The makers of the MNT Reform began shipping their modular, open source laptop to backers last year following a successful crowdfunding campaign launched in 2020.

Now they’re preparing to launch a brand new device. And this time, it’s… smaller. The MNT Pocket Reform is a 7 inch mini-laptop with an ortholinear keyboard, a modular (and customizable) design, and an emphasis on open hardware and open source software. It’s expected to go up for pre-order soon through a Crowd Supply crowdfunding campaign.

Fully functional MNT Pocket Reform prototype (Crowd Supply)

MNT has been working on the Pocket Reform since last year, but now the specs have been finalized, a prototype has been produced, and the team has released a preview of the upcoming crowdfunding campaign.

Some key features include:

  • 7 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixel display (310 pixels per inch)
  • 60-key keyboard with an ortholinear design and Kailh Choc White mechanical key switches and RGB backlighting
  • Optical 10mm trackball with 4 buttons

At the heart of the system is a removable system-on-a-module (SOM) featuring a processor and memory. The standard module will feature a 1.8 GHz NXP i.MX8M Plus quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 processor with Vivante GC7000UL graphics and an neural processing unit plus 4GB or 8GB of DDR4 memory. But other options include:

  • NXP Layerscape LS1028A chip with 2 x ARM Cortex-A72 cores, Vivante GC7000UL graphics, and 8GB or 16GB of DDR4 memory
  • Raspberry Pi CM4 with 4 ARM Cortex-A72 CPU cores, VideoCore graphics, 8GB DDR4 RAM (and an adapter)
  • Pine64 SOQuartz RK3566 with 4 ARM Cortex-A55 CPU cores,  Malie-G52 graphics, 8GB of RAM (and an adapter)
  • AMD/Xilinx Kintex-7 FPGA (with support for RISC-V or other architectures)

The modules are also interchangeable with the full-sized MNT reform, which means that if you already have a module for the 12.5 inch laptop it should work with the new 7 inch model, and vice versa.

The Pocket Reform measures about 200 x 126 x 45mm (7.9″ x 5″ x 1.8″) and features a built-in mono speaker, a microphone (with a hardware kill switch that lets you disable it when not in use), and two USB Type-C ports, a micro HDMI port (4K supported), Ethernet jack, and microSD card reader.

For storage, the system supports up to 128GB of eMMC flash storage and also has an M.2 slot for up to 2TB of PCIe NVMe solid state storage. The system is powered by an 8,000 mAh battery.

Wireless capabilities will vary depending on the SOM, but if you opt for the default NXP i.MX8M Plus configuration then you’ll get support for WiFi 5 and Bluetooth 5.0 out of the box. There’s also optional support for a WWAN card and SIM card slot if you want to add 4G or 5G cellular support.

MNT says supported operating systems include GNU/Linux distributions such as Debian, Arch, and Ubuntu as well as other software including Plane 9 and Genode. Support for OpenBSD is said to be a work in progress.

One thing the company hasn’t announced yet? Pricing. But we should know more closer to the launch of the crowdfunding campaign.


via Lukas Hartmann

This article was first published June 27, 2022 and most recently updated August 24, 2022.

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11 replies on “MNT Pocket Reform is 7 inch mini laptop with a modular, open hardware design (crowdfunding)”

  1. how long this device work?
    2h? sorry i need laptop for play sound, compiling gcc and using blender for 2-7 days!

  2. So if I put on it something that can handle windows on arm like the CM4 its gonna be the worst Windows laptop ever 😀

  3. If the small one is getting a non-staggered keyboard, then hopefully we’ll see that option on the full-size Reform someday.

  4. I look for this “pocket” computer, but I am afraid it is too big, and not real pocket computer, as it has 7 inches display plus very big borders.

  5. The system is powered by an 8,000 mAh battery.
    ok, but how long this device work?
    this device is very fat, very long working time?

    for example browser, open youtube and play for 12-48h
    or terminal, compiling latex or gentoo 😉 2 day.

    1. We would need to know much more about the battery and the system. The mAh rating is useless unless we know the voltage.

      For example, 3.78v and 8000mAh is 30Wh. 5v and 8000mAh is 40Wh.

  6. Price will need to be under $1k, preferably $800. You can buy an almost fully open source ARM workstation for around $1k with almost 20 times the performance.

    Moat of the cost however is for the FOSS support and the modularity.

    1. What fully open source ARM workstations for around $1k with almost 20 times the performance???

  7. I love the open hardware and modularity of the earlier Reform and this one seems pretty cool also. But, the price of the original Reform was way too high for me to justify and I’m sure this one will be the same. I hope that they find a market though; perhaps with higher volume the pricing will come down.

  8. I’m afraid to know what the pricing is going to be for this, but I’m so up for something like this, especially because of the possibility of interchangable/upgradeable processing. Will be watching closely!

Comments are closed.