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Expandable, Apollo Lake based MintBox Mini 2 starts at $299

Jun 27, 2018 — by Eric Brown — 1077 views

The Linux Mint project has released the rugged MintBox Mini 2 mini-PC based on the Apollo Lake powered Compulab Fitlet2, with options including PoE, HDD, and CAN. The system ships with the new Linux Mint 19 “Tara” distro.

In March, Compulab and the Linux Mint project announced a MintBox Mini 2 (MBM2) replacement for the earlier, AMD A10 based MintBox Mini Pro mini-PC. Built around the Celeron J3455 based Fitlet2 mini-PC, the MBM2 is now available starting at $299. Since the March announcement, Compulab has revealed some new features, including new FACET expansion cards for 2.5-inch HDDs, PoE, CANbus, and more.



MintBox Mini 2, front and back
(click images to enlarge)

As usual with the Mintbox collaborations, the systems are based on existing Compulab mini-PCs, in this case the Fitlet2. The Fitlet2’s quad-core, 1.5/2.3GHz Celeron J3455 offers Intel HD Graphics 500 and a 10W TDP. The mini-PC is pre-installed with the new Linux Mint 19 “Tara” Cinnamon Edition distro, which will be available for download within a few days. As usual 5 percent of the revenues go to the Linux Mint project.


MintBox Mini 2 exploded view (left) and VESA mounted
(click images to enlarge)

Pricing is the same as originally announced. You can choose the $299 MintBox Mini 2 (4GB DDR3L RAM/64GB SSD via M.2 2260) or otherwise identical $349 MintBox Mini 2 Pro (8GB/120GB). The systems can be expanded to up to 16GB RAM. The fanless, 112 x 84 x 34mm mini-PCs support -40 to 85°C operation and offer 7-20V inputs.


Fitlet2 front and back detail views
(click images to enlarge)

The MBM2 is equipped with HDMI 1.4a and mini-DisplayPorts, with up to [email protected] or [email protected] playback, respectively. The system includes dual GbE, 2x USB 3.0, 2x USB 2.0, and a mini-RS232 port. You also get 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.2, a micro-SD slot, and dual 3.5mm audio jacks. (See our earlier MBM2 report as well as the updated spec sheet on the MBM2 product page for more details.)


MBM2 FACET boards (left) and block diagram
(click images to enlarge)

Compulab is providing five optional FACET expansion cards for the MBM2:

  • FC-M2LAN — 2x additional GbE ports for 4x overall)
  • FC-POED — additional (third) GbE port with power via Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) and “preserve WiFi”
  • FC-PCI or FC-CEM — 4G modem + WiFi + M.2 2280 SATA SSD
  • HDx — 2.5-inch SATA HDD/SSD up to 15mm / 5TB (requires riser on bottom of unit)
  • FC-USB — 4x additional USB ports (for 8x overall)
  • FC-SCG — RS232/RS485, GPIOs, and CANbus port



MBM2 with FC-POED Power-over-Ethernet FACET option (left) and HDx 2.5-inch HDD add-on
(click images to enlarge)

The MBM2 is compatible with Fitlet2 accessories including a Li-Ion UPS, a programmable USB multi-color LED, headless display emulators, and VESA and DIN-rail mounting. Compulab is developing additional MBM2 compatible FACET cards, including an SFP+ optical networking card and a card that combines dual 2.5-inch HDD/SSDs with M.2 SATA.

 
Further information

The $299 MintBox Mini 2 (4GB RAM/64GB SSD) and $349 MintBox Mini 2 Pro (8GB/120GB) are now available from Compulab and the Linux Mint project with a five-year warrranty. Shipments are due in July, and the system will be available on Amazon starting in August. More information may be found on the MBM2 announcement and shopping page. More information may eventually appear at the Linux Mint project.
 

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