Pocket Mint: The Mintbox Mini 2 is a fanless Apollo Lake mini PC running Linux Mint
With the advent of the Raspberry Pi a few years ago, single-board and ultra-small form factor PCs have rapidly grown in popularity. It’s gotten to the point that every month sees the release of a large handful of devices. The team behind Linux Mint, one of the most popular Linux distros currently available, is pushing this trend with the introduction of the Mintbox Mini 2 and Mintbox Mini 2 Pro.
The Mintbox Mini 2 is the next device from the team (the first being the Mintbox Mini). The Mini 2 and Mini 2 Pro are both based around the Fitlet2 by Compulab but include some tweaks. The Mintbox Mini 2 and Mini 2 Pro both pack in quad-core Intel Celeron J3455 (Apollo Lake) CPUs clocked at 1.5 GHz (2.3 GHz boost). The rest of the internals depend on which model you choose. The standard Mintbox Mini 2 will ship with a 64 GB SSD and 4 GB of RAM; the Pro version doubles these numbers (120 GB SSD, 8 GB RAM).
Both devices are otherwise mirrors of each other as both are equipped with two Gigabit Ethernet jacks, 802.11ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.2, two USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, a microSD slot, and dedicated hookups for a microphone and headphones. The front also has two programmable LED lights that can be used to indicate notification (if you know how to configure GPIO components through code). The devices can support up to 4K displays at 60 Hz via the mini-Displayport 1.2 around back. There’s also an HDMI 1.4 port that supports a 4K display (but only at 30 Hz). Both devices are complete fanless and are thus silent.
The main target is obviously Linux Mint users that are looking for an ultra-compact machine that should receive support for the distro for at least the next few years. The Mintbox Mini 2 will retail for USD $299, while the Pro upgrade will be $50 more at $349. Both devices are expected to ship in June with Linux Mint 19.
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