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Nokia Lumia 2520 review

Attractive Lumia hardware is hobbled by lacklustre software

Nokia Lumia 2520
The Nokia 2520: a curvy curveball of sorts

Our Verdict

Windows RT means the Lumia 2520 can't take Windows tablets to the next level.


  • Attractive design
  • Bright display
  • Great battery life
  • Fast charging
  • Speedy performance
  • Built-in LTE


  • Windows RT underpowered
  • No Kickstand
  • No full-sized USB port

The Nokia Lumia 2520 is the Finnish giant's first - and possibly last - tablet. Announced back in October, collective eyebrows were raised when it was revealed that the device would run Windows RT, which has endured a miserable time since launching just over a year ago.

Citing weak demand, every vendor to have once backed Microsoft's cut-down, ARM-based OS has since withdrawn support. After Dell removed the RT-toting XPS 10 from its online store back in September, it looked like RT was done for, Surface tablets aside. Unfortunately for Microsoft, nobody seemed to care.

That a new RT device has poked its head from above the parapet is intriguing; that its maker is Nokia even more so. Microsoft inked a deal in September that would see it snap up Nokia's devices and services division for £3.2 billion (US$5 billion, or AU$5.6 billion), meaning that it now has two competing Windows RT devices on the market (the other being the Surface 2).

Nokia Lumia 2520

The good news for Microsoft is that the Nokia Lumia 2520 is different enough from the Surface 2 to warrant its place on the market; neither is likely to make a solid dent in the other's sales. It runs the same software, but Nokia's choice of hardware, design and features lend it a different personality and appeal.

If it sells, we may see a successor in the future. Should it fail, there's a chance that Microsoft will axe the line to shift the focus back onto its RT-powered Surface tablets.

Lumia landing

If you're thinking of buying a Nokia Lumia 2520, you'll have two to choose from - a 32GB or a 64GB model - with a choice of red, black, cyan and white depending on where you live. You'll have to cough up £399 ($399, or around AUS$450), which gets you a lot of tablet for your money, but it's up against some stiff competition.

As well as going head-to-head with the Surface 2, the Nokia Lumia 2520 is competing with similarly-priced convertibles that run full-fat Windows 8.1 such as Asus' Transformer Book T100 that can be picked up for as little as £339 ($399, around AU$430) with a keyboard dock included.

Nokia Lumia 2520 windowsill

And then there's Apple's thinner, lighter iPad AIr (starting £397, around US$652, or AUS$716) that offers an alluring design with plenty of apps. From the Android camp there's the Sony Xperia Z (£353, around $388, or AUS$637) and Samsung's Galaxy Note 10.1 (£350, around $385, or AU$634).

Can Nokia's debut tablet somehow make up for Windows RT's shortcomings and stand out from the crowd? Or is it a case of too little, too late for the latest entrant? Continue reading our Nokia Lumia 2520 review to find out.

Kane Fulton
Kane has been fascinated by the endless possibilities of computers since first getting his hands on an Amiga 500+ back in 1991. These days he mostly lives in realm of VR, where he's working his way into the world Paddleball rankings in Rec Room.