If you want a full-size laptop and one that is easy to tote around, one of the new choices is the Asus S56CA-DH51, featuring a 15.6-inch display, a 0.8-inch thin profile, and a weight of 5.1 pounds.
The notebook uses Intel’s ultra-low voltage Core i5-3317U processor, as opposed to the standard voltage chips commonly used in the 15.6-inchers. That brings somewhat lower performance than with the full-voltage i5, but on the other side, power consumption and heat are lower. The latter is especially important in this model due to its thinness.
The display of the S56CA-DH51 has a resolution of 1,366-by-768 pixels and is powered by the Intel HD 4000 integrated graphics. The Windows 8-based laptop comes with 6GB of DDR3 memory, and a 750GB hard drive supplemented by a 24GB mSATA SSD for better responsiveness. Asus has also managed to squeeze in a DVD burner, but the battery is a 4-cell one, smaller than average six cell. Connectivity is average for the class, with two USB 2.0 plus one USB 3.0 port, HDMI, VGA, a multi-in-one card reader, Wi-Fi, and Gigabit LAN.
The Asus S56CA-DH51 is priced at around $650, which is a good one because of thin design, Core i5 CPU, and extra SSD.
If you are interested in a cheaper variant with a Core i3 chip, there’s the S56CA-WH31 model available in the market for $500.
Asus S56CA-DH51 Specifications
- Display: 15.6″ LED-backlit TFT-LCD HD widescreen display, 1366 x 768 resolution, 200 cd/m² brightness, 16 ms response time
- Processor: 3rd Gen Intel Core i5-3317U CPU, 1.7GHz speed, 3MB L3 Cache, Turbo Boost up to 2.6GHz
- Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 4000
- Memory: 6GB DDR3 memory, up to 8GB RAM
- Storage: 750GB hard drive (5400 rpm), 24GB mSATA SSD
- Optical drive: DVD burner
- Webcam: 2.0MP HD webcam
- Audio: Stereo speakers, SonicMaster Lite
- Network: Wireless-N, Gigabit LAN, no Bluetooth
- Input: full sized with numeric keypad keyboard, Multigesture touchpad (16:9)
- Ports and Slots: 1 USB 3.0 port and 2 USB 2.0 ports, HDMI and VGA port, multi-in-1 digital media reader
- Battery: 4-cell lithium-ion battery
- Dimensions: 0.8 x 15 x 10.5 inches
- Weight: 5.1 pounds
- OS: Windows 8 64-bit
- Warranty: 1-year