MNT Reform laptop

There have been mention of the MNT Reform elsewhere in the forum, but I thought it worth having a thread of its own. Here is the place to celebrate a very different project with complementary aims to Framework’s own laptop.

The Reform is in many respects an excellent foil against which the framework can be compared. Perhaps it shows what would happen to the Framework if some of the more strident feature requests were adopted. :grinning: Whilst the Framework is almost Apple like in its appearance, the Reform might be considered not so much a traditional notebook as an off-the-peg cyberdeck. Appropriate enough for a business based in the country that brought us Kraftwerk. The Reform offers amongst other things:

  • ARM SoC
  • Mechanical keyboard with discrete switches.
  • Trackball - surrounded by mechanical switched buttons
  • Removable battery
  • No internal mic or camera (for privacy).
  • Open source hardware, firmware, schematic circuitry diagrams included.

Whilst the Reform will have a narrower appeal than the Framework there will no doubt be many of us who find that it meets their needs better than the framework. I hope they prosper.


I think that the Reform laptop and the Framework laptop are going to be seen as competitors when they really don’t seem to be. The two teams have similar principles, it seems, but they have completely different market focuses.
They go above and beyond in modularity and changeability, but the Framework laptop is something that anyone can work on even if it’s the first time they’ve ever opened a laptop. The Reform, on the other hand, may be daunting to people who aren’t already comfortable with that.

Overall, I think that both products will be unfairly pitted against each other, but it’ll be interesting to see how people will look at once after using the other.

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Something like the Reform would be too much of a stretch to use as a daily driver, at least for me personally. The form factor looks like something from the 90s. Maybe I am being a bit too harsh here but I care about my productivity too much to give up so much just for the promise of modularity. I don’t really see them as competitors with the Framework.

The Framework is the first laptop I have seen that made me consider switching to daily driving Linux after using and loving macOS for 10+ years. Reform looks like a major step back in practicality, just for the promise of modularity. Maybe there are people who like that, but it is not for me.

The Reform seems to be not so much about modularity as about taking open-source to the limits. There’s only so much you can do without proprietary hardware and firmware, so it’s more a proof of concept rather than a practical alternative for regular consumers.


Another issue with the Reform is the SoC it’s running. Don’t get me wrong, I’d not complain about a M-series level non-Apple ARM board, at all. But, the Reform’s running something considerably lower-spec, even in comparison to current phone SoCs.

I’d also second the idea that the Reform’s a bit more hardcore, as far as assembly goes. With even the DIY Framework, you’re slapping in storage/memory/wireless, then you close things up and roll out.

However, I do support what the MNT folk are after, and if nothing else, I certainly wish them success.


I think the Reform adresses people with more hardwareskills, the need of ARM Processor because of the OS they use and maybe like the old IBM books. Framework on the other hand is more about gicing people a eco-system for all parts rather than look for themselves what could fit in the book. And one thing for me is, the Reform is not that kind of book you take with you often. For me it would be to big/thick/heavy. I´m wishing everyone a part of the cake (so to say) but Framework did for me the better job. There are a lot of people benefit from the Reform for specific needs. In the end, different products and not comparable.

I have both. they are similar, but different. both have their good points and bad points.

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Have they fixed this?

This exactly. I have a Reform (writing this post from it) and love the fact that I have the schematics and source for my computer so I can repair it when the time comes. I’m willing to give up some performance in exchange for that if that’s what it takes. When I was looking for a laptop for my wife, Framework was my top recommendation because it’s still much more open and repairable than the vast majority of laptops but doesn’t make some of the more extreme compromises that the Reform did.

Sort of. There was a new firmware for the system controller released after that video that improved battery consumption considerably, but didn’t completely fix the problem. There are new battery boards being tested with a low-voltage cutoff that should be available later this year.


I have both as well. While it is true that they are both computers, 1 is limited by the mantra behind it, while the other is not. This is the ONLY real difference between them, but it makes for drastically different products.

That said, I got the Reform and was very doubtful that the laptop would be useful. I was pleasantly surprised. Combined with an NVME drive the SoC because nearly snappy. It loads things quickly and I rarely notice any lag. The NVME helps overcome the 4gb RAM limit as well, as the swap is quick.

On the other hand the Framework is a computer that fits the computing performance of today, and is even ahead of the power curve in some ways. There is no question that it is performant.

While you could reorganize your workflow and make the Reform your daily, the Framework can be your daily regardless of your workflow.

That is the biggest difference.


Has anybody ordered the - simply adorable - Pocket Reform? ETA first quarter this year.

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We chose a common LiPo battery form factor (606090) with standard > JST-PH connectors. The cells are in the bottom part below the keyboard, together with our custom charger and protection module.

USB Type-C Power Delivery charging
2× Li-Ion cells (8000 mAh total)
Runtime: approx. 4 hours

I have not ordered the one. The concept looks great. But the battery life for 4 hours is a challenge.

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