A new Asus, sweet. These are often warmly welcomed by the power users and the techie folk. The ASUS F555UA-EH71 indeed caters to the professional-minded with its i7 processor and 8 gigabytes worth of system memory. Nice, yeah, but looking at the spec sheet I can still see that something is missing. I’ll tell you more about those drawbacks and the overall value of this notebook below!
What is the laptop good for?
6th Generation Intel processors have hit the market, and if you buy ASUS F555UA-EH71 you’ll be getting one. The CPU in this laptop is Intel Core i7-6500U, a chip based on the new Skyline architecture. It is a dual-core model like its low-voltage predecessors, and the clock rate sits between 2.5GHz and 3.1GHz depending on the turbo boost use. Compared to the older i7-5500 (~4000 CPU Mark points) you can see increase in the performance, the i7-6500U gets around 4500 points in the same test. It’s sufficient for day-to-day use, but an advanced user with multimedia and other demanding software would get the most out of this rather powerful processor.
There is 8GB DDR3L 1600MHz memory installed in the system. The model is so new that there’s hardly any information available yet, so I can’t comment about the RAM distribution (2x4GB or 1x8GB, that is). The storage drive is a bit disappointment, there’s nothing but a 1TB 5400RPM hard drive inside. I can see many want to upgrade it, it’s of course possible here if you know what you’re doing.
Any chance I could play games on it?
Surely you can play games on any modern laptop, it’s just a matter of games selection and the amount of eye candy you want. ASUS F555UA-EH71 doesn’t have a dedicated graphics engine, just an integrated (however new) Intel HD Graphics 520. There are not many tests showing what it’s capable of yet, but some early benchmarks indicate similar (or even bit worse) performance than Intel HD 5500. This means you’d have to skimp on eye candy on games like GTA 5, it would give ~25FPS played on low to medium settings and 720p resolution. Those games casual players often enjoy, like Minecraft and League of Legends, will however give much better frame rates than top of the line AAA titles.
How is the display?
There doesn’t seem to be many interesting facts about the glossy, non-touch display in ASUS F555UA-EH71. The size is typical 15.6 inches and resolution is just 1366×768. However, considering there’s only a weak integrated graphics unit inside, you wouldn’t be able to take advantage of the Full HD resolution in games anyway.
What peripherals can be connected?
The ports these laptops have (and thus, the devices they accept) are usually the same. In this ASUS, you will find three USB ports on the side. The configuration is two USB 3.0s and one USB 2.0. For video connections, you’re presented VGA and HDMI-out connectors.
A basic DVD burner is available on the right hand side as you can see from the product photos. There’s an SD card slot nearby, you’ll be able to slip in a memory card and transfer data also that way.
Wireless adapter is a neat A/C one, it also supports Bluetooth 4.0. Furthermore, there’s LAN (RJ-45) port in case you prefer wire over wireless.
VGA-level webcam is included, it doesn’t offer great quality but occasional video chatting will be OK.
Other relevant information
As far as size is concerned, ASUS F555UA-EH71 is a typical 15.6″ model: it weighs 5.1 pounds, thickness is exactly one inch. The 2-cell 37Whr battery isn’t spectacular, I’d be surprised if you got more than four hours out of it.
The chiclet keyboard doesn’t offer backlight but numpad is available on the right.
Summing it up
Excellent mid-range laptops are few and far between, and I don’t think ASUS F555UA-EH71 is exactly that – but it’s still a decent unit for dealing with more complex software on a daily basis. I base my argument on the fact that there are new 6th Generation i7 CPU and 8GB RAM in the engine room, and not many software would be too much for that powerful duo. Of course, the hard drive could be a solid-state drive to make this system appeal even more to the power users. Also, for this thing to be worthwhile for a gamer, a dedicated graphics would need to be installed. But none is, so only a professional without the desire to play games would find this Asus laptop a worthwhile buy.