The dream of a Linux computer for normal humans is relatively dead. Sure, Google put Linux in billions of hands and homes with Android and Chrome OS, but neither OS is very much like the desktop Linux flavors well-meaning open-source developers have been crafting for decades.
A company called Endless has marked a third route, a stripped-down Linux operating system without many of the complications and difficulties (and features) of a typical Linux distro, but more apps and offline capabilities than Chrome OS. The OS is available for free download, but it also ships on the quirky Endless Mini and Endless One desktops Endless sells.
Now Endless is making a push for the US market with the new (and less quirky) Mission Mini and Mission One. They’re small boxes with a bit of a wood motif going on to differentiate them from a Mac Mini or any other tiny PC. The $129 Mini has a quad core 1.5GHz ARM processor, 2GB of RAM, and 64GB of storage. The $249 One has a 2.16GHz Celeron processor and a 500GB hard drive.
If you add keyboard, mouse, and a screen to the price, neither computer is a better deal than an equivalent Chromebook, but the extra apps (like an open source Office clone, an open-source Minecraft clone, etc.) and the bundled content (including thousands of offline Wikipedia articles, and some upcoming coding tutorials) might make the difference.