Nokia Lumia 2520 hands-on
It took it a while, but Nokia has finally entered the heated tablet race. The Lumia 2520, as Nokia calls its first tablet computer (in the modern sense of the word), is a 10.1” Windows 8.1 RT slate that makes use of powerful internals, such as the Snapdragon 800, and a variety of connectivity features in hopes of standing out from the crowd in this market. Still, we just can't help but feel skeptical about this product, due to... you know, Windows RT, but hey – it was Nokia that found a way to make Windows Phone look cool; it might once again be Nokia that manages to make a decent OS out of Windows 8.1 RT. Let's see...
Graced with a 10.1" IPS LCD screen, the Lumia 2520 offers good clarity with its 1920 x 1080 resolution, which translates to a pixel density of 218 ppi. This might be a bit low for a smartphone, but it's very good for a tablet, where we tend to hold the display a bit farther from our eyes. Probably the most interesting aspect about this IPS display is its maximum brightness, which is said to reach the astonishing 650 nits. This is supposed to make a great outdoor tablet out of the Lumia 1520, though we really hope that such high resolution won't be at the expense of quality.
Interface and Functionality
As we pointed out, the Nokia Lumia 2520 is a Windows 8.1 RT tablet, which means that you aren't getting support for all the legacy Windows software. Instead, you'll have to choose from the apps found in the Windows marketplace, which are steadily growing in number, but still far behind those available to the iPad and Android tablets. Naturally, you're getting the Modern-style start screen and all the live tiles that come with its, as well as teh full Office suite and a host of other useful tools and applications. It's pretty much the same user experience as on a Windows 8 Pro device, but your app catalog will be significantly limited. If you plan on using it for light stuff such as multimedia consumption and internet browsing, though, the functionality offered by Windows RT will be sufficient.
There's a wide range of messaging options on the Nokia Lumia 2520, and, of course, a very convenient on-screen QWERTY keyboard. Still, for those users who would like to get physical when it comes to typing, Nokia has produced the so called Power Keyboard, which will add a cover, physical QWERTY keyboard and some additional battery life to your tablet. However, this accessory will cost you $149, so you might want to consider your other options before going for it.
Camera and Multimedia
Interestingly, Nokia seems to be positioning the Lumia 2520 as a capable camera as well. Armed with a 6.7 MP shooter with aperture of f/1.9, a sensor size of 1/3.4" and a focal length of 26mm, the Lumia 2520 seems to be sporting the same camera unit as that in the Lumia 720 smartphone. Not that it's a bad camera, but it's definitely no where near the sensors found in top-shelf smartphones such as the Galaxy S4, G2, iPhone 5s, or the high-end Lumias. The camera on the 2520 will be able to record 1080p video at 30 fps. The main shooter is complemented by a 2 MP front-facing one that you can use for video chats, or rather – selfies.
The 10.1" 1080p display of the Lumia 2520 will be well-suited for video playback. Besides, we can only expect good things out of its AH-IPS panel. The 16:9 aspect ratio means that you'll be able to utilize all the screen real estate when watching video.
Expectations, Price and Release date
Nokia has definitely come up with a nice tablet in the Lumia 2520. It's got a good-looking design, a large and high-quality screen, as well as some very powerful hardware under the hood. However, what has us worried is the Windows 8.1 RT operating system which doesn't seem to be so popular with consumers. It tries to be just that – a consumer-centric OS just like iOS and Android, but unfortunately it still lacks the ecosystem to deliver a truly entertaining and diverse experience.
However, the Lumia 2520 has one major advantage over most of its direct opponents and that's the presence of 4G LTE connectivity inside the $499 model. We can imagine that this is going to be important for users on the lookout for a truly mobile 10" tablet at a decent price.
The Nokia Lumia 2520 still lacks a release date attached to it, but Nokia hopes to have the device on the market by the end of the year. As far as US carrier availability goes, AT&T and Verizon are said to be willing to offer the tablet.