CompuLab and Linux Mint are getting ready to launch a new line of tiny desktop computers designed to run the Linux Mint operating system. Last year they teamed up to launch a line of MintBox devices with AMD processors, but the new models will have faster chips, more storage, and a much longer warranty.
The MintBox 2 should be available soon for $599.
According to the Linux Mint blog, the new model will be powered by an Intel Core i5 processor, offering about 4 times the performance of last year’s best model.
The MintBox 2 will feature 4GB of RAM, a 500GB hard drive, and dual Gigabit Ethernet ports.
And while last year’s models came with a 1 year warranty, the MintBox 2 has a 5 year warranty.
There are still a few things we don’t know — like whether the Core i5 chip is a Haswell processor or an earlier chip. But since CompuLab specializes in small desktop computers that use passive cooling, Haswell seems like a pretty safe bet.
You could probably build your own Linux Mint computer for less than $599, but it probably wouldn’t be as small or quiet, and it wouldn’t come with a 5 year warranty.
I may get one of these or whatever the Haswell updated fanless mini PC from Compulab is. I was considering getting the Ivy Bridge based Intense PC but it uses Realtek NICs so I passed. They’re not great especially with Linux. Jumbo frames just makes things worst. I’d like to use it as an HTPC and an additional video transcoder for my network distributed batch video transcoding.
If these use Realtek or Ralink chips then I’m just going to go ahead and make a quiet mini-ITX quad-core Haswell build with Intel NICs. Maybe a second dual-core one for a relative with a non-Realtek and non-Ralink WiFi chip running Windows.
I hope I don’t have to slap together an mITX build. I’d rather have a smaller sealed fanless box. Also, like with Ivy Bridge, the desktop chips run hotter than Sandy Bridge desktop chips due to the poor heat transfer to the integrated heat spreader.
I take exception to Arrdee’s comment. Linux Mint is what my retired, absolutely non-nerd parents use at home for web browsing, internet banking, email, skype, light word processing, and the like. I set it up for them when I visited on Easter 2010, showed them the basics, and they’ve been using it on their own, with very little tech support needed in more than 3 years (certainly a lot less than my uncle who’s always calling about his Windows laptop, despite my telling him the last version of Windows I seriously used is Windows 2000).
Linux Mint is perhaps the most newbie-friendly distribution of Linux there is, and has an uncanny tendency to just work.
You want to know to best thing about this box NO AMD!!!!!
I only see a tiny market. Too costly as a set-top box, bizarre OS for consumer use, polished but limited packaging for Linux fans who mostly play hardware hacker rather than *using* computers except when they boot into Windows for gaming. Yes, that leaves a “lot” of people but vanishingly tiny numbers in the grand scheme of things.
Shelf queen to display for bragging rights?
At $599, this ain’t no “set-top box”. Don’t let the size fool you, it’s a full-fledged desktop computer.
PS: I’m a Unix/Linux sysadmin since 1988, and a Linux Mint user since v5.
…and mints! Yummy!
The box design is nice but I am willing to put up with a little noise to save some money. I prefer AMD over Intel.
The case design is very good.
But we need a version of this with room for a 3.5″ drive.
2.5″ drives are just too limiting for some of the best uses of this type of computer.
What would those best uses be in you opinion?
I hope it doesn’t use any Realtek and Ralink Ethernet and WiFi NICs. There are always issues with those under Linux. Like jumbo frames problems with gigabit Ethernet and 802.11n disconnects, timeouts and encryption issues.
This is going to be AWESOME!!!! Intel haswell all the way NO MORE AMD YAY!!!!!
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