The MNT Reform is an unusual laptop with made open hardware and software principles in mind, and featuring a modular, customizable, and upgradeable design. When the MNT Reform began shipping a few years ago, it was only available with a single processor option.
Since then the folks at MNT have been working on several additional system-on-a-chip solutions for the computer. And since the processor module can be removed and replaced, customers now have the option of ordering the laptop with one of four different processors. Or if you already have a MNT Reform laptop you can place an order for a new MNT Reform processor module or adapter. You may have wait a while for it to arrive though.
At launch the MNT Reform was powered by an NXP i.MX8M quad processor module, which is a 1.5 GHz quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 chip with Vivante GC700 Lite graphics. The module also includes 4GB of RAM
Since then, MNT has added an option for an i.MX8M Plus module with a 1.8 GHz quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 processor and 8GB of RAM as well as several other processor module options:
- Layerscape LS1028A module with 2 x 1.5 GHz Cortex-A72 cores and 8GB RAM for €699
- Layerscape LS1028A module with 16GB RAM for €899
- CM4 Processor adapter module (no system-on-a-chip included) for €149
- CM4 Processor adapter module bundle with Banana Pi CM4 (Amlogic A311D 4 x 2.2 GHz Cortex-A73 + 2 x 1.8GHz Cortex-A53 & Mali-G53 MP4 and 4GB RAM) for €249
In a recent demo video, MNT founder Lukas Hartmann demonstrates that the Banana Pi CM4 brings some serious graphics horsepower to the laptop.
Folks looking to upgrade an existing MNT Reform laptop have the option of paying €149 for a CM4 adapter module and bringing their own Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 (if they can find one), or paying €249 for an adapter + Banana Pi CM4 bundle.
And if you you’re looking to buy a new Reform laptop, you can now choose from any of the processor modules MNT offers… although you’ll still have to wait 3-6 months for your device to ship. The good news is a MNT Reform with a Banana Pi CM4 sells for the same price as a model with an NXP i.MX8M quad processor, while delivering significantly better performance. the bad news is that neither model is cheap: prices start at €1,199.