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...


Built out of solid polycarbonate, the Lumia 2520 is among the bigger tablets out there thanks to its sizable display panel and substantial bezels. It looks quite cool in its colorful (comes in red, blue, black and white) plastic body, which also feels nice and inviting to the touch. While it's unfortunate that the Nokia Lumia 2520 isn't any lighter than its rivals out there, we're still happy to report that it's not heavier as well. It weighs 21.69 oz (615 g), versus 21.16 oz (600 g) for the Galaxy Note 10.1 2014, 23.35 oz (662 g) for the iPad 4 and 23.84 oz (676 g) for the Surface 2. Due to the wide aspect ratio of the display, the Lumia 2520 feels somewhat awkward when held in portrait orientation, but is lovely for video playback.


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.

Related phones

Lumia 2520
  • Display 10.1" 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Camera 6.7 MP / 2 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 800, Quad-core, 2200 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB + microSDHC
  • Battery 8000 mAh



1. itsdeepak4u2000

Posts: 3718; Member since: Nov 03, 2012


2. Tommy1960i

Posts: 144; Member since: Oct 11, 2013

I think many windows tablets will fail because of this. In Europe every one who will buy a Windows RT tablet will buy a Nokia 2520. Nice move Nokia!!!

3. pongkie

Posts: 663; Member since: Aug 20, 2011

but it's an windows rt

6. Rorschach

Posts: 83; Member since: Apr 26, 2013

Windows RT isn't even viable.. Not being able to run legacy apps is a big fail because the market place is still missing a lot of essential apps.

13. DaHarder

Posts: 177; Member since: Oct 10, 2009

'Fail'... ? BULL! It's a mobile SoC powered tablet in the same category of Apple's iPad and the iPad NEVER gets lambasted for NOT supporting OSX 'desktop' applications. The Windows Store is getting more well populated with apps on a daily basis and RT already comes standard with the single most utilized 'legacy' app existent: Microsoft Windows (a near US 150.00 added value BTW). ... and it should not be overlooked that the Windows Store/Modern UI apps available for RT-powered devices are that exact same apps that run on ALL Windows 8.X devices, making compatibility completely moot. People seriously need to get over this 'it doesn't run my Windows legacy applications' sooner than later because Windows 'Modern UI' is the future of the platform... Like It or Not.

16. dratomic

Posts: 483; Member since: Oct 09, 2013

but it's windows rt... you're right. this nokia built tank would have killed all other tablets if it wasn't rt. bad move for nokia. nice move elop.

4. Beijendorf unregistered

At the price of 500+150 you can actually get a really nice tablet-ultrabook hybrid with a Haswell processor, meaning legacy programs and functionality (Sony Vaio Tap 11 or Multi-flip). Sure you don't get the LTE compability, but one could just use the phone as a hotspot. I feel like the pricing for RT tablets are poorly thought through.

5. TechBizJP08

Posts: 495; Member since: Mar 25, 2013

Dude, Sony Tap 11 is no Hasswell Processor..

8. Beijendorf unregistered

With the Tap 11 you are given a choice of 3 processors. These are the Pentium 3560Y, Core i3-4020Y (Haswell) and Core i5-4210Y (Haswell). So yes, it comes with Haswell processors.

9. shikroi

Posts: 187; Member since: Sep 24, 2012

Yes but not for $650. Also this tablet isn't $650 its $500. Most people will probably buy this without the cover.

10. Beijendorf unregistered

I'm afraid you completely miss the point. If you want to use this productively - and one would assume that's a major selling point of Windows RT since it comes bundled with Office - you'd need the keyboard. As such the price goes up to 650 dollars. For 700 dollars where I live, you can get the Core i3-variant of the Tap 11. Yes it's 50 dollars more, but you also get a faster and more versatile device with the full productivity of an x86 laptop. You also get a larger screen. I'm not saying RT tablets like the Lumia 2520 or Surface 2/RT are bad - they're not. I'm saying they're overpriced for their performance and what they can do when compared to the hybrids on the market.

7. twens

Posts: 1180; Member since: Feb 25, 2012

Very very nice. But I still prefer the surface pro tho.

14. DaHarder

Posts: 177; Member since: Oct 10, 2009

The Surface Pro also cost between US 900.00 and 1600.00 dollars... So Not in the Same Product Category. People seriously need to be more realistic about what these 10 inch-ish/mobile SoC-powered devices are for, as it's simply unrealistic to expect to use Windows 'legacy' application on a display this small (especially with such a high resolution). These devices are designed to be used with Windows Modern UI (touch-centric) apps obtained from the Windows Store, which (as I previously posted) IS the Future of Windows.

11. Bilpocalypse

Posts: 301; Member since: Oct 13, 2012

The lack of a full size usb port is disappointing. I have been waiting for this tablet to be announced so I could compare it against the Surface 2. The 2520 looks better in every way except for this. It may just be a dealbreaker for me, I use the usb on my Surface RT a ton.

18. T00muchF00D

Posts: 98; Member since: Nov 27, 2011

Do you not know the keyboard has 2 USB ports?

12. djripster

Posts: 141; Member since: Dec 10, 2011

I would have loved the tablet to be a tad cheaper... If Nokia has thrown in the Power Keyboard as a free add-one with the Lumia 2520 it would have been the perfect price (since the full USB is a must have for me too) Its a little frustrating to see folks continue to ask Windows RT to run legacy apps... Isnt this the same as asking the iPad to run OS X apps... Windows RT is meant to compete with the iPad, and whats good enough for the iPad should be good enough for Windows RT devices... If you want to run legacy programs, there are devices of all shapes and sizes for that... Its just that Windows RT is not right for you... While I do applaud the new apps headed to Windows RT, I have to say Microsoft needs to make some decisions and take some action on coaxing developers to bring their apps and games to Windows RT...

17. Bilpocalypse

Posts: 301; Member since: Oct 13, 2012

I agree with you. But I believe that MS should allow devs to design for the desktop space as well. Then we could potentially see some of the legacy apps get ports for the ARM chips, thus improving the experience on RT. Also, vpn support is a must, if they want to see them taken seriously in the business sector.

15. InspectorGadget80 unregistered

Thinking of returning my nexus 7 for this baby. How much is the wi-fi only cost?

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