Mesh Express TV review

Price when reviewed

Of all eight systems this month, one manufacturer took the concept of the Luxury PC to a completely different level. Mesh’s Express TV crams so much into that budget that we knew straight away it was in the running for an award.

Mesh Express TV review

For a start, there’s the excellent 22in Iiyama monitor with DVI input, built-in speakers, natural colours and – importantly this month – considerable style. With a good response time of 5ms and a 1,680 x 1,050 resolution, it stands with the LG at the top of this group’s monitor charts. It’s coupled with a decent set of 2.1 Logitech speakers, a bit disappointing next to the 5.1 set of the Cyberpower, but the quality is nevertheless good.

Then there are the internals: with a combination of a PCI Express wireless card and a PCI digital TV tuner, you may not have many slots left, but you won’t want for much, either. The 500GB hard disk is a great companion for storing your recorded TV and video, and beneath the 20x DVD writer sits an all-formats media card reader.

They may only be small extras, but the Express TV also comes with a remote control for the tuner, Creative webcam for making video calls to distant relatives, and an eSATA port for external storage. More useful still is a reassuring on-site warranty, although it’s for only a single year.

It all sounds suitably luxurious so far, but there are some negatives, and it’s in the engine room that Mesh makes compromises.

The 2.33GHz Core 2 Duo E6550 had the Express TV bottom of the pile in our 2D benchmarks, although if you don’t run intensive games or video apps this shouldn’t concern you. The GeForce 8600 GT graphics card simply isn’t up to the same standard as the new Radeon cards elsewhere.

Plenty of people don’t need top-end performance, though, and if that’s the case for you then the Mesh is a fantastic choice in this company. Nothing else can match it for the sheer quantity and quality of the extras, and for that it deservedly takes a Recommended award this month.

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