Kubuntu Focus NX is a mini PC running Kubuntu Focus Linux operating system on an Intel Core i5-1135G7 or i7-1165G7 Tiger Lake processor, with up to 64GB RAM, support for NVMe and SATA storage, offering four HDMI/DisplayPort video outputs, two Thunderbolt 3 / USB-C ports, and three extra USB 3.2 Type-A ports.
The mini PC also comes with decent networking and wireless connectivity thanks to a 2.5GbE port and an Intel AX601 module enabling WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2. Mini PCs shipping with Linux by default are quite rare, and most that do are fairly expensive ones, so it’s nice to see a more affordable mid-range mini PC working with Kubuntu Focus out of the box.
Kubuntu Focus NX mini PC specifications:
- SoC (one or the other)
- Intel Core i7-1165G7 Tiger Lake quad-core/8-thread processor @ 2.8 GHz / 4.7 GHz (Turbo) with 12MB cache, 96EU Intel Xe graphics ; TDP: 28W
- Intel Core i5-1135G7 Tiger Lake quad-core/8-thread processor @ 2.4 GHz/ 4.2 Ghz (Turbo) with 8MB cache, 80EU Intel Xe graphics; TDP: 28W
- System Memory – Up to 64GB DDR4 RAM via 2x 260 pin SO-DIMM sockets
- M.2 2280 NVMe PCIe Gen4x4 socket tested at up to 3500/3300 MB/s R/W speed with a Samsung SSD
- SATA III port tested at up to 560/530 MB/s R/W speed with a Samsung SSD
- SD card slot
- Video Output
- HDMI 2.0b port up to 4Kp60
- Mini DisplayPort 1.4 up to 4Kp60
- 2x DisplayPort outputs via Thunderbolt 3 / USB Type-C ports
- 2-in-1 audio jack with headphones and microphone signals
- Digital audio output via HDMI port
- Far-field 4-array microphones
- 2.5GbE RJ45 port via Intel i225-V controller
- Dual-band WiFi 6 2×2 MIMO and Bluetooth 5.2 via Intel AX201 module
- 3x USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-A ports
- 2x Thunderbolt 3 / USB Type-C ports with DisplayPort Alt mode
- Kensington Lock mount
- Optional no-cost full disk encryption
- Optional pre-configured YubiKey 5 NFC 2FA
- BIOS-controlled fan
- Headers for CEC, USB 3.1, USB 2.0, FRONT_PANEL, RGB
- Power Supply – 19V DC input (120W power supply provided)
- Dimensions – 117 x 112 x 51 mm (Intel NUC Panther Canyon chassis with metal and plastic surfaces, integrated head sink)
The mini PC comes with a VESA monitor-mount bracket and a 120W power supply, and we are promised a one- or two-year limited warranty with “unmatched Linux-first support”. Kubuntu Focus is a customized version of Kubuntu that primarily runs on the company’s own hardware, so far laptop, and now a mini PC.
It’s also possible to try the Ubuntu 22.04-based operating system on other computers or a virtual machine, but you’d need to provide an email address to get a link to the ISO (4.8GB). The developer explains the Kubuntu Focus Suite is configured and optimized for Kubuntu Focus hardware, and if you have different hardware, the optimizations may not apply. I had a quick try in VirtualBox myself, and it took a while to boot, but I finally got to the desktop environment.
It takes you through a wizard to optionally install extra applications and comes with detailed guides to help users and Kubuntu Focus Tools for extra configuration options such as changing the compiler version.
The Kubuntu Focus NX mini PC is available now for $695 and up with the base configuration including an Intel Core i5-1135G7, 8GB single-channel RAM, a 250GB NVMe SSD, a one-year warranty, and free ground shipping to the US and Canada, which appear to be the only two countries covered by Kubuntu Focus team.
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.