Microsoft spent $7.2 billion to acquire Nokia’s mobile device business, and that now includes a tablet that will go head-to-head with the Surface 2. As the only other major Windows RT 8.1 slate on tap for the holidays, the $499 Lumia 2520 attempts to stand out with a more colorful design, a sharper 6.7-MP camera and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 CPU that could very well outrun the Tegra 4 chip inside the latest Surface.
Up front, the Lumia 2520 features a 1920 x 1080 AH-IPS display, similar to the Surface 2, but Nokia promises superior outdoor readability. Inside, the 2520 packs a 2.2-GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor, 2GB of RAM and 32GB of onboard storage. There’s also available 4G LTE connectivity.
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Measuring 10.5 x 6.6 x 0.35 inches and weighing 1.4 pounds, the Lumia 2520 is slightly smaller and lighter than the Surface 2, which measures 10.8 x 6.8 x 0.4 inches and weighs 1.5 pounds. The Lumia slate will be available in red, white, black and cyan.
Nokia is making a big deal about the 6.7-MP camera with Carl Zeiss optics on the Lumia 2520. The company says this tablet should be able to capture sharp photos even in low light.
The Lumia 2520 will have an optional Power Keyboard cover that will cost $149. It features two full-size USB ports and offers up to 5 extra hours of battery life. Microsoft offers a $130 Type Cover 2 for the Surface 2, as well as a Power Cover that should add extra juice. However, the price of the latter accessory is not yet known.
As for software, the Lumia 2520 comes with Outlook and Office Home and Student Edition. But Nokia tries to add extra value with Nokia Storyteller, which can automatically integrate your photos with Nokia’s HERE location info to collate your images in chronological order on a map, as well as Nokia Music. The bigger issue is that the Windows Store lacks a good 75 percent of apps available for iOS and Android devices.
Will the Lumia 2520 be better than Microsoft’s own Surface 2? More important, can any piece of hardware make you like Windows RT when you can get a full Windows 8.1 hybrid like the Asus Transformer Book T100 for $349–keyboard included? Stay tuned for a full review.