Introduction


Most of us don’t know it, but Nokia actually tinkered around in the mobile computing space before – several years ago to be exact. Remember the Nokia Booklet 3G, an underpowered netbook-like thing that ran Windows 7? We won’t be shocked if you can’t, just because it was a short lived thing that proved to be nothing more than a test in futility. Besides its premium construction, everything else about it was a total wash – seemingly ending the Finnish company’s presence in the space.

Well, that was four years ago, and since that time, Nokia has gone through a transformation of its own. Having its efforts invested in all things Microsoft, the company is finally making its appearance in the competitive tablet market. Unlike the Booklet 3G, the Nokia Lumia 2520 is one serious tablet from the get-go that’s aiming to hit it big with the masses – just like its line of high-end Lumia smartphones. Already having to contend with several big named tablets on the scene right now, does the Lumia 2520 stand a chance in coming out on top?

The package contains:

  • Wall charger
  • SIM removal tool
  • Get started guide
  • Warranty information

Design


Yet again, Nokia shows us that it’s capable of crafting such attractive products that shine above the typically designed slates out there. And that’s what simply gets our attention right from the onset - its design. Clearly the Lumia presence is well established here, as the tablet employs the distinctive design cues of Nokia’s smartphone line. Thanks to its tapered design, the tablet appears thinner than it is, since it starts off having a skinny profile from its sides (0.35-inches), and gradually thickens towards the center of the casing. The effect is subtle, but enough to give it a consistent streamlined construction. Throw in the curved nature of its trim, and it feels very comfortable to hold. Its weight of 615 grams complements it, as it is lighter than most Windows RT tablets (Surface 2, we're watching you) yet it is heavier than rival Android tablets and the iPad Air.

Utilizing the same polycarbonate materials used by its Lumia smartphones, the tablet exudes a pretty decent amount of sturdiness with its construction. With our particular unit, the plastic has a glossy finish, much like the white version of the tablet, which is notorious for attracting smudges and fingerprints very easily. Conversely, the cyan and black versions have a matte finish – allowing them to maintain a cleaner appearance. Needless to say, both finishes have their own attributes, but it’s just wonderful to see that color variety is something that’s available with this. Indeed, we’ve seen several attractive tablets this fall already, but the Nokia Lumia 2520 has a flashy look of its own that undoubtedly comes off as being fresh on the scene.

In being a Windows RT 8.1 tablet, it sports a capacitive start button just below its display – transporting us back to the start screen when it’s pressed. Above the display, we have its 2-megapixel front-facing camera, light sensor, and an LED light that kicks on to indicate the camera(s) is in use.

For having such a skinny trim, it’s comforting that the Lumia 2520 is outfitted with all the usual ports and buttons – and then some! Along the right edge, we have a microHDMI port for easy video-out functionality, and a microUSB 3.0 port. Meanwhile on the left side of the tablet, it first looks as though it’s packing two 3.5mm headset ports, but in fact, one of them is the unit’s proprietary charging port. And yes folks, it wields dual speakers too for stereo support – and they’re located on the bottom left and right edges of the display.

Both the power button and volume control are too flat to distinguish with our fingers, and at the same time, their responses are a bit subdued. Well, it’s wonderful that it packs a microSD card slot to supplement its internal capacity, but the slot itself is a part of the SIM tray. Meaning, if we need to access it, we temporarily cut its wireless connectivity at the same time.

And finally, the bottom edge features several pin connection ports that are used to connect the optional keyboard accessory to the tablet.

In the rear sits a healthy sized 6.7-megapixel auto-focus camera, which features a Zeiss lens with an aperture of f.1.9, and 1080p video recording. Obviously, it’s nothing close to the camera gear in some recent Lumia smartphones, but nevertheless, it’s a fitting one for a tablet.


Display


When you’re new to the scene, you need to have a display that’s on par to the competition. Thankfully, the Nokia Lumia 2520 is armed with an attractive one. Specifically, it flaunts a 10.1-inch 1920 x 1080 IPS LCD display, which equates to having a pixel density count of 218 ppi. Certainly, it’s a sharp looking thing that delivers crisp details from all angles – so there are no concerns about fighting over miniscule text with our eyes. Additionally, there are several elements that complement its beauty – like its potent brightness output, average viewing angles, and a vibrant color reproduction. With the latter, it tends to exude a warmer tone. Although it might not produce the most realistic colors tones, its iridescence helps to keep our eyes affixed to its glow.

However, there are two distractive things about the display. First, it’s just notorious for attracting smudges and fingerprint – much like its plastic body. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like the display is treated with any sort of anti-fingerprint properties, so we’re constantly rubbing it down with a cloth. And secondly, we notice just a little bit of subtle bleeding around the edges of the display, which is most noticeable when the screen is displaying the color black. Despite those issues, everything about the display is predictable in giving it a high end reputation.

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59 Comments

66. juliaann

Posts: 10; Member since: Dec 04, 2013

Thanks for the review

63. whatsa

Posts: 7; Member since: Nov 11, 2011

Pity some of its features were not noted in the eval. outdoor screen visibility (something all the others dont do as well as the 2520) KBD cover 16hrs of use as it adds an additional battery two USB ports is a full protective cover ( yes something the others dont offer ) are we seeing a pattern here?

62. GrapeEyes

Posts: 248; Member since: Sep 01, 2013

59. juliaann

Posts: 10; Member since: Dec 04, 2013

jelly

58. Edward_bly

Posts: 278; Member since: Dec 11, 2013

I love this tablet!

56. Hyperu71

Posts: 13; Member since: Nov 19, 2013

I picked mine up from AT&T two days ago, and am loving it so far! I missed the keyboard deal, but bought a Lumia 1520 at the same time, which is awesome, too. I'm already getting used to the size, but then I am 6'4". Even though i couldn't get the web price for the phone,It was a fantastic deal I couldn't refuse. The salesman upgraded me early, so even after paying $100 more for the phone, I saved more than that, and the transition was seamless by not paying ETFs. Because of my Premier status through my employer, I paid no upgrade or activation fees and am getting $100 credit for adding the line for the tablet. All told, with tax, I paid $326 for the 2520 and the 1520! Not too shabby! I got both in flat black. The rubbery look and feel is less Samsung-like than the glossy red, and my devices look like brothers. The 1520s screen is about 1/3 the size of the tablet and its height is about the same; its a very coordinated look. I'm going to have to suffer insecurity comments about the huge phone, but I'll look good getting them, IMHO.

49. Phrozt

Posts: 9; Member since: May 11, 2011

Arguably a better review than the iPad air, almost no cons except something extremely pithy, costs $130 less.... and gets an 8 while the ipad air gets a 9.3.... wtf.

52. Hyperu71

Posts: 13; Member since: Nov 19, 2013

They make a big deal about the ecosystem. I don't know which has more apps, Windows RT or Windows Phone, but I don't miss anything on my phone. Not everybody uses every app. I only use one or two legacy programs on my Windows 8.1 Pro machines, and that's every once in a while. I actually prefer to keep it simple. I told some college kids today that their iPhones were on the way out. :) They didn't believe me. I still think MS has the right idea.

39. Hyperu71

Posts: 13; Member since: Nov 19, 2013

So, um, the ATT bundle deal has disappeared. It even disappeared from the news article list here at PA. I'm on ATT and was considering forking over $300 for a tablet and a phone, and then letting my other line expire - assuming that was going to be cheaper than paying the early termination fee. (I only have 4 months left) But I think I'm going crazy now. I found an Engadget story about the deal, but other than that, even on the ATT site, the deal has disappeared. Is it coming back? Are we supposed to pretend it never happened? (because it didn't) Or maybe it's a Black Friday thing now? I check daily for the deal, and also for the 929 on Verizon. Both don't exist anymore, it seems.

51. Hyperu71

Posts: 13; Member since: Nov 19, 2013

Self reply: The bundle deal was there. It was tucked away at the bottom of the ATT page on the 2520. You can still get it through the 9th if I remember right. But unfortunately, the free Power Keyboard deal ended today. It's sad really. Neither the support person I chatted with online, nor the store salesperson was aware of the keyboard offer. The stores know about the bundle now, but the price of the phones is higher at retail stores. They offered to let me upgrade a few months early if I got the bundle. In the end I wasn't ready to fork out $400 and a higher monthly bill. But I'm still considering it, even without the keyboard. (now if they extend that deal...)

32. Ikechukwu

Posts: 264; Member since: Oct 03, 2011

I still love my Xperia Z Ultra tho.

30. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

8 is being extremely generous. I am curious to see how the S800 benchmarks on windows phone 8/RT/IE 11 vs android/chrome though. Are the reviews purposely leaving those things out because it might tarnish the Apple A7? Possibly....

40. Hyperu71

Posts: 13; Member since: Nov 19, 2013

The LG G2 has S800, right? It's a little short of the A7 in some benchmarks. But I would like to see what the Windows platform with the same hardware can do. In general, PA needs to get more objective in their reviews. subjective is great, I love it, but what would be wrong with some numbers. How fast does it load pages? Or how good is it really at playing games? Stuff like this should be do-able. Car and Driver is a good example. In their reviews of cars they combine subjective and objective , in a weighted way that gives a fairer, more useful to the consumer review. Just sayin'.

29. 7thspaceman

Posts: 1597; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

I hope Nokia brings out a version of this Tablet with The Best Atom CPU and X86 Windows 8.1 operating system. if Nokia had done this and the Carriers sell it in all four color choices this would be a run away hit Tablet. basically this is a good Windows RT tablet that has more a standard hold in your hand tablet design than a Hybrid design like the Surface 2 I think it is unfair for People to put down Windows RT but do not put down the Ipads or the Android Tablets because after all Surface2, Nokia 2520 RT Tablets , Ipads, and Android Tablets do the same thing which is These tablets only run Apps that are designed for a touch screen interface not a full PC Desktop interface. Tablets that run Standard Desktop PC Windows Programs that are 10 inches or above will cost you 400 dollars and up to buy. make sur you need that capability before you buy before you buy because the better ones use Intel i5 CPU"S and will set you back at last 500 to 600 dollars don't believe me price them.

36. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

Dell is releasing a full desktop 8.1 7" tablet for $399

45. zdprince

Posts: 24; Member since: May 10, 2013

your comment tells me that you have no idea of what Windows 8.1 RT is and what a full blown windows OS is as well. Do you compare the IOS version of the iPad to that on the Mac Air? What is the base price for a 16G iPad Mini? Did you ask Apple to reduce their prices because it is too expensive for what it is? Please make sure you understand your facts before posting or commenting on other posts.

22. tasior

Posts: 265; Member since: Nov 04, 2012

Hey PA, it would be nice if You have made an article about Windows RT. Last time I read about it was about a year ago, when thera were almost no apps for it. It would be nice to read if the situation has changed...

21. Mrmark

Posts: 430; Member since: Jan 26, 2013

Getting it today more than likely ... And any program I use for with windows at this time and for the past 5 years is installed already on RT.... Apps I use on tablets are available on Windows RT now ... So I am going to get one now!

17. veer.d

Posts: 89; Member since: Jul 12, 2013

when comes to tablets I love ipad but that is 1.5x costly than NOKIA

12. Edmund

Posts: 656; Member since: Jul 13, 2012

How many times does it have to be stated before it penetrates your thick skulls - RT is optimised for tablets, whereas the full version isn't. The fact this tablet has MS Office and free offline navigation out of the box is reason enough to choose it over apple/android.

27. tigermcm

Posts: 861; Member since: Sep 02, 2009

people that complain about RT have yet to realize MS has split the tablet area in two, tablet and tablet PC

46. jromy

Posts: 114; Member since: Feb 26, 2013

no, Office and offline navigation are nice. But who would buy a tablet for that?

9. papss unregistered

I'm a suckered for red it seems.. looks lovely

53. Hyperu71

Posts: 13; Member since: Nov 19, 2013

The one I looked at today was the red one. The glossy is a bit overkill for me. I wish they had a matte red. It starts to look more like a Samsung than a Nokia with all that glossiness. It's still way better built, though. I think I'd go black or white. Black is slimming, right?

7. xperiaDROID

Posts: 5629; Member since: Mar 08, 2013

Damn, this thing is gorgeous! It's beautiful on the outside and powerful on the inside. I want it!

5. sri_tech

Posts: 188; Member since: May 21, 2013

In my opinion, Windows RT/8 is the best tablet OS out there. Here are the features that I like a lot about Windows RT/8 on tablets and missing on iOS and android. 1. Snap view for true multi-tasking. Also, adjust the width of the apps in the snap view. 2. Multiple profile/user support with separate settings and apps to each user. 3. Gesture support throughout the OS. a) Ability to switch between apps with just a flick from left. No need of double tapping the home button or tapping particular on screen buttons which will require extra effort, cumbersome and not intuitive as they claim to be. You can even use the same app in different windows in snap mode. Also, switch to particular app with gestures. b) Flick from top or bottom will bring the options in the current app. c) Flick from right will bring different charms including the start screen. Using Universal share charm you can share the content to all the supported apps. Using the universal search you can search the app, system and web. Change settings and operate different devices. d) Closing the app by dragging down the app from top. e) Swiping up on the start screen to bring all apps menu. 4. Live tiles with different sizes which show information like weather, calender appointments, latest news etc. You can ping anything info of apps to the start screen unlike widgets. 5. Skydrive and Skype integration. 6. Bing integration and search heros. 7. Keyboard gestures like swiping the space bar to select between suggested words. 8. Semantic zoom in apps and start screen and simple things like camera access from start screen. 9. Impressive first party apps. 10. Works with all the peripherals like printers out of the gate with built in drivers.

8. jromy

Posts: 114; Member since: Feb 26, 2013

Well, you make it sound like you can't touch it without activating some menu or another. What's wrong with double tap or a visible icon onscreen, that way you know what you're doing without having to memorize so many "intuitive" gestures. Giving a tantric massage to the screen just to get it to do what you want is not my definition of intuitive.

15. hung2900

Posts: 966; Member since: Mar 02, 2012

Have you bought one man? If it is that's good, so why the number sold is so low?

31. zdprince

Posts: 24; Member since: May 10, 2013

How many iPads or Samsung tabs were sold in the first week and how many of 2520s have been sold so far since you seem to know the figures?

24. adecvat

Posts: 677; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

"In my opinion" In my PR agency opinion :)

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

Lumia 2520
  • Display 10.1 inches
    1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 6.7 MP (Single camera)
    2 MP front
  • Hardware Qualcomm Snapdragon 800, 2GB RAM
  • Storage 32GB, microSDHC
  • Battery 8000 mAh
  • OS Windows RT 8.1

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