Earlier this year during the annual Microsoft Build developer conference, Microsoft announced a new piece of hardware then codenamed Project Volterra.
While they didn’t reveal much about it back then, we did know that it was going to be a mini PC powered by a Snapdragon processor. The Redmond giant has now officially revealed it as the Windows Dev Kit 2023, together with more details about the computer.
Hardware wise, it’s a sleek little machine measuring just 8-inches by 6-inches, with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 system-on-chip under the hood. It’s been mated to 32GB of LPDDR4x RAM and 512GB of NVMe storage. As for graphics, it will use the Qualcomm Adreno GPU on the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 chip. There’s also software TPM onboard for security, and the Windows Dev Kit 2023 will of course come with Windows 11 Pro out of the box.
As for I/O, the Windows Dev Kit 2023 has two USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 ports, three USB-A 3.2 Gen 2 ports, a Mini DisplayPort for video output and an Ethernet port too, while for wireless connectivity it has support for WiFi 6 and Blueooth 5.1. The chassis itself is made of a plastic shell built out of 20% recycled ocean plastic, and the black box weighs just 960g.
Perhaps the coolest part of the Windows Dev Kit 2023 though is that it will come with a neural processing unit (NPU) on it, something that’s not often found on your regular PC. Microsoft has already done this though with the Surface Pro 9 having an NPU on it too, albeit only on models powered by the Microsoft SQ3 chip. The NPU on the Windows Dev Kit will allow developers to use it for hardware-accelerated AI tasks as well as for machine learning purposes. There will also be a slew of software tools on the side that will allow developers to make full use of Windows on ARM, such as ARM versions of Visual Studio 2022 17.4 and Microsoft Teams, Office and Edge.
“The Windows Dev Kit 2023 represents another step in creating a new developer platform that will enable you to build high-ambition cloud-native AI applications. With the native Arm64 Visual Studio, .NET support, and Windows Dev Kit 2023 we want to empower you to take the first step on this journey,” – Pavan Dayuluri, Microsoft corporate vice president
Microsoft will be making the Windows Dev Kit 2023 available in 8 countries for now, namely Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, the UK and the US, with a USD599.99 (~S$850.41) price tag. With a reasonable price tag and a pretty sleek design, the Windows Dev Kit 2023 will likely be of interest to not just developers but also anyone wanting a Windows alternative to the Apple Mac Mini. For more information on the Windows Dev Kit 2023, you can check out their full announcement post here.
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