Ready to run desktop Linux PC: MintBox 2

Like Linux Mint? Want it in a plug and go PC? CompuLab may have the computer for you: the new MintBox 2.
Written by Steven Vaughan-Nichols, Senior Contributing Editor

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.

Want a small, full-featured Linux Mint PC? CompuLab and Mint will soon be bringing you one.

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.

The best new WIMP desktop today: Linux Mint 15 (Gallery)

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.

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