Nokia Lumia 2520 vs Microsoft Surface RT 2: Tablet Battle

Posted by B. Johnson
Nokia Lumia 2520 vs Microsoft Surface RT 2: Tablet BattleWhat would happen if a tablet made by Nokia is compared with a tablet from Microsoft, the company that literally bought and even owned Nokia along with its entire smartphone department.

Well, the answer for that question will be discovered – hopefully – at the end of this comparison review.

Anyway guys, welcome back to this site. And just like what i just mentioned above, hell yeah, in this blog post - or whatever you want to call it -, i’m gonna show you my comparison review between a tablet from Nokia against the Microsoft’s tablet.

Of course, the tablets i’m referring right now are no other than Nokia Lumia 2520 and Microsoft Surface RT 2, given their similar Windows RT platform.

Nokia Lumia 2520 vs Microsoft Surface RT 2 benchmarks and gaming performance

The main reason why i’m really excited to explore more about any of these tablets and especially their comparison in this review is because – besides using the same OS on their platform -, i think it would be interesting to know which one between these 2 devices that deserve to be the best all-rounded tablet, especially as a productivity device.

I’m also quite interested to find out which one between them that is a better gaming tablet in the whole aspect.

Okay then, without further ado, here you go, my comparison review between Nokia Lumia 2520 and Microsoft Surface RT 2.


With more and more productivity-centric tablets getting released on the market, now the competition here becomes really fierce.

And this of course forces many tablet manufacturers out there to come up with better productivity tablets that are not only great, but also affordable to buy.

This is the reason why Microsoft is finally willing to slash the license cost of its full-fledged Windows 8.1 Pro OS to any tablet manufacturers that want to produce affordable tablets with this operating system.

However, besides the full version Windows 8.1 Pro OS, Microsoft actually also has the other platform that is originally intended and in fact, dedicated specifically for tablet devices.

And that is Windows RT, which can be considered as the light-weight version of Windows 8 Pro OS.

Some of the devices that have the ‘privilege’ to enjoy Windows RT on their platforms are Nokia Lumia 2520 and Microsoft’s in-house tablet, Surface RT 2.

As far as the hardware go, both Nokia Lumia 2520 and Microsoft Surface RT 2 are no doubt really well-prepared for that matter.

In fact, both of these devices totally deserve to be the flagship tablets in today’s tablet market simply because they have the ‘flagship’ material especially on their hardware specs.

Nokia Lumia 2520 is more confident with its Snapdragon 800 processor, along with Adreno 330 GPU, while Microsoft Surface RT 2 is more prominent with NVIDIA’s beast Tegra 4 processor, as well as its staggering 72-core GPU.

So basically, with these 2 types of hardware packages, Nokia Lumia 2520 and Microsoft Surface RT 2 are really powerful in terms of graphical performance, which makes both of these tablets great gaming devices.

But the questions remain. With all of the beefy specs and great powerful gaming performance found on both devices, which one between Nokia Lumia 2520 or Microsoft Surface RT 2 that deserves to be the best gaming tablet in this comparison review?

Which one between these 2 tablets that is a better device in the whole aspect?

Is it worth it to buy any of these tablets, especially for playing games?


When it comes to design, Nokia actually doesn’t do a lot of changes on Nokia Lumia 2520 especially compared to most of Lumia smartphones.

So basically, Nokia Lumia 2520 is not such a huge departure from Nokia Lumia smartphones.

The most prominently is, it still inherits the sharp looking design with less-rectangular corners and plastic matte finish all over the rear-cover.

And as a productivity-centric device, of course Nokia Lumia 2520 also ships with its own QWERTY keyboard case cover, along with Touchpad.

Nokia Lumia 2520
Nokia Lumia 2520
Microsoft Surface RT 2
Microsoft Surface RT 2
Microsoft Surface RT 2 (2)
Microsoft Surface RT 2

The same applies to Microsoft Surface RT 2. Just like Nokia Lumia 2520, the entire design of this Microsoft’s tablet is also not very different compared to the predecessor.

It still has small rectangular-shaped corners, dark thick bezels around the side of the screen and there’s also Microsoft logo on the home button.

And just like Nokia Lumia 2520, this device also ships with its keyboard case cover, making it a productivity-dedicated device.

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Nokia Lumia 2520Microsoft Surface 2 RT

Released December 2013
615 g (Weight)
10.1 inch IPS LCD touchscreen 1080 x 1920 pixels (~218 ppi) 16M colors
Corning Gorilla Glass 2
ClearBlack display
Microsoft Windows RT
Quad-core 2.2 GHz Krait 400 Qualcomm MSM8974 Snapdragon 800 Chipset
Adreno 330 GPU
microSD Memory Card slot for up to 64 GB
32 GB Internal storage
6.7 MP rear-facing camera with Carl Zeiss optics (1080p @30fps video recording)
2 MP front-facing camera (720p@30fps video recording)
Bluetooth v4.0
No Java
Accelerometer, gyro, proximity and compass Sensors
Cyan , Red, Black, White Colors Options
Non-removable 8120 mAh battery
    No SIM
    Released October 2013
    675.9 g (Weight)
    Built-in 2-stage kickstand
    10.6 inch TFT capacitive touchscreen, 1920 x 1080 pixels (~208 ppi pixel density), 16M colors
    Quad-core 1.7 GHz Cortex-A15 Nvidia Tegra 4 T40 Chipset
    72 core ULP GeForce GPU
    2 GB RAM
    Microsoft Windows 8.1 RT
    ClearType technology
    microSD memory Card slot for up to 64 GB
    Internal 32/64 GB
    5 MP rear-facing camera (2592 x 1936 pixels) autofocus, LED flash
    3.5 MP front-facing camera (1080p @30fps video recording)
    HTML5 Browser
    No Radio
    No GPS
    No Java
    Microsoft Office 2013 RT
    SkyDrive 200GB free storage for 2-years
    Skype - 1 year free international calls and Wi-Fi
    Non-removable Li-Ion battery

    The first-gen Microsoft RT already looked impressive in performance, especially thanks to Tegra 3 quad-core processor and 12-core GPU. Microsoft Surface RT 2 is no exception.

    Thanks to a much newer Tegra 4 processor, this device is now much more powerful in performance than predecessor, especially as a gaming tablet.

    The same also applies with the tablet made by Microsoft’s bought company – Nokia.

    Nokia Lumia 2520 is also really impressive in performance thanks to Snapdragon 800 processor, which is still considered as flagship specs even in today’s standards.

    Nokia Lumia 2520 comes with a 10.1-inch display sporting the full HD 1920x1080 pixel resolution, a quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor, Adreno 330 GPU, 2GB of RAM, Windows RT, 6.7MP rear camera with Carl Zeiss optics, 2MP front-facing shooter, microSD card for up to 64GB, a huge 8120mA battery and some other standard features including NFC, GPS and many more.

    Meanwhile, Microsoft Surface RT 2 also looks promising with the same 10.1-inch display sporting the same exact 192x1080 pixel display, a quad-core Tegra 4 processor, 72-core ULP GeForce GPU, 2GB of RAM, 5MP rear-facing camera with LED flash, 3.5MP camera to do selfies, microSD card slot for up to 64GB and many other standard features, excluding GPS, Radio and Java.

    Not to mention, as a Microsoft’s homemade tablet, you’ll also receive Microsoft Office 2013 RT out of the box, 200GB free storage for 2 years on SkyDrive, 1 year Skype free international calls and WiFi and some other more.


    When it comes to sharpness, of course both Nokia Lumia 2520 and Microsoft Surface RT 2 are on the same level.

    They both come with the same 10.1-inch display sporting the same exact 1920x1080 pixel resolution.

    So basically, with this type of display, anything that you throw on the screen looks insanely sharp, text is readable even from far distance, image looks crisp and everything just looks really gorgeous overall.

    User Interface

    Both Nokia Lumia 2520 and Microsoft Surface RT 2 is powered by the same exact Windows RT platform.

    So when it comes to UI, of course these 2 tablets are not different one to another.

    In fact, their UIs look and work relatively similar with the same standard design concept of box-shaped Live Tiles, smooth transition when opening apps, horizontal overview on homescreen area and not to mention, the customized wallpaper in the background – which cannot be found on Windows Phone OS.

    However, in terms of features and pre-loaded apps, i think Microsoft Surface RT 2 is slightly more superior than Nokia Lumia 2520 simply because this tablet is made by Microsoft itself – which is the maker of Windows RT.

    And that’s shown perfectly by the use of latest-gen Windows RT 8.1 on this Surface tablet compared to the previous-gen Windows RT on Nokia Lumia 2520.

    So basically, the software of Microsoft Surface RT 2 comes with the newer features and pre-loaded apps than the Windows RT of Nokia Lumia 2520.

    Not to mention, as Microsoft’s in-house device, Microsoft Surface RT 2 also gets the privilege to receive Windows Office 2013 RT out of the box and many other cool goodies like free Skype international calls and WiFi, plus 200GB of free storage on SkyDrive.

    But even so, the UI of both tablets still look and work relatively the same on to another.

    Back to Top
    Despite not being as pure gaming devices, both Nokia Lumia 2520 and Microsoft Surface RT 2 can actually be great gaming tablets as well.

    And that’s thanks to each manufacturer – Nokia and Microsoft – that picks 2 of the most powerful processors and GPUs in today’s standards – Snapdragon 800 processor and Tegra 4 chipset.

    So when it comes to gaming performance, both of these devices are definitely more than capable to execute any games on Windows RT MarketPlace.

    Basically, with Snapdragon 800 quad-core and Tegra 4 quad-core processors, you’re able play all games on Windows RT platform – even the latest and most graphically demanding titles like Asphalt: 8 Airborne, Modern Combat 5 or GTA San Andreas – in buttery smooth performance with no lag whatsoever and of course in full highest graphics.

    This is not so surprising given that each processor comes packed with a really advanced and powerful graphics chipset or GPU – Adreno 330 GPU on Snapdragon 800, while the Tegra 4 processor inside Microsoft Surface RT 2 is equipped with a staggering 72-core ULP GeForce GPU.

    And these 2 GPUs are also the top-end quality GPUs on today’s tablet market, even alongside PowerVR G6430 GPU on iPads.

    However, despite being really really powerful for playing games, there is still one downside found on both Nokia Lumia 2520 and Microsoft Surface RT 2, especially in terms of gaming experience as a whole. And that is the lack of game/app catalog.

    So Windows RT platform – as you probably know – is still playing catch up with Android and iOS especially when it comes to market share and app/game catalog.

    So as a result, there are so many popular Android and iOS games that until today are still unavailable on Windows RT.

    And this forces many Windows RT users to switch or find the alternatives of their favorite apps/games, which are not that good compared to the original version.

    Therefore, if you decide to buy any of these Windows RT tablets, then you must accept the fact that many of favorite games that you’ve come to love on Android or iOS platforms, will not be available on Windows RT of Nokia Lumia 2520 or Microsoft Surface RT 2.

    To name a few, there are many great and popular Android and iOS games that you cannot find on Windows RT – like Dead Trigger 1 and 2, ShadowGun, Horn (which is an awesome RPG) and many many more (i mean, like a LOT, like vast majority of popular games. Seriously).

    I think this will keep continuing even in the next few months or even years, UNLESS Microsoft finally is willing to change its policy (just like its policy to slash the license cost of Windows 8.1 OS for affordable tablets) to let many developers to port their apps/games to Windows RT without any strict reviewing process from Microsoft.

    I hope this could happen real time soon especially if Microsoft really wants to shrink the gap between Android and iOS, in terms of market share and app/game catalog.

    Anyway, despite lacking game catalog on Windows RT platform, there’s actually one great thing found on Microsoft’s tablet – probably Nokia Lumia 2520 as well.

    And that is the compatibility of this Microsoft Surface RT 2 tablet to work seamlessly without any hassle with Xbox 360 controller.

    So according to some reviews i’ve seen on YouTube, this Microsoft Surface RT 2 tablet amazingly can be paired with your standard regular Xbox 360 controller.

    More impressively, you don’t need to hack or root this tablet in order to be able to use the gaming controller.

    You just need to plug in to the USB port of this device and then, voila.. your Microsoft Surface RT 2 has officially become a real gaming tablet.

    However, I’m not sure if Nokia Lumia 2520 also has the same compatibility like Microsoft Surface RT 2 to work with Xbox controller.

    So in conclusion, even though both Microsoft Surface RT 2 has limitation in terms of game catalog, i think this Microsoft’s tablet can still be considered as a good gaming tablet.

    I mean, it has powerful set of hardware specs that are more than adequate to handle heavy games perfectly, it has the compatibility to work with Xbox 360 controller and besides, you’re also able to play old-gen retro games with this device.

    You just need to find the ROM files of your favorite Retro games and then find the emulator on Windows RT MarketPlace. And your boring productivity tablet has turned into a good gaming tablet.

    Anyway guys, if you want to know more about the gaming performance of Nokia Lumia 2520 and Microsoft Surface RT 2, including what games that will run on these tablets, check out my YouTube video playlist or Pinterest page. :)


    When it comes to camera department, i think both Nokia Lumia 2520 and Microsoft Surface RT 2 are well-prepared for that matter, of course not in terms of quality, but it’s more on their set of camera.

    So Nokia Lumia 2520 comes with a 6.7MP rear-facing camera with Carl Zeiss optics, plus 2MP front-facing shooter to do selfies.

    Meanwhile, Microsoft Surface RT 2 looks more humble on the rear with 5MP camera, but this device is still more superior thanks to LED flash and 3.5MP front-facing camera.

    However, between the 2, i think Nokia Lumia 2520 is more ideal to take photos and record videos because – as you probably know already – Nokia has years of experience especially in developing its own camera technology – known as PureView – on some its latest devices.

    So with that being said, then the camera of this Nokia Lumia 2520 of course is more capable to take much better and sharper shots compared to the camera of Microsoft’s tablet.

    But even so, for taking photos and recording videos, i believe the cameras of Microsoft Surface RT 2 are also really able to accommodate your hobby of photography.

    In fact, thanks to its LED flash, taking photos or recording videos in low light condition is probably much better to do with Microsoft Surface RT 2 than Nokia Lumia 2520.

    Battery Life

    Unfortunately, there’s no exact information about the battery capacity used by Microsoft on Microsoft Surface RT 2.

    Meanwhile, Nokia Lumia 2520 looks really promising with a huge 8120mAh battery inside, which according to GSMarena, is capable to deliver the promised 10 hours battery life in talk time (multimedia) and 600 hours in standby.

    So basically, with any of these tablets, i’m pretty sure they can deliver an all-day-long battery life to users, of course in moderate use.

    However, when used to do some heavy intense tasks without resting the screen at all – like for watching HD movies in marathon or playing games in the row -, their battery life could drop significantly faster to probably just around 5 to 7 hours, of course depending on some certain factors – like screen brightness, user’s use cycle, the use of live wallpaper, the existing apps that are running in the background and many other more.

    So if you want any of these tablets to achieve an all-day-long battery in heavy use, you can do some optimizations like set the screen brightness to medium or even low level, force close some unnecessary apps in the background, use simple wallpaper in the background and many more.

    My Personal Opinions

    So in conclusion, between Nokia Lumia 2520 and Microsoft Surface RT 2, i think both devices are equally great in the whole aspect, especially as productivity-dedicated tablets.

    They both have the same sharp display (full HD), high-grade processor and GPU, huge RAM, powerful performance, complete set of cameras, good quality cameras, great battery life, impressive productivity features and solid build quality – although Microsoft’s tablet is more durable (as seen in extreme drop test videos on YouTube).

    As gaming tablets, any of these 2 tablets are also not too shabby at all.

    As a matter of fact, thanks to Snapdragon 800 processor on Nokia Lumia 2520, and Tegra 4 quad-core processor on Surface RT 2, both of these devices are more than adequate to handle even the latest and most graphically demanding games like Modern Combat 5, Asphalt 8: Airborne and even GTA San Andreas.

    However, there is still downside found on both tablets. And that is the lack of game/app catalog.

    So ‘thanks’ to Windows RT platform used on Nokia Lumia 2520 and Microsoft Surface RT 2 – which is still playing catch up with Android and iOS in terms of game/app catalog -, there are many popular games and apps that are still unavailable on Windows RT, forcing many users to find the other alternatives that surely are not as great as the original versions.

    So even if you pick up either Nokia Lumia 2520 or Microsoft Surface RT 2, your chosen tablet will still be plagued by this same issue - the lack of game catalog.

    But even so, if you don’t mind with the limitation of game and app catalog found on the Windows RT platform of these 2 devices, then these Nokia Lumia 2520 or Microsoft Surface RT 2 can still be a great purchase for you, especially if you’re looking for a productivity-dedicated tablet with keyboard case/cover and a more serious productivity software.

    Both Nokia Lumia 2520 and Microsoft Surface RT 2 are still great quality tablets overall.

    Disclaimer: Hi guys, bear in mind that this is not some in-depth review. This is Read more...
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