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The 2024 Snapdragon Dev Kit: A Compact Powerhouse for Windows on Arm


The 2024 Snapdragon Dev Kit

Are you excited about the prospect of long-lasting, powerful Windows laptops with Arm chips and impressive AI capabilities, but prefer a cheaper desktop solution? Qualcomm has the answer with its newly unveiled Snapdragon Dev Kit, scheduled to ship on June 18, 2024.

This Mac Mini-like device costs $899.99 and is primarily designed for developers. It houses the top-of-the-line Snapdragon X Elite chip with a 4.6 TFLOP GPU, 32GB of LPDDR5x RAM, and 512GB of NVMe storage. All of these components are packed into a slim, compact body that’s comparable in size to Apple’s mini desktop.

Design and specifications

Although promotional images show the Dev Kit in a transparent case, most devices will be available in black. The device measures 20 x 7 x 1.3 inches and weighs two pounds. It supports Wi-Fi 7 and Bluetooth 5.4 and can serve three 4K monitors simultaneously, making it a versatile tool for various development needs.

The port selection is generous as it has following features:

  • Three USB4 ports with Type-C connectors
  • Two USB 3.2 ports with Type-A connectors
  • Ethernet
  • 3.5mm audio jack
  • HDMI

These ports ensure you can easily connect multiple peripherals and displays, although multi-monitor setups may require the use of USB-C cables or adapters.

Performance and power

One of the standout features of the Dev Kit is its powerful Snapdragon X Elite chip, which is part of Qualcomm’s cutting-edge product range. Offering exceptional AI computing power, power efficiency, enhanced security, and seamless device management, this chip promises robust performance for both personal and business tasks.

The Dev Kit also comes with a 180W external power supply, which is a necessity given Microsoft’s quoted peak TDP of over 80 watts. This power rating suggests that the Dev Kit could outperform the first wave of laptops with similar Qualcomm chips.

Market position and availability

Compared to other devices in its category, the Snapdragon Dev Kit is a cost-effective alternative, although not by a huge margin. The Surface Laptop 6, for example, starts at $999.99 and has a screen, making it a viable option for those who need an all-in-one device.

It’s worth noting that acquiring the Dev Kit may not be easy for everyone. Qualcomm’s landing page currently redirects potential buyers to a contact form, meaning additional steps may be required to purchase.

Final Conclusion

The Snapdragon Dev Kit for Windows represents an exciting opportunity for developers looking to explore the capabilities of Arm chips in a desktop form factor. Its powerful specs, compact design and extensive connectivity options make it a compelling choice for development work, albeit with a somewhat high price and potential purchasing hurdles. With its release imminent, it will be interesting to see how this device shapes the future of Windows on Arm experimentation.