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Microsoft’s Surface 2 vs. Nokia’s Lumia 2520: A Windows Tablet Spec Smackdown

With every new product line comes new features and follies to fuel the ongoing tablet wars. It’s true Apple may have stole the tablet crown once again when it announced the new Retina-display iPad Mini and the newly-coined iPad Air, but Tuesday morning also saw the announcement of Nokia’s first tablet offering. As previously outlined, the Windows-equipped Nokia 2520 isn’t a huge deviation from the Microsoft’s Surface 2 — which isn’t all that surprising considering the Washington-based tech giant is in the process of acquiring Nokia for a staggering $7.2 billion — but there as some cosmetic and price differences worthy of noting. Check out the spec comparison below for a closer look at the hardware and software powering the two competitors:

 

Surface 2

Surface 2

Lumia 2520

Lumia 2520

Size 274 x 171 x 8.9 (mm) 267 x 168 x 8.9 (mm)
Weight 680g 615g
Screen 10.6-inch ClearType Full HD 10.1-inch ClearBlack, IPS LCD 
Resolution 1920×1080 pixels 1920×1080 pixels
OS Windows RT 8.1 Windows RT 8.1
Storage 32 or 64GB 32GB
SD Card Slot Yes  Yes
Other Ports USB 3.0, HD video out  USB 3.0, Micro HDMI
Processor Quad-core Nvidia Tegra 4 Quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 
RAM 2GB 2GB
Connectivity Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n) Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n)
NFC support No Yes
LTE support No Yes
Camera Front 3.5MP, Rear 5MP Front 2MP, Rear 6.7MP
Bluetooth Yes, version 4.0 Yes, version 4.0
Battery 10 hours of use 11 hours of use
Charger Micro USB Micro USB
Marketplace Windows Store  Windows Store
Price $450+ $500

As evidenced above, the Surface 2 and the Lumia 2520 are nearly identical in design and inner hardware. Windows RT 8.1 comes standard with both devices, along with a native resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and a baseline storage capacity of 32GB, and each touts Bluetooth 4.0 and Wi-Fi  802.11a/b/g/n connectivity. The 6.7-megapixel rear camera on the Lumia 2520 slightly trumps that of the Surface 2, but the latter’s front camera comes in at 3.5MB, barely topping that of the Lumia 2520. Additionally, the Surface 2 features a 10.6-inch touchscreen display, barely expanding upon the Lumia 2520’s 10.1-inch display with a smidgen more space, while ditching options for LTE connectivity.

Also, although the memory is the same on both devices, the internal processor and price tag is truly what sets them apart from one another. Nokia’s offering opts for the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor in lieu of the quad-core Nvidia Tegra 4 adorning the Surface 2 and costs $50 more than Microsoft’s current flagship tablet. And although it’s tough to say whether Microsoft will combine the two product lines in the near future, hardy competition between the two tablets is pretty much an illusion at best. Still, the glossy, blood-red exterior available on the Lumia 2520 is pretty damn chic.

Bottom line: The Surface 2 is a little bigger, has better storage options, is cheaper, and has a better keyboard attachment, but the Lumia 2520 comes in red. So … How badly do you want a red tablet?