first_imgIf you are considering a switch to Linux as an operating system, then giving it a trial run first couldn’t be easier. There are multiple distributions that have the option of running the OS from a USB stick or dual booting with your existing OS before deciding to replace it completely. It’s actually more difficult to buy a new PC with Linux preinstalled than it is to replace a copy of Windows, but Linux Mint is trying to change that.Last year Linux Mint and CompuLab teamed up to produce the MintBox. It’s a small form factor PC that ships with a copy of Linux Mint installed. There ended up being two versions launched–the MintBox Basic and MintBox Pro. They ran AMD processors, came with 4 or 8GB of RAM, a 250GB hard drive, and 1 year warranty for $476 or $549, respectively.This year, we can expect to see this collaboration between the two companies continue with the release of the MintBox 2. It’s a big update to last year’s hardware (they claim 4x the performance) and sees the PC switch over to a Core i5 processor. There’s 4GB of RAM included, but hopefully you can upgrade that, and the hard drive size has been doubled to 500GB. Best of all, that 1 year warranty has been extended to 5 years, and the price has only increased slightly to $599.One of the problems with the original MintBox was getting hold of one outside the US due to the custom charges involved. This time around Linux Mint is attempting to stop that happening by making the MintBox 2 available through Amazon in Germany. Hopefully that will mean other European countries will get local stock, too.We don’t know a release date for the MintBox 2 yet, or exactly which model of the Core i5 processor they have decided to use, but if you are in the market for a new Linux PC this is certainly worth keeping an eye on.last_img