As promised back in March, Compulab has launched its MintBox Mini 2, the latest iteration of its tiny desktop PC running the Mint Linux distribution. The biggest upgrade from the original Mini, as we reported at the time, comes in the processor department, as AMD is abandoned for a quad-core Intel Celeron J3455 that should bring a performance boost while still managing with the fanless build.
The above picture shows that the Mini 2 is barely bigger than a mouse, but the $299 base configuration ships with 4 gigs of RAM and a 64GB solid-state drive in addition to the "Apollo Lake" series CPU. For $50 more, you can move up to the Pro edition, which doubles the RAM and boosts the storage capacity to 120GB. It comes with a pair of USB 3.0 and a pair of USB 2.0 connections, an HDMI output, and a Gigabit Ethernet port. If you don't want to hard wire your Internet connection, the Mini 2 features built 802.11ac Wi-Fi (along with Bluetooth support for wireless input devices).
Of course, most importantly, the Mini 2 comes with Mint 19 pre-installed. The Mint distribution has been hailed by ZDNet's Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols as possessing the best UI not only for Linux versions but also for any operating system, and the latest iteration includes the new Timeshift system-restoration feature.
Compulab is now taking orders for the MintBox Mini 2, with shipping expected to begin in the middle of next month. The company also says you'll be able to order the new Linux PC through Amazon starting in August.