MNT Pocket Reform is a 7-inch mini laptop with an open and modular hardware design

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

Now they are 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 a focus on open hardware and open source software.

MNT has been working on the Pocket Reform since last year, but now the team has revealed the near-final design and specs, including:

  • 7-inch screen, 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • 60-key keyboard with ortholinear design and Kailh Choc White mechanical key switches and RGB backlighting
  • 10mm optical trackball with 4 buttons

At the heart of the system is a removable system-on-module (SOM) with 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 neural processing unit plus 4GB or 8GB of DDR4 memory. But other options include:

  • NXP Layerscape LS1028A chip with 2 ARM Cortex-A72 cores, Vivante GC7000UL graphics and 8GB or 16GB 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 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-size MNT Reform, meaning if you already have a module for the 12.5-inch laptop, it should work with the newer 7-inch model, and vice versa.

The Pocket Reform measures approximately 200 x 126 x 45mm (7.9″ x 5″ x 1.8″) and has a built-in ono speaker, microphone (with a hardware kill switch that lets you to deactivate it when not in use) and two USB Type-C ports, a micro HDMI port, an Ethernet socket and a 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 8000 mAh battery.

Wireless capabilities vary by SOM, but if you opt for the default NXP i.MX8M Plus configuration, you’ll get WiFi 5 and Bluetooth 5.0 support out of the box. There’s also optional support for a WWAN card and a 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. OpenBSD support is considered a work in progress.

One thing the company has yet to announce? Pricing. But MNT plans to start taking pre-orders for a beta version of Pocket Reform in July in a bid to get the hardware into the hands of hackers and software interested in helping troubleshoot the device before it becomes more widely available. .

People who want to help with beta testing can sign up for the Pocket Reform newsletter or keep an eye on the MNT Community Forum for more details.

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