Parsix is based on Debian testing and beats Ubuntu, but arguably not Mint.
I did a quickie install of the latest version of Parsix, released on the 17 August. I’m a huge fan of Debian-based distros, except for Ubuntu, which I think is an ugly, bloated distro with a very unproductive user interface.
Parsix comes on a 1082MB iso, which can be downloaded directly. It would have been nice to have had a bittorrent option.
Reviewers have been complaining about the installation process, which they say is unintuitive for Linux newbies. I personally didn’t have a problem with it – but then, I know my way around gparted (mostly).
Parsix seems faster than Mint, at about the same speed as Elementary. Parsix uses Gnome 3.8.3 – which was always going to be a problem (Gnome 3 is just BAD). However, it does mostly redeem itself by including a lot of tweak settings. You can, easily enough, give it a proper application menu, and add on a bottom panel which shows you all your running apps. I haven’t worked out how you can dock your favourite apps to a panel yet. The workspace switcher on Mint is more convenient.
Mint, once again, wins on the functionality of the desktop.
Youtube works out of the box, which is a big positive.
It’s a fairly close-run thing, though, and worth checking out if you think Mint is a bit slow, and don’t mind playing around with the user interface settings. The Parsix team seem to have made Gnome 3 quite usable – there’s the minimise, maximise and close buttons, for example, which Gnome developers didn’t seem to think we needed.