Keyboard and TouchPad
The ASUS S500C features an island-style keyboard that has become popular of late. It's one of the worse keyboards that my fingers have used during my reviewing career, though it will pass as a keyboard for users who don't type much.
There is quite a bit of flex present across the entire keyboard, so much so that it was noticeable during typing. This, coupled with a short throw, yielded inaccurate text input and an unpleasant typing experience.
The keys have a matte texture on the surface and appear to be perfectly flat. The keys feature a very short throw, as noted above, and this is something that throws the normal typist off his or her game.
This being an entry-level touch-enabled Ultrabook, it's not surprising to find that the keyboard is not backlit. My readers are probably getting tired of hearing me say how great a backlit keyboard is, but it is something that needs to be said.
The touchpad is made from a single piece of material, with all sections touch sensitive and able to be pushed down for a left click. At the bottom, a small line delineates where left clicks stop and right clicks begin.
The touchpad is ever-so-slightly recessed down into the palm rest of the machine. The surface is perfectly smooth and provides a nice experience. Around the edge of the recessed touchpad, a shiny silver beveled edge helps to visually set the touchpad apart from the palm rest.
The ASUS S500C features a touch-enabled 15.6-inch panel. The rather small resolution of 1366x768, usually a resolution I hate, actually works in the ASUS' favor because of the touchscreen. I found on some of the other systems that had higher resolution screens that using Windows 8's desktop mode was nearly impossible without the touchpad.
The screen features a giant edge-to-edge piece of glass to enable touchscreen functions. When I first received the touch-enabled S500C, I wasn't completely sold on the idea of touch. After using it for a while, I've come to want touch on my personal notebook.
One drawback to having a touch-enabled system is that the screen is often smudged with fingerprints, causing reading to be a pain.
Color reproduction on the S500C is decent, though colors start to stray when moving too far out of center. Vertical movement results in wider fluctuations of color, while horizontal movement is a bit more forgiving.