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Asus rolls out 'executive' netbooks

Snazzy job for the Japanese market

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Asus has sexed up its Eee PC netbook line, adding USB 3.0, Bluetooth 3.0, a metal-look casing, the latest in Atom chippery, a full version of Windows 7 and even a fingerprint reader.

So much for netbooks as small, cheap computers... No wonder Asus' Eee sales may be on the decline...

Asus Eee PC 1018P

To be fair, there's no sign yet when or if the Eee PC 1018P will debut outside of Japan where they like their laptops small and favour portability over performance.

The 1018P packs in a 1.83GHz Atom N475 CPU, 2GB of memory and a 320GB hard drive on which Asus has installed Windows 7 Home Premium in its 32-bit incarnation.

In addition to the aforementioned connectivity options, the 1018P has 802.11n Wi-Fi and Gigabit Ethernet, plus a USB 2.0 port - there are two USB 3.0 connectors, both USB 2.0 compatible.

The 262 x 179 x 18-21mm, 1.1kg mini laptop is priced at ¥59,800 - equivalent to £451. Ouch, Asus. Not cheap, in other words, and you still only get a 1024 x 600 screen driven by Intel's integrated GPU.

Asus Eee PC 1016P

A cheaper option is the ¥44,800 (£338) Eee PC 1016P, which has a similarly striking case design but lacks USB 3.0 and the fingerprint reader. It makes do with 1GB of memory, a 1.66GHz Atom N455 processor and Windows 7 Starter.

Again, there's no indication if the 1016P will appear over here. ®

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