Mesh Edge15 Value Plus £419
29th Apr 2010 | 09:30
An affordable 15" laptop from the UK's finest
Mesh is based in the UK and offers a wide range of laptops, from affordable machines for the first-time buyer to high-powered media centres. The Edge15 Value Plus is an entry-level model and provides a strong specification and decent mobility.
Despite being a very affordable machine, the chassis is built to a pleasingly high standard. Resilient matt-finish plastics are used throughout, providing a quality that belies the low price. The slightly cheap-looking Mesh sticker on the lid slightly spoils this, though.
The keyboard utilises the currently popular isolated-key style and provides a firm and responsive typing action. The keys rattle ever so slightly during use, but not nearly enough to pose a problem.
While performance isn't great, there is ample power for most tasks. The Intel Core 2 Duo processor is backed by an impressive 4096MB of memory, so applications load and run quickly. However, it is hugely outperformed by the Intel Core i3-powered machines.
With a large cooling fan on the chassis' left side, the machine stays comfortably cool at all times. We noticed no undue noise emanating from the fan, so you can safely work with this machine on your lap without any discomfort or interruption.
A real selling point of this machine is its excellent 15.6-inch screen. It's not the brightest panel we've seen, but images are impressively sharp, with colours vibrantly reproduced. Striking contrast and deep black levels add to the picture, helping photos and videos come to life.
Unfortunately, the screen is slightly flawed by its limited range of movement. It only folds back 45 degrees from vertical, which can make it tricky to get an adequate viewing angle at times. There's also no HDMI port for connecting to an HDTV.
Graphics performance from the integrated Intel graphics chip is average, but runs videos smoothly, and provides enough power for basic photo editing, suiting less demanding home use.
Weighing 2.6kg, the chassis offers average mobility. It is quite bulky, so isn't the most comfortable machine to carry for long periods, though the 236-minute battery life provided by the bulk is pretty impressive.
Combining a resilient build and strong mobility with decent performance and a stunning screen, the Edge15 Value Plus is a really good laptop for the first-time buyer. The slight design flaws are a shame, but there is still plenty to like at this price.