I love the Linux Mint desktop distribution. Lots of people love Mint. Mint’s my current favorite Linux desktop distribution. But, like most distributions, to run it, I had to install it myself. Now, Mint, in conjunction with CompuLab, is selling its first Mint-branded PCs.
True, you could buy a PC or laptop from ZaReason and a handful of other Linux PC vendors with Mint Linux, but the two mini-PCs that Mint and CompuLab are offering are the first to have Mint’s official blessing.
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These PCs, the fit-PC3 basic and pro models are now available with Linux Mint branding under the name “mintBox.” According to Clement “Clem” Lefebvre, Mint’s founder, “The mintBox is amongst the toughest computers on the market. It features a die-cast solid-metal case which acts as a giant passive heatsink. Although the metal makes the mintBox heavier than other devices its size, it makes it feel really unique, robust and well engineered. More importantly, it cools down its components without needing any fans. Other than the noise coming from its internal 250GB hard-drive, the mintBox is completely silent.”
The mintBox comes with four USB ports: Two in the front, and two in the back. Two of these support USB 3.0. It also has a pair of external serial AT Attachment (eSATA) ports; two mini-Peripheral Component Interconnect Express (PCIe) sockets, plus a mSATA port, and a good old RS-232 port. This tiny computer, smaller than a Mac Mini, also comes with Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Gigabit Ethernet. Both models also come with an HDMI port and a DVI adapter.
As you might guess from that construction and all those ports, the mintBox started life as an industrial computer. And, indeed, CompuLab is an embedded and industrial computer specialist.
The mintBox Basic, which list for $476 plus shipping, duty, and value added tax (VAT) comes with a 250GB hard drive. For a processor, it uses an AMD APU G-T40N. This is a 1GHz dual core, which includes an integrated ATI Radeon HD 6290 for graphics. This is an Intel-compatible embedded system unit. This system comes with 4GBs of RAM.
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