While Apple went all-in on ARM with their custom silicon, the Windows side of things has been a little more slow going. So far the handful of ARM based Windows devices I’ve looked at have been expensive underperforming devices with significant compatibility issues.
I was surprised that we haven’t seen any ARM based mini PCs until now. Unfortunately this first example, the Apcslimic Dot 1 Mini PC is one that I will not recommend. Here are some of the issues I found with it:
- No 4k Support
- Only 100 megabit ethernet
- Lackluster performance vs. similarly priced Intel & AMD based Mini PCs
- No return policy
- And most importantly a non-activated version of Windows 11 ARM.
The company tried to get away with running some development tool hack after purchase to get around the lack of activation. But the tool didn’t work properly on my device. While they denied shipping PCs without proper activation it’s clear these systems are not being shipped with proper licenses.
ARM based Windows laptops trade performance for battery life, but on a MiniPC that plugs into a wall you’re not getting much of a benefit beyond a few cents a month off your electric bill. There are far better Intel & AMD based Mini PCs I’d suggest over this one.