You and I have a nearly limitless array of computer choices, from massive desktops to slim laptops to entire computers build into something the same size as a USB stick. But in emerging markets, the options are much more limited, both in the hardware available and even in the availability of internet access.

That's why I liked the Endless Mini desktop PC we reviewed last year. It was a $79 (approximately £54 or AU$110) desktop in a charming spherical red plastic case, running a custom Linux-based OS. More importantly, it included a ton of educational content pre-loaded, making it a useful tool for students, even without reliable or fast internet access.


The Endless Mission One.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Now, the company behind the Endless Mini is bringing some of these ideas to the US, it said here at CES, with a pair of new mini-desktops that have a more refined look, and new software packages that can help teach kids about coding.

The new Endless Mission Mini and Mission One both run the same Endless OS operating system as the original, but have modern, much more premium-feeling designs, highlighted by bamboo (sustainably harvested, according to the company).

The $129 Mission Mini (£105 or AU$180) runs an ARM processor, has a small 64GB of storage and 2GB of RAM. The $249 Mission One (£200 or AU$345) is a bit of a step up, with a 500GB hard drive and an Intel Celeron processor, which should offer greatly improved performance. Note that you still have to supply your own mouse, keyboard and display.


The Mission Mini.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Because they run a custom non-Windows operating system, standard Windows programs won't run on these, but as with the original Endless Mini, many web-based apps and services will work just fine.

The systems will also work with the company's latest software initiative, which it calls Endless Code. A pre-installed package of tutorials and tools for teenage-level prospective coders, Endless says it's, "The world's most immersive, barrier-free platform for learning to code."

Endless Code is coming in stages, starting later this year, but with a robust user beta program. The Endless Mission Mini and Mission One will be available on Amazon and directly from the company on January 16.