The MNT Pocket Reform is a compact laptop with a 7 inch display, a mechanical keyboard, a modular design that lets you swap out the processor and other components, and an open hardware design that makes the whole thing customizable.

Under development for the last year or so, the Pocket Reform is made by the same folks behind the original MNT Reform laptop, which has a larger display and keyboard, among other things. A Pocket  Reform crowdfunding campaign is set to go begin at Crowd Supply on March 14, 2023. Update: The campaign is live from March 14 through April 27th, and MNT hopes to ship the Pocket Reform to in October to backers who pre-order for $899 and up

Prices are expected to start at around $900 during crowdfunding for a model with a 1920 x 1200 pixel display, an NXP i.MX8M Plus quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 processor, 8GB of DDR4 memory, and 128GB of eMMC storage.

While the $900 starting price is pretty steep if you’re only looking at price-per-performance, the MNT Reform line of computers are unlike almost anything on the market thanks to their emphasis on open hardware and free and open source software. The design itself is also pretty unusual, and it’s way more expensive to manufacture small batches of unique hardware than it is to mass produce something with a more traditional design, as components tend to get cheaper when you order them in larger quantities.

One of the most distinctive features include the keyboard, which is a 60-key ortholinear keyboard with the keys line up perfectly rather than staggered like most keyboards. The keyboard is also backlit with RGB lights, allowing you to change the color of the illumination. And below the keyboard there’s an optical trackball and four buttons rather than a trackpad.

Since the designs are open source, users who want to design their own case, keyboard, or other input devices may be able to do that. And since the processor is on a removable module, you may eventually be able to swap out the system-on-a-module for another option such as a Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 or Pine64 SoQuartz board.

The system also feature an M.2 slot for an optional PCIe NVME SSD, support for WiFi 5, Bluetooth 5.0, and ports and two USB 3.0 Type-C ports, a micro HDMI port, Ethernet port, and microSD card reader. There’s also a SIM card slot and optional support for a cellular modem.

You can find more details at the Crowd Supply preview page.

MNT Pocket Reform (7 inch) and Reform (12.5 inch) via @bnys

via @mntmn (1)(2)(3)(4) and @[email protected]

 

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  1. I understand small production runs and custom stuff, but at $900 I just an do it, and I would be surprised if many can.

    I recently picked up a Toposh 7in aliexpress laptop with 12GB of ram and a 4 core 4 thread J4105 for ~$250. It has been featured here before under a different name. Is it the best computer no, but it is pretty good and fulfills all the same roles this can, at a substantially lower price.

    Manjaro out of the box needs some tweaking, and the ES8336 sound chip is a PITA to get working with linux, but all functions of the computer work and should become more supported in the future.

    1. Yeah, this is very much a niche device aimed at folks who can afford and are willing to spend more to support it something truly unique. Reminds me of the Dragonbox Pyra… except with a much shorter time to market if the 12.5 inch MNT Reform laptop is anything to go by.

      But most folks would probably be better off just installing Linux on an off-the-shelf device if they’re willing to sacrifice some of the modularity and other unusual features.

      1. Yep, I was a Dragonbox Pyra preorderer.. Just recently canceled and got a refund after 10 years. But even that was a much more reasonable price

      1. The product page is the typical inconsistent chaos — does the device have a J4125, a J4105, or a J3455? All three are mentioned; it also comes with “Bluetooch”.

    2. Your Toshiba has an Intel CPU with IME/etc, tons of blobs, you don’t have full/final control on that machine as it runs hidden CPU+OS you can’t control but others can (they can update/modify/access all your compute).

      Of course NXP ARM industrial processor is much lower specs, but its is much more clean, no or nea no-blobs, etc.

      If you are happy with tons of blobs and no-control, it’s ok for you. Most people ara “happy” or at least accept it.

      I own and I have owned a lot of PC+smartphones where user really can’t control machine, and I want something different in that aspect, something a bit like old computing where user had full access if he wanted

      1. Not to mention the ability to upgrade to, what are effectively, alternative socketable CPUs…and then there’s the repairability aspect.

        1. Indeed they do, though NXP at least seems to have a reputation for contributing much more to open source and maintaining support for their chipsets over many years? Also, aren’t their fabs based in South Korea and the US?