Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Completely open source
MinnowBoard is a non-profit backed by Intel, backed as in gets advice for its architecture by Intel. But all hardware and software parts, including all drivers are completely free and open source.
Pro Great for hacking away
Other than releasing all drivers as open source, Intel has also made the schematics of the board available to download, this way hackers can give it a try and build anything they want without restrictions.
Pro USB 3.0 available
The MinnowBoard Max has 2 USB ports, one of which is a USB 3.0.
Con No official OS images have the kernel with GPIO enabled
Although this is not the board's fault per-se, no official OS image has enabled support for GPIO. But if the kernel is compiled from source, it can be compiled with GPIO and PWM enabled.
Con Multi-USB hub almost a necessity
Because it has only two USB ports, one of which to be used for charging, a multi-USB hub is needed to connect a keyboard and mouse which are the absolute minimal external devices to be able to use and configure the MinnowBoard.