Here’s something that you can call a business netbook, the Asus EeePC 1018P, and it looks stylish yet quite professional. So, if you’ve been complaining that netbooks don’t look professional and that you’d rather carry a laptop than a tiny toy-like gadget, here’s your reason to change that mind set.

The EeePC 1018P looks more like a miniature version of a business laptop like the B43J or the B53F, except that in terms of size, functionality and performance, it’s just like any other netbook. Nevertheless, it is the aesthetics and design that make it special and different from others. For starters, unlike other netbooks, this one has a metal chassis, something not very common to this segment. On a side note, the presence of finger print access control further affirms of it being a business netbook. With a jet-black brushed aluminum body and superb build quality, it’s an ideal pick for people who want something truly elegant and professional-looking. Not to mention that, similar to the previous Seashells, this one too weighs merely about a kilo and is pretty slim too.

Unlike most EeePCs, this one has a matte finish all over, the lid and the wrist rest, both have a brushed metal finish and the touchpad is completely matte. Usually, business portables, like HP’s lineup of business netbooks and Lenovo’s Thinkpad series, are more straight-lined, while this one maintains its Seashell-like curvatures, while looking business-like.

In terms of ergonomics, there isn’t much difference; the chiclet keyboard is good enough for quick emails, casual Internet surfing, chat and such. Not that you’d use a netbook for typing out long letters, but key size isn’t the best and Shift key is small too. All-in-all, the design and slick looks are something to truly rave about.

As mentioned on the official website, the unit is available with two CPU variants the Intel Atom N455 and N475. Our test unit is powered by an Intel Atom N470, which is clocked at 1.83 GHz and has 512 MB L2 cache. It has a 10-inch screen, and, there’s 2 GB RAM, a 320 GB hard drive (pretty good for a netbook), and graphics is handled by the onboard Intel GMA 3150. So as you can see, apart from the roomy hard drive, there’s isn’t anything great. However, what’s new is the other functionalities such a Bluetooth V 3.0, a finger print scanner, and also, there’s two USB 3.0 ports. Speaking of which, on the right-hand side apart from the two USB ports, there are, audio jacks, memory care reader and the Ethernet port. On the left-hand side, there’s a Kensington lock slot, VGA port and one USB port. Finally, the machine comes pre-loaded with Windows 7 Starter edition.

On a netbook with an Atom N450 CPU (1.66 GHz), the video encoding task takes around 277 seconds, on this one (faster clock speed:1.83 GHz) it took about 226 seconds. The Cinbench R10 score on a N450 netbook was close to 870 CB-CPU, and on this one, it is 930 CB-CPU.

Now, usually these scores make more difference on paper than in a real world scenario, but in this case, the 1018P felt slightly faster even in real world applications. Startup times were better and even multitasking was slightly better than other netbooks.

Personal Take
Despite the single core CPU, I’d say, at Rs 26,999, it’s a better pick than a N450 netbook, but again, the truth is, that you’d be paying that extra buck for the metallic shell, aesthetics and style, than the performance and functionality. The bottom line is, people who want a stylish business netbook should definitely consider this one, especially if price is not a factor that’s luring you into buying a netbook. If price -performance ratio is your priority, then a dual-core netbook is obviously a better choice. We’ve rated this one 4 on 5 largely because of its looks, it’s quite a stunner.

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