ASUS has launched a new and exciting laptop model to supplement the existing range of the highly successful F556UA line. More powerful than previous iterations, the ASUS VivoBook F556UA-UH71 promises an uncompromising computing experience for both home and office users.
Design-wise, the ASUS F556UA-UH71 hasn’t changed at all from previously released models, like the EB-71, or AS-54, or AB-32 for that matter. Thus, users will enjoy the same attention to detail, the same design lines and accents, not to mention the quality of materials that have also been used earlier this year in those models. You know the saying: if it’s not broken, don’t fix it.
When it comes to ergonomics and timelessness, I don’t think any brand, with the exception of Apple, can come close to ASUS. Their formula of building quality devices has paid off big time – we can see the results in today’s unflashy, but aesthetic and balanced models.
Also, by being a sort of jack of all trades, the F556UA series laptops are addressed to a more professional and mature audience. Whether you want a multimedia center, a home office laptop, a reliable office machine or a durable college laptop, this model ticks all the boxes that make it a great choice for anyone not willing to take any risks with their devices. Think of it as staying on the beaten path, tested before by so many satisfied users. I don’t think you can go wrong with this one.
While the design choices may not have changed, the same can’t be said about the internal components. The ASUS VivoBook F556UA-UH71 comes with a 7th generation Intel Core i7-7500U processor, which has a clock speed of 2.7 GHz and a cache size of 4 megabytes. This dual core CPU will prove adequate in tackling even the most complex of tasks, should the need arise. Despite not being a quad core, the i7-7500U is a true powerhouse, easily outpacing some older generation desktop processors.
System memory is rated at 8 gigabytes of DDR4 SDRAM, which means heavy multitasking won’t be an issue. The memory can be extended by another 8 gigabytes, although I don’t see it being a useful investment if you’re not planning on running virtual machines and such. I think the vast majority of users will find the 8 gigs to be adequate for all their needs.
The ASUS VivoBook F556UA-UH71 has a roomy 1-terabyte hard disk drive on which to store files. Regardless of the impressive capacity, not many other perks come with an HDD. I’d argue that if you want to spend a bit more on this laptop, it should be on a 256-gigabyte replacement SSD, and not on extra memory. With that being said, most average users who don’t require high performance out of their machines won’t need a speedy SSD installed. Stick with the hard drive for a couple of months and see if it suits your wants and needs.
Graphics and Display
This is not a gaming laptop, so it doesn’t have a dedicated video card. It does have an integrated Intel HD Graphics model, which means you’ll be able to play some older games on modest settings at best. However, since the ASUS F556UA-UH71 hasn’t been designed with gamers in mind, I’d buy a different laptop if I were interested in a more adequate mobile gaming experience. The presence of an integrated video card in tandem with higher end specs suggests we are looking at more of a multimedia/office/multi purpose kind of laptop.
Graphics aside, the ASUS features a 15.6 inch non-glare Full HD LED-backlit display, capable of a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. Rendered images will be sharp, text will be crisp and your eyes won’t get tired as fast when browsing thanks to a built-in setting called Eye Care mode which decreases the amount of blue light that’s being emitted. Additionally, the ASUS also comes with Splendid Technology, which can output more rich colors and vivid imagery.
Interface and connectivity
I’m happy to say that interface options are plentiful and, more importantly, allow for some backward compatibility with legacy devices, such as VGA monitors and DVDs. Here they are:
- 1 x USB-C port
- 1 x USB 3.0 port
- 1 x USB 2.0 port
- 1 x HDMI-out
- 1 x VGA port
- 1 x COMBO audio jack
- 1 x RJ-45
- 1 x DVD-Writer
As for connectivity, the ASUS F556UA-UH71 offers more than one connection type. We have the 802.11ac wireless LAN protocol, alongside an Ethernet connection! Home or office users will find this perk very useful, especially in scenarios where wireless may be spotty.
Portability and battery life
The ASUS VivoBook F556UA-UH71 weighs exactly the same as the series’ other models: 5.1 pounds. It’s light enough to carry around the office or from dorm to college, but heavy enough to not take it anywhere with you. At least not without a car. It’s not exactly the thinnest, either.
Battery life isn’t something to write home about – the ASUS features a 38 Whr battery pack capable of holding a charge for 7 to 8 hours. Although these figures are expected in a sub $650 laptop, this is the main reason I gave it 4 stars, instead of five.
All in all, I am positive that the ASUS VivoBook F556UA-UH71 will be one of the better received laptops of early 2016. It’s a powerful device, it has many features and works great both on a desk, as well as on the go. And, as I mentioned in the beginning of this review, the ASUS is a well suited laptop for home/office/college use. An understated workhorse.