This review appears as part of the comprehensive roundup of Vista PCs in the April 07 issue of PC Advisor, available now in all good newsagents. Click here to read our general Vista PC buying advice.

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. However, it will cost you £250 more than the Best Buy Arbico, so ask yourself what’s more important - a significant chunk of cash or slightly better components?

In fact, the Mesh isn't number one in every category. Our WorldBench 5 real-world speed benchmark, for instance, shows that it's nominally slower than the Arbico. Admittedly the difference is tiny (the Mesh gets 149, the Arbico 150) 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, but this is a fast card, and its support for DirectX 10.0 plays well with those looking for the best Vista experience.

The Sony flat-panel is a brilliant screen. It's not the biggest and you don't get 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 amazing sound, and the capacious 500GB hard drive is also welcome. There's a searing DVD writer and a flash memory drive, too.

Mesh E6700 X-Treme PCA: Specs

  • 2.66GHz Intel Core 2 Duo E6700
  • 2GB DDR RAM
  • 500GB serial ATA
  • 19in Sony SDM-HS95PR flat-panel
  • nVidia GeForce 8800 GTS
  • 16x/18x/18x (DVD-ROM/-R/+R) 8x/8x (-R DL/+R DL) 8x/8x/12x (-RW/+RW/-RAM)
  • Windows Vista Home Premium, Microsoft Works 8.5, CyberLink Video Editing Suite, flash memory drive
  • 2-year onsite, 1-year return-to-base warranty
  • WorldBench 5 score 149
  • 2.66GHz Intel Core 2 Duo E6700
  • 2GB DDR RAM
  • 500GB serial ATA
  • 19in Sony SDM-HS95PR flat-panel
  • nVidia GeForce 8800 GTS
  • 16x/18x/18x (DVD-ROM/-R/+R) 8x/8x (-R DL/+R DL) 8x/8x/12x (-RW/+RW/-RAM)
  • Windows Vista Home Premium, Microsoft Works 8.5, CyberLink Video Editing Suite, flash memory drive
  • 2-year onsite, 1-year return-to-base warranty
  • WorldBench 5 score 149

OUR VERDICT

Arguably, if you're looking for the ultimate Windows Vista machine, then this is it. In truth, though, given the £250 difference between this machine and the Arbico, we feel compelled to make the latter our first choice.

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