Microsoft’s Windows RT hasn’t been the huge hit the company expect it to be, what with consumers and manufacturers opting for Windows 8 over the tablet-only OS, but Nokia is giving it a solid thwack, with the Lumia 2520 arriving in Australia.
Announced late last year alongside Nokia’s first phablets (the Lumia 1320 and 1520), Nokia’s first modern tablet is finally here, ushering the company’s most recent attempt at a mobile computer, moving on from the N810 it launched almost seven years ago.
Back then, tablets were small, with the N810 bringing with it around a 4 inch screen with a built-in keyboard and a version of Linux, as well as a much slower form of the mobile internet than what we have in Australia today.
Times have changed and so has Nokia, with the Lumia 2520 a totally different beast than the N810 ever could be.
Built in Windows RT, the new tablet has more in common with Microsoft’s own Surface 2 tablets, and is one of the only manufacturers to take on Microsoft’s tablet specific version of Windows 8 that will only run apps developed for Windows 8, and not anything from operating systems prior.
That fact hasn’t made it very popular, especially since Windows 8 exists on less expensive tablet devices, but that’s not likely to stop Nokia all the same, and now that Nokia is totally owned by Microsoft — gobbled up in a deal last year that only now has gone final — Australians will get to see what makes Nokia think it can do the tablet better, or even differently.
It’s a case of similar yet different in this model, because while the operating system is the same as what Microsoft offers in the Surface 2, the Lumia 2520 appears from the hardware to be more like Nokia’s phones than Microsoft’s tablets.
Inside, you’ll find a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor clocked at 2.2GHz, just like its brother the Lumia 1520, with support for Category 4 4G LTE networks, making it one of the few Windows computers available in Australia pre-built to work with 3G and 4G mobile networks.
There’s 32G of internal storage with support for a microSD slot, as well as 2GB RAM, with more connectivity on offer than just the 4G, including 802.11/a/b/gn, Near-Field Communication (NFC), Bluetooth 4.0 with LE, GPS, and support for microUSB 3.0.
Cameras are of course included with a 6.7 megapixel rear camera supporting f/1.9 and a front camera of 1.2 megapixels supporting HD video.
All of this sits under a 10.1 inch Full HD 1920×1080 screen protected by Gorilla Glass 2, with the power provided by a 8000mAh battery capable of pulling in as much as 11 hours of life while watching video.
But while specs are important, Nokia hopes to differentiate with a look and feel that rival not just Microsoft’s Surface, but also other tablet competitors, too.
Unlike the magnesium Surface 2 (made of VaporMg, which is a form of magnesium), the Lumia 2520 borrows the slick glossy hard plastic look of Nokia’s phones, with softened edges and a style that matches what owners of the current Nokia phones are used to.
“There’s growing demand for tablets that can perform as well in the office as they can on the sofa,” said Steve Lewish, General Manager of Microsoft Devices (formerly Nokia) in Australia and New Zealand.
“The Lumia 2520 has the design, features, speed and apps that will make it invaluable for anyone who wants to work easy and play hard, without having to carry multiple devices around.”
One thing has us stumped and that’s the price, asking a retail price of $840 RRP without the keyboard, with that extra bit costing $240 separately.
That extra keyboard brings both a keyboard and mouse, as well as a small extra battery, but we’re a little confused on the pricing of the keyboard section. While the $840 tag isn’t insanely drastic and matches Apple’s 4G iPad Air pricing, $240 for a keyboard isn’t cheap, regardless of the quality on offer. Even the most impressive of iPad keyboards don’t attempt to charge that much, so we’re a little surprised by the call on this one.
We need to note that even though this tablet is similar to the Surface, accessories from the Surface tablets are not necessarily compatible, with a different port on the bottom to the one Microsoft uses.
Regardless, keen customers will find this on sale in stores within the next week or two, with Telstra also offering the tablet on plans at the same time.