The Asus R556LA-RH51(WX) See at Amazon is a reliable mid-level notebook with appreciably good specs that makes entrance at an affordable price. A demonstrates a careful selection of components that make it one of the best machines you can get below $500.
ASUS R556LA Reviews
- Give a great cost value balance
- Beautiful design and strong build
- Good selection of specs
- All round port selection
- Average display
- Is an excellent midrange notebook with a keen set of specs that give great value for money. Performance is equally satisfactory.
Asus R556LA Specs
|Processor||Intel Core i5 (5th Gen) 5200U / 2.2 GHz Turbo to 2.7 GHz|
|3 MB cache|
|Features||Intel Turbo boost Technology 2.0|
|RAM||6 GB | DDR3L SDRAM|
|Internal Storage||1 TB HDD | 5400 rpm|
| Graphics processor||Intel HD Graphics 5500|
|Display||15.6 LED lit display |HD (1366 x 768) | Matte finish|
|Connectivity||802.11b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.0|
|Ports||Headphone/microphone combo jack|
2 x USB 3.0
|Ethernet Protocal||Gigabit Ethernet|
|DVD||DVD±RW (±R DL)|
|Battery||37Whr | 2-cell Lithium polymore|
|Weight||5.09 lbs | 2.30 kgs|
|Dimensions||15 x 10.1 x 1in | 381. x 25.7 x 2.54 cm|
|Product line||ASUS R556LA|
|Manufacturer Warranty||1 Year|
DESIGN AND FEATURES
When you’re longing for something, the images in your mind are often far more appealing what you’ll actually see in reality. The same case applies for the Asus R556LA-RH51(WX). The pictures just don’t seem to bring the reality that you’ll come to appreciate once you set your eyes on it. Its a give, there are better looking machines out there, but the Asus R556LA-RH51(WX) does look great in its own right. The black textured exterior is both beautiful to the eyes and smooth to the touch. The silver interior contrasts the black exterior in a splendidly beautiful manner.
The Asus R556LA-RH51(WX) houses a decent selection of ports that profit the user with flexibility and convenience. It comes with a Headphone/microphone combo jack, an RJ-45 port for wired internet connectivity, a USB 2.0 and two USB 3.0 ports, and a VGA and HDMI port for display purposes. Most of the ports are located on the left side from the user, with the right being occupied with a DVD writer. Transfer speeds on the USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 are lower than in the more recent USB 3.1 and Thunderbolt 3 ports. None the less, the present selection had more to to do with pricing than anything else.
The Asus R556LA-RH51(WX) houses a 802.11b/g/n/ac protocal Wi-FI unit and Bluetooth 4.0 chip. The 802.11ac is the latest Wi-Fi protocal as of writing this review. Connection on Wi-Fi are strong and stable, and trasnfer speeds are high. Bluetooth 4.0 on the other hand is similarly great, although a step behind the latest version. However, you can expect a strong connectionig up to a distance of 30 meters.
The all rounder Asus R556LA-RH51(WX) for the most presensts a bold, charming image on most fronts. However, the display is sort of a mixed bag for me. It features a 15.6 inch LED lit display with a resolution of 1366 x 768 and a 16:9 aspect ratio. The HD display further has a matte (antiglare) finish.
A 1920 x 2080p (1080p) display is generally preferred for a 15.6 inch display as opposed to a 1366 x 768p (720p) display. One reason is that a 1080p gets you 51% more pixel than a 720p display. Thus the larger the display resolution, the less the clutter, the higher the contrast levels and the better the general interface. This is a real advantage when it comes to gaming, photo / video editing or when working on software with many windows and tools around the work such as Maya, Solid works and Photoshop. On the flip side, the lower the resolution the less the strain for your GPU. That means you can enjoy faster frames per second when gaming at low resolution.
The choice of whether to go for a 1080p or a 720p display depends solely on what the predominant use of the machine is going to be. For most users however, the display present in the Asus R556LA-RH51(WX) will not be a deal breaker, especially for ordinary day to day use.
The Asus R556LA-RH51(WX) comes with standard chiclet keys that are nice to use. They are neither hard nor too soft, thus allowing the user to type for long periods of time before getting exhausted. They however are not backlite, which isn’t so bad considering the price.
The trackpad is slightly displaced to the left, and offers an equally pleasant user experience. The buttons are not overly sensitive, which is awesome for avoiding accidental clicks. An appreciable improvement to the Asus trackpad is the ASUS Smart Gesture driver. This feature enables the user to use multiple finger gestures and can identify palm contact to prevent unintentional clicks. For instance, two fingers swiped across the trackpad can move pages, while three fingers can switch between programs. This is of course a welcome feature to the Asus R556LA-RH51(WX)
On the upper bezel of the display is an integrated VGA camera with integrated mics. Picture quality is average, but is quite sufficient for Skype and video conferencing. It however doesn’t match up to HD cameras in other laptops.
The Asus R556LA-RH51(WX) runs on an Intel Core i5-5200U, which is an ULV(Ultra low voltage) based on the 5th Generation 14 nm Broadwell architecture. It has two CPU cores, and also supports hyper-threading (4 threads). It further has a base clock of 2.2GHz, and can turbo up to 2.7GHz, also having a TDP of 15W and integrates HD Graphics 5500U. And a dual channel DDR3(L) memory controller. One of its greatest attributes is that it is super energy efficient.
It is generally a powerful processor with above average performance. Thus you can count on it to handle comfortably multimedia, multitasking and to run demanding applications without a much of a problem. That also includes games. It can handle most games modern games pre 2015 on medium settings. For instance, it can handle Battle Field 4 and SimCity comfortably at medium settings with about 40 fps.
As mentioned earlier, the Core i5-5200U processor comes with an integrated HD Graphics 5500 unit. It offers 24 Execution units initially clocked at 300MHz, further going up to 950MHz when in Turbo mode. The CPU and GPU share the L2 Cache and system RAM, both with a combined TDP of 15W.
Performance wise, it falls in a the upper middle class, with gaming benchmarks indicating its performance to be on an almost level ground with a dedicated GeForce GT 540M. It can thus handle most games a medium to low settings.
When it comes to internal storage, the The Asus R556LA-RH51(WX) offers sufficient real estate for all your data and multimedia needs. It comes with a 1 TB HDD that runs at an rpm of 5400. One may wonder why the Asus R556LA-RH51(WX) would have the HDD with an rpm(revolutions per minute) of 5400 rather than 7200.For one, 7200rpm HDD offer better latency than the 5400rpm alternative, thus great to have as a system drives. The 5400 on the other hand are hardly slower when it comes to sequential I/O, the difference being barely noticable.
On the other hand, they are the preferred medium for storing bulky files, are cheaper and consume less power. In short, the 5400rpm hard disk lets you pay less, offers better storage for large amounts of data and but is fairly slow – it will serve you well. The up side with the Asus R556LA-RH51(WX) is that the HDD can be replaced with any 2.5 Solid State Drive for a faster and more satisfying experience. The drive inside is a standard 2.5 spinning hard drive that can be replaced with any 2.5 SSD drive.
With a 6 GB DDR3L SDRAM and a maximum RAM capacity of 8 GB, the Asus R556LA-RH51(WX) is well placed storage-wise. 4 or the 6 GB is soldered to the mother board while 2 GB is removable. The installed RAM is above the minimum threshold (4 GB)recommended to be used with the Core i5-5200U processor for best rendition. There is however only one slot for RAM, meaning that an upgrade will necessitate a that one replaces the 2GB RAM for a 4GB RAM. However, some users claim that an 8GB SODIMM can also work, bringing the total RAM to 12 GB. We have not tested whether that claim is true.
Battery and audio, fan
The 37Whr, 2-cell Lithium polymore battery gives a solid 5 hours of power, which is quite solid for a notebook. The battery is nonremovable.
The fun runs continuously immediately after booting to achieve an overally cool machine. Noise levels are do not exceed 32 dB(A) which is below acceptable limits. However, sensitive persons may find this disturbing.
Audio quality is also impressive, with well sounding peaks and lows. Volume levels are average, although a little more volume would have been nice to have.
The Asus R556LA-RH51(WX) is a well rounded multimedia laptop with an impressive set of specs. Its design and general look is quite impressive, only falling a little short of premium. The keyboard and trackpad are comfortable and sensitive, falling in line with expectation. The keyboard is not backlit, although this is acceptable at a price range below $500.
Sound quality is also good, along with a strong battery. However, while its general positioning is impressive, it does have a few shortfalls. The choice of a 720p display slightly flaws the seemingly flawless reputation the Asus R556LA-RH51(WX) has built, not being best suited for a 15.6 display.
Further, the non-removable battery doesn’t auger well with many users who prefer removable ones, although this doesn’t appear very prominently in the radar screen. Finally, the 5400 rpm while being great for large volume data storage does flair a little slow.
In general however, the Asus R556LA-RH51(WX) does impress far more than it disappoint