At first glance you’d easily mistake the Meivo for Sony’s media-savvy Vaio VGC-VA1, and it’s true that it’s also been built to be a multimedia-guzzling monster straight out the box.
The contemporary 22-inch flat panel system certainly has chic appeal, looking more like an LCD TV with a keyboard attached and, as you’d expect, your viewing pleasure is amply catered for – the Meivo is both HD Ready (1680x1050 pixels, 720p) and Vista enabled, and it even offers Sky+ TV-type functionality thanks to an integrated digital TV tuner, plus the option to add another three.
If you’re putting a powerful multimedia computer inside a display, you’d better make sure the screen is good. Thankfully, the Meivo’s is bright and colourful and it can be viewed at decent angles, making it a good choice for movie playback and TV viewing. There’s even a VESA connector round the back so you can mount it on a wall for the full flatscreen TV experience.
But that 250GB hard drive isn’t nearly enough for a computer that otherwise ticks all the media centre boxes. It doesn’t matter if it’s a speedy 7200rpm SATA hard drive, video junkies and gamers will fill it in five minutes. All is not lost though – the chassis allows two SATA disks to be installed simultaneously, and there’s an e-SATA port for connecting an external drive.
But the real draw is that it’s also a powerful computer, so you can check your email during the ad breaks, party with some games, and of course watch standard-def DVD movies (there’s no Blu-ray or HD-DVD drive) and view photo slideshows.
The 22-inch display might not be large enough to meet the demands of everyday sitting room functionality – and strangely, there’s no HDMI out for connection to your flatscreen – but the Meivo would make an excellent luxury family or second PC.