In the market for a new laptop that packs all the latest features at a reasonable price? Well, you're in luck since Asus has recently released a model which is bound to catch your eyes. Specifically, we're talking about the Asus F556UA-UH71, a model which offers everything from a high end core i7 processor to 8GB of DDR4 RAM and a polymer battery that delivers great battery life. Interested? Then keep reading as we take a dive and review the Asus F556UA-UH71 for your pleasure.
Review of the Asus F556UA-UH71
Aesthetically speaking, the Asus F556UA-UH71 packs a simple enough design. You're not gonna be all that impressed since it doesn't bode the design that more high end laptops pack. That said, not being a cutting edge model does have its perks such as a full sized HDMI port (absent in most ultrabooks) as well as a DVD reader which seems to be missing on most of the higher end models.
One of the F556UA-UH71's most appealing features is the inclusion of a Full HD display, that means you get 1920 by 1080 pixels, quite a bit more than your standard HD laptop (1366 by 768 pixels). Whats more, Asus also includes the Asus Eye Care technology in this model, a feature that reduces blue light emissions by up to 33%, reducing the visual fatigue associated with this type of light.
The 15 inch panel isn't touch sensitive but since many users don't even want this feature in the first place we're not gonna write that off as a con. What we actually do appreciate is the fact that it's an anti-glare screen which means it reduces reflection when used outdoors.
Weight of this model is just above 5 pounds whilst the thickness manages to be within the standard at just 1 inch. The keyboard, which is of the chiclet variety for a more ergonomic experience, isn't backlit, something worth noting.
While the design of the Asus F556UA-UH71 isn't breaking any records, its performance is up there with the best of the best. For starters we've got a state of the art Intel Core i7-7500U Kaby Lake processor. This is a dual core CPU that works at a base speed of 2.7GHz and can go up to 3.5GHz with 4MB of Intel's smart cache and 4 logical threads.
This is an excellent processor, especially for the more demanding crowd that needs to get some serious work done. Pretty much anything you can think off you can do on this CPU and that alone is a great reason to purchase this particular model.
Moving onto RAM, we greatly appreciate the inclusion of 8GB of DDR4 RAM, the latest in RAM technology for consumers which delivers a great performance while multitasking as well as when working with software such as photoshop and adobe final cut by reducing lag time significantly. It should be pointed out that while we consider 8GB of RAM to be the sweet spot in terms of performance, you can always upgrade to 16GB, something to consider as time goes on in case you'd like to further future-proof your laptop.
Overall, the only thing we're not crazy about in this model is storage since it packs a 1TB hard drive that works at 5400 rpm. While we appreciate the extra storage space, an SSD unit would've improved the overall speed of the machine significantly, especially when booting up and launching apps. That said, this would've probably increased the price point therefore it's a pretty fair compromise.
What's battery life like? What games can this laptop handle?
Battery life on the ASUS F556UA-UH71 is a bit of a mystery since the company hasn't gone out and given us a specific time frame, limiting itself to stating that its polymer battery delivers up to 2.5 times the battery life of li-on battery packs. That said, we believe that 5-7 hour battery life seems more than reasonable and while it's not breaking any records it should fulfill the needs of most users.
In regards to the gaming capabilities of this notebook, we should mention that there's no dedicated graphics, only an Intel HD 620 integrated GPU. What this means is that you'll be able to play games such as Titanfall 2 and Fifa 17 with a good frame rate at low settings but anything that becomes more demanding than that should probably be left for more "graphically inclined laptops".
What's left to say?
We've covered all the basics in this review of the ASUS F556UA-UH71 however, we have yet to mention the connectivity options. In that spirit we should point out that we're pretty happy with all the options available. You've got everything from a USB 3.0 port to a USB 3.1 type C port as well as a VGA port, ethernet port, full sized HDMI port and your run of the mill card reader.
We previously mentioned the presence of a DVD reader and we've also got the latest WiFi ac connectivity for an even faster connection than your typical b/g/n connectivity as well as Bluetooth support and a webcam with a built in microphone as well as sonic master speakers.
Conclusion: Worth buying or not?
In an effort to wrap up this review in a nice little bow we have to say that our overall assessment of the Asus F556UA-UH71 is pretty good. We especially liked the anti glare Full HD display as well as the top notch Kaby Lake i7 and DDR4 RAM that you can upgrade. We weren't so keen on storage being of the HDD variety but considering the speed of the machine with the rest of the specs in place there isn't that much of a need for an SSD, at least not a dramatic need.
Leaving that aside, this is an excellent laptop with a nice design and a very attractive price that will surely make it a best seller in a matter of weeks of not less due to its perfect balance between specs and price.