Nokia Lumia 2520
28th Nov 2013 | 12:56
It's a tablet that kind of wants to be a phone
We're working on our Lumia 2520 review - we'll be bringing you the results next week. In the mean time enjoy
Nokia's finally done what we've been thinking it will do for years: brought out a tablet.
Alright, you could argue that the likes of the N800 were pretty close, but in the Lumia 2520 it's finally got something to rival the iPad.
Perhaps it won't do so on sales. Nor on user opinion. But it's the first salvo in a war its newly-acquired sugar daddy, Microsoft, desperately wants it to fight in.
And on paper, it doesn't look terrible. Say what you want about Windows RT 8.1 (and you can reasonably say a fair amount of nasty things) it doesn't stink as a tablet OS.
On the Lumia 2520 it's fast, fluid and flicks along happily under the finger. The sometimes unresponsive Windows key happily takes you back and forth between apps, and there will be a number of users becoming much more au fait with Windows 8 in general.
That's down to the improved Snapdragon 800 processor, clocked at an impressive 2.2GHz to allow you to do what you need to on this tablet.
They may miss some of the functionality of the full fat version on this cut-down OS for the tablet, but the Lumia 2520 does a lot more than the Surface 2, especially when it comes to design.
Like it or loathe it, the Lumia unibody polycarbonate design at least has some decent thinking behind it, and as soon as you pick up the 2520 you're struck by how premium it feels - albeit it in a user-friendly, rather than businessfolk-professional, way.
The rounded edges feel nice in the hand, although the weight feels a little unbalanced... holding it one hand isn't the most pleasant experience around when compared to the likes of the Sony Xperia Tablet Z.
There's no expandable memory on offer, but there are a multitude of slots, including an HDMI out and two USB 3.0 slots when used with the optional battery cover. On top of this, you'll get SkyDrive storage to fling files up and down from this tablet.
There's also the confusing 'which hole is it?' game that you'll have to play for deciding between the headphone and power port - both look very similar and we found ourselves getting confused regularly in early tests - although once you get used to holding the tablet a certain way, it should get easier.
It does feel very plastic though. Nokia is touting it as a real iPad Air replacement in its ads... sorry folks, but this isn't that in terms of design. Sure, it's got a decent suite of Microsoft apps (although Apple is bundling something similar) but there's no contest between this and Apple's top tablet.
Battery life is clocked at 11 hours, although this can be improved through the battery cover, which Nokia is shifting for $149 (around £95 or AUS$155). However, this adds considerable heft to the device, taking it from something portable to definitely needing a bag to cart around.
However, it also comes with a keyboard attached, with lots of lovely clicking magnets to turn the Lumia 2520 into something approaching a laptop at times.
The screen is supposed to be less than 10% reflective, which did seem to stand up to scrutiny when watching video.
The screen actually is really impressive, with both brightness and colour reproduction looking great on the 10.1-inch device. However, it's only 1080p, which means it can't hold a candle to the iPad or Google Nexus 10 (although the candle's colours would look good).
The reflective nature of the screen is higher in general use though, with the Lumia 2520 proving to be one of the hardest devices to photograph thanks to the glossy Gorilla Glass 2.
Nokia has been hard at work customising its large-screen device, believing that it can take the tablet from a primarily sofa-based experience to something that will go all around with you when you need to work.
To that end, it's popped a 3G / 4G micro Sim slot on the side to allow you to take the device on the go, something Nokia believes the networks of this world ar clamouring for as they endeavour to farm more data out to users.
The Nokia Lumia 2520 is a tablet that some critics will say is doomed from the start, thanks to the decision to make it run Windows RT 8.1. That makes a degree of sense, but in reality it brings it closer to the Windows Phone experience in terms of design.
The polycarbonate cladding is impressive too, and the unibody design helps the price feel a little more palatable.
We like the addition of the Storytelling app, as we did on the Lumia 1520, although despite packing a decent camera we can't see the Lumia 2520 becoming your primary snapping tool. Well, we pray it doesn't...
There could be more of a connection between the tablet and a Windows Phone you might be using, but with SkyDrive storage at least photos and videos will appear between the two device, allowing easier use of the video director app (that looks like something of a copy of HTC's Video Highlights option, showing user generated content is heading in a more professional direction).
We like the Lumia 2520. Our early play didn't make us hate it, and with pricing set at $499 before tax (that's around £310 or AU$520), coupled with the imminent release date for the UK and the US, it means this isn't going a tablet that's going to be instantly dead in the water.
We'll be adding more thoughts to this hands on in the coming hours, so check back a little later to see our more in-depth findings.