In the world of technology, slower and inefficient machines and their high sales can be termed an oxymoron but for a new ‘MNT reform’, the pair of opposites seem to be working quite well.
In a nutshell, the device promises to be completely transparent, open, customizable, hackable and it is also the only existing notebook that fully complies with Open Source Hardware Association standards. Until now, 108 supporters have committed to contribute a whopping sum of more than $124,600 which is well above the target $115,000 and with 35 days remaining in the campaign.
The project was launched by MNT Research GmbH based in Germany, which has spent the last 18 months trying to build a laptop that supports the philosophy of the open-source while being as functional as possible.
The result is an MNT reform laptop which costs $999 (around £820 / AU$1550) and comes as a kit, in the spirit of the first microcomputers. If you don’t want to pay a premium for assembly, the marketing blurb makes it clear that from the individual boards, panel, and case parts you will need to create the MNT Reform yourself.
The fully assembled model retails at $1,300 and comes on SD card with Debian GNU / Linux 11, a printed operator handbook, and international power supply (110/230 V), but without Wi-Fi.
You get a 1 TB SSD, Wi-Fi, a mPCIe Wi-Fi card, and a custom Black Piñatex Leather Sleeve (vegan) designed by fashion designer Greta Melnik in Berlin for an additional $200.
The MNT Reform features 4 GB of DDR4 memory, a quad-core ARM Cortex A53 CPU (similar to the processor of the Raspberry Pi 3), a full HD display of 12.5 inches, five USB ports, a Gigabit Ethernet port and a mechanical keyboard.
It is not an average person’s laptop and their main target market would probably be well aware of its limitations. A business laptop with Windows Hello, password manager, a solid antivirus, and leading VPN should just do fine for standard users looking to preserve their privacy.