Nokia Lumia 2520 review: Big and bold

GSMArena team, 26 December 2013.

Basic retail package

The retail package of the Nokia Lumia 2520 is basic. Inside the tablet's box, you will find a charger, a tool for accessing the SIM and microSD slots, as well as some booklets.

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The retail package and its contents

Much like the Microsoft Surface 2, the Nokia Lumia 2520 has an optional keyboard cover. Alongside the full QWERTY and trackpad, the keyboard cover packs an extra 2,027mAh battery and a duo of full USB ports.

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The optional battery cover

The keyboard cover for the Nokia Lumia 2520 is essential for utilizing its massive productivity talents. Its two major downsides come from its price tag and its considerable weight. At $149 and 571 grams respectively, both add significantly to the tablet's bottom line in both literal and figurative sense.

Design and build quality

The looks of the Nokia Lumia 2520 hold no surprises. The tablet follows closely the design language of the Nokia Lumia smartphone range. Thanks to its rectangular shape and rounded edges, the slate literally looks like a stretched out Lumia smartphone.

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The Lumia 2520 looks anything but revolutionary

The above considered, the Nokia Lumia 2520 looks handsome in the flesh, if a bit too familiar. After all, the current Lumia family design language debuted back in mid-2011 with the MeeGo totting Nokia N9.

Like its smartphone relatives, the Nokia Lumia 2520 is available in a variety of colors, and matte or glossy finish. The colors on offer are black, white, cyan, and red. The black and cyan color schemes come with a matte finish, while the white and red are glossy.

The matte black version which we got to review can easily claim to be the most understated-looking tablet around. We also reckon that the matt finish is easier to live with on a daily basis, as it handles smudgy fingerprints much better that its glossy counterpart.

The measures of the Nokia Lumia 2520 are 267 x 168 x 8.9 mm, while its weight tips the scale at the relatively substantial 615 grams. The latter means that the Nokia Lumia 2520, while a tad more compact than the Microsoft Surface 2, is heftier than the high-end iOS and Android offerings it will compete with.

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Nokia Lumia 2520 sized up against the Surface 2 and the iPad Air

Build quality is up to Nokia's usual high standards. The Lumia 2520 is superbly put together and ready to tackle plenty of daily use and abuse - from the solid polycarbonate body, all the way to display covered by Corning's Gorilla Glass 2.

Display

The Nokia Lumia 2520 features a 10.1" Full HD ClearBlack IPS display with multi-touch support. The screen boasts enhanced outdoor visibility and an orientation sensor. Its pixel density is 218ppi.

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The display of the Nokia Lumia 2520 is quite good

The contrast and viewing angles of the Lumia's display are superb, as is its sunlight legibility. Nokia has been treating its top-end smartphones to high-quality displays for some time now, so we can't say we didn't expect one on the company's first tablet as well.

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Taking a closer look at the tablet's screen

Subjectively, the Nokia Lumia 2520 hands-down beats the screen of its Windows 8.1 RT sibling, the Microsoft Surface 2, in both contrast and viewing angles. Brightness is better too.

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The Lumia 2520 has a better display than the Surface 2

Things however, take a downturn when Nokia's offering goes head to head with the iOS and Android's finest. Apple, Samsung, and ASUS all offer tablets with significantly higher resolution than the Lumia 2520. To put things simply, 1920 x 1080 pixels is no longer considered cutting edge for a $500 tablet.

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