The Asus 1018P comes in two iterations - one with a dual-core N550 Atom and this one, which has the lower-powered single-core 1.83GHz N470 Atom equipped with basic integrated GMA 3100 graphics. It doesn't have enough power to play 1080p video without major stuttering, but when there's no HDMI output and only a sub-720p HD screen on-board, such a feature would be of limited use.
This is a netbook for the basics - word processing, web browsing and watching the odd video on-the-move. Even 720p video on YouTube struggles along here, although standalone files will play correctly - if encoded with a sensible codec and at a modest bit-rate. Gaming potential is similarly limited. In our standard Trackmania Nations benchmark, at medium settings, the Eee PAD 1018p managed just 9.5fps. Even with the settings set to rock-bottom levels, this figure only bumped up to 12fps. At this point, playing the game could be classed as a masochist's hobby.
The 1GB of RAM common to virtually all 10.1in netbooks naturally limits productivity here - and we're beginning to get a little tired of it. At least the single-core processor doesn't significantly slow down basic navigation through the Windows 7 OS. Again, stick to the basics and the Asus Eee PC 1018p will give you no problems.
Doing these basics on the netbook is made all the more pleasant by its strong suit, though - its design and build. The aluminium layer may appear to be a superfluous add-on, but that premium veneer does make this device more enjoyable to use. And beyond your frames-per-second and your CPU clock cycles, this remains an important factor when it comes to actually using the thing.
The Asus Eee PC 1018p lasted for 5:08 hours in our video test, playing an SD Divx file on loop at 60 percent brightness. This is a fairly average result for a netbook, though some rivals are able to push 8-10 hours. Asus claims "up to 10 hours" for the netbook, which may be possible if you turn the brightness down, switch off Wi-Fi/Bluetooth and only undertake very low-intensity tasks.
If performance and battery life are your key considerations, rather than style and build, other options are very difficult to ignore. The Acer Aspire D255 offers a better processor than this particular model, for less money, and the Toshiba N550 is also better-equipped, offering a more powerful AMD processor, HDMI output and half-decent speakers.
The Asus Eee PC 1018P is very good at being a netbook. It's particularly slim, otherwise small, light and more pleasant to use than some cheaper alternatives thanks to its aluminium clad interior. However, you do pay for such luxuries and with a single-core Atom processor and no HDMI output, it can't handle video nearly as well as some similarly-priced netbooks from other manufacturers.