Linux Mint takes first steps into hardware with the mintBox mini-PCs

By Lee Kaelin on June 12, 2012, 10:30 AM

Popular Linux distribution Linux Mint has announced it is to expand into hardware sales by joining forces with Israeli-based, energy-efficient computer solutions provider CompuLab to sell its own Mint branded computers with the operating system pre-installed and ready to use out of the box.

"We're passionate about what we do and for our very first Mint device, we wanted something unique, something special and extraordinary. The mintBox is Mint in a box. It's tiny, it's silent, it's extremely versatile and it comes packed with connectivity," they announced on their official blog.

Both models come with a two year warranty and feature a die-cast metal case which they say acts as a massive heatsink with a footprint smaller than a DVD case. The basic model has a smooth top, whereas the pro model has a ribbed effect top cover, otherwise they both look more like a router than a desktop PC.

The mintBox has impressive connectivity options for its small size, with 8 USB ports offered, four on the front, and four on the rear, two of which are USB 3.0 ports. Also present is ethernet, WiFi, bluetooth as well as HDMI and DisplayPort connections capable of running dual displays.

Prices start at $476 (before shipping) for the basic model, which comes with a 250GB hard disk, 4GB DDR3 RAM, the flat metal case and AMD's G-Series Fusion APU G-T40N dual-core which runs at 1.0 GHz with a Radeon HD 6290, all of which consumes just 17W at full load.

The mintBox Pro comes in at $549 and doubles the RAM to 8GB, increasing the power output at full load to 24W with the inclusion of AMD's G-Series G-T56N APU dual-core running at 1.65 GHz with a Radeon HD 6320.

For those that would like to upgrade the memory or hard disk, they'll be pleased to see both can be easily accessed from underneath by removing a cover with a screwdriver. It can also be VESA mounted using the optional mounting kit from CompuLab, and the case also features a Kensington lock for additional security.

It comes with the distributions Linux Mint 13 release with Cinnamon fully functional, as well as full 3D effects without any additional configuration required. Both models are available for purchase on CompuLab's website, with 10% of the proceeds of every sale going to Linux Mint.

User Comments: 12

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mevans336 mevans336 said:

The base model would make a nice HTPC running something like XBMC.

Kibaruk Kibaruk, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Is it just me or does that seem a bit too expensive for a low frequency cpu "net-top"?

mevans336 mevans336 said:

Is it just me or does that seem a bit too expensive for a low frequency cpu "net-top"?

It is pricey, but it's fanless and will be low-volume. I'm assuming that's what you're paying for, at least in the beginning until the engineering costs are covered.

Guest said:

They seem a little pricey to me.....If it was 300$ it would sell fast...

You can get the OS for free and build a lot better PC for 550$....

but they are nice....

Kibaruk Kibaruk, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I bought a better laptop for US$400, that means better CPU, with an attached screen, more HDD space, and with 4gb ram. It even came with Win 7, without it lower the price by $40.

Too pricy.

Guest said:

I would also pay no more than $300 for it, not to mention it would probably run fine with 2Gb of RAM and a smaller sized flash memory. For that price (As mentioned earlier) you can get a decent laptop which includes a screen. I don't know why manufacturers aren't using laptops with the motherboard flush to the back of the screen and selling them as all-in-one's. That would appeal to businesses and educational facilities much better.

lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Sorry, too expensive.

captainawesome captainawesome said:

I think (at the very least) they would need to improve the aesthetic appeal of the device(s) before it would sell for anywhere near that price. I like the concept though. I think they could have also offered a iMac like all in one. What set's Apple apart (except for price, of course) is aesthetic appeal.

Make a nice all in one with Linux mint and ppl might buy it

Guest said:

You can get a notebook with better specs and do a whole lot more for that price.

Guest said:

I think you guys are missing the point, small form factor, lower power consumption than most laptops, and an OS which is free. Believe me, the price is pretty steep, but if you are looking for something to play diablo 3 while streaming/watching Hulu, then this isn't that cup o' tea. Low power, user friendly OS, and small form-factor, perfect for something like a POS (point of sales) or Kiosks.

dcnc123 dcnc123 said:

all I can say is... it's way too expensive for a computer with this performance.... better buy the pi or VIa.

Guest said:

Windows is not and never best the best, people just dont know how use Linux, am loving this OS pals bring more products. Uncle T (Man TT)

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