Microsoft Surface 2 vs. Nokia Lumia 2520 : Which is the Best Windows RT Tablet?

Surface 2 v. Nokia 2520 (1)

Back when Microsoft launched the Surface last year and the Surface 2 we figured they would be the only device carrying the RT mantra and hopefully by the next version we just get full blown Windows. A lot of companies have strayed away from RT and given us Window 8 without any issues. Nokia decided on the day that the Surface 2 would launch they would go head and announce their own Windows tablet dubbed the Nokia Lumia 2520 running Windows 8.1 RT. Interesting about the Lumia 2520 is it goes toe to toe with Microsoft’s Surface 2 device with MS around that time inquiring their mobile division as well.  While similar, there are some differences highlighted between the Nokia Lumia 2520 and the Microsoft Surface 2 highlighted below.

Design:

The Surface 2 has a well-constructed build with gunmetal paint on the back and various ports all over it. Volume controls, audio jack and speaker on the left and the right side is another speaker, USB 3.0 port, HD Video Out port, and spot to contact your magnetic charger. On the back side is a 5MP camera and 3.5 on the front. One of the best things about the design of the Surface 2 would be its glorious kickstand. You may think it’s a gimmick but once you use it and try to go to another devices you will wish you had it. Also when you pull that up there is a small slot for a microSD card. At the bottom is a spot to use the over so gracious Type Cover keyboard (or any other attachments you purchase. The Type Cover is a better if you prefer actually feeling the typing of keyboard rather then just a touch. At least for me that is.

The Nokia Lumia 2520 has the feel of its smartphones but just in a much larger capacity. It has a curved feel to its body and comes in various colors for your choosing like its phones. As far as ports on this, there is a simcard/microSD slot only opened by a pin (included), microUSB 3.0 and micro HDMI ports, your usual volume controls, and a charger port and audio jack. The problem with the charger and audio ports is they look exactly the same and you can mistake trying to plug one thing into the other so be mindful. Besides that there is a 6.7MP Carl Zeiss camera on the back, and 2MP on the Front. Speakers are placed on the bottom.

The differences I found between the two was that I liked the overall build better on the Surface 2 better than the Lumia 2520 as I feel the Surface 2 has its own identity and the various ports alongside it. As well as the speakers sound much better on the Surface 2 and don’t distort compared to on the Lumia 2520. The Lumia does feel lighter in the hand slightly more than the Surface 2 though. Camera quality on both isn’t exactly mind blowing but I expected a bit more from Nokia with their impressive smartphones but I don’t usually expect much out of tablet cameras anyway.

Display:

Surface 2 v. Nokia 2520 (2)

The first thing you will obviously look at and compare between the two devices before anything is the display and which looks better. The Lumia 2520 comes in with a 10.1” ClearBlack IPS LCD display which the Surface 2 has a 10.6” ClearType Full HD display. While both look good as far as doing work on them and watching videos, the Surface 2 felt like it had a slightly sharper image, but the brightness on the Lumia 2520 destroys it. So the choice is do you want a sharper detailed larger picture or a slightly smaller brighter screen.

Hardware:

Surface 2 v. Nokia 2520 (5)Both devices are running Quad-Core processors with the Lumia 2520 using a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor seen running in some of the fastest Android devices like the Nexus 5, Galaxy Note 3 and LG G2, as well as Nokia’s Lumia 1520 WP8 device. The Tegra 4 runs in devices such as the NVIDIA SHIELD, Tegra Note 7 and ASUS Transfromer Pad TF701. Performance wise on both devices didn’t really notice a hiccup throwing vast tasks at them or watching some flicks here and there.

Also the Lumia 2520 has some edge with NFC and LTE capabilities attached to it with it running AT&T’s services. AT&T has some pretty fast blazing speeds across the NYC metro area and the ability to get services on the go then being tied to a WIFI hotspot or tethering to your smartphone is a plus. It would be nice if Microsoft included some LTE options with it as well.

Software:

Both are running Windows 8.1 RT which has improved the 8.0 version being quicker, giving you access to the Desktop and so on, it still makes you wish for a full version at times. The Desktop I really don’t see much need for it on RT and thinks most what is accomplished they could have found to be done on the Windows Start Screen. Opening IE in Start and IE on Desktop just can get confusing at times if you happen to be going back and forth between the two.
The Windows Store has been getting more support as far as apps are concerned but its still worlds away but it’s got some catching up to do if it wants to be in the realm of the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. At least it’s not in the neighborhood of the dying Blackberry which is getting close to zero support and relies more on Android port overs.

Microsoft or Nokia?

Using both tablets provided a decent experience using the Windows 8.1 RT interface and choosing between the two can come down to a couple of options. The Microsoft Surface 2 seems to be built more of the consumer that wants to feel like they have a PC on the go when they don’t. The build is fantastic, kickstand is worthy and its TypeCover 2 is necessary and feels good to use for typing or even using it to protect your screen. The Nokia Lumia 2520 is great as well but feels should be chosen if you’re going for a slightly more tablet feel, brighter screen and the options of different colors. That 4G LTE connection anyway is a huge factor as well if you are always on the move.

You can pick the Nokia Lumia 2520 for $499 $399 in Black at AT&T with 2 Year Contract. Also check out our full on review of the Nokia Lumia 2520 HERE

The Microsoft Surface 2 is available for $449.99 at Microsoft Store.