MNT Pocket Reform: 7″ pocket PC with Cortex-A72 based on Debian and Plasma

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With the Pocket Reform, the Berlin company MNT Research has developed a Pocket PC with a SoC based on ARM Cortex-A72, the Debian GNU/Linux free operating system, which is considered to be particularly stable, and the modular Linux desktop KDE Plasma announced. The small PDA is said to offer numerous configuration options.

Particularly modular pocket PC for Linux

While PDAs and pocket PCs have long since left their best days under Windows and gone into the niche, the format is currently celebrating a small revival under Linux. The 200 × 126 × 45 mm (W × D × H) small MNT Pocket Reform from Berlin-based MNT Research GmbH comes up against exactly this notch and wants to be a particularly mobile Linux companion for on the go.

MNT Pocket Reform (Image: MNT Research GmbH)

If desired, the particularly modular MNT Pocket Reform can be extensively expanded and placed on a completely new basis. You can choose from various systems-on-a-chip based on various ARM and FPGA architectures.

MNT Pocket Reform System-on-Chip Options

  • NXP i.MX8M Plus
    • 4× ARM Cortex-A53 @ 1.8GHz
    • 4 – 8GB DDR4, Vivante GC7000UL GPU, NPU
  • NXP Layerscape LS1028A
    • 2× ARM Cortex-A72 @ 2.0 GHz
    • 8 – 16 GB DDR4, Vivante GC7000UL GPU, NPU
  • Raspberry Pi CM4 (via adapter)
    • 4× ARM Cortex-A72 @ 1.5 GHz
    • 8 GB DDR4, VideoCore GPU
  • Pine64 SOQuartz RK3566
    • 4× ARM Cortex-A55 @ 1.8 GHz
    • 8 GB DDR4, Mali G52 GPU
  • AMD/Xilinx Kintex-7
    • FPGA @ 625MHz
    • 16 GB DDR4, RISC-V SoC (optional)

The basis for the 7-inch PDA, whose IPS panel with 1,920 × 1,080 pixels achieves a high 310 PPI, is the 12.5-inch MNT Reform developer notebook, which has been converted to an even more compact kit.

The modular platform of the MNT Pocket Reform (Image: MNT Research GmbH)

The creators attach great importance to the fact that both the software and the hardware and their documentation are open source and can be viewed by everyone. The other specifications of the MNT Pocket Reform read as follows:

MNT Pocket Reform – Specifications

  • Wi-Fi 5
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • 2× USB 3.2 Type-C
  • WWAN slot for 4G/5G/LTE
  • 128 GB eMMC flash memory + microSD
  • Mini keyboard with 60 keys
  • Micro HDMI @ 4K
  • 8,000 mAh

Debian and Plasma as base and many options

The stable development branch of Debian GNU/Linux and the particularly modular free desktop KDE Plasma serve as the foundation and software basis for the MNT Pocket Reform. Additional software packages are optionally available:

MNT Pocket Reform – OS and Desktops

  • OS
    • Debian GNU/Linux 11
    • Arch Linux Rolling Release
    • Ubuntu Linux 22.04 LTS
    • Genode and Plan 9
    • OpenBSD 7.1
  • Desktops
    • KDE Plasma 5
    • Gnome 4
    • Sway
  • < /ul>

Presale and beta phase should start soon

The MNT Pocket Reform is scheduled to start pre-sales soon with a beta phase, but the manufacturer has not yet announced a price. The big brother, the MNT Reform developer notebook, was offered on the crowdfunding platform Crowd Supply with prices starting at 1,299 US dollars.

The MNT Pocket Reform will be in direct competition with the GPD Pocket 3 with Intel Core i7-1195G7, the Planet Astro Slide 5G with Dimensity 1000 and the FX Tec Pro 1 and FX Tec Pro 1X with Qualcomm Snapdragon 662.

MNT Research GmbH explains the open source concept using the larger reform notebook.