Keyboard and TouchPad
The S56C comes with the now-typical Chiclet-style keyboard that is common on almost every laptop system made. I was pleasantly surprised by the keyboard, as my previous experience with budget-oriented laptops had left a bad taste in my mouth when it came to the keyboard.
Thanks to the aluminum construction, the keyboard equipped on the system felt solid everywhere, with no noticeable flex present. This makes typing even more enjoyable and makes me feel as though the system is of higher quality or a higher price tag.
I didn't experience a large amount of typos, nor did I experience any discomfort while using the system. It was an overall enjoyable typing experience, complemented by the inclusion of a full 10-key, also known as a number pad.
The keys appear to be near-perfectly flat and have a slightly grainy texture to them. They make audible clicks when typing, though not loud enough to wake someone up sleeping next to you. One of my few complaints about the keyboard is the keys feel a bit mushy when bottoming out. There doesn't seem to be a solid stop at the bottom, something some typists will miss.
If this is an Ultrabook, I would like to see Ultra features such as a backlit keyboard. However, since this is a budget system, a backlit keyboard isn't a glaring omission, though it would be something to set this machine apart from the competition.
The touchpad is a single piece assembly. It's a rather large touchpad and the whole area can be used to move the mouse, given that you start outside the button region of the touchpad. The entire piece can be pushed down, similar to a MacBook touchpad. The entire touchpad is smooth, and the only thing that offsets it from the rest of the palm rest is the fact that it is slightly recessed in. It also has a slightly slicker texture than the surrounding aluminum, which allows for easier mouse movements.
The ASUS S56C comes with a 15.6-inch screen that outputs 1366 x 768 (720p) resolution. It comes with a glossy texture, which makes reflections and glare a bit of a problem. Overall, the screen was decent, though I still have a passion of hate for large screens with low resolutions.
1366 x 768 really doesn't belong on a screen above 14-inches, and now, even that is a stretch. With 5-inch displays pushing 1080p, there really is no excuse not to equip it with a higher resolution screen, other than it driving the cost up.