Nokia Lumia 2520 review

Attractive Lumia hardware is hobbled by lacklustre software

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The Nokia Lumia 2520 comes with an array of ports and accessories in tow that, while welcome, don't feel integral to the overall experience in the same way that Microsoft's Touch and Type Cover keyboards are to how you use its Surface tablets.

Along the right-hand side of the device's top edge is the power button and a pair of volume rockers. The buttons are rounded to match the 2520's design and are comfortable to press, with a spongy feel. Along the tablet's left-hand side are two identical rounded ports - one for headphones and one for Nokia's proprietary charging cable - with nothing but a tiny piece of gold metal indicating that the latter is for the power adapter.

Nokia Lumia 2520

Down the 2520's right-hand edge are two ports: micro HDMI for hooking the tablet up to an external display and micro USB 3.0. You can't use the mico-USB port to charge the device (only to transfer files), which feels like something of a missed trick in a world where laptops like HP's Chromebook 11 can be juiced up using a smartphone cable. That said, if it's a trade off between convenience and length of time to charge, I would take a faster, proprietary power brick any day.

Kickstand down

Disappointingly, the Lumia 2520 lacks a Kickstand, which feels like a glaring omission in the face of the two-angled offering found on the back of the Surface 2. It means you'll have to settle for Nokia's Power Keyboard if you want to stand your Lumia 2520 up in landscape mode without leaning it on something, adding 30mm thickness to the device in the process.

Of course, you'll also get a built-in keyboard with that (unfortunately we weren't supplied one with our testing unit), but given the choice I'd take the inclusion of a kickstand and a marginally heavier tablet over one with no native prop-up mechanism that's ever so slightly lighter in the hand.

It makes the Lumia 2520 feel much more like a device that's primarily a tablet and is only meant to be paired with a keyboard on the odd occasion, rather than a complete laptop solution that's ready to get down to business. At £150 (around $160, or AU$190), the cover doesn't come cheap either, ramping the total cost up to £550 should you stump for the cheapest version.

Nokia Lumia 2520 charging port

It connects to the tablet's base using a magnetic strip and it offers a single USB 2.0 port for connecting up other devices. Nokia claims that the keyboard's 2027 mAh battery provides around five hours of additional battery life.

That the keyboard offers a USB port is particularly annoying because it should have been built into the Lumia 2520 itself - the device is exactly the same thickness as the Surface 2 that managed to squeeze in a full-sized one. Picking a convertor up isn't difficult if you shop online, but having an adapter constantly sticking out of the side of your tablet is a jarring experience, as smaller 8-inch Windows 8 tablets have proved recently.


When it comes to hooking the Nokia Lumia 2520 up to the internet, its maker has taken the unconventional approach of chucking in LTE whether you like it or not. That's right: even if you're not too fussed about connecting up to the super-fast broadband in the sky right now, you won't have to trade in the model for a 4G-compatible version if you change your mind in the future.

Wi-Fi connectivity is provided via a Qualcomm Atheros AR6x04 WLAN adapter, which reliably kept its connection to our local Wi-Fi network. Unfortunately it's 802.11n, meaning you won't be able to take advantage of the faster speeds offered by 802.11ac routers.