To help us provide you with free impartial advice, we may earn a commission if you buy through links on our site. Learn more

Mesh Cute X215 HD review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £399
inc VAT

This media centre mini PC has everything you need at a very reasonable price, but it's louder than we'd like and boxy when compared to many nettops.


2.7GHz AMD Athlon II X2 215, 2.000000 RAM, N/A display, Windows 7 Home Premium 32-bit

Cute may be overdoing it as an adjective to describe Mesh’s new media centre PC.

It’s compact, but its cheerily coloured front panel (also available in white and red) can’t disguise the rather boxy and utilitarian design. In fact, compared to many media-centre capable nettops it’s a bit of a porker.

At £399 inc VAT it’s considerably more expensive than a nettop, but you certainly get your money’s worth, as this is a fully equipped media centre. There’s a dual DVB-T tuner fitted, so you can make full use of Windows Media Center’s excellent TV recording capabilities. Most impressively, a Blu-ray combo drive is included, allowing you to play HD movies using the supplied CyberLink PowerDVD software.

HD video playback isn’t a problem thanks to the onboard ATI Radeon HD 3200 graphics chipset and dual-core 2.7GHz AMD Athlon II X2 215 processor. The latter provides far more processing power than any nettop, scoring a respectable 65 in our benchmarks. That said it’s not very powerful next to many modern desktop PCs.

Part of the reason for its low multitasking score is that it only has 2GB of RAM. We’re used to seeing systems with 4GB or more these days. Mesh wants an additional £40 to double the amount of memory.

Opening up the Cute, we were surprised to see that it takes laptop-style SODIMM memory modules. Both its memory slots are full, so you won’t save any money by making the memory upgrade yourself – unless you get a good price for the originals on eBay.

There are only two USB ports, plus the usual audio sockets, on the front of the case, which is a pity as a memory card reader would have been handy too. The rear is a different story, as its bristling with ports. Around the back there are an additional six USB ports, eSATA and Gigabit Ethernet – though no WiFi. There’s HDMI to connect to your HD TV, along with DVI and VGA. The 7.1 analogue surround sound output must be used to get the highest quality audio from Blu-ray movies, as copy protection restricts HDMI to just 6.1Mbit/s. There are also the more usual optical and coaxial S/PDIF outputs.

Above the ports is the single 80mm fan used to cool the Cute. We found that the whole system was noisy and whiny when put under strain. This isn’t ideal for a media centre PC. It’s not the loudest PC by any means, but there’s a price to pay for putting a relatively powerful dual-core processor in such a small chassis.

The Cute’s specification is impressive given its price, and technically speaking, it’s a very capable media centre PC. However, we weren’t won over by its chassis design or noisiness. Due to these factors, it falls short of top marks.

Basic Specifications

Rating ****
Processor AMD Athlon II X2 215
Processor external bus 200MHz (1.8GHz HyperTransport)
Processor multiplier x13.5
Processor clock speed 2.7GHz
Processor socket AM2+
Level 1 cache 2x 128KB
Level 2 cache 2x 512KB
Memory 2.000000
Memory type PC2-5300
Maximum memory 4GB
Power consumption standby 4W
Power consumption idle 72W
Power consumption active 99W


USB2 ports (front/rear) 2/6
Firewire ports (front/rear) 0/0
eSATA ports (front/rear) 0/1
Wired network ports 10/100/1000
Wireless networking support none

Internal Expansion

Case mini PC
PCI-E x1 slots (free) 0 (0)
PCI-E x16 slots (free) 1 (1)
Free Serial ATA ports 2
Free memory slots 0
Free 3.5in drive bays 0

Hard Disk

Hard disk model(s) N/A
Interface SATA 300
Total storage capacity 320GB
Spindle speed N/A


Graphics card(s) ATI Radeon HD 3200
Graphics/video ports HDMI, DVI, VGA


Sound Realtek High Definition Audio
Sound outputs 7.1 line out, coaxial S/PDIF out, optical S/PDIF out
Speakers none

Removable Drives

3.5in floppy drive no
Supported memory cards none
Optical drive model N/A
Optical drive type(s) BD-ROM + DVD+/-RW +/-DL


Screen model N/A
Native resolution N/A
Response time N/A
Screen inputs N/A

Other Hardware

Modem No
Keyboard Logitech Deluxe 660 Cordless Desktop
Mouse Logitech Cordless Optical Mouse


Operating system Windows 7 Home Premium 32-bit
Operating system restore option Windows disc

Buying Information

Warranty one year RTB
Price £399

Read more