If you are in the market for a 15.6-inch laptop which looks better than the average one, you can check out the Asus S56CA-WH31 ultrabook. It has silver brushed aluminum on the base and same material in a darker color on the back, as well as a thickness of just 0.83 inches. Inside this attractive chassis, the S56CA-WH31 carries the Intel Core i3-3217U power-efficient ultra-low-voltage dual-core processor with similar computing capability to an average laptop with the full-voltage Intel Pentium B980. This i3 chip is from the latest Intel Core “Ivy Bridge” family, with speedier performance than the fastest i3 ULV from the last year’s “Sandy Bridge” line. You can take a look at the comparison in the chart below.

Intel Core i3-3217U PassMark CPU Benchmark

Despite having a very slim profile, Asustek has managed to squeeze in a DVD writer in the laptop. Storage-wise, a more important feature is 24GB of solid-state drive storage combined with a 500GB hard drive for both speedier responsiveness and large capacity.

Its price of about only $500 makes the Asus S56CA-WH31 even more appealing. The main downside is probably its 4-cell battery. Although we don’t have info on battery life, the battery capacity is lower than in the majority of 15.6-inch laptops with included 6-cell units. On the other side, we’ve already mentioned that the included CPU is an ULV chip (with a 17W power consumption) and therefore less power-hungry than the full-voltage 35W counterparts.

If you want more processing muscle, you can take a look at the Asus S56CA-DH51 model with an i5 CPU, but also a higher price of $650.

S56CA-WH31 back view

ASUS S56CA-WH31 Specifications

  • Display: 15.6-inch LED-backlit HD display (1366 x 768 resolution)
  • Processor: 3rd Generation Intel Core i3-3217U “Ivy Bridge” CPU (1.80GHz) with Intel Turbo Boost 2.0 Technology, 3MB L3 Cache
  • Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 4000
  • Memory: 4GB of DDR3 system memory up to 8GB
  • Storage: 500GB 5400RPM hard drive with 24GB SSD
  • Optical drive: DVD burner
  • Webcam: 2.0MP webcam
  • Audio: Built-in Stereo speakers with SonicMaster Lite
  • Network: Wireless-N, Gigabit Ethernet, no Bluetooth
  • Input: stylish chiclet full-sized keyboard with numericpad and touchpad
  • Ports and Slots: 2 x USB 2.0, 1 x USB 3.0, 1 x HDMI, 1 x VGA, memory card reader
  • Battery: 4-cell lithium ion
  • Dimensions: 0.83 x 14.9 x 10.5 inches
  • Weight: 5.1 pounds
  • OS: Windows 8
  • Warranty: 1-year
Written by Dan

On Laptoping, Dan writes about Windows-based laptop, 2-in-1, and tablet PCs.

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