Today we have an unusual guest. Unexpected, but very interesting. Lumia 2520 – top tablet from Nokia. Not even so much a tablet as a tablet computer. Running Windows RT, the Lumia 2520 does a lot of things iPad never dreamed of, like running multiple apps on a single screen and running the free, full suite of Microsoft Office productivity suites. And it’s just a beautiful gadget – one of the first devices of this type from Nokia.
Lumia 2520 is packaged in a rectangular cardboard box. The only image on it reflects a large selection of colors: this model is available in several colors at once. Bright colors are generally a proprietary feature of Nokia smartphones (and now tablets) in recent years. When Apple presented the iPhone 5c, many even accused the Cupertino people of light plagiarism.
Microsoft very tightly controls the technical characteristics of devices that are released under the operating systems Windows Phone and Windows RT. In some ways, this approach resembles Apple – except that it does not allow third-party manufacturers to use their software. There are a lot of powerful components installed inside the Lumia 2520, but the user does not need to think about them. The little list in the corner of the box has much more interesting details, such as the fact Full HD display.
Windows RT was created for hybrid mobile devices based on the functionality and interface of Windows 8. The same programs do not run here as on regular, desktop version of this OS. All applications, just like Apple, must be downloaded from the official application store. This approach ensures that there are no viruses or outside threats that scare some Mac users away from Windows. Malicious files and software on the device simply will not start. It also gives an additional push to the development of third-party software, originally designed for portable devices with touch displays. But more on that later. Let’s unpack the box along with the charger and get the most important thing on display.
Note: At the time of writing this review, Nokia announced a recall of chargers for the Nokia 2520 due to a design problem. You can get a new charger for free by registering in the official program on the site.
Known fact: most tablets on the market look like copies of the iPad. Boring black frames, cheap black plastic, low-quality screens are just some of the traditional drawbacks of the “analogues” of the iPad running on Android. That is why the Lumia 2520 is very surprising: its body, materials and appearance are strictly contrary to everything that has come out on the tablet computer market in the past five years. This device is really bright, unusual, literally brilliant – I want to pick it up and take a closer look. Maybe this is the effect of the red model, just appropriate in the middle of spring?
The screen of the Lumia 2520 is glossy and bright. Diagonal – 10.1 inches. Color reproduction, viewing angles and picture quality in general can be praised. Considering how many bright colors and various gamuts of “tiles” there are in Windows RT, the high contrast of the display – and therefore deep, saturated colors – plays into the hands of the system and generally leaves a positive impression on those who have seen the new operating systems from Microsoft only on pictures on the Web or on some bench laptop in stores. It turns out that they exist. In the frame – the front camera of the device and the indicator of its operation.
The display is good, but the back panel is even better. Such a bright, incredibly glossy (yes-yes) gadget looks defiant in the age of strict aluminum and mild matte plastic. The play of light on the body of the device made of high-quality glossy plastic is clearly one of the factors that made Jonathan Quince approve the release of the iPhone 5c. Outdoors on sunny days (and even overcast days), the Lumia 2520 looks great. Minimalism in controls and external ports only contributes to this. The only negative of the glossy case is how it attracts fingerprints. You have to clean your device regularly. In this regard, a white model will be preferable to a black one or the same red one.
Keyboard stand port with external USB ports
The volume control and screen unlock buttons seem to be made of metal. “It seems to be”, because they are painted to match the body. Accidental clicks will not work here: they are quite recessed into the case.
For connecting additional accessories, an external micro-USB 3.0 port is provided, as well as an HDMI output for external monitors and TVs.
The Lumia 2520 is currently available exclusively with support for SIM cards – and rightly so, because this dramatically increases the usefulness of this tablet on the road and in general under any circumstances.
With all the technical bells and whistles, the thickness of the body of the tablet is comparable to the thickness of the iPhone 5. Note that the back panel arches, slightly raising the edges of the tablet above the table in a horizontal position. Having got used to the flat iPad, this form is perceived unusually in the hands at first. Then you get used to it – no one has canceled ergonomics yet.
An unexpected plus of the Lumia 2520, which appeared after a long test, is the rounded edges of the case. Thanks to them, holding the device for a long time is almost more pleasant than tablets from Apple or Sony: the edges of metal or plastic do not cut into the palm.
Difference in design philosophies Nokia/Microsoft and Apple very visible in this photo. But the truth is not so harsh: both devices are convenient to use, and each of them looks interesting in its own way. There are so few beautiful tablets from third-party manufacturers that you can only rejoice at the successful style of the Lumia 2520. If you look closely, you will find the NFC logo on the back panel, implying the corresponding functionality.
I can not return to the qualities of the display. Being an active iPad mini user, I have already forgotten what really bright colors. The Full HD (1920 by 1080 pixels) screen on the Lumia 2520 delivers a picture so rich that it’s hard to capture it in photos without ruining the original gamut. To appreciate it with your own eyes, we recommend that you personally take a look at the tablet in the assortment of large stores in the country. All in all, the display is the strength of the Lumia 2520. And so is the design.
The tablet has a 6.7 megapixel camera. Taking pictures with a device of this size – almost the size of a Macbook Air – is not the most comfortable task. The footage from the camera, however, more than meets modern Internet standards: you can safely upload it to social networks and share with friends.
I think the message is clear: Lumia 2520 looks really unusual. But what works on it can surprise even more. Windows RT is the next stop to get acquainted with the new device from Nokia.
Windows RT on Nokia 2520
The Lumia 2520 comes preinstalled with Windows 8.1RT. How to navigate in it? Windows RT is not quite the Windows that most of us are familiar with. In order not to go into overly technical details, I will draw the following parallel.
Imagine iOS, but with the ability to open at any time interface OS X. Such a hybrid of systems is not able to run programs and games created for the older version, OS X – but allows you to use a number of its selective features. For example, to fully work with files on the device. Or simultaneously open several (depending on the size of the display) applications and programs at once, and then work in them parallel. As an option, look for vacation tickets and discuss them with your soulmate via Skype. The iPad can’t do that.
What guided Microsoft when creating Windows RT? It was necessary to develop an OS adapted for use on tablets and hybrid laptops, whose popularity began to gain momentum dramatically after the release of the iPad. The new approach to system management meant a complete redesign of the interface, the fundamental principles of which have not changed for decades. Based on the design Metro, which was implemented a little earlier in the Windows Phone OS. Formally definition Metro can no longer be used: Microsoft had to abandon the name due to claims by a third party. But everyone understands too well what is at stake to try to frame this style in other words.
Don’t let the traditional desktop in the Lumia 2520 fool you. All applications downloaded from the official Store run exactly in the Metro shell. The desktop is used only for working with files and programs built into the system.
The basis of the new Start menu in Windows 8.1 RT is the so-called tiles. These are squares and rectangles without gradients, which are shortcuts for launching certain applications. Many of these tiles are “live” (Microsoft’s term) – that is, they display constantly updated, up-to-date information right on the program’s shortcut. Thanks to this, without launching additional programs, the user can find out the weather, headlines of the latest news, the content of posts in connected social network accounts, as well as a lot of other information. This is a smart alternative to the “widgets” that everyone was once waiting for on iOS.
Opening any of the tiles will take you to the application, framed by a minimalistic Metro shell. They, as a rule, do not have an exit / close button – just like in iOS. How then to work with the system? A variety of gestures are responsible for switching tasks, opening context menus and other actions.
For example, to open the previous program, drag your finger from the left edge of the display to the right. All such actions are accompanied by a simple, but as smooth as possible animation. This is a well-known forte of Windows Phone, and in Windows RT (as in regular Windows 8) with the responsiveness of the interface, everything is just as good. On the other hand, many gestures are not intuitive for an experienced iOS user. Full exit from the open program is carried out by swiping down from the top edge of the screen. And if the application just needs to be hidden, then in the middle of the previous gesture, you need to stop and, without releasing your finger, move the already reduced window image to the left edge. You can also exit programs from the Start menu by clicking the Windows logo button. And the transition to frequently used tasks, such as searching for Wi-Fi networks, is carried out through the menu “Charm bar”available when swiping from right to left from the right edge.
Learning Windows RT gestures is not very easy, but over time, all this is recorded in the subcortex and turns into a reflex. This opens up other functions of the system. For example, when you minimize a window, you will have access to the multitasking bar, designed as a ribbon of images of windows of previously opened applications. Reminds me of Android, by the way. Many context menus are opened with a bottom-up gesture. In general, be prepared that at first you will learn to workand only then – really work.
Nokia has equipped the tablet with a number of branded applications, including HERE maps, MixRadio internet radio, Video Director video editor, Nokia Camera photo application and Storyteller interactive slideshow software. If you’re new to Windows RT, and even more so the Lumia 2520, My Nokia should be the first app you ever launch. This is a visual reference for the capabilities and pre-installed programs of the tablet.
You know what surprises you the most after using iPad for a long time? The widest possibilities for customizing the interface, which have no analogues even in Android. In addition to the 20 preset background themes for the Start menu, you can freely set the colors of the background, pop-up menus and context windows. Such changes seriously change the look of the system, because it is all solid colors and uniform backgrounds. Paradox: a homogeneous interface gives more personalization options.
At the dawn of Windows RT, the platform did not shine with the number and variety of applications in the Store – an analogue of the App Store. Today, at the beginning of 2014, there is absolutely the entire gentleman’s set of software. Let’s take an example. What hangs in the App Store TOP from games? GTA, FIFA 2014? There are some on Windows RT. Asphalt, cut the rope and Angry Birds? It’s not even discussed. There are also a lot of domestic freemium games in the Store – for example airport city from GameInsight. Playing various city builders, by the way, is really great on such a big screen. Let’s not forget about Flash support in Internet Explorer: if you love applications from the social networks VKontakte and Facebook, you no longer need to look for their mobile versions.
Everything is clear with games, but what about programs? Today, there is almost the entire gentleman’s set for the platform, including Instagram, Vine, the official Facebook and Vkontakte client, a light version of Photoshop from Adobe, and much, much more. In addition, there is a very beautiful and unusually thought-out application. fresh paint, which can give a hundred points ahead to most “painting” for iOS. And it’s mostly free – made and released by Microsoft.
From other creations, the guys from Redmond liked Cooking Bing with a mode in which you can work with the program without hands. If you have tried to cook something according to recipes with an iPad, then you know that you can’t keep it on all the time, and you don’t want to use oily / dirty / soiled hands on an expensive tablet. This application is also free. In general, Microsoft has a lot of interesting and functional things in the Store. At first it was even somehow unusual.
Large tablet without physical keyboard requires a very high quality, thoughtful virtual option. In this case, Microsoft once again went against the “system” by building an incredibly functional keyboard into Windows 8.1 and Windows RT. And so that users do not get confused in it, four modes of use were implemented. The photo shows the standard mode – something like a mobile keyboard, similar to that in iOS. In addition to it, you can run a mode that divides the keyboard into two block on the sides of the screen, which is useful when you need to write something on the go. The third mode is letter recognition. Moreover, Russian: you can write words by hand, and the system understands them very well and translates them into printed text.
Finally, in the Windows settings, you can enable the mode complete keyboards. It has a much smaller distance between the virtual keys, and the keys themselves also take up less space on the screen. But the number of various buttons corresponds to that of a regular, wide keyboard for PC. There are Alt, and Shift, and even NUM keys. With such a set, you can safely work in Excel. By the way, about him.
Nokia Lumia 2520 has preinstalled Microsoft Office suite. This is not the one offered on the iPad with a paid subscription. These programs – Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote – are provided to tablet users absolutely free of charge, without monthly or annual deductions. All this makes Windows RT tablets much more convenient in a business environment: most of the country’s companies use MS Office to create and edit electronic documents, and many companies arrange their mailings in Outlook. If your work is at least partly related to the “office”, you will definitely appreciate these five icons on the desktop.
But, to be honest, I liked this feature the most in the device. Thanks to the presence of a 10.1-inch screen, you can seriously and without discomfort work in two programs at once. For example, you need to translate some text or write a summary. No problem: scatter both windows with gestures around the edges and work as if you opened these windows on a regular computer. If the case requires several windows at once, then you can start the traditional Desktop. And yes, don’t be afraid of Internet Explorer. And if you’re afraid, at least try it. I can guarantee that you will be genuinely surprised at how it works: how quickly it loads pages, how smoothly it scrolls through them, and how well it zooms in. Internet Explorer for Windows RT on the Lumia 2520 is just as good as Safari on the iPad Air with iOS 7, which is important because third-party web browsers don’t really work on that system. And it is not necessary.
Nokia Lumia 2520 – a large tablet with great features. Not only bright, but also functional, it shows that Microsoft has finally found a middle ground between overly loaded hybrid ultrabooks and too portable, ill-conceived tablets. The Lumia 2520 is the right Windows tablet that’s comfortable to use every day, rather than looking for a use for it.
PS During the writing of this review, the mobile division of Nokia has finally merged with Microsoft and has become Microsoft Mobile. I sincerely hope that during this process, neither the Lumia 2520, nor the developments that accompanied its creation, will be lost on the sidelines of the Redmond giant.
Today we have an unusual guest. Unexpected, but very interesting. Lumia 2520 is Nokia’s top tablet. Not even so much a tablet as a tablet computer. Running Windows RT, the Lumia 2520 does a lot of things iPad never dreamed of, like running multiple apps on one screen and running Microsoft’s free, full suite of office suites…
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