Published: 2020-05-08 Updated: 2023-08-14 16:02:12 +0200

MNT Reform: The Much More Personal Computer

Get MNT Reform

Open Source

MNT Reform is the ultimate open hardware laptop, designed and assembled in Berlin, Germany. MNT Reform is uniquely designed to be as open and transparent as possible, and to support a free and open source software stack from the ground up. We invite you to take a look under the hood, customize the documented electronics, and even repair it yourself if you like. The Reform laptop has no built-in surveillance technologies, cameras, or microphones, so you can be confident that it will never spy on you. Built not around Intel technology, MNT Reform has a much easier to understand architecture than conventional laptops. You have the choice between different CPU modules, depending on openness vs performance needs.

MNT Reform's hardware, firmware, software and documentation is open source (under CERN OHL-S 2.0 and GNU GPLv3) and invites collaboration and hacking:

Uniquely Expandable

MNT Reform's motherboard features not only a mPCIe slot and an M.2 slot for NVMe SSDs, but even the System-on-Chip and memory are upgradeable: they live together on a SO-DIMM sized module. Moreover, the input devices are fully modular and connected internally via USB 2.0 headers, inviting easy modification and upgrades.

Operator Manual

The included printed manual covers everything from Linux basics to mechanical parts and electronics schematics. All content is also available in the online version. The cover was designed by Hundred Rabbits.

Format: DIN A5, 136 pages, softcover, 2 colors, many illustrations.

Enhanced Typing Comfort

12.5" Full HD IPS Display

A 12.5" IPS eDP (embedded DisplayPort) panel from Innolux, model number N125HCE-GN1, with 24-bit color and 1920 x 1080 pixels. It is sharp, bright, and a pleasure to do text work on. It has a great color gamut for watching movies, as well.

Optical Trackball or Glass Trackpad

The MNT Reform Trackball has five buttons, so you don’t have to worry anymore about how to do a middle click or use the trackball as a scroll wheel (hold bottom left or right button and roll the ball up and down). Because our trackball firmware is open source, you can adjust the button functions to behave exactly as you like. For the ball’s optical motion tracking, we are using a Pixart PAT9125EL laser sensor interfacing with a ATmega32U2 MCU with open source firmware.

If you prefer a trackpad over the trackball, you can choose it as the default option. The trackball and trackpad are interchangeable modules. The trackpad is based on the capacitive multi-touch sensor module TPS65-201A-S by Azoteq with our custom frosted glass surface. Like the trackball, we drive it with a custom ATmega32U2 PCB and our own open source firmware.

Want both? You can buy each module separately and easily swap them!

Aluminum Body

The black-anodized and sand-blasted aluminum case, created by industrial designer Ana Dantas, consists of only 5 parts that can be (disassembled) with a single screw driver.

Many Ports

Safer and Greener Batteries

MNT Reform has 8 user exchangeable 18650 size battery cells with 1800mAh each. The LiFePO4 chemistry trades some energy density for many advantages over LiIon:

Programmable System Controller with OLED Menu

By pressing the circle key on the keyboard, you can interact directly with the System Controller on the motherboard. To give you visual feedback for this interaction, we added a tiny 128 x 32 pixel OLED on top of the keyboard. From here, you can check charger and battery cell status at any time, control system power and keyboard backlight. The keyboard OLED has more potential uses, like a password manager/wallet or notification display.

Preloaded with Debian GNU/Linux

MNT Reform ships with the latest version of Debian Linux on a 32GB SD card, and with a second copy as the Rescue System on the integrated 16GB eMMC. With the Reform Migration tool, you can easily copy the system to an optional SSD, including full-disk encryption (LUKS) support.

To get you up and running quickly, some essential open source applications are preinstalled:

Firefox/ChromiumWeb browsers
EvolutionEmail client
LibreOfficeFully featured office suite for creating documents, spreadsheets and presentations
GIMPPowerful raster image editor
InkscapeVector image editor
ArdourAudio/music production workstation (DAW)

Detailed Specs

CPU/RAM/GPUModularity Comparison Table
DisplayFull HD (1920 x 1080 pixels) 12.5" IPS eDP display driven via MIPI-DSI. HDMI port (not available with LS1028A). 128 x 32 pixel system control OLED
USB 3x USB 3.0 ports external (Type-A), 2x USB 2.0 internal (for input devices). A311D: external ports are USB 2.0.
NetworkingGigabit Ethernet port. Optional ath9k miniPCIe Wi-Fi card.
StorageInternal M.2 M-key socket for NVMe SSD. Full size SD card slot. 16GB eMMC
PCIe1x miniPCIe socket (PCIe 2.0 1x), 1x M.2/NGFF (Depends on module. i.MX8MQ: PCIe 2.0. LS1028A: SATA-3. A311D: Not connected.)
KeyboardReform mechanical USB keyboard with Kailh Choc Brown Switches, dimmable backlight, open firmware
Trackball (Option)Reform optical USB trackball with 5 mechanical switches (Kailh Choc Brown), open firmware
Trackpad (Option)Reform capacitive USB trackpad, open firmware
EnclosureModular case from CNC-milled, bead-blasted, black-anodized 6061 aluminum. Bottom cover milled from semi-transparent acrylic.
SoundWolfson WM8960 ADC/DAC, stereo speakers, 3.5" headset/microphone jack (no internal microphone)
BatteryLiFePO4 battery technology, which is more fire-safe and has more charge-cycles than LiPo batteries. 8x owner-serviceable 18650 cells totalling 12 Ah/3.2 V. 5 h approximate battery life
System ControllerNXP LPC11U24 ARM Cortex-M0 chip with open firmware and hackable expansion port
ManualOperator Manual incl. system schematics and full parts list
SourcesKiCAD sources for motherboard, keyboard, trackball, trackpad, STEP/STL/FreeCAD files for case parts, C sources for all firmware (input devices and system controller), build scripts for boot & system image
OSPreloaded with Debian GNU/Linux





Battery Board


System Images (Operating Systems)

Community, Fediverse and IRC


Neelfyn has created quite detailed guides on how to flash the firmware:

Repair Guides

Also by Neelfyn:

How to get an MNT Reform


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