All you need to know about Qualcomm’s $219 dev kit for ARM-based apps on Windows

Apple is slowly shifting its slew of computing systems towards ARM-based processors — the new MacBook Pros with M1X chip being the latest.

On the other hand, there are only a handful of Windows laptops and desktops that use ARM-based processors. One of the keys to having more of these systems would be a robust app ecosystem.

Last year, Apple introduced an ARM-based Mac Mini for developers to start porting their apps. If you’re a Windows app developer, there’s also a reference machine available for you, thanks to Qualcomm.

In May, at Microsoft’s Build developer summit, Qualcomm announced a developer kit without revealing too many details. Now, we have more information on this device, and a price point of $219.

The device, named the ECS LIVA Mini Box QC710 Desktop, has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 7c octa-core CPU (gen 1) with up to 2.4GHz of clock speed. 

You can check out the full spec sheet below:

Specifications

  • Processor:Qualcomm Snapdragon 7c Compute SC7180
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Internal memory: 64GB
  • External memory: MicroSD slot
  • Wireless connectivity: Wi-Fi 5; Bluetooth
  • Ports: 1 x USB Type-C (PD-Charging);  1 x USB 3.2 Gen1 Type-A, 1 x USB 2.0 Type-A; 1 x HDMI; 1 LAN
  • Operating system: Windows 10 Home; Free upgrade to Windows 11

The developer kit ships with Windows 10 Home edition, but you can upgrade it to Windows 11 without cost. It also has the ability for you to run an x64 emulator to evaluate your app’s performance.

Some frequently used apps, such as Zoom, Adobe Photoshop, and Firefox have already released ARM-based versions for Windows.

Typically you had to splurge almost $1,000 to get an ARM-based Windows system and start developing your apps. But with this new developer kit from Qualcomm, you can save a ton of money.

You can read more about the Qualcomm ECS LIVA Mini Box QC710 here. Plus, you can check out documents related to Windows development on Snapdragon here.

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