Pros: Good display, Excellent Performance, Full suite of connectivity options including 4G
Cons: Windows RT, Proprietary charger, Little weight
"A good tablet which is let down by the Windows RT platform."
Nokia took a while to join the tablet brigade, but the Finnish company have now released the 10.1 inch Nokia Lumia 2520.
The tablet runs on Microsoft’s Windows RT platform, which is a scaled down version of the Windows 8 platform, and has a 1080p display, a 2.2 GHz quad-core processor and supports 4G.
It adopts a design very similar to Nokia’s Lumia smartphone range and you can even add a keyboard dock (available separately) which effectively turns the tablet into a fully-fledged laptop.
The Lumia 2520 sounds great on paper and is well priced at £400, but how good is in reality? Read our full review to get the lowdown on Nokia's tablet.
The Nokia Lumia 2520 adopts the same Polycarbonate design as Nokia’s other Lumia devices, such as the Lumia 1520 and the Lumia 920. Even though it’s essentially made from plastic its unibody design is sturdy in the hand and it feels like a premium tablet.
The tablet does flex a surprising amount and when pressure is applied to the centre of the device it does creak a little. It’s nothing to worry about and is something we’ve experienced before on the Sony's Xperia Tablet Z.
The polycarbonate exterior has been given a glossy finish which looks stunning in all 4 of the available colour options (Red, White, Black and Cyan). But it does make the tablet a touch slippery to hold and it won’t be long before it's covered with fingerprints.
Nokia’s tablet is a pretty hefty beast at 615g and, even though the curved edges make it comfortable to hold, the added bulk does make a difference in prolonged sessions. Ultimately, the lighter Apple iPad Air and Sony Xperia Tablet Z just feel that bit more comfortable in the hand.
The bezel surrounding the Lumia 2520’s 10.1 inch display is also pretty large which detracts slightly from its aesthetic appeal. But ultimately, Nokia’s tablet is well built and has a visually appealing design, even if it can’t quite match some of its nearest rivals.
On paper the Nokia Lumia 2520’s display is inferior to the one found on Apple’s iPad Air, due to its lower 1920*1080 resolution, compared to the iPad’s 2048x1536p Retina display. You can notice the difference in sharpness on smaller fonts when the two tablets are alongside either other.
But fear not because the display included in the Lumia 2520 has some strengths of its own. If you plan to use your tablet out and about then you should look no further, because Nokia’s device has the best outdoor readability of any tablet in the world.
We took the tablet outdoors and ramped-up the brightness up to the maximum and had no trouble at all reading everything on the display - and it was a pretty sunny day. The viewing angles were also excellent beating out all other tablets we’ve tested.
The display also delivered very deep blacks thanks to ‘Nokia ClearBlack’ technology, but we did notice that images had a slightly yellowish tint and we also would have preferred a slightly warmer colour profile.
On the whole the Nokia Lumia 2520 display is a real pleasure and its outdoor readability is one of the tablets major selling points. Admittedly, it isn’t quite as sharp as the iPad Air but in reality a 1080p resolution still offer excellent clarity.
The tablet comes with the same 2.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor present in the Lumia 1520 which is complemented by a reasonable 2GB of RAM. It zoomed around the operating system without any problems at all feeling smooth and snappy at all times.
We also loaded up a HD video and it performed flawlessly with smooth playback and no noticeable stuttering. At this point we also noticed the excellent volume delivered from the Lumia 2520’s speakers and the front-facing stereo speakers delivered an immersive audio experience.
We then booted up a couple of games, from the rather limited selection available, and the racing game Riptide GP2 ran perfectly with high-frame rates. So no problems there either and overall Nokia’s tablet delivers excellent performance across the board.
The Nokia Lumia 2520 is available in a choice of either 32 or 64GB of on-board memory and both versions can be expanded using microSD cards. And when it comes to connectivity Nokia have crammed in a whole lot.
Importantly, it supports superfast 4G LTE and they’ve also managed to squeeze in support for NFC, Bluetooth 4.0 and WiFi. It also has a 3.5 mm audio connector, micro-HDMI port and a Micro-USB connector (which sadly isn’t used for charging).
The Nokia Power Keyboard dock costs £150 - which does seem a tad too much - but is does turn Nokia’s tablet into a fully-fledged laptop complete with trackpad and full QWERTY keyboard. It works exactly as you’d expect and also adds 2 full-sized USB ports and adds another 5 hours of battery life.
Both a 6.7 mega-pixel rear camera and a 1.2 mega-pixel front-facing snapper are included. We did notice a little noise when using both cameras, but both are perfectly acceptable for a tablet device.
Nokia have included an 8,120mAH battery inside the Lumia 2520 and it delivers impressive battery life. It easily lasted a day, but streaming video and browsing on 4G did put significant strain on the battery.
If you buy Nokia’s Pro Keyboard you’ll also get an additional 5 hours of life from a single charge – impressive stuff. Charging is also super-fast with the battery going from flat to full charge in around 80 minutes, or hitting 40 per cent in just 20 minutes.
However, there is one major drawback because the tablet uses a propriety charger. If you forget your charger you won’t be able to use a friend’s microUSB charger and we have to say this is pretty disappointing.
Things are looking pretty sweet for the Lumia 2520 so far, but the Windows RT platform is what really lets the tablet down. For the uninitiated, Microsoft’s platform is essentially a scaled down version of Windows 8 for desktop PCs that has been designed for tablets.
That enables you to use a fully-fledged version of Office, with both the Home and Student versions coming pre-loaded, and you also get to the pleasing visual appearance of the Windows 8 platform and its intuitive user-interface.
However, you can’t download and run applications (or programs if you prefer) designed for the desktop version of Windows 8. That means you are limited to the selection available on the Windows 8 App Store.
Admittedly, the situation is improving but the selection of apps is pretty pathetic compared to the Android and iOS platforms. For example, the BBC iPlayer application is still yet to be made available on the Windows RT platform.
Nokia have salvaged the situation somewhat with its excellent suite of applications which includes Nokia Music, Nokia HERE Maps, Nokia Camera, Nokia Video and Nokia Storyteller. But ultimately we can’t help thinking Nokia would have been better advised to run its tablet on the more-established Windows Phone 8 platform.
Nokia’s first entry into the tablet market is admirable. The Lumia 2520 has an great display that can be read outdoors, excellent performance and can connect to superfast 4G. It’s also well-priced at £400, making it significantly cheaper than the equivalent iPad Air model (priced at £579).
The major problem with the tablet is the Windows RT platform which is very restrictive due to the limited number of apps and games available. Also we would have preferred the tablet to be a little lighter and for the Nokia Power Keyboard to be a little cheaper.
But on the whole it comes recommended and is a good choice for business users and is easily the best Windows tablet on the market today. But those who love apps and games might be better off looking elsewhere.
Dimensions : 267 x 168 x 8.9mm
10.1” Full HD AHIPS Capacitive Multi-Touch Display
Screen Resolution: 1920×1080 pixels
Pixels Per Inch (PPI) : 218.1
Processor: : 2.2GHz Quad Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800
Battery capacity : 1800 mAH battery
Onboard Memory: 32 GB internal memory (micro SD card support up to 32GB)
Camera : 6.7MP Auto Focus ZEISS optics with f1.9 aperture
Operating system: Windows RT 8.1
Ultrafast / 3G / 4G LTE : Yes/Yes/Yes
Bluetooth / NFC : Yes/Yes
Colours : Red, White, Black and Cyan
Launch Date: Available Now
Price : £399
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