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The device still runs pretty fast, despite having hundreds of programs and games installed. The Seagate Samsung Spinpoint M8 hard drive really slows down loading in the majority of programs, but it isn’t as slow as I originally expected. It also appears to have a shockingly high failure rate, so I would replace it with an SSD or a different HDD as I am going to.

CrystalDisk Info speed test results
CrystalDisk Info speed test results

Almost all of the games I’ve thrown at it have run surprisingly well, and at decent framerates too. Here’s a list of some games I’ve played on it and their average framerates:

Minecraft: 60FPS (with OptiFine, medium-high settings)

Minecraft: 40FPS (with OptiFine, low settings with shaders)

Race The Sun: 60FPS (Max settings)

RollerCoaster Tycoon 3: 60FPS (Max settings, drops a bit if your park is big)

Rocket League: 50FPS (High-Ultra settings)

DiRT 3: 50FPS (Medium settings)

Euro Truck Simulator 2: 60FPS (Medium settings)

Euro Truck Simulator 2 Multiplayer Mod: 20FPS (Low settings, drops even lower in crowded areas)

BeamNG.drive: 15–25FPS (Lowest settings)

The Crew: 35FPS (Low settings preset)

Gran Turismo 3 (Using PCSX2): 50FPS (PAL framerate)

Gran Turismo 4 (Using PCSX2): 40FPS

The Simpsons Hit And Run (Using PCSX2): 30FPS (framerate varies massively, almost unplayable)

The few games I have installed
The few games I have installed

Internet browsing is OK, but the WiFi adapter only supports 2.4GHz signals and seems to max out at 50Mbps, even on a 150Mbps network. Luckily this is only evident when trying to watch 1080p YouTube videos, and isn’t too noticeable doing anything else. Programming is rather fast too. Atom takes a while to open, but once it’s ready, it runs well.

The unimpressive WiFi speeds.
The unimpressive WiFi speeds.

Using Sony Vegas 13 to edit 720p and 1080p video is also surprisingly snappy although rendering is slow and will make other programs unusable until it’s finished. I haven’t tested Adobe’s Premiere or After Effects, but I wouldn’t expect them to run too well either.

Rendering in Sony Vegas
Rendering in Sony Vegas

Recording videos using OBS also works well, but does require some tinkering with the NVIDIA control panel if you want to switch between monitor and game capture.

/img/posts/ASUS X556UB follow up review after a month/obs.png
/img/posts/ASUS X556UB follow up review after a month/obs.png

Illustrator and Photoshop run well enough to use, as does Paint.net.

The Adobe suite takes a long while to load.
The Adobe suite takes a long while to load.

Battery life so far has been about 4 hours with moderate usage, Windows’ “eco mode” turned on and lowest brightness, so not too great, but definitely usable. Playing games and doing intensive work will obviously reduce it further.

/img/posts/ASUS X556UB follow up review after a month/flyout.png

The keyboard and trackpad of the laptop are nice to use, but get dirty very quickly. The trackpad survived me spilling tea on it, so it is fairly durable.

The laptop's keyboard
The laptop's keyboard

Overall, I think this is an awesome device, and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a decent, cheap(ish) laptop. If you’d like to buy one, you can find it on Amazon here. If you care, mine was £499.98 and included a free Logitech M105 mouse.