Linux.com reviews the Koobox Linspire-based mini-PC, and concludes: “If you want a mini-PC form factor that’s Linux-compatible, the Mini Koobox seems to be one of the best values on the market. It’s small and quiet, and its performance is fine for normal desktop use. I might recommend ditching Linspire and installing a different distro once it’s in your hands, but if small is your thing, I’d recommend picking up a Mini.”
Review: Linspire Mini Koobox
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2006-09-08 10:09 pmMorty
Is there any reason it should cost two or three times a Shuttle?
The word is commodity hardware. Afterall a Shuttle uses a industry standard motherboard avaliable from most vendors, and they are sold in high numbers. Giving you the two most important factors when it comes to cost of computer equipment, competition and high volume.
None of the Mini lookalikes comes anywhere near in units shipped to shuttles. And they don’t follow a standard form factors etc, making them non interchangeable.
While Apple’s are produced in much higher volumes, giving them the benefit of cost savings due to high volume.
2006-09-08 10:15 pmAdamW
Shuttles don’t use a very common motherboard form factor. I don’t know anyone besides Shuttle themselves who make Shuttle-size motherboards.
2006-09-09 1:27 amjaylaa
To follow up on the ‘commodity hardware’ theme, Shuttles (at least the ones I have) use desktop sized hard drives, optical drives, and desktop cpus. Whereas these minis have laptop drives, laptop cpus (I think) and fancy super-thin optical drives.
So yeah, they should be cheaper.
Why would i buy this thing for 400 u$s (actually 500 minus 100 rebate), when i can have, for example, a
Dell Dimension 1100 Celeron D 2.53GHz Desktop with the Dell E196FP 19″ LCD Monitor, 256MB RAM, 80GB hard drive, DVD-ROM drive for $369 (+$29.99 for shipping)? Only cause it looks small?
NOTE: i have to add a 19LCD to the koobox.
Edited 2006-09-08 22:08
2006-09-08 10:41 pmdiskinetic
“Only cause it looks small?”
There are those among us who prefer some amount of prettiness, even at the cost of performance and hard-earned cash. I saw an article in (I believe) Motor Trend that compared the EVO VIII to a Porsche Cayman S. It was a “technical” tie, but the enthusiast nod went to the Porsche because of sexiness and air of exclusivity, even though the Porsche was almost twice as expensive. You have a valid and persuasive point, but it is lost in the eyes of love.
Edited 2006-09-08 22:42
2006-09-09 7:15 amalcibiades
Yes, you can make a similar point about the Apple version.
By the way, the Aopen version seems to have desktop hard drives, so that can’t be the explanation.
It’s also one of the exact same boxes used by system76 for Ubuntu hosting. Not a slam or anything, just an observation.
“Of course, the pricing is shown with the rebate already applied on the Koobox site, which is a bit deceptive.”
deceptive? surely you jest…
Quite tempting, although I’d probably flip the OS to something else, wonder if it does BeOS, Ubantu.
The Mini is $100 (after rebate) more than the similar spec more traditional Essential model, that kind of difference is pretty tiny to get into this small form factor.
Try building any type of Mini PC, its almost impossible, you really have to go with miniITX to get something that is still twics as big as these koobox puppies.
Its not just size, noise is an even bigger issue.
Also 2.5″ HDs will be 3x the price of 3.5″ HDs for same capacity but are usually totally silent from 1m.
It may make more sense to use Apple minis with alt OSes to get the volume discounts but then deal with their loader. The koobox with better processor, ram, HD gets too close to Apple mini prices but choice is good.
… I’d remove Linspire and put SlackWare on it. :-p
All kidding aside here is a great Mini system:
well worth the money.
The $100 rebate is nice, if you want the bare system. If you want more memory and/or a larger hard drive, you have to pay quite a lot more.
Why should I do that when I can get a Mac mini for $599, with a 1.66 GHz Core-Duo processor, 512 MB of RAM and a 60 GB hard drive? Sure, it runs OSX, but I can run Linux on it too, if I want.
Here is another possible alternative. It is a desktop machine, but has a very small size – 9.75 x 4.375 x 13.125 (HxWxD). When using the machine at Staples, I could not hear any noise coming from it. The vertically mounted DVD/CD drive is a LightScribe multi-format DVD/CD burner with dual-layer support which opens/closes with the push of a button.
Not bad for $550.
Edited 2006-09-10 20:44
It is very curious how much the Mini lookalikes cost, at least in the UK. Look at the Evesham versions, and they are more than Apple’s version. Look at the Aopen barebones versions, and if you equip them you will pay more than the Apple version. The barebones is north of 300 sterling. And yet why should an Aopen Mini barebones cost 5 times the iWill barebones? Is there any reason it should cost two or three times a Shuttle?
Anyone have any ideas what is going on?