Asus was largely responsible for kick-starting the netbook's meteoric rise in popularity with the first Eee PC a couple of years ago and, while the Eee PC 1018P doesn't exactly reinvent the netbook wheel, it is an extremely refined machine with sumptuous design and excellent usability.
The first thing you'll notice is the gorgeous design. There's not an inch of the Eee PC 1018P not chiseled from black brushed aluminium and the result is both aesthetically pleasing and functional, as smudges and smears that plague shinier machines don't make a mark here.
Open up the lid and the 10.1-inch screen, sporting a brushed aluminium bezel, instantly makes an impact. The 1024 x 600 pixel resolution is detailed enough for office work, but the brightness and vibrancy of colour reproduction really impresses, making the Eee PC 1018P a great machine for viewing multimedia content on, as well as your work.
Fortunately the netbook's keyboard is similarly accomplished and, boasting the ever popular chiclet style, provides one of the comfiest typing experiences we've witnessed on a netbook, which will certainly appeal to the regular typists.
Internally an Intel Atom N475 provides predictably limiting performance and, although the Eee PC 1018P will have no problems running single applications, any kind of multitasking will cause the netbook to show serious signs of lag. The integrated graphics chip allows you to stream videos from Youtube, for example, but any proper multimedia tasks, such as photo editing or gaming, are strictly off limits.
Nevertheless a 250GB hard drive is included for storing your files and folders, and if that isn't enough Asus also bundles 500GB of online storage free for a year, which is great for sharing and securing your data across the Internet.
The Eee PC 1018P boasts decent portability and, at only 1.1kg, this is a netbook you'll be happy to carry round for hours on end. The battery life is also decent.
802.11n Wi-Fi and Gigabit Ethernet offer the fastest networking capabilities currently available, but it's the extra features that really impress. USB 3.0, Bluetooth 3.0 and even a fingerprint reader – ensuring only your mug gives access to the Eee PC 1018P – are all included, ensuring this is a netbook that stands out from the crowd.
In conclusion the Eee PC 1018P is a great little netbook. It isn't the cheapest around, but the fantastic build, usability and wealth of extra features more then compensate, making this one of the best available.
Asus Eee PC 1018P review launch date: Out now, link Asus
Asus Eee PC 1018P price: £350