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MNT Reform 2 Open Source DIY Arm Linux Modular Laptop Coming Soon (Crowdfunding)

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We first covered MNT Reform in fall of 2017, when it was a prototype for a DIY and modular laptop powered by NXP i.MX 6QuadPlus processor, and with plans to eventually use i.MX 8 hexa-core processor.

Last year they designed several beta units of Reform to get feedback for a dozen users, and have now fully redesigned the laptop based on an NXP i.MX 8M system-on-module with the crowdfunding campaign expected to go live in February on Crowd Supply.

The goals of the project are to provide an open-source hardware laptop that avoids binary blobs as much as possible and is environmentally friendly. These goals guided many of the technical decisions.

For example, there are many NXP i.MX 8M SoM’s, but MNT selected Nitrogen8M as the schematics are available after registration on Boundary Devices website, and that means people wanting to create their own module compatible with Reform 2 could do so.

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MNT Reform open source, modular laptop crowdfunding campaign

  • MNT Reform open source, modular laptop crowdfunding campaign launches in February

    The MNT Reform is a modular laptop designed to run free and open source software and to be easy to repair, upgrade, or customize. It’s been under development for a few years, and now the developers of the project have finalized the design.

    You’ll likely be able to pre-order one in February when a crowfunding campaign gets underway.

Is the MNT Reform the Most Open Source Laptop, Ever?!

  • Is the MNT Reform the Most Open Source Laptop, Ever?!

    Every single inch of this uniquely positioned notebook has been designed to be as hacker, user, and open source friendly as possible.

    It also boasts some seriously unexpected touches, like a mechanical keyboard, a 5-button trackball, and an system-independent OLED display to relay information.

    In this post we take a closer look at what the hack-friendly MNT Reform laptop has to offer, why it’s designed the way it is, and where and when you can buy one for yourself.

MNT Reform open source, modular laptop

  • MNT Reform open source, modular laptop

    A new open source modular laptop will be launching next month via a crowdfunding campaign on the Crowd Supply website, offering an open source DIY laptop that can be modified and customised in a wide variety of different ways as well as protecting your online privacy. “Modern laptops have secret schematics, glued-in batteries, and mystery components all over. But Reform is the opposite — it invites both curious makers and privacy aware users to take a look under the hood, customize the documented electronics, and 3D-print their own parts.”

MNT Modular, Open Source 'Reform' Laptop to Hit Crowd Supply

  • MNT Modular, Open Source 'Reform' Laptop to Hit Crowd Supply in February

    It's easier than ever to make open source hardware that doesn't rely on hardly any proprietary technologies. "Easier than ever" isn't the same as "easy," though, which is why it's taken a few years for the MNT Reform laptop to officially debut. CNX Software reported Sunday that the wait should finally be over soon--the MNT Reform 2 is expected to hit the Crowd Supply crowdfunding platform in February.

    CNX Software said the original MNT Reform was envisioned as a DIY kit for which development started in 2017. MNT sent units to beta testers in 2018, and once it received their feedback, it started work on the MNT Reform 2. Now it's reportedly set to debut on Crowd Supply in February; its placeholder page can be found here.

MNT Reform, an Open Source Laptop, Expected to Hit Crowd Supply

  • MNT Reform, an Open Source Laptop, Expected to Hit Crowd Supply in February

    MNT Reform is a laptop that aims to utilize all opensource materials, everything from firmware, hardware, and software. This device is expected to hit Crowdsupply in February and aims to offer a very modular design, having easily replaceable parts which are a combination of both standard components and 3D printed parts.

MNT Reform, an Open Source Laptop, Expected to Hit Crowd Supply

  • MNT Reform, an Open Source Laptop, Expected to Hit Crowd Supply in February

    History of MNT

    The MNT Reform was initially envisioned as a DIY kit for which development started in 2017, and then MNT was able to send 11 beta units in December 2018. This was done to get feedback from earlier adopters. MNT was moved to a dedicated studio in Berlin, during this time MNT redesigned the MNT Reform from the ground up. As of November 2019, the design is mostly complete, and MNT is preparing the final details for the crowdfunding campaign.

    Many models are expected to be available

    CNX Software reported that MNT is planning to offer different variations of this laptop, some bing a mix of DIY kits and some being fully assembled laptops to the Crowd Supply Backers. No information regarding pricing for the different models was given, as well as release timing was not provided.

Open Laptop Soon To Be Open For Business

  • Open Laptop Soon To Be Open For Business

    Since we started eagerly watching the Reform a couple years ago the hardware world has kept turning, and the Reform has improved accordingly. The i.MX6 series CPU is looking a little peaky now that it’s approaching end of life, and the device has switched to a considerably more capable – but no less free – i.MX8M paired with 4 GB of DDR4 on a SODIMM-shaped System-On-Module. This particular SOM is notable because the manufacturer freely provides the module schematics, making it easy to upgrade or replace in the future. The screen has been bumped up to a 12.5″ 1080p panel and steps have been taken to make sure it can be driven without blobs in the graphics pipeline.

    If you’re worried that the chassis of the laptop may have been left to wither while the goodies inside got all the attention, there’s no reason for concern. Both have seen substantial improvement. The keyboard now uses the Kailh Choc ultra low profile mechanical switches for great feel in a small package, while the body itself is milled out of aluminum in five pieces. It’s printable as well, if you want to go that route. All in all, the Reform represents a heroic amount of work and we’re extremely impressed with how far the design has come.

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