Nokia Lumia 2520 vs Apple iPad Air 2 Specs Comparison

Written by B Johnson January 22, 2015
Nokia Lumia 2520 vs Apple iPad Air 2 Specs Comparison
Hi guys, welcome back to this site!

Around the tablet market, Nokia may not have such a ground breaking sales number every quarter nor huge market share just like Apple with its iPads, however, something that should still be appreciated from this company is definitely its bravery to jump to the entirely new bandwagon where this Finish-based manufacturer never had experience with.

And that can be seen clearly through its homemade tablets under the Lumia series.

(Nokia Lumia 2520 vs Apple iPad Air 2 Specs Comparison)

Nokia Lumia tablet series consists in 3 different models, ranging from the 2 flagship variants and one low-end model, carrying different class of specs of course – from Nokia Lumia 2520 as the flagship along with Nokia Lumia 1520 both with different screen sizes, to the low-end model called Nokia Lumia 1320.

I actually have already made the reviews of these tablets on this website around 2 months ago. So you can check them all out if you’re really interested to find out more about any of these devices.

Anyway, today i think i’m really in the good mood to bring up Nokia Lumia 2520 in this next comparison review.

Nokia Lumia 2520 VS iPad Air 2 (TouchID Sensor) benchmarks and gaming performance

And given its 10-inch screen size category, i think it would be quite interesting to see how this tablet fare against a flagship popular tablet from Apple – iPad Air, of course the second-gen latest model.

Well, if you’re also as excited as i am, to learn more about these 2 tablets and see the comparison of each aspect on these tablets, including my take on their gaming performance and experience as a whole, then here you go, my comparison review between Nokia Lumia 2520 and iPad Air 2.


Compared to Apple with its iPad Air 2, it’s just no brainer that Nokia Lumia 2520 could never take iPad’s position even in the next few years.

Not only is it impossible to happen, but it’s also going to take more than miracles for Nokia to really compete with Apple especially in terms of market share, popularity and sales number.

However, despite not having all of that on its tablet, i still think Nokia Lumia 2520 has all the way to really challenge iPad on the sector of quality.

Okay, Nokia Lumia 2520 may not have the same premium aluminum and great build quality just like iPad Air 2 – especially with its sturdiness and insanely thinner compact design, not to mention, Touch ID fingerprint sensor -, however, in terms of specs, this Nokia’s device actually still has a lot to say especially against the iPad Air 2.

However, through Nokia Lumia 2520, it’s quite obvious that Nokia doesn’t have any plan to compete head-to-head against the Apple iPad Air 2, even though some its high-grade specs are still on par with the ones found on Apple’s tablet.

But Nokia has high hopes that by releasing this tablet – along with its siblings -, it could really boost some experience and expertise for this company to make other new similar but much better products in the future. And of course, the products that could be as popular as iPads.

As a challenger of iPad Air 2 in this comparison review, Nokia Lumia 2520 is actually not too shabby at all in terms of hardware.

It has sharp looking display, fast powerful processor and GPU, great quality camera (especially given Nokia’s years of experience on camera department) and many other things from this tablet.

However, if compared with iPad Air 2, it doesn’t take genius to see that this iPad is just way more powerful than Nokia’s tablet, either on hardware or performance sector

But the questions remain, with all of high-grade quality specs found on both devices,

Which one between Nokia Lumia 2520 and iPad Air 2 that deserves to take the crown here as the best gaming tablet in this comparison review? Which one that is the best tablet in the whole aspect? Is it worth it to buy any of these tablets especially for their gaming performance?

Well, if you're still eager to find out about my final conclusion of this comparison review, be sure to read the rest of this post.


Apple has such long long years of experience on the design department of all of its products. And that actually the thing that Apple has been really good at for the past couple of years. It exactly what happens with iPad Air 2.

Similar just like the predecessors, this latest-gen iPad still inherits the premium feels and looks of the previous-gen iPads, thanks to Apple’s decision to stick with aluminum materials on this device.

Not only does it make iPad Air 2 look cool and expensive, but it also gives the sense of sturdiness to the entire side of this tablet.

So no wonder if the price of iPad Air 2 is really high compared to most of its competitors, mostly based on its premium design and build quality.

Nokia Lumia 2520
Nokia Lumia 2520
iPad Air
iPad Air

This really contradicts with the tablet made by Nokia - Nokia Lumia 2520. Unlike Apple’s device, this tablet is not made out of the aluminum materials all over its coating.

Its materials actually look pretty similar with the one found on Nokia Lumia smartphones, which is plastic polycarbonate, but the good thing is, it doesn’t feel and look as cheap as glossy plastic materials on other affordable tablets.

Between Nokia Lumia 2520 and iPad Air 2, of course i’ll side on Apple’s tablet mostly thanks to its premium materials and great build quality.

But it’s actually not just about it being made out of aluminum, but its thickness is also the one that makes me quite impressed with the design of iPad Air 2.

So similar just like what Apple has been doing on every release of iPad, on this iPad Air 2, Apple also tries to decrease the thickness of this device much further even as thin as pencil (as shown in its presentation at the announcement).

And this really actually really helps a lot in making this tablet more comfortable to hold even with one hand, despite its wide 4:3 aspect ratio and large footprint.

This iPad feels really compact, it’s really light in weight and probably won’t make your hand exhausted even in the long reading or video-watching session.

However, despite not being as premium as iPad Air, Nokia Lumia 2520 still has something to write home about on its design.

So just like Nokia’s smartphones, this tablet also looks and feels pretty similar with Nokia Lumia phones.

Its rear-cover looks really attractive with eye-popping colors like red, cyan or white (with black being the flat looking variant), while the front side is dominated with dark black finish all over it.

There’s also its keyboard case just like the one found on Surface series, which is not so surprising given its Windows RT OS that is designed originally as a productivity platform.

The design of Nokia Lumia 2520 actually kind of reminds me with Microsoft Surface, especially with the Windows logo on the home button and of course, its Windows RT UI that makes it look quite similar with Microsoft’s slates.

However, there are still some parts of this Nokia’s tablet that separates it from Surface tablet, like the same bezel color as the rear-cover or “Nokia” logo on the back (of course).

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Nokia Lumia 2520Apple iPad Air 2

Released December 2013
615 g (Weight)
10.1 inch IPS LCD touchscreen 1080 x 1920 pixels (~218 ppi) 16M colors
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
2 MP front-facing camera (720p@30fps video recording)
Bluetooth v4.0
No Radio
No Java
Non-removable 8120 mAh battery
Talk time (multimedia): for up to 10 hours

    4G LTE
    Released October 2014
    444 g (Weight)
    Nano-SIM/Apple SIM
    * Fingerprint sensor (Touch ID)
    9.7 inch LED-backlit IPS LCD, 1536 x 2048 pixels (~264 ppi pixel density)
    capacitive touchscreen, 16M colorsScratch-resistant glass, oleophobic coating
    iOS 8.1, upgradable to iOS 8.1.2
    Triple-core 1.5 GHz Apple A8X
    No Memory Card slot
    16/64/128 GB Internal storage
    2 GB RAM
    8 MP rear-facing camera, dual-LED flash
    1.2 MP front-facing camera (720p@30fps video recording)
    No Radio
    Safari Browser (HTML5)
    No Java
    Non-removable Li-Po battery 27.3 Wh
    Talk time (multimedia): for up to 10 hours

    When it comes to specs, it’s quite obvious that Apple iPad 2 is more prepared than Nokia Lumia 2520, especially given its release date in October 2014, as opposed to the Nokia Lumia 2520 that was launched long time ago in December 2013.

    But even so, there are still great things to appreciate from Nokia Lumia 2520.

    First of all, its display is sporting the full HD 1920x1200 pixel resolution, which still looks sharp for a 10.1-inch display.

    Its hardware performance are also not to shabby at all, in fact, on the same level with most of flagship tablets out there on the market right now.

    It comes with a quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor, Adreno 330 GPU and 2GB of RAM, making it fast and powerful in terms of performance.

    There are also 6.7MP rear-facing camera equipped with Carl Zeiss optics plus another 2MP camera on the front, which ensure good quality shots especially given Nokia’s experience on this department.

    Nokia Lumia 2520 also comes with microSD car slot for up to 64GB in case you’re running out of its 32GB provided native storage.

    Not to mention, its huge 8120mAh battery keeps the shows rolling, for up to 600 hours for stand by and 10 hours for talk time (multimedia).

    Meanwhile, as the latest-gen tablet released just a few months ago, iPad Air 2 looks more superior than Nokia’s offering.

    Its display is slightly smaller, 9.7-inches, but sporting a much higher “retina” 1536x2048 pixel resolution, which means it looks much sharper and more crisp than the full HD display of Nokia Lumia 2520.

    Its entire performance and iOS platform is handled by a triple-core Apple A8X processor, accompanied with 2GB of RAM and PowerVR GX6650 GPU inside. The 8MP camera and 1.2MP iSight cameras will accommodate your hobby of photography, while its 27.3Wh battery keeps it engine going for around 10 hours in talk time (multimedia).


    As mentioned above, when it comes to sharpness, it’s definitely iPad Air 2 that is a clear winner here against Nokia Lumia 2520.

    And that’s because its smaller 9.7-inch display is sporting a much higher-resolution 2048x1536 pixels compared to the 1920x1200 pixel resolution found on the 10.1-inch display of Nokia Lumia 2520. But that’s not just on paper actually, but also in the real execution.

    This sector is actually the one that Apple has been really good at, especially with its iPads.

    So it looks gorgeous and sharp, it has great color reproduction and saturation (not overly-saturated as AMOLED display, however) and its viewing angles are also really impressive.

    And this is not so surprising especially given Apple’s years of experience and expertise in choosing the best quality display from some of its display suppliers (like LG, Sharp and some other more).

    But even so, despite not having the same sharpness of “Retina” display of iPad Air 2, the screen of Nokia Lumia 2520 is actually still good in high-end category.

    Even with its slightly larger 10.1-inch display, the full HD 1920x1200 pixel resolution on this display still produces a pleasing experience to most of the users.

    In fact, i believe it is more than enough to accommodate any basic daily tasks, like watching HD movies, reading books/magazines, browsing the web, editing documents, viewing photos or even playing games.

    It looks crisp, the text looks readable even from far distance and everything that you throw on it just looks really sharp.

    User Interface

    On the software side, both Nokia Lumia 2520 and iPad Air 2 walk on the different sides of the road - Nokia Lumia 2520 has Windows RT as its platform, while iPad Air 2 still inherits the simple-to-use iOS. So when it comes to UI, it’s quite obvious that both tablets look and work differently one to another.

    However, there’s still one in common that makes their UIs similar.

    So just like iOS, the Windows RT on Nokia Lumia 2520 actually also adopts the same simple-to-use UI, which doesn't require any complicated learning curve from users.

    However, despite having simple-to-use platforms, the UIs of both devices actually look and work differently.

    The iOS 8 of iPad Air 2 – as you know already – is more prominent with its icon-grid homescreen all over it, along with some new improvements and added features.

    Meanwhile, the Windows RT UI of Nokia Lumia 2520 is designed in Live-Tile-based design layout in horizontal overview, which uses a smooth scrolling to access its entire Live Tiles.

    So you can basically scroll to the each corner side of its homescreen even with one slide gesture, of course according to how strong you slide it.

    This really contradicts with the iOS 8 of iPad Air 2 that only allows you to see each homescreen page with one slide gesture.

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    Both Nokia Lumia 2520 and iPad Air 2 are equipped with some powerful high-grade specs that are more than adequate to execute any graphics intense games on the market.

    However, if you’re looking for the best gaming tablet between the 2 - Nokia Lumia 2520 and iPad Air 2 -, you definitely should go with Apple’s tablet.

    I know Nokia’s device also comes with a powerful hardware package that is more than adequate to execute even the most graphically demanding games on Windows RT platform – like Modern Combat 5, Asphalt 8: Airborne, GTA San Andreas or FIFA 2014.

    However, given its lack of well-optimized apps and games specifically for this device, you will have a hard time to find many of your favorite apps/games for this tablet.

    in fact, given Microsoft’s strict policy to pick up only high quality apps/games from respected developers on its MarketPlace, you probably will need to wait for such a long time before your favorite or latest games finally get ported for this tablet.

    But it’s not guaranteed it will happen, so it will force you to find the alternatives for your favorite apps if you can’t find them on Windows RT. And in my opinion, this is such a huge disappointment.

    In fact, this was the reason why Nokia with its Symbian platform and Ovi Store failed to become as huge as Apple with its iOS and App Store in the past.

    And this really contradicts with the iOS of iPad Air 2 that has all of the apps and games that you see today on the market.

    As a matter of fact, just a few months ago, the console version of Bioshock game arrived exclusively only on iOS, including on iPad Air 2 of course.

    And this is just the beginning. There will be many other console quality games either from mobile or even console/PC game developers in the future for this iPad Air 2.

    And don’t let me start with Metal API that Apple releases for game developers on its iOS 8. Not only does it make future iOS games look much greater in graphics and visual effects, but it will also make these games – especially their graphics and visual effects - much harder to port to other platforms outside iOS.

    So long story short, in terms of gaming performance and experience as a whole, it’s no doubt that iPad Air 2 is just untouchable by Nokia Lumia 2520.

    Nokia’s tablet may have some high-grade hardware specs, plus sharp display and good battery life for gaming, however, its Windows RT platform actually is the one that holds back this tablet from being an awesome tablet just like iPad Air 2.

    So if you decide to buy this Nokia’s tablet, you must also accept the fact that many of your favorite apps/games that you’ve come to love on Android or iOS, are mostly not available on this platform, forcing you to find the other alternatives.


    As far as the camera goes, i think both Nokia Lumia 2520 and iPad Air 2 are equally good for taking photos and recording videos.

    Apple – as you know already – has been doing a great job on the camera of its iPads. And it’s no exception with the latest-gen iPad Air 2.

    Thanks to a much-higher and more improved 8MP rear-facing iSight camera, plus 1.2MP shooter on the front, you are definitely in great hands with this device.

    Not only are its cameras able to take decent quality shots instantly without manual tweaks from users, but the cameras – especially the rear one – of this tablet are also good for macro photography. It actually goes the same with Nokia Lumia 2520.

    There’s a 6.7MP camera found the rear of this Nokia’s tablet, along with the other 2MP camera on the front. On paper, its rear camera might not look so good just like the 8MP iSight camera of iPad Air.

    However, thanks to Nokia’s years of experience and camera developments of its previous devices (especially with Pureview technology), not to mention the fact that this tablet uses Carl Zeiss optics, then in terms of quality, you can totally count on its cameras to take you decent and sharp quality shots.

    Battery Life

    Both of these 2 tablets use some huge battery capacities inside, with Nokia Lumia 2520 powered by a huge 8120mAh battery, while 27.3Wh battery (or equal to around 8000mAh battery) keeps the engine of Apple iPad Air 2 alive.

    However, when it comes to battery life, i think iPad Air 2 is more superior than Windows RT, especially given the fact that it uses a simple iOS, as opposed to Windows RT that deploy many productivity features all over it, similar just like full-fledged version.

    Even with a much higher-resolution “Retina” display plus a more powerful triple-core processor and GPU, i believe iPad Air 2 could last much even longer than Nokia Lumia 2520.

    This is not so shocking given that iPads have been known for its strong powerful battery life (along with camera and display).

    In fact, according to what i’ve seen on one review of the previous-gen iPad Air by Marques Brownlee (a very popular tech reviewer on YouTube), this tablet is just un-kill-able, even in heavy use, and it’s capable to survive even in 2 days.

    So basically, you can expect the same thing on the second-gen iPad Air 2, especially given its light-in-weight iOS and same “retina” display of predecessor, although its processor could be more power hungry than the Apple A7 processor.

    But then again, Apple has been really great for tweaking its iOS and making its software efficient especially with the use of battery.

    So i believe you can expect such a long long hours of watching-video or game-playing session from this tablet, probably around 5 to 7 hours, or even much longer if you’re not a hardcore gamer.

    The same thing actually could also happen to Nokia Lumia 2520. Thanks to its huge 8120mAh battery, not to mention, its light-weight UI, this tablet is also not too shabby at all in terms of battery life.

    But of course, it will also depend on which type of user are you.

    So if you’re a power user, of course its battery life would drop drastically to just around 5 to 7 hours especially if you’re using it to do some heavy intense tasks without resting the screen at all – like watching movies in marathon or playing games in the row.

    However, if you’re not a power user, you can totally expect this tablet to survive in a solid day on a full charge.

    However, between these 2 devices, i think iPad Air 2 is the one that will come out as the winner here in battery life against Nokia Lumia 2520.

    And that’s because – even with a more power hungry processor -, this Apple’s device still inherits the light-weight UI and the same “Retina” resolution of its predecessor, not to mention, some new improvements found on its battery department.

    So all of these could really help a lot making this tablet last as long as the predecessor, even with a much thinner design.

    My Personal Opinions

    So in my final conclusion, i think it’s pretty hard to determine which one between these 2 tablets that is the best tablet in the whole aspect in this comparison review.

    I know, iPad Air 2 has a more impressive specs than Nokia Lumia 2520, plus better design and build quality, not to mention, more powerful graphical and gaming performance than Nokia’s tablet (and don’t forget about its Touch ID sensor!).

    However, Nokia Lumia 2520 is also an impressive quality device though. It may not have the same premium materials and solid build quality of iPad, but the fact that Nokia Lumia 2520 is a productivity tablet really makes it ‘on the same level’ as iPad Air 2.

    Besides, Nokia’s tablet also has a sharp looking display – but not as sharp as on the iPad -, powerful gaming performance, great features and software, decent quality cameras, good battery life and some other great things.

    But the final decision to buy any of these tablets will also come down to personal preference of each user.

    I mean, if you’re in the search of a decent productivity tablet with sharp cameras, display, good battery life and powerful gaming performance, then Nokia Lumia 2520 can be a good choice for you.

    On the other hand, if you’re looking for a great media-consumptive tablet and even gaming device, then iPad Air 2 is no doubt the best choice you can have out there, alongside Samsung GALAXY Tab S or Sony Xperia Z2.

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