The Asus booth here at Computex is like a netbook design museum with literally dozens of models with different shapes, sizes, and colors on display. We took a few moments to examine the two most interesting systems on display, the Eee PC 1016p and the Eee PC 1018g. Both were first shown at CeBit it Germany, but they haven't shipped in the U.S. yet and this was our first time seeing them in person.
The 1016p (pictured at the top of this post) has an attractive chassis that reminded us a lot of the HP Mini 5102 or the HP ProBook 5310m. Like the HP systems, the Eee PC 1016p has brushed surfaces on the lid and the bezel, though the 1016p's are brushed plastic instead of metal. The deck is a soft plastic that is soft, but not quite as nice as the rubberized deck on some HPs.
We really live the look of the touchpad, with its smooth surface and textured button area. We wish there was a divot to separate the left and right buttons, but they have a good feel anyway.
The 1016p also has a 10-inch, 1024x600 screen, either an Atom N455 or Atom N475 CPU, 1GB of DDR3 RAM, and USB 3.0. That's not a typo; Asus is putting USB 3.0 in some of its netbooks now, which is a great step forward that we hope to see from other vendors. Check out our hands-on video with the 1016p for a closer look.
Asus Eee PC 1018pg
Where the Eee PC 1016pg uses brushed plastic that looks like metal, but feels like plastic, the Eee PC 1018pg actually has real brushed metal on its deck and even on its touchpad. Its blue status lights give it a near, futuristic look. Unfortunately, the sidess, bottom, and lid are not metallatic. Instead, they are covered covered in white plastic that has the texture of a golf ball. Many people will like the two-tone contrast of the white lid with the metal interior, but we we would have preferred that ASUS keep the metal throughout the design. The bezel is the most boring, because its made of the same shiny black plastic we see on most Eee PCs.
The Eee PC 1018pg has a 10-inch, 1024x600 screen, an Atom N455 or N475 CPU, a choice of 160/250/320GB hard drives, 1GB of DDR3 RAM, and USB 3.0. In addition to 802.11n Wi-Fi, this netbook has built-in 3G,though we're not sure what carriers it will support. The Eee PC 1018p (without a "g") is the same netbook, just without mobile broadband.
Check out our hands-on video below for a closer look at the Eee PC 1018pg. We also have a photo gallery, featuring the 1018pg, the 1016p, and a few other Eee PCs we spied at the Asus booth.