Linux Mint builds its first mini-computer -

Linux Mint has announced that it will be entering the hardware business.

The company has joined with Israeli-based CompuLab to sell its own Mint branded computers with the operating system pre-installed and ready to use.

Writing in the company bog, Mint dubbed the new gizmo the mintbox. The company said it is tiny, silent and extremely versatile and it comes packed with connectivity.

There are two minboxes and they ship with a two year warranty and feature a die-cast metal case.

The case acts as heatsink and it manages a footprint smaller than a DVD case.

The basic model has a smooth top, whereas the pro model has a ribbed effect top cover. Neither looks like a PC, more the love child of an implausible coupling between a router and a portable hard-drive.

It has 8 USB ports offered, four on the front, and four on the rear, two of them are USB 3.0 ports. It also has ethernet, WiFi, bluetooth and HDMI and DisplayPort connections. It can run dual displays.

It is not that cheap considering. Prices start at $476 for the basic model, which comes with a 250GB hard disk, 4GB DDR3 RAM, the flat metal case and AMD's G-Series Fusion APU G-T40N dual-core which runs at 1.0 GHz with a Radeon HD 6290, all of which consumes just 17W at full load.

The flagship model will set you back $549 and doubles the RAM to 8GB, increasing the power output at full load to 24W with the inclusion of AMD's G-Series G-T56N APU dual-core running at 1.65 GHz with a Radeon HD 6320. It is possible to upgrade the ram and the hard drive.

It runs the Linux Mint 13 release with Cinnamon fully functional, as well as full 3D effects.

The money maker will be CompuLab with 10 percent of the proceeds going to Linux Mint.