Despite a uninspiring case and an imperfect keyboard, the Edge15's performance makes it a superb deal for mobile gamers on a budget.
15.6 in 1,366×768 display, 2.8kg, 2.53GHz Intel Core 2 Duo P8700, 4.00GB RAM, 500GB disk, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Mesh’s Edge15 is squarely aimed at those wanting a laptop with bags of power. It has the fastest processor of any other laptop in this £700 group – an Intel Core 2 Duo P8700 – and along with 4GB of RAM and 64-bit Windows 7, it managed a decent 77 overall in our 2D benchmarks.
There’s also an ATI Radeon HD 4650 graphics card that returned a frame rate of 39.4fps in our Call of Duty 4 test. At this price, that’s impressive. It evens manages a decent 22.6fps in Crysis at 1,280×720, with no anti-aliasing and with ‘High’ quality settings.
Although gaming is more enjoyable on a larger screen, the Edge15’s 15.6in display is bright and colourful, with a slight blue cast to whites. It has a glossy finish, so bright overhead lights are reflected, but its vertical viewing angles aren’t as restrictive as other laptops we’ve seen, so you can adjust the tilt angle of the screen to avoid most reflections.
The Edge15 isn’t as stylish as laptops from big-name vendors, but the black plastic case isn’t unattractive and the textured wrist-rest is quite practical. The keyboard flexes a bit under pressure, and there’s little feedback for touch-typists. The Fn key is placed to the left of the Ctrl key, but otherwise the layout is fairly standard. The touchpad is large and responsive, with large buttons. These have a very light action, and on our review model they rattled when we typed, but were comfortable to use.
As expected, the internal speakers weren’t up to the task of impressing us; they’re loud, but lack a wide dynamic range. There’s an HDMI port but no S/PDIF for surround sound on a non-HDMI sound system.
While we were happy to find four USB ports, three of these are inconveniently situated on the front right edge of the case, where cables may get in the way. Confusingly, there’s a switch that should toggle wireless but instead controls Bluetooth, and the Fn key combination to toggle WiFi didn’t work.
Despite some quirks and the flexing keyboard, the Edge15 is a great choice for gamers on a budget and it wins a Budget Buy award.
|Processor||Intel Core 2 Duo P8700|
|Processor clock speed||2.53GHz|
|Memory slots free||0|
|Sound||Realtek High Definition Audio|
|Power consumption standby||1W|
|Power consumption idle||18W|
|Power consumption active||42W|
|Viewable size||15.6 in|
|Graphics Processor||ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4650|
|Graphics/video ports||VGA, HDMI|
|Total storage capacity||500GB|
|Optical drive model||TSSTcorp TS-L633A|
|Optical drive type||DVD+/-RW +/-DL|
Ports and Expansion
|Wired network ports||1x 10/100/1000|
|Wireless networking support||802.11a/n|
|PC Card slots||1x ExpressCard/54|
|Supported memory cards||SD, MMC, Memory Stick Pro|
|Other ports||minijack audio output, minijack microphone input|
|Operating system||Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit|
|Operating system restore option||backup and recovery software|
|Software included||Microsoft Works 8.5|
|Warranty||one year RTB|