Mesh is a UK company that re-brands other manufacturers' laptops, in addition to making its own. The Mesh Discovery 16-RV is a rebranded MSI CR600 laptop.

Although performance is basic, anyone on a tight budget will find plenty to like.

A basic Intel Pentium T4500 processor has been used to cut costs and, as a result, the Mesh lags behind in power. Basic office tasks such as word processing and browsing the internet work perfectly well, but running any more demanding software quickly causes this machine to slow to a crawl.

Despite the basic processor, Mesh has included an integrated graphics card from Nvidia. The GeForce 8200M G chip is low powered, so performance can't match the HP Pavilion dv7-2045ea or Acer Aspire 5745PG-354G32Mn, but basic photo editing is easily possible and even high-definition (HD) video can run smoothly enough.

Unfortunately, the bright and reasonably sharp 15.6-inch screen is less vibrant than we had hoped, with images appearing slightly washed out when compared to the more vivid Super-TFT displays.

The keyboard is a little spongy, but very comfortable to type on, thanks to the generously sized palmrests. The keys are generally well-proportioned, despite the inclusion of a separate numeric keypad. Our only grumbles are a tiny Return key and the placement of a Function button in the bottom left of the board, with the CTRL key awkwardly indented.

The responsive touchpad is also well sized, with two firm mouse buttons and an attractive glowing status bar positioned just beneath.

Build quality is excellent throughout with a solid lid protecting the display and a chassis that is just as firm as the more expensive laptops in this group.

Poor battery

Portability is flawed however. The chassis is quite light with the 2.4kg weight beaten only by the more compact Sony VAIO VPC-Y21S1E/SI, but the battery life of just 185 minutes.

Still, the number of features on offer is impressive considering the low price, with HDMI and ExpressCard ports both available.

The 320GB hard drive is more capacious than the HP Pavilion dv7-2045ea and Toshiba Satellite L670-12J, so there's plenty of space for your media and applications. A USB mouse and a handy carry case are also included in the price.

While the Discovery 16-RV may be lacking the power of the Intel Core laptops and the portability of the Sony VAIO VPC-Y21S1E/SI, the solid build, excellent usability and impressive range of features belie the low price. A suitable portable for those with basic needs and a limited budget to spend.

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