Nokia Lumia 2520 verses Microsoft ST

The Nokia Lumia 2520 marks Nokia’s debut into the Windows tablet market, producing the first proper competition for Microsoft’s own tablet-laptop, the Surface. When Microsoft launched the Surface, they pinned plenty on it; large marketing budgets, huge technical resources and no shortage of hopes and dreams. Needless to say, the Surface was a huge let-down, recording embarrassing sales figures and plenty of big black Friday markdowns. So can Nokia prove that there is life in the Windows platform for tablet computers? Let’s dive in.

Firstly, this is likely to be a one-off Lumia tablet. As many of you will be aware, Microsoft are close to getting the rubber stamp on their acquisition of Nokia, and if – as expected – this goes through, it’s likely that they will discontinue this tablet offering in order to protect their Surface. So this tablet launches into a very uncertain World, and in many ways could be perceived as been a testing tablet. Nokia over the years have proven themselves more than adept at creating great mobile telephones, but tablets are a new area for the Swedish company to focus their attentions. It would thus be optimistic to expect a great product here, but the lack of an opportunity to make the incremental upgrades which are likely to be required is something of a shame. What ultimately may be lost from the Nokia stable will serve to boost the flailing Surface RT though, so all is not lost.

Even in this uncertain landscape, Nokia have not yet been bought, so are therefore obliged to carry on as if no acquisition talks are on-going. So here is a breakdown of what Nokia have constructed.

  • Design: Make no mistake – this device has all of the Nokia Lumia hallmarks. Lumia devices have very distinct design characteristics, and these have all been carried over in to the 2520. These design characteristics include a love of curvy devices with bright colours, and this serves as stark contrast to Microsoft’s own somewhat blocky devices.
  • Screen dimensions: The Lumia tablet sports a 10.1 inch-screen. It weighs 615g and is 8.9mm thick. It comes in slightly more compact and noticeably lighter than the Surface RT, meaning it is infinitely more portable than Microsoft’s own brand slate.
  • Colours: You can grab this tablet in four different colours. Nokia’s love of bold, bright colours across their Lumia range continues here, with each of the four options coming in dual tone including the red and white version that we tested
  • Build quality: One immediate standout feature of this tablet is its all-round feeling of quality. It feels like Nokia showered it with some serious love during its creation, in a way which certain tech companies seem unwilling to do. Small details count, and by in large Nokia have nailed them.
  • Connectivity: Micro HDMI port, 3.0 USB port, Micro SD. The Nokia Power Keyboard – which really turns this into a tablet-laptop – adds two additional USB ports. Sadly, Nokia do not bundle the Power keyboard. All in all, you can affordably add 64GB of storage to the Nokia tablet
  • High definition: The Lumia comes with a very high quality 1080p High Definition display. Allied with its 10.1 inch widescreen display, this marries up beautifully to make this device highly effective for media usage. The 218ppi pixel density provides a crisp ‘retina’ experience which is a joy to use for reading, with very little pixilation.
  • Brightness: One of the best features of this tablet is its incredible screen brightness. Powered by Nokia’s ‘Luminance’ technology, it delivers 30% more brightness compared to the Surface RT. In bright outdoor conditions, this makes a really big difference. This feature makes this tablet a great choice for anybody who plans to use it outdoors.
  • Mobile: Nokia have used the LTE functionality that you’d more commonly find in their smartphones in this tablet, making it much more travel friendly than the Microsoft offering. In that sense, this tablet is truly ‘mobile’ which again makes it a good bet for outdoor use.
  • Price: The Lumia 2520 will be priced at £40 more than its Microsoft Surface RT counterpart, meaning it will retail at £400.
  • Software and apps: You get all of Microsoft’s standard Windows apps across health and fitness, food and drink etc. Nokia have included their own apps too, including their brilliant Nokia video director.
  • Camera: Generally speaking, cameras on tablets are our idea of a big no-no. This one is a competent but unacceptional 6.7MP, and is almost apologetic compared to some of Nokia’s recent smartphones. At a guess, we’d say Nokia accept that this device will not be used for photography much.

 

Verdict

 

Colourful, bold, powerful and lightweight, there’s plenty of appreciate about this tablet from Nokia. The screen brightness is truly standout, and its mobile functionality means that it trounces the Surface RT for outdoor/on the go usage. Its price point is high, which could hinder adoption – we’re not convinced it has enough to force peoples hand away from the iPad range for arguments sake – but it carries benefits against its peers.