ASUS VivoBook F556UA-AB54 Laptop Review

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November 10, 2016
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ASUS, at least in my neck of woods, is often seen as a better brand. They make laptops that last and come without bugs, but does this also mean an elevated price? Sometimes yes, but not in the case of ASUS VivoBook F556UA-AB54. It’s a well-priced notebook from a quality manufacturer, and a closer examination should take place right now…

Performance

ASUS VivoBook F556UA-AB54 does well in the storage department. It has a 256GB solid-state drive installed. Forget the old hard drives that are noisy and slower. Just keep in mind there is no extra slot if you want to put in more drives. You need to take the current one or DVD player out if you want to upgrade storage.

Processor in this model is sweet. The 7th generation (Kaby Lake) Intel Core i5-7200U is the CPU, running on dual cores and the turbo reaching appropriate 3.1GHz clock frequency (with the base frequency being 2.5GHz). According to benchmark tests, it’s 20% faster than the older model i5-6200U – and that is a lot! So, don’t worry about the processor, it’s snappy. The notebook works for heavier things like image editing too.

The fact there is 8GB DDR4 RAM also helps with demanding software. It’s a decent amount even in 2016/2017. After opening up the laptop, people have been saying the maximum RAM for this would be 12GB (also scan by Crucial.com seems to confirm this).

Gaming capabilities

As nice as ASUS VivoBook F556UA-AB54 seems to be, one thing it is lacking: gaming performance. The notebook doesn’t have a dedicated graphics card and it’s not possible to install one. So, the only thing you have is the Intel HD 620 chip. It’s one of the best integrated chips but still nothing compared to dedicated cards. That said, if you don’t mind low settings and resolution 720p (or lower) you can do alright, for example GTA 5 will give ca. 30FPS and Battlefield 4 ca. 40FPS. And naturally, less demanding games run even better (such as Counter-Strike: Go and Dota 2).

Ports and connections

ASUS VivoBook F556UA-AB54 is equipped with good connectivity considering its affordable price. There are three USB ports, one of each type: USB 2.0, USB 3.0 and USB 3.1 Type-C – which is a nice addition! The unit also has two video outputs: HDMI and VGA. The latter isn’t that useful these days, any modern monitor has HDMI port and it provides better picture quality than VGA.

The networking interfaces are RJ-45 port on the side and built-in dual-band WiFi AC card with Bluetooth 4.1 support.

This notebook comes with a DVD burner, a good thing should you need it. The obligatory media card reader accepting SD cards is also present.

Other important things

The 15.6″ screen features Full HD resolution, props for that. It’s a matte display without touch support. The screen doesn’t fold into a tablet. The top bezel hosts a webcam although only VGA resolution.

The advertised battery life is 6 hours, and believe it or not, many people have been saying they actually get 5-6 hours out of this under web surfing etc. It’s a proper battery life, just remember the unit is integrated, so rather tough to replace.

Sadly this ASUS doesn’t have a backlit keyboard.

Summing it up

The best thing about ASUS VivoBook F556UA-AB54 is, it comes from a trusted manufacturer. So durability and quality should be top-notch with this laptop. And truly, the performance is just great when you consider the price: there’s a new Core i5 processor and solid-state drive speeding the notebook up. Ports are plenty, with even USB Type-C connector present. Full HD screen for this price is not self-evident but in this laptop you’ll indeed find 1080p support. All in all, the value of the ASUS is high, I do recommend checking it out!


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