MSI Cubi 5 should make an excellent mini Linux computer

If you want a basic Linux desktop, you can never go wrong with an all Intel-based mini computer -- such as that company's own NUC line. Things typically work without issue -- an Intel Wi-Fi card, for instance, shouldn't give you any headaches on Linux.

Intel is not the only game in town, however. Other companies manufacture and sell mini desktop computers too. Today, MSI unveils its latest, and it looks like a real winner. Called "Cubi 5," it comes with 10th gen Intel Comet Lake processors, USB-C, and supports Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax).

"Keeping in mind the needs of consumers, MSI announces the world's first energy-efficient Mini-PC to be equipped with Intel’s 10th gen Comet Lake processors: Cubi 5. The Cubi 5 delivers upgraded computing capability as well as improved functionality. Cubi 5 may be small, but its performance can be improved all the way up to Intel Core i7 processor (Comet Lake), which helps deliver computing capability that will keep you in the flow, wherever you go," says MSI.

The company further says, "The Cubi 5 is designed to support an external power switch. This proves to be especially efficient for users that choose to mount the Cubi 5 or visually conceal it. The external power switch saves our users a lot of back bending by being more reachable. Users are only 4 screws away from being able to replace the M.2 SSD, memory modules, and 2.5-inch HDD/SSD storage slots. Cubi 5's work prowess is immediately increased with the convenience of USB Type-C connector."

MSI shares specifications below.

  • Operating System: Windows 10 Home
  • CPU: Up to 10th Gen. Intel Core i7 U-Processor
  • Chipset: Intel SoC
  • Storage 1x M.2 SSD (auto switch) 1x 2.5-inch SSD / HDD
  • System Memory: 2x DDR4 2666MHz SO-DIMMs, Up to 64GB
  • Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics
  • I/O (Front): 1x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type C, 1x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type A, 1x Mic-in, 1x Headphone-out
  • I/O (Rear) 2x USB 2.0, 2x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type A, 1x RJ45, 1x HDMI out (1.4), 1x DP out (1.2)
  • Wireless LAN: Intel Wireless AC 9462 or Intel Wireless AX201
  • LAN: Intel WGI219V
  • PSU: 65 W
  • Dimensions: (WxDxH): 124 X 124 X 53.7 mm / 4.88 X 4.88 X 2.11 inch
  • Weight: (N.W./ G.W.) 0.55 kg / 1.4 kg ; 1.21 lbs / 3.09 lbs

While we do not yet know price and availability, Cubi 5 should show up at popular retailers, such as Amazon, very soon. Keep in mind, even though it should run Fedora or Ubuntu like a champion, it will also run Windows 10 too. Hell, you can even dual-boot if you want.

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