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Panther Alpha Puts Linux on a Micro PC

By - Source: Toms IT Pro

A new Kickstarter could put Panther OS in your pocket, on the tiny Panther Alpha micro PC for $130 or less. Early adopters will be able to grab one for as little as $89. Units are expected to ship in January 2017. 

The parent company, Panther MPC says the little guys will include Include:

  • 2-GHz 64 bit Quad Core ARM CPU
  • 2GB DD3 RAM
  • 32GB eMMC
  • 1000 Mbit Ethernet
  • Support for 802.11n W-Fi
  • Bluetooth 4.0 and an IR blaster
  • HDMI 2.0, 3.5mm audio
  • microSD Card Reader
  • Two USB ports
  • Built-in VPN support
  • Powered by 5V DC plug (included)
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The slick design of this computer that's the size of a sandwich is both unobtrusive and classy. There are no fans, no moving parts, and reportedly no noise. Panther MPC says you can expand the internal storage up to 128GB via a microSD card, but you can't upgrade the RAM. The company says it will consume about 77 percent less energy, without giving up power. I'd have to see that in action for myself. 

It will come preloaded with the Panter OS, which is an open source, custom Linux built from Fedora. It comes with a Microsoft-compatible office productivity suite, as well as basic chat, email, music, movie, editing and browsing apps. There's an app store for more options, for both home and enterprise use. One unit can also support multiple user accounts. The company claims the PC and its OS will get regular bug fixes. 

One benefit to the Linux-based OS is that it takes up about one-fifth of the memory of Windows 10. The Fedora base code is also stable, and not prone to backdoor viruses. 

After just one day, the Kickstarter still needed to raise more than $70,000 to meet its goal. But there are still more than 40 days to go. If you're just interested in trying out Panther OS before the general public, the company is seeking $10 pledges. The lowest Kickstarter exclusive price for the hardware is $89, but only 500 units are available at that price. Assuming the Kickstarter moves forward, it will eventually be available to the public for $130. 

Are you intrigued?