Linux Mint is my favorite desktop Linux. Thanks to Microsoft's Secure Boot implementation, however, installing Mint, or any other operating system, on a new Windows 8 PC is a royal pain in the rump. If you'd like to avoid this annoyance, you might consider buying CompuLab's forthcoming MintBox 2 with Linux Mint 15 pre-installed.
This isn't the first time CompuLab, an Israeli firm specializing in single-board and industrial board computers, has offered Linux Mint computers. They first offered their MiniBox PC with Linux Mint in January 2012.
Clement "Clem" Lefebvre, Mint's founder said, "The MintBox 2 will be based on the Intel i5 and feature more than four times the performance of the MintBox Pro, for roughly the same price. The new MintBox 2 is expected be much faster than its older AMD-powered relatives, the MintBox Basic with its AMD T40 and the MintBox Pro with an AMD T56 CPU.
According to Lefebvre, "The i5 CPU is a great compromise between performance and price … The i7 processor, in comparison, would have pushed the cost above $800 and only gave an additional 5 percent performance gain." In a note, Lefebvre added that the MintBox 2's i5 will be "a third-gen Intel Core i5 3337 Ivy Bridge 1.8 GHz with Intel HD Graphics."
The new MintBox 2, which is a fanless, low-powered mini-desktop PC, will come with 4GBs of RAM and a 500GB hard-drive. For graphics, the small-footprint PC uses Intel's HD Graphics 2000. This powers a HDMI 1.4a port, which is capable of resolutions of up to 1920 x 1200 at 60 Hz and DisplayPort, which can support up to 2560 x 1600 resolution at 60Hz.
The MintBox 2, which is based on CompuLab's Intense PC line, also comes with two eSATA ports for additional storage, a pair of Gigabit Ethernet ports, 802.11n Wi-Fi, and four USB ports: two USB 2.0 and two USB 3.0.
This Mint Linux PC will sell for $599. It will be available in the US from Amazon and in the European Union from Amazon Germany.