Apple iPad is out, Nokia Lumia 2520 is in, especially at a savings of more than $230

Apple iPad is out, Nokia Lumia 2520 is in, especially at a savings of more than $230

Summary: Nokia's new Windows 8.1 RT tablet is a fantastic piece of hardware that is priced at just $500 with no contract. It does everything I use my current iPad for so the iPad is up for sale as I add a Lumia 2520 to my collection.

Apple iPad is out, Nokia Lumia 2520 is in, especially at a savings of more than $230
(Image: Nokia)

A Nokia Lumia 2520 eval unit arrived the day before Thanksgiving and two days later I am venturing out to purchase my own Lumia 2520 while my 3rd generation LTE iPad goes up for sale.

A couple weeks ago I bought an Apple iPad Air after Kevin convinced me to go look at one on MobileTechRoundup show #309. It wasn't enough of an upgrade over my existing 3rd generation to justify the $900 (I bought a $829 64GB model with tax) and I returned it two days later.

To be honest, I am a bit surprised there isn't more support for the Nokia Lumia 2520 when it is priced $230 less than the comparable iPad. There is even more value when you add in a microSD card for a third of what Apple charges to increase storage capacity. Nokia has a keyboard offer until this weekend too so that is another $149 savings, making the Lumia 2520 a great deal at $500 with no contract.

I listed the things I do with my iPad and the apps that I use regularly. My primary usage is watching different forms of media (Netflix, ABC Player, Hulu Plus) and using it to write articles for ZDNet while I commute on the train. I am more of a phone guy and use my smartphones for all the apps and other daily tasks.

Listed by side-by-side with the Lumia 2520, I am able to access all the same media sources and enjoy a rich writing experience with either Word or a text editor. Nokia also provides their HERE maps for offline navigation so just looking at the apps I use and experiences I look for in a tablet, the Nokia Lumia 2520 matches my iPad usage.

The original Surface Pro is still in my collection and serves the role as my primary home computer. The LTE in the Nokia Lumia 2520 is a key factor in my purchase decision and when Microsoft includes that in its Surface products, likely in 2014, then it will be a tougher choice between the Surface and Lumia 2520.

A full review of the Nokia Lumia 2520 will be posted next week, but in the meantime I am loving the display, enjoying media playing from the loud front facing stereo speakers, finding all the apps I need in Windows 8.1, having fun customizing the Start screen and Live Tiles, enjoying the durable feel of the plastic and Gorilla Glass (I've tended to set it down without worrying so much about scratching it like I do with my iPad), and absolutely finding use for the split screen functionality that is looking to improve my functionality and efficiency.

Screenshot (3)

I personally enjoy the Windows 8.1 experience, especially on a touchscreen device. I don't yet have the keyboard accessory and can't wait to give that a try. In the meantime, the tablet experience is working out just fine and I might give my universal Bluetooth keyboard a try soon.

Given the large cost savings of at least $230, really about $300 when you add in a 32GB microSD and compare directly to the 64GB LTE iPad Air, and the free $149 keyboard/battery offer it is an easy decision to switch to the Lumia 2520 given my usage needs. My only decision now is whether I purchase a Verizon or AT&T model. I'm definitely going for the matte black model as I like that better than the glossy red fingerprint magnet I tried out for a bit a couple weeks ago.

Related ZDNet Surface coverage:

Topics: Mobility, Nokia, Tablets, Microsoft Surface, Windows 8

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  • Impressive

    I'm starting to like these new windows rt tablets but I think I will just wait for the SP3. 2014 is going to be an amazing year for mobile devices.
    Bob Harwelle
    • Microsoft will kill off RT

      Julie Larson-Green already told us that there will not be full windows, RT and Windows phone. She said that there will not be three. No OEM sells RT. They will not kill off full Windows and they are not going to end there mobile phone ambitions so that just leaves RT as the OS which Larson-Green was talking about that will be killed off.
      Tim Jordan
      • Not even a chance

        They are merging Mobile OS and RT OSes. and later Windows with That hybrid making same OS to run in all devices not killing some OS.
        Its merging OSes
        • Really?! Are you the next Microsoft CEO?

          It must be positively thrilling to be an app developer for Microsoft's current crop of mobile OSs. Nothing like a moving target ...

          First there was Windows Phone 7. Then Windows Phone 8 and Windows RT. Can't wait to see what comes next ... :/
          Rabid Howler Monkey
          • It does not take to be CEO to say that

            Its totally clear all companies trying to merge their mobile OS and Desktops OSes. APPLE,GOOGLE, MS, UBUBTU. I don't have to be MS CEO to call it out.

            Apps from windows phone 7 or WP8 are still works in future OSes, that's the GOAL.
          • Apple too?

            Steve Jobs, at least, knew the difference between a car and a truck.
            Rabid Howler Monkey
          • Steve Jobs isn't there anymore...

            ...doesn't much matter what he knew or didn't know. A new man is in charge of Apple now and in case you haven't noticed, he ain't no Steve Jobs.
          • Considering SUVs and Cross Overs are insanely popular

            with consumers and the fastest growing segment of automobiles, you sure pick a strange point to try to argue in defense of what Steve Jobs thought.

            You act like people only want a car or a truck and don't see the benefits of an SUV of Cross Over, but you could not be any further from the truth if you tried.

            It seems that you have disproven your own argument.
          • Emacho: "You act like people only want a car or a truck"

            You act like people only want an SUV or a Crossover vehicle.

            Plenty of people want either a car or a truck and some people want BOTH a car AND a truck as separate vehicles.
            Rabid Howler Monkey
          • That is all you got from that?

            I'm not the one making comments that imply anything not a car or truck is somehow wrong and that Steve Jobs know that so it must be true.

            I was pointing out that Hybrids vehicles have become wildly popular. No where did I say everyone wants a hybrid. Really there is no way to come to that conclusion based on what I said.
          • Emacho: Some very recent data

            "Top 10 Best-Selling Vehicles — October 2013

            o Trucks at nos. 1, 2 and 10.
            o Cars ar nos. 3, 4, 5, 6 and 9
            o Crossover vehicles at no. 7 and 8

            And the no. 1 selling truck, the Ford F-150, had nearly as many unit sales as the combined Crossover vehicles, the Honda CR-V and the Ford Escape.

            Clearly, you reside in a different reality.
            Rabid Howler Monkey
          • Read.... read what I said!

            I did not say Hybrids were the best selling model did I?

            I said they were the fastest growing segment of cars. You have to admit that SUVs have grown at a very rapid pace to become very popular choices among a market that was previously dominated by cars and followed by trucks.

            Even what are classified as cars or trucks now have more hybrid features like extended cabs or station wagon style rear storage compartments.

            The point is we are no longer in a world where there are only cars or trucks and anything else is wrong and people must fall into one of those classifications.
          • Emacho: "we are no longer in a world where there are only cars or trucks"

            This is true and has been true for some time now. When did SUVs begin to gain popularity in the U.S.? At least a couple of decades ago. Crossover vehicles are a bit more recent. In fact, both SUVs and Crossover vehicles predate Steve Jobs' death. Thus, one must conclude that his use of the cars vs. trucks analogy was a simplification, but a useful one IMO.

            Back on topic, I am squarely in the camp believing that Microsoft needs two client operating systems roughly in line with Apple's iOS and OS X. In fact, this is why I brought up Steve Jobs' cars vs. trucks analogy in my earlier post. Overlap between the two OSs in the 10- to 14-inch form factor also makes sense to me, as they each support different use case scenarios which I view broadly as simplicity (apps) vs. complexity (rich applications).

            Finally, I actually like Microsoft's Surface products as well as its OEMs Windows 8-based hybrids, including Nokia's Windows RT-based Lumia 2520 upon which this article is based. However, I remain steadfast that Windows RT is a superior solution at and below the 8-inch form factor. In addition, I remain steadfast that Microsoft's (and Nokia's) pricing for Windows RT-based products was and is too high.
            Rabid Howler Monkey
          • Either that....

            "Thus, one must conclude that his use of the cars vs. trucks analogy was a simplification, but a useful one IMO."

            ..or Steve Jobs was an egotistical spaz who happened to like coming up with half-baked analogies because those under the spell of the ADF seem to like parroting his one-liners - regardless of how ridiculous they look while doing it.
          • Jobs said a lot of things

            Some of what he says is complete sales rhetoric. Like when he said 10 inches is the minimum size needed for a decent tablet experience, because Apple didn't have any product to directly compete in the small tablet space. Apple was likely working on the mini at the same exact time Jobs made his declaration of what made a good size tablet.

            Like the car/truck analogy Apple at the same time applied for a patent on a hybrid latop/tablet device in Q3 of 2011.

            The point is what Jobs says publically is often in direct contradiction to what Apple does as a successful company. They talk bad about what the competition does until they finally get around to making the things they were criticizing; smaller tablets or larger phone screens or even merging operating systems.

            As for WindowsRT, I just don't see the point of it, but I get why Microsoft is doing it. Still if a user ignores the desktop icon they have a complete WindowsRT experience in Windows8. Most people fail to realize that using the desktop is optional. I just don't agree with the mentality of making thing less functional is good for computers, especially when the only criteria for doing that is because the shape or size of the computer changes. Imagine if Desktops and Laptops were created using two completely different operating systems 20 years ago, because people thought they shouldn't have the same hardware capabilities back then.

            Furthermore since Windows8 does everything WindowsRT does on cheaper and more powerful hardware it makes WindowsRT a solution looking for a problem to solve. You and I may think that using the desktop on a tablet 8 inches isn't worthwhile, but we don't represent the whole world. There are many people who are very excited about having a full computing experience on a small device and will use it in ways you or I never would.

            I'm going to wait to see what Microsoft and OEMs come up with in 8 inch devices for WindowsRT, but seeing the current Windows8 8 inch tablets I see no real need for WindowsRT there.
          • Atom late to the game

            the intel Atom is late to the game, many manufactures are loving the ARM processor. MS will continue to produce an OS for arm processors for embedded devices and consumer products. Just because Dell loves Intel, doesn't mean that the rest of the device companies do as well.

            Many device manufactures produce android tablets that are perfectly capable of running WinRT, and as WinRT gets some more polish, we'll likely see those devices shipping with your choice of OS on the same hardware.
          • iPad + Citrix/RDP

            What do we call this? A Prius on which we weld a truck bed? I sure see a lot of iPad folks sipping coffee near free WiFi while they hammer strokes from a keyboard type cover into a Citrix/RDP remote Windows desktop.

            When PCs first started to infiltrate the corporate world in the late 80s, the most used application was a terminal emulator that allowed them to access the company's mini/mainframe computer.
          • @Emacho

            A SUV or a crossover is just a car. However you label it, does not change that simple fact. By that measure the truck is a car too.

            These categories exist for netting certain criteria and are often overlapping.

            Whatever Steve Jobs said, you made an wrong statement and were corrected. Perhaps, you meant to say something else, but we are not in your head.
          • You got it right Danbi!

            An SUV is just a car.

            Just like a tablet is a computer.
          • Isn't he