Tablet Review: Nokia Lumia 2520

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The Nokia Lumia 2520 is Nokia’s first foray into the tablet market. It’s a comfortable consumer device that feels light enough to carry around, but the OS leaves a bit to be desired.

The first thing you’ll notice about the 2520 is that it is most definitely a Nokia Lumia device, the build quality and style of the device echoes the company’s range of Lumia Smartphones, at times feeling like a larger Nokia Lumia 920. The 2520 has the same polycarbonate shell, and comes in the variety of colours that make the Lumia brand stand out against the Silver/Black/Grey palettes of the competitors.

The Nokia Lumia 2520 is a medium-sized tablet at 267mm wide and 168mm tall, so not hefty by any means, however, it does weigh in at 615g so there is a fair bit of weight behind it. Which means you may not want to hold it in one hand for too long, especially since the weight is uneven, with more weight being placed towards the right hand side of the device. The device has a 10.1” Full HD screen with soft rounded edges and covered with Corning Gorilla Glass 2. The glossy screen makes the device pop, but be warned I’ve never seen anything attract finger prints like this does, even after a short while of using the device, it looked like it had been in the hands of some pre-schoolers with jammy fingers.

The Nokia Lumia 2520’s wider 16:9 screen does lend itself more to landscape usage than portrait, plus the weight imbalance makes it feel awkward to hold in portrait mode. The Lumia’s build specs compare to the iPad 2, and it’s only beaten in the weight category by the latest iPad Air.

Lumia 2520

 

Holding the device in landscape, you’ll find the virtual home button underneath the screen; it makes a satisfying vibrate when pressed. Along the top of the tablet you’ll find the lock and volume buttons. On the right hand side live the Micro-HDMI slot for hooking the device up to larger displays, and the Micro-USB 3.0. On the opposite side you’ll find two virtually identical holes, one of which is the headphone jack, and the other is the charging slot. The only way to distinguish the two is that tiny piece of gold inside the charging hole; try to figure out which is which before ramming your headphones into the wrong one.

The Nokia Lumia 2520 has its own proprietary charger, so it won’t charge via USB when connected to other devices such as PCs. There is a trade-off here, the ease of use with the wide variety of micro USB connectors, I now have dotted around the place, versus the speed with which the charger fills back up the Lumia battery. It can fill back up to 80% within an hour, and once it’s filled the device won’t be needing another energy boost for a while. The 8,120mAh battery in the 2520 will last for a good day or so with mixed usage, and Nokia says it will last 25 Days in standby mode. I haven’t had time to test that statement out, but the battery life on the 2520 is definitely the best I’ve seen on a device for a very long time.

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Running on Windows 8.1 RT, the Nokia Lumia 2520 is a scaled down version of the Windows OS that has come in for a lot of stick. It’s a different version to the OS found on Lumia phones, and on Windows PCs.

You can’t load Windows programs onto it, and it won’t run many of the Windows desktop apps, such as Tweetdeck, that are available. You also can’t download a different browser like Chrome or Firefox so you’re stuck using Internet Explorer. You can get Apps from the Windows RT store, again this is different from the Windows App store that has come on in leaps and bounds over the past year. While apps like Facebook, Twitter, and Netflix are there for you, notable exceptions include Instagram, YouTube and Spotify.

On the flip side of that, the device comes loaded with Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013 installed. So you’ll get Outlook, Word, Excel etc all out of the box. These have been modified for the touch screen with larger toolbars, but for the most part you’ll need a keyboard and mouse if you want to really make full use of them.

As well as the Microsoft Apps, the Nokia Lumia 2520 comes with a wide range of Nokia designed applications. Notably, HERE Maps, Nokia MixRadio, and Storyteller and Nokia Video Director. Video Director is the only one that doesn’t appear on other Nokia Lumia devices; it’s a basic video editor, allowing you to import and rearrange clips and photos in a slickly presented production.

The inside workings of the Nokia Lumia 2520 use the same specs as the Nokia Lumia 1520 tablet, namely a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor with 2GB RAM, so it’s fair to say that it is a nippy little thing. It opens apps and other programs with a good speed, and for the most part no bother. The only thing I found was that when using Netflix, the display can take a while to pick up to HD resolution, and then it could drop out.

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Xbox Games is the place to go for downloading games on the Lumia 2520. It carries over many features from the Xbox – from your avatar to your scores and achievements. Featured games will greet you at startup, in the same fashion as the video section.

Microsoft has improved a good deal in terms of available gaming titles for Windows 8.1 RT. Halo Spartan Assault is undoubtedly the most popular of the pack.

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The one major issue I have with the Nokia Lumia 2520 is that it doesn’t come with any kind of stand. This means that in order to sit back and enjoy a video, you either have to hold it, or find a way to build an intricate balancing/leaning set up. Remember before when I mentioned the Nokia Lumia 2520’s glorious smooth and curved edges? As nice as they are to hold in your hand, they do not hold up well against standing.

Of course, there are accessories that come for the device, the most useful being the Nokia Power Keyboard. This connects to the 2520 at the bottom, and provides a stand, folds over to become a cover for the tablet, and obviously a keyboard. Plus it adds an additional 5 hours to the battery. The downside to it is that it doesn’t come cheap: currently the Nokia Power Keyboard is priced at £99.95/$149.

Nokia’s first dabble into the tablet market is not without its faults, but most of them can be attributed to what the device is running rather than the device itself. The Nokia Lumia 2520 is more than a capable tablet, it’s fast, easy to use and customisable for everyone. The inclusion of the Office suite of programs is a handy tool, the fact that you really need accessories to make the most out of them takes away from that. Add in the decision to not include a basic kickstand for propping the device up and you come away thinking there’s more that could have been done to balance out the overall end product.

Where to buy?

In the UK, the Nokia Lumia 2520 is available in red or black exclusively at John Lewis priced at £399.95 (sim free). The Nokia Power Keyboard is available for £99.95 from the same retailer.

Across the pond, the 2520 is available directly from Nokia for $399 to $499 (depending on current offers) while the Power Keyboard is available from the Microsoft Store for $149.

In conclusion the Nokia Lumia 2520 is a well-built, impeccably designed tablet that is partially let down by an OS that can’t decide if it’s for business or pleasure.

Specifications

Body Dimensions

  • 267 x 168 x 8.9 mm (10.51 x 6.61 x 0.35 in)

Weight 

  • 615 g (1.36 lb)

Display Type

  • IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
  • Size 1080 x 1920 pixels, 10.1 inches (~218 ppi pixel density)
  • Multitouch: Yes
  • Protection Corning Gorilla Glass 2 – ClearBlack display

Sound

  • Alert types Vibration, MP3 ringtones
  • Loudspeaker Yes, stereo speakers
  • 3.5mm jack Yes – Dolby Headphone sound enhancement

Memory

  • Card slot microSD, up to 64 GB
  • Internal 32 GB, 2 GB RAM

Data

  • GPRS: Yes
  • EDGE: Up to 236.8 kbps
  • (Speed HSDPA, 42.2 Mbps, HSUPA, 11.5 Mbps; LTE, Cat4, 50 Mbps UL, 150 Mbps DL)
  • WLAN Wi-Fi: 802.11 a/b/g/n, dual-band, Wi-Fi hotspot
  • Bluetooth: Yes, v4.0
  • NFC: Yes
  • USB: Yes, USB v3.0, USB Host support

Camera

  • Primary 6.7 MP, 3088 x 1744 pixels, Carl Zeiss optics, autofocus
  • Features 1/3.4” sensor size
  • Video: Yes, 1080p@30fps
  • Secondary: Yes, 2 MP, 720p@30fps

Features

  • OS Microsoft Windows RT
  • Chipset Qualcomm MSM8974 Snapdragon 800
  • CPU Quad-core 2.2 GHz Krait 400
  • GPU Adreno 330
  • Sensors Accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass
  • Messaging SMS (threaded view), MMS, Email, Push Email, IM
  • Browser HTML5
  • Radio: No
  • GPS: Yes, with A-GPS support and GLONASS
  • Java: No
  • Colors Cyan, Red, Black, White

Other

  • HDMI port
  • SNS integration
  • Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic
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About The Author

  • EliteTrain

    Shut up Mr. Harold.