The Mesh is the best Vista PC we’ve seen. Component for component, it succeeds again and again in edging ahead of the Arbico CD1950EX and (more resoundingly) the Evesham Solar Creation GT. However, it will cost you £250 more than the Arbico, so ask yourself what’s more important – the cash or the slightly better components. The Mesh E6700 X-Treme PCA will be available soon from £1,499 inc VAT from www.meshcomputers.com.
And, in fact, the Mesh isn't number one in every category. Our WorldBench 5 real-world performance benchmark, for instance, shows that it's marginally slower than the Arbico. Admittedly the difference is tiny and, for all practical purposes, these two PCs are identical in terms of overall performance. Nonetheless, the more expensive Mesh manages to get no extra speed from the Core 2 Duo E6700 and 2GB of DDR RAM partnership.
Its GeForce 8800 GTS graphics card is a great product, however. It lacks the eye-popping performance of the GTX version, but this is still a very fast card, and its support for DirectX 10.0 plays well with those looking for the best Windows Vista experience.
The Sony flat-panel is a brilliant screen. It may not be the largest, and some users might prefer widescreen facilities. But for general PC use, the SDM-HS95PR packs sizzling colour and sharp image definition. The audio system is thunderous, with the X-Fi XtremeGamer and Creative Inspire T7900 speakers producing an amazing sound, and the capacious 500GB hard drive is also welcome. In fact, the drives are generally very impressive, with the searing DVD writer and flash memory drive adding value.
Arguably, if you're looking for the ultimate Windows Vista machine, then this is the best buy. In truth though, by the time the Vista revolution has caught hold of a worldwide audience, there’s likely to be some significantly better hardware on offer. And, given the £250 difference between this machine and the Arbico, we feel compelled to make the latter our first choice.
For full reviews of the very best Vista systems available right now, look out for the April 06 issue of PC Advisor, which hits the news stand on 15 February. For a full, in-depth review of Windows Vista, click here.