MNT Reform, IMX8M and Librem5

I think it’s interesting to note the use of the same processor


Also similar price-tag - which demonstrates the price for hw built from scratch could really be high

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the article reads…
We developed a custom aluminum heatsink for the i.MX8M that allows Reform to run fully passive cooled, eliminating the need for a fan.

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Problem with the L5 is there just isn’t alot of room for heatsinks and fans . Due to this reason I dont see any significant cooling improvements sans some frequency idling in future development updates but software assisted cooling will only be able to do so much .


Interesting to note that they have the same problem with the HDMI blob. I understand the reason for this (HDCP) but I’m sure many users have no interest in content-protected content. It is a pity that there isn’t open source HDMI support that simply omits the HDCP support (and hence would be unable to display content-protected content). It probably doesn’t make much difference for a laptop used in isolation (internal display connection can use whatever) but either a laptop or a phone might want to use an external monitor - and it’s just dumb that the device can’t display its own content because of some idiot in “Hollywood”.


I wonder if there could be some way to make it cheaper. I dream of a day where computer hardware manufacturing is available at a price tag which can be afforded even at small scales…

Where did you see pricing?

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I absolutely despise HDCP and have gone out of my way to find things that do not support it, but the problem is, that almost everything does! Only a select very few monitors on the market today are HDCP-free, but they don’t even make this clear, as so few people care about DRM, or even know what HDCP is!

I also find it sad that so few monitors are available in a more square aspect ratio, such as 5:4 or 4:3, as these allow more vertical space for scrolling while still being wide enough for content, give extra margins for subtitles, as well as potentially being closer to the visual angle of human eyesight, apparently155°h × 120°v, though sources vary, and I am having trouble finding the original source for this number. CRTs also have some advantages over modern monitors, but no one makes modern CRT monitors at all, from what I can see.

If only at-home manufacturing were cheaper, maybe this wouldn’t be as much of a problem, and we could have whatever type of monitors we wanted, completely HDCP-free, but unfortunately, this is not yet the case.

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Actually I don’t so much care whether the monitor does or does not support HDCP. It is the host end that concerns me because that’s where it causes problems.


Sounds like you need a FrankenPad! They are a labour of love though…

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If you go to the store you can see earlier prototypes(i.MX6 based) with the price comparable to L5 prototypes. L5 price eventually went up as it added up software development (eg the release cycle didn’t finish with making it bootable). There it hopefully will be opposite - although the power management problem is common to both of them and going to be solved by Purism for MNT.


yeah but supporting companies that do so is also a no bueno


Sure, fair enough, I get that, but, as @happysmash27 says, there are few choices available, and fewer still when limited to what is actually available to any given person to buy (unless importing it him or herself).

I have one monitor that is rotatable, with the goal being able to view a full A4 page, while still allowing enough space on the screen for controls etc. In that case, most 16:9 monitors are fine. (I am pretty sure that auto-rotate either isn’t available on my monitor or doesn’t work in Linux, so it is necessary to change the orientation in the display settings before physically rotating the monitor.)

But we digress.

1:1 square then we can play all day rotating and seeing which looks better :wink:


Preferably a display with an abysmal vertical viewing angle, so you can rotate it for improved privacy without sacrificing your aspect ratio! :slight_smile:

You’re definitely onto something here, @reC! :smiley:


The problem with virtical 16:9 monitors is that, unlike square monitors, it gets harder to watch widescreen content when they are rotated. With square monitors, wide content, square content, and tall content all display pretty well, since the screen area is similar no matter which way content is oriented.

Precisely. Morals are one of the largest considerations in how I spend money, and even if all the new monitors currently include HDCP, I expect my old monitors to be able to last for many years more, given that they’ve lasted so long already.

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The point of being able to rotate is that you orient the monitor in the way that best suits what you are doing at the time.

Watching commercial video content? Almost certainly you want monitor in landscape orientation.

Reading long A4 documents with portrait pages? You want monitor in portrait orientation.

Trying to do both at the same time, connect two monitors. :slight_smile:


MNT Reform is now supposedly in the wild (if 25 units in Europe counts). Anyone see anything creditable from someone who got one? Their community forum has evidence of user activity, but I couldn’t find any broad-brush posting about first impressions or anything.

I ordered an MNT Reform in October, 2020.

At that time it was estimated to ship Dec 10, 2020.

Still waiting for it to ship. But that’s just a few months, it’s not like I’m impatient or anything. Compared to the Librem 5, it’s just a short delay. :slight_smile:

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