Each week our friends at Backerjack highlight a cool crowdfunded gadget. This week we look at the Remix Mini, which has raised nearly 16 times its funding goal and is on track to surpass a million dollars.

Once upon a time, in a land before laptops, towering desktop PCs peppered the landscape, their hulking shells loaded with all manner of cards and drives dependent on support from the operating systems of their day.

The Remix Mini PC shows how the desktop has evolved in an era of mobile hardware and software. The elongated dish-like device, which makes the Mac mini look large in comparison, is devoid of buttons. (It turns on with a touch to its top surface.). Its rear is only slightly less minimalist — with two USB ports, an HDMI connector for a monitor, a microSD slot and headphone port. Something of a surprise is a standard Ethernet connector, which may be welcomed by corporate users or anyone who wants to escape the occasional unpredictability of Wi-Fi.

Like Jide Tech’s previous product, the Surface-like Remix Ultra Tablet, the Remix runs an Android variation called Remix OS. While the Remix includes support for Google Play, the company has gone out of its way to make the user experience familiar for Windows fans. For example, in lieu of home screen shortcuts, there’s a taskbar, and apps can run in phone mode, which allows them to be moved around between windows. That said, without a touchscreen (like that of the Remix tablet), some apps may not deliver fully on their experience.

But the Remix Mini uses only 10 watts of power and certainly won’t be priced like a desktop PC. It’s currently being offered for a pledge of only $30 for a version with 1 GB of RAM and $10 for a version with 2 GB as part of the Kickstarter campaign. Both should ship in October. The campaign seeks to raise $50,000 by August 29.

Remix Mini packs a great deal of functionality in a small package. However, like the Mac mini, the cost goes up significantly if you don’t happen to have an HDMI monitor hanging around. That said, at less than $50 shipped for the basic version, it even compares favorably to set-top boxes such as Roku and Apple TV. Being smaller and less expensive than the MiiPC, the Remix Mini is a no-brainer as a second device or Chromebox alternative.

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