56C as it only uses the on-board HD 4000 graphics processor chip produced by Intel. While this GPU is more than capable for desktop work, playing modern games with any sort of detail level will certainly be a challenge.
The system features 6GB of RAM running at 1600MHz in a 2GB + 4GB configuration. This allows users to upgrade the 2GB stick later to boost the system to 8GB of RAM should it be needed. The system uses a 750GB 5,400 RPM drive paired with a 24GB mSATA SSD. The SSD is used to cache files to speed up certain operations, such as booting and waking up.
The ASUS S56C comes with some of the other accoutrements that have come to be expected in a laptop. It features an 802.11b/g/n wireless card, along with Ethernet, to get you connected to the internet. One feature especially welcome in an Ultrabook is an optical drive, which the ASUS S56C does come with.
It's a rather incredible feat that ASUS was able to cram an optical drive into such a slim chassis. Speaking of the chassis, it's a 15.6-inch model made from aluminum and plastic. It looks good and should last a long time.
Our particular model, the S56CA-DH51, has an MSRP of $699, though it can be found online for around $679. ASUS doesn't offer customization to order, but they do provide different models of the system depending on the market.
The packaging is likely to provide enough protection to the machine to make it through most shipping journeys. It could use a bit more foam or other protection around the edge, though for most people, it should arrive safely.
The system comes wrapped in a white cloth-like protector to keep it safe from scratches and other small bumps and bangs. Underneath the system, the charger, manual, and other accessories are neatly packed away.
The box in the picture above arrived inside another box, providing the system two layers of defense. The smaller box was supported inside the larger box with thin pieces of foam, providing more protection to the machine during shipping.