Copilot+ laptops are exciting, but what I really want to see is a Windows version of the Mac Mini

The 2023 Mac Mini
(Image credit: Gerald Lynch / iMore)

Obviously, I use and love laptops. I use one pretty much every day, but at heart, I'm a desktop PC user. I'm clearly not alone, either. Be it gamers, office environments, general family users, the desktop PC is alive and well. 

Which makes it all the more disheartening to see that among the raft of new Copilot+ hardware powered by the Qualcomm X Plus and X Elite, there are no desktop machines. OK, that's not entirely accurate, there is one. But it's not meant for consumers. 

Meanwhile, the competition, Apple, has four desktop machines powered by its ARM-based M-series chips. Not all of them are super expensive, either. The Mac Mini is the entry point, and it starts at a very reasonable $599. That's what I want Windows users to have. An affordable, yet powerful desktop PC. 

I want a Qualcomm-powered Mac Mini and I want it yesterday. 

The Qualcomm dev kit is a start, but we need one for regular people

The new Snapdragon X Elite developer kit.  (Image credit: Qualcomm)

So, about that technically there is one part. Qualcomm announced, alongside all the Copilot+ laptops, that the company is launching a Snapdragon X Elite dev kit for $899. The hardware is pretty perfect, though admittedly, the price less so. But then, it's not a consumer product, so what it costs isn't really an issue. 

Inside it packs a 12-core Snapdragon X Elite, 32GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD. It's well kitted with ports, and it's all wrapped up inside a neat little black box. For $899 it's actually a pretty good deal, but for a consumer device it would be a little on the pricey side. 

Even though it's significantly better equipped than the middle-tier Mac Mini, being $100 more expensive is what regular people would see. And it's $300 more than the entry-level Mac Mini with the normal M2. Regardless of how much better it might be, $300 is a lot. 

And that's why I want to see someone make a consumer version. Something like this starting at that same $599 price point with a Snapdragon X Plus would be killer. After all, Copilot+ PCs have to have 16GB of RAM, so you'd be getting more memory than you'd get on the cheapest Mac Mini, too. 

The Apple Silicon Mac Mini is incredible, we need something similar with Windows 11

Love it or hate it, the Apple Silicon Mac Mini is an incredible piece of hardware.  (Image credit: Gerald Lynch / iMore)

A couple of years ago, I bought an M1 Mac mini to try out and see what all the fuss was about. I loved it. At least, the hardware, anyway. The software is where it all fell apart, and if Apple had let me put Windows 11 for ARM on it instead of macOS, I'd still have it today. 

For day-to-day use it was fast, it was quiet, and it was efficient. I also reclaimed a ton of space on my desk by using it over a desktop Windows PC, or even a laptop hooked up to a monitor. Apple could probably make it even smaller, but whatever, though with an ARM chip inside there is certainly the possibility of having a really small machine. 

What's even more impressive, especially considering it's Apple, is that you can get one of these at a very affordable price. The base model right now has the Apple M2 and costs $599. That's a great piece of hardware for that price. 

Now Qualcomm has the Snapdragon X Plus to go with the more powerful, more expensive X Elite, it's not inconceivable to think we could easily have something similar running Windows 11 in a similar price range. The likes of Dell, Lenovo, and HP, already make small form factor PCs for enterprise, let's get some of those with a consumer spin with the new chips inside. 

Surface Pro, 11th Edition | Starts at $999 from

Surface Pro, 11th Edition | Starts at $999 from

Exceptional performance, all-day battery life, and innovative AI experiences enhance your device, making it smarter, quicker, and more creative. This is all housed in a versatile design that merges a tablet's portability with a laptop's robustness. Windows 11 Copilot+ PCs are crafted for advanced AI experiences, streamlining your daily efficiency and productivity.

Richard Devine
Managing Editor - Tech, Reviews

Richard Devine is a Managing Editor at Windows Central with over a decade of experience. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently, you'll find him steering the site's coverage of all manner of PC hardware and reviews. Find him on Mastodon at

  • dharmababa
    100% agree. Perfect for people like my elderly mom who has no need for portability. I got her a mini PC in the last year and most of the best choices were Chinese OEMs through Amazon. Maybe the market is not big enough for the large PC makers. I wonder if Qualcomm has allocated the early supply to big OEMs but over time will open it up to smaller ones to make form factors like these.
  • bazanime
    Many excellent NUC PCs and Mini PCs out there. Eventually will be a Snapdragon X version.

    Minis Forum

    ETA Prime is a good YouTube channel that covers them in detail.
  • Cody Patterson
    I asked this in the announcement article about the dev kit… but is there anything holding me back from getting the dev kit and using as a daily driver mini pc besides just creating some sort of dev account to purchase it through?
  • taynjack
    Microsoft, put that Qualcomm chip in the Surface Studio already!