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Mesh Edge17 Inspire CS review

Barry de la Rosa
31 Jan 2010
Mesh Edge17 Inspire CS
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
499
inc VAT

Poor build quality and a stingy helping of RAM undermine the Edge17's advantage in having a slightly larger screen, and the screen itself is patchy and dark.

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Specifications

17 in 1,440x900 display, 2.9kg, 2.1GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T6500, 2.00GB RAM, 320GB disk, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

Mesh's Edge17 is a 17in laptop with a 1,440x900 screen resolution, which is both wider and taller than the 1,366x768 displays on many 15in models. It includes a dedicated graphics chipset, but it's only the Nvidia G105M which, even with 512MB of memory, isn't very powerful, and the Edge17 scored a measly 8.3fps in our Call of Duty 4 benchmark.

With settings turned down, you might be able to play some older titles, but generally speaking this chipset is unsuitable for playing 3D games. It's more than powerful enough to decode HD video, but there's no HDMI output. You'll have to use the VGA output if you want to watch 1080p content on an HD TV, but some only accept 1080p via HDMI. Thankfully there's also a digital audio output, as the internal speakers are tinny and lack bass.

We've seen this case before on other budget laptops, and while it feels solidly built, it doesn't look particularly elegant. Mesh has squeezed a numeric keypad into the space to the right of the keyboard, but there's still 30mm of room either side of it. However, the keys don't fit perfectly into the space in the case, leaving gaps around the bottom and right side of the numberpad.

Thankfully the keys themselves have a light action and fairly good feedback, and the layout is standard. The touchpad is deceptively small yet responsive, and the large see-saw button has a reasonably light action.

Despite having a reasonably fast dual-core processor inside, the Edge17 scored below average in our benchmarks due to the inclusion of only 2GB of RAM. Other laptops in the same price range, such as the Samsung R520, with 3GB of RAM and a similar processor have seen fairly sizeable performance increases.

Although the extra screen space is tempting, the screen itself can't match the best for quality. The backlight is uneven and nowhere near as bright as the Toshiba L500's or Samsung R520's. Colours are dull and contrast is poor. Add to this the poor battery life of under two hours and, we can't recommend the Inspire CS.

Basic Specifications

Rating**
ProcessorIntel Core 2 Duo T6500
Processor clock speed2.1GHz
Memory2.00GB
Memory slots2
Memory slots free0
Maximum memory4GB
Size39x397x282mm
Weight2.9kg
SoundRealtek High Definition Audio
Pointing devicetouchpad
Power consumption standby2W
Power consumption idle39W
Power consumption active58W

Display

Viewable size17 in
Native resolution1,440x900
Graphics ProcessorNvidia GeForce G105M
Graphics/video portsVGA
Graphics Memory512MB

Storage

Total storage capacity320GB
Optical drive modelTSSTcorp TS-L633A
Optical drive typeDVD+/-RW +/-DL

Ports and Expansion

USB ports3
Bluetoothno
Wired network ports1x 10/100
Wireless networking support802.11b/g
PC Card slots1x ExpressCard/54
ModemYes
Supported memory cardsSD, MMC, Memory Stick Pro
Other portsminijack audio output/S/PDIF (shared), minijack audio output, minijack microphone input

Miscellaneous

Carrying caseNo
Operating systemWindows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Software includedMicrosoft Works 8.5

Buying Information

Warrantyone year RTB
Price£499
Detailswww.meshcomputers.com
Supplierhttp://www.meshcomputers.com

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