The MNT Reform is an open hardware laptop that’s designed to be hackable. Not only does it support open source software, but the laptop itself has a modular design that allows you to customize parts… and the designs are open source as well, allowing anyone to make their own modifications or design their own modules.

One thing the MNT Reform is not, though, is a high-performance laptop. At least not out of the box. When it went up for pre-order last year the only processor option was an NXP i.MX8MQ quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 processor. But did I mention the laptop is modular? Because MNT creator Lukas Hartman has been working on new modules that will allow you to replace the processor.

A few months ago he mentioned that he’s working on a Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 adapter that would let you replace the NXP system-on-a-chip with Raspberry Pi’s module featuring a BCM2711 quad-core ARM Cortex-A72 processor.

The Raspberry Pi CM4 adapter is still a work in progress, but you can find details at the MNT source page for the adapter. And Hartman recently tweeted a picture showing what appear to be early prototypes of a Raspberry Pi CM4 adapter board for the MNT Reform as well as a second adapter for a system-on-a-module from Interglaktik.

Hartman hasn’t announced when you’ll actually be able to buy one of these adapters, but notes in the tweet that they’re “slightly delayed but inevitable,” suggesting that MNT Reform users will eventually have the option of changing out the brains of their open hardware computers.

The MNT Reform went up for pre-order during a crowdfunding campaign last year, and units began shipping to backers earlier this year with all units having been delivered by the end of August.

If you didn’t get in on the crowdfunding campaign, you can still pre-order a MNT Reform from Crowd Supply (or directly from MNT if you’re in the EU), but new orders aren’t expected to ship until March or April, 2022, depending on the configuration.

A MNT Reform DIY Kit that involves some assembly and sourcing some components on your own sells for $999, while fully-assembled models cost $1550.

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7 replies on “Soon you might be able to swap the CPU in the MNT Reform open, modular laptop (Raspberry Pi support in the works)”

  1. So…a Raspberry Pi 4 that will cost you over a 1000 bucks?

    Why am I in this basket…and my God, I’m burning up! Why is it so warm in here!


    Steven B.

    1. You, and all of those talking about using RPi (Raspberry Pi) on MNT Reform, don’t understand the point of MNT Reform. On MNT Reform, with its NXP SOC, you have a trusted computer with near zero closed soft or hidden components. RPi is in totally opposite side: it is a computer with hidden OS running hard, where its SOC is a GPU with its hidden OS ruling over ARM cores. That is, it is not ARM cores ruling over GPU, but the inverse: GPU is main component and ARM cores are secondary.

      If you put a RPi inside MNT Reform you lost all its motivation and reasons to exist. You would end with a system with a hidden and closed OS always running (that is RPi).

  2. I dream about orange crab cpu/fpga and linux on risc-v cpu.

    and week working time on one charge too ;-P

  3. Leaving price aside, the first thing that comes to mind regarding a Pi 4 module is thermal management. The Pi 4 is known to throttle without a good heatsink and that’s something that would be quite necessary for something like this. Just providing a module isn’t enough. And the application, a laptop, doesn’t allow a lot of space for a good solution, but hopefully they address that.

      1. Thank you for pointing that out. I went to their site to look into it and just missed it, but now I see it. I’m not surprised to hear they thought of that as it would be a pretty big oversight and they seem like they put thought into design and function.

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