- Review Price: £823.45
Mesh PCs have a pretty good track record here at TrustedReviews, with all the systems we’ve looked at recently (such as the Mesh Xtreme GTX300) winning themselves Recommended Awards through sheer value for money. And at a mere £799 (£823.45 including delivery) for a system sporting a Black Edition AMD Phenom II X4 955 BE CPU, 4GB of RAM, a Radeon 4870, Blu-ray drive and Full HD 22in monitor to get the best from them, the Matrix II 955BE Hush looks like it might do it again. The only thing that’s missing is a decent set of speakers, unless you’re planning on putting up with the monitor’s poor inbuilt efforts, which we really wouldn’t recommend.
Starting off with the least interesting bit, the peripherals are the same ones that Mesh has been bundling with its desktops as far back as the G92 Pulse Pro in 2007. That’s not necessarily a bad thing though, as at least this Logitech branded set is better than a lot of the junk that often comes with PCs. For one thing, both the mouse and keyboard – or rather, their wireless dongle – are USB. For another their matte black finish actually looks okay, and apparently an optical sensor on the mouse is something to be grateful for since only recently we had a PC in that came with a ball-mouse!
Despite this, the peripherals are only the best of a bad bunch: the keyboard isn’t exactly pleasant to hold extended typing sessions on, with noisy keys and uncertain feedback. The ambidextrous mouse is likewise not the most comfortable shape around, though its buttons work well – as does its four-way notched scroll-wheel. The dongle, finally, is large and clunky: a far cry from the sleek little efforts on more modern sets such as Microsoft’s Wireless Desktop 3000.
Mesh’s choice of monitor is slightly more inspired, with the award-winning Iiyama ProLite E2208HDS making for a competent choice. Admittedly a lot has changed since we reviewed it and it would now score lower, but it’s still a fairly decent TN-panel screen and about the best you can expect for the Matrix II’s price.
It’s certainly not lacking in resolution, sporting a Full HD badge in a film-friendly 16:9 aspect ratio to let you make the most of the computer’s Blu-ray drive. Style isn’t this Iiyama’s strongest point, but nevertheless its glossy black bezel and blue power LED match the Mesh’s piano-black case with its blue front lighting quite nicely.
As is usual with cheap TN monitors the E2208HDS doesn’t offer much in terms of adjustability, and also hooking up a console might pose a problem as this monitor doesn’t have an HDMI connection – for that you need to move up to one of the 24in models Mesh offers with its PCs, a £60 upgrade.
In terms of image quality, again it’s about what you would expect. There’s slight backlight bleed, the monitor has trouble handling subtle shadow detail and darker shades tend to have a slight colour tint to them, but it will still gives you a decent experience if you’re not particularly picky. If you’d like a little more detail on its looks, build and performance, please see the full review.
Unlike other sites, we thoroughly test every product we review. We use industry standard tests in order to compare features properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. We never, ever accept money to review a product. Tell us what you think - send your emails to the Editor.