MNT turns its open-source Reform laptop into a 7-inch pocket PC

Enlarge / MNT’s “Pocket Reform” is the same open hardware in a smaller package.

DTM

A few months ago we reviewed the MNT Reform, which attempts to bring the dream of fully open-source hardware to an audience that doesn’t want to design and build a laptop totally from scratch. Now MNT is bringing its open hardware philosophy to a second PC, a 7-inch “Pocket Reform” laptop that harkens back to the design of old clamshell Pocket PCs, just as the big Reform references the design of the big ThinkPads of the 1960s. 90.

The Pocket Reform borrows many design impulses from the large Reform laptop, including a low-profile mechanical keyboard and trackball-based pointing device and a chunky, retro design. The device includes a 7-inch 1080p display, a pair of USB-C ports (one of which is used for charging), a microSD slot for storage expansion, and a micro HDMI port for connecting to a display when you are at your desk.

The purple case of the Pocket Reform at least looks a bit sleeker than the chunky black case of the full-size Reform.
Enlarge / The purple case of the Pocket Reform at least looks a bit sleeker than the chunky black case of the full-size Reform.

DTM

Full reform is an interesting exercise in open source hardware and software, although a computer built around openness makes a lot of compromises that you don’t have to do with a “closed” system. Our biggest complaint about the Big Reform was its miserably slow ARM processor, which won’t change for the Pocket Reform even as MNT continues to work on slightly more powerful processor options. You’ll be able to at least augment the device’s default 802.11ac Wi-Fi with a cellular modem and SIM card.

MNT has also been careful to address a few of our complaints about the big overhaul since we reviewed it, including adding reinforced metal side panels to cover the ports and a redesigned battery system that won’t leave the batteries will discharge completely if the laptop is left. unplugged.

The version of Pocket Reform in the ad isn’t ready to launch yet, and MNT says it represents “near final specs and design.” For users interested in Pocket Reform’s impending early beta program, there’s a newsletter sign-up link at the bottom of the announcement.

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