Nokia Lumia 2520 review

6 Dec 2013

A high-quality tablet with an incredible screen and integrated 4G, but the Surface 2 is more practical

Price when reviewed: 
400(£400 inc VAT)
Buy it now for 
5

It's taken a long time for the Finnish phone giant to get around to it, but Nokia has finally summoned up the courage to release its first Windows tablet – the Lumia 2520. It's a 10.1in, Full HD device running Windows RT 8.1, and first impressions are highly favourable.

It's built quite beautifully, with a solidity reminiscent of the Lumia smartphone range at its best. A single, seamless slab of smoothly curved plastic wraps gently around the edges and meets a scratch- and shatter-resistant Gorilla Glass 2 panel at the front.

The Lumia 2520 comes in a selection of different colours and finishes, too: red gloss or black matte initially (and white gloss or matte cyan available later). Having handled both the gloss and matte versions, we prefer the matte, which picks up greasy fingerprints and scuffs less eagerly.

Nokia Lumia 2520

Whichever you choose, though, the connections and specification remain the same. On the left edge is a 3.5mm headset socket and a DC input, and on the top are the volume rocker and power buttons, plus a drawer for microSDXC and SIM cards. Impressively, every Lumia 2520 is 4G-enabled. On the right is a micro-USB 3 socket and micro-HDMI output, and on the bottom edge a docking connector.

Inside, there's dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4, plus NFC and GPS, 32GB storage, and on the rear and the front are 6.7- and 2-megapixel cameras. It's an impressive list of features – the only thing lacking – at least compared with the Microsoft Surface 2 – is practicality. There's no integral kickstand, and although you can buy a keyboard case, the only option at the time of writing is one with a built-in battery (for a claimed boost of five hours to battery life), which will set you back a hefty £150.

Performance

Switch it on and good things continue to happen. Nokia claims “best in class outdoor readability” for the Lumia 2520, and we wouldn't contest that. Its Full HD IPS screen, as measured with our X-Rite colorimeter, reaches a dazzlingly bright 714cd/m[sup]2[/sup], which is far higher than the Surface 2 and Apple iPad Air.

A contrast ratio of 1,151:1 ensures that images have plenty of solidity and presence, and although a touch warm, colours really pop from the screen. In fact, we'd go so far as to say it's the best screen we've come across on any tablet – an impressive feat given the calibre of the competition.

Nokia Lumia 2520

It doesn't end there, though. A quad-core 2.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 CPU, coupled with Adreno 330 graphics and 2GB of RAM, ensures performance is right up with the best. This is a combination we've been impressed with before in the Kindle HDX 7in and HDX 8.9in, and it runs Windows RT 8.1 just as impressively.

In the demanding GFXBench 2.7 T-Rex HD test, the Lumia 2520 achieved an average 27fps – a result not even the iPad Air could match with its result of 21fps. It returned a SunSpider time of 517ms, and a Peacekeeper score of 584, neither of which is quite as impressive, but are competitive with its main rival – the Surface 2.

Detail

Price ex VAT £333
Price inc VAT £400
Warranty 1 yr return to base
Overall rating 5
Performance 6
Features & Design 5
Value for Money 4

Physical

Dimensions 265 x 10.2 x 168mm (WDH)
Weight 615.000kg

Display

Screen size 10.1in
Resolution screen horizontal 1,920
Resolution screen vertical 1,080
Display type Multitouch, capacitive
Panel technology IPS

Battery

Battery capacity 8,000mAh

Core specifications

CPU frequency, MHz 2.2GHz
Integrated memory 32GB

Camera

Camera megapixel rating 6.7mp
Focus type Autofocus
Built-in flash? no
Front-facing camera? yes
Video capture? yes

Other

WiFi standard 802.11abgn
Bluetooth support yes
Integrated GPS yes
Accessories supplied Mains charger
Upstream USB ports 0
HDMI output? yes
Video/TV output? no

Software

Mobile operating system Windows RT 8.1

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