While there are plenty of low power x86 mini PCs running Windows 10, and although in most case it’s always possible to install a Linux distributions yourself, it’s much more difficult to find products that ships with Linux by default.
Launched a few years ago, MintBox Mini and MintBox Mini Pro mini PCs are such options being powered by AMD A4 Micro-6400T and AMD A10 Micro-6700T processor respectively, and running Linux Mint. The Mint team has now announced upgraded versions with MiniBox Mint 2 and MiniBox Mini 2 Pro, both based on Intel Celeron J3455 quad core Apollo Lake processor, and just differing by the amount of memory and storage.
Just like the previous model, they collaborated with Compulab for the hardware, and went with a design based on Fitlet2 fanless mini PC with the following specifications:
- SoC – Intel Celeron J3455 quad core processor @ 1.5 / 2.2 GHz with 12 EU HD graphics; 10W TDP
- System Memory & Storage
- Mintbox Mini 2 – 4GB DDR3L-1866 (upgradeable to 16GB) + 64GB M.2 SSD + micro SD slot
- Mintbox Mini 2 Pro – 8GB DDR3L-1866 (upgradeable to 16GB) + 120GB M.2 SSD + micro SD slot
- Display – mini DP 1.2 up to 4K @ 60 Hz; HDMI 1.4b up to 4K @ 30 Hz
- Audio – ALC886 audio codec; stereo line-out, stereo line-in / mic, 7.1 S/PDIF out (via optional 3.5mm to SMA cable), HDMI & DP audio
- Network Connectivity – Dual Gigabit Ethernet (via Intel i211), dual band 802.11 b/g/n/ac WiFi + Bluetooth 4.2 (Intel 8260AC card)
- USB – 2x USB 3.0 ports, 2x USB 2.0 ports
- Serial – RS232 port (via micro USB port)
- Power Supply – 7V to 20V DC input
- Power Consumption – 5 to 15 Watts
- Dimensions – 112 mm x 84 mm x 34 mm
- Weight – 350 grams
- Temperature Range – 0°C to 45°C
- Relative humidity – 5% – 95% non-condensing
The CPU performance should be quite better than the Mintbox Mini and Mini Pro mini PCs based on the GeekBench 4 scores published below, but graphics performance may be a little lower than on the previous generation Mini Pro (Radeon R6).
The new Mintbox Mini 2 / Mini 2 Pro mini PCs will become available in June 2018 around the time of Linux Mint 19 “Tara” release, and sell for respectively $299 and $349. More technical details & features can be found on the product page.
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.
7 Replies to “MintBox Mini 2 / Mini 2 Pro Apollo Lake Mini PCs to Ship with Linux Mint 19”
*yawn* wake me up when it will be arm based 😀
Nothing can wake you up …
This is in-fact the CompuLab Fitlet2 which currently goes for around $175 USD as a bare-bone with the J3455 on-board. So if you add the memory, SSD etc. yourself you get to around the $299/$349 price anyway, and any extra is probably going to the Linux Mint effort, which is a good thing IMO. Yes, the CompuLab devices are over-priced IMO, but the hardware is supposedly industrial scale. There is a VESA mount available for the Filet2. The PROBLEM with this offering is the included 64GB/120GB M.2 SSD, which is too small IMO, and you probably can’t remove it in the Mintbox at purchase time. Even if you want to toss the included M.2 SSD and put a bigger one in, there’s a real risk that the SSD you buy may not physically fit in the box properly. The same problem exists with the included 4GB/8GB SDRAM. To upgrade to 16GB (which supposedly works in the Fitlet2) probably means tossing the included SDRAM. Yes adding external storage via USB 3.0 is a (non-ideal) option, but that defeats the all-in-one small form factor approach offered by the Mintbox “Mini”. Also, keep in-mind that CompuLab is based in Israel. Therefore depending on where you live there may be issues importing the device (this is not an issue for me either physically or ideologically). My Conclusion: This Mintbox Mini2 is a nice update, and the price isn’t as outrageously high as the previous versions – but it is still a bit high due to CompuLab. But heck, you get the nice Linux Mint logo on the front of the box. If this box came with four switched Gig-E ports instead of two, it would be a really nice gateway router. P.S., Check over at the Lilliputing Blog, they have a post about this box plus a link to their earlier post of the Fitlet2 bare-bone box.
Which place (other than Iran, N. Korea Etc) puts barriers on importing from Israel?
In my experience, Indonesia.
Yeah, i’d definitely have supported the Linux Mint team had i had a use case for such a box. They are doing a fantastic job with Cinnamon DE, which i use with RHEL/CentOS 7. It’s my favorite DE on desktop (otherwise LXDE on laptop, XFCE on other ARM boxes + VNC sessions)
Anybody know if this one gives off electric shocks like the last one? I had so many electric shocks in the week I had it, I thought it was me, turns out it was the PC.