With the merger of Nokia and Microsoft on the cards soon, it really comes as a surprise if this is to help Microsoft’s surface or is Nokia trying to pull a fast one on them? But why should we care about that when we are getting an amazing tablet from Nokia. This is the first ever tablet introduced by Nokia in the market, though we do see their partnership with Microsoft having a huge influence on the tablet design. Maybe it must be a try from Microsoft to push their surface tablets under the branding of Nokia for the last time hoping that it works. Apple on the other hand on the very same day of the launch of Nokia’s tablets, also launched their 4th generation iPads. This time though the tablet is not called the iPad 4 which was expected, but it is called the iPad Air. Now considering that they have been launched on the same day, so they are the tablets of today, it seems only fair to pitch them against one another.
Design and Looks:
The design of the Lumia 2520 tablet is a pretty simple yet elegant one. It is pretty clean and does not have absolutely any cluster whatsoever. This is just the one capacitive home button at the centre to open the home screen, but other than that there is absolutely nothing. On the right side top of the tablet there is the only power button and the volume rocker while the rest of the sides of the tablets are filled with ports and connectors for accessories and SIM and memory cards.
The iPad Air in the other hand has become a lot thinner and lighter and if the Apple’s sources are to be believed, it has become even thinner than a pencil. Now that is a first. But overall, Apple has been in the tablet business for quite a long now and they have mastered it pretty well, so considering the aesthetics of the device, it is a pretty close call since Apple has only the white, black and grey options while Nokia offers, well, myriad of bright colourful options.
This is where Apple has a clear advantage over Nokia. The iPad Air still has the same 9.7” Retina display from the previous iPad which is a 2048×1536 pixels resolution at 264 ppi. Apple has perfectly this technology quite some time ago now and are putting it in good use. Nokia on the other hand does have a bigger 10.1” IPS LCD display with 1920×1080 Full HD display at 224 ppi. But again the display has a Corning Gorilla Glass 2 protection. Add to it Nokia’s Clear Black technology and this display does become an awesome one; but again not quite as good as Apple.
In terms of performance, iPad Air uses the same A7 processor coupled with the M7 coprocessor with a 64 bit architecture which is used in the iPhone 5S. The advantage of using this is that it has faster processing and also this iPad Apple claims is 8 times faster than the previous versions. But this 64 bit advantage is not really going to come to use much until many 64 bit apps are made.
On the other hand the Lumia 2520 tablet comes loaded with the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 quad core processor clocked at 2.2 GHz. This is coupled with the Adreno 320 GPU making it a true powerhouse that can blow the iPad’s specs away.
This is the most important point when comparing these two tablets. Apple iPad Air runs on iOS 7 which is a very light and zippy OS. It is great with amazing features, colourful and has got loads of amazing apps which run on it. On the other hand the Lumia 2520 runs on Windows 8.1 RT which is kind of like a stripped down version of the original Windows 8.1. Microsoft claims that this OS is made especially for the devices that run on ARM based systems and it is lighter than the original Windows 8.1. But the main problem that lies here is that the availability of apps for RT is not that many as that of iOS. I mean Windows have got Instagram just now after so many years of gruelling wait.
Storage capacity and Main memory:
Apple iPad Air has just 1 GB RAM and comes in 16/32/64/128 GB variants but does not have a memory expansion option. This is a bit of a let-down because the previous versions of the iPads also did not have an expandable memory option and we were hopeful that this time around Apple might have some sense knocked into them. The Nokia Lumia 2520 on the other hand comes with only a 32 GB variant and has 2 GB RAM. It does have a memory expansion slot using Micro SD slot cards upto 64 GB.
This is where Nokia always gets the A game on and it is just impossible to beat them on this front. Though cameras on tablets are not quite widely used, but then it does not hurt to have a good camera on right? The Lumia 2520 has a 6.7 MP camera capable of 1080p Full HD videos and some amazing low light photography. This is a pretty good camera compared to the 5 MP camera available on the iPad Air. Though the camera does use Apple’s iSight camera technology, it still does not stand any competition to the Nokia. Well, no one actually does yet, so that is not that big a deal. Anyways cameras on tablets are not quite widely used, so this really won’t matter much as a deciding factor.
Features wise the Lumia 2520 is quite well set with supporting LTE, all bands of Wi-Fi and the works. Add to that the expandable memory option and the entire Office Suite available from Microsoft free of cost makes this is amazing device. Also the option of adding accessories to the tablet like the power saving keyboard which is available externally can be hooked to the device which promises to increase the run time of the tablet by 5 more hours which is amazing.
In case of iPad Air, it is a bit disappointing that the fingerprint scanner has not been provided on the iPad as on the iPhone 5S. It was one of the most expected feature on the iPad but Apple managed to let us down in this case. Secondly Apple is also providing an alternate Office suite which is their own known as iWork. So this takes the edge off which the Lumia 2520 had. Also the iPad is loaded with all the Apple features like iTunes, App Store and all the latest new updates to the apps. We all know how well developed the App Store for iOS is. Also the iPad cellular version supports all the LTE bands which make it the perfect companion for the future as well.
The iPad Air has a 32.4 Watt-hour battery which lasts for 10 hours of web surfing on Wi-Fi networks and 9 hours on cellular network. On the other hand the Lumia 2520 has an 8000 mAh battery which powers the device for upto 12 hours of web surfing on both Cellular and Wi-Fi networks. The added advantage of the Lumia 2520 is the power saving external keyboard which guarantees to increase the backup upto 5 hours.
So to sum it all up, the iPad Air is a veteran in the market whereas the Nokia Lumia 2520 is the newest. So it would be unfair to say that Nokia had not done a good job. In fact for a first timer, Nokia has created a miracle coming out with such an amazing tablet in the market. But still here we will have to go with the iPad Air only because it is a lot more seasoned and much better tablet compared to the Nokia Lumia 2520.