Nokia Lumia 2520 tablet hands-on: Windows RT wrapped in polycarbonate

The not-so-secret project that Nokia has been working on for over the last year and a half (if not longer), the company's Windows 8.1 RT tablet, is now official as the Lumia 2520. We had the opportunity to spend a few minutes with the slate, and we came away rather impressed with the hardware. The device is supposed to launch before the end of the year for $499, and overall it looks and feels incredibly solid, if not a bit predictable: its unibody polycarbonate design and sleek curves scream to the world that it's very much a Lumia device, regardless of its screen size. There are four colors available: red or white with a glossy finish, and black or cyan with a matte finish. We found the glossy versions to be less grip-friendly, but it won't make much difference if you're using a case with it.

With a 10.1-inch full HD resolution and 650 nit brightness, the display is simply brilliant and offers great viewing angles. Nokia's selling point on this panel, however, is its five percent reflectance -- in English, this means the 2520 should be clearly visible both indoors and out. While we haven't been able to take the tablet outside, we certainly were happy enough with the screen quality during our hands-on time. There's a 2MP front-facing cam for video chatting, as well as a 6.7MP f/1.9 camera on the back (it uses the same module as the Lumia 720). You'll also get LTE connectivity, a micro-USB 3.0 connector for data transfers and an 8,000mAh battery with Qualcomm QuickCharge tech (which unfortunately requires the use of a proprietary plug).

As we mentioned earlier, if you've played around with Lumia phones in the past, the 2520 will be immediately familiar to you. It's much thinner and sleeker than we originally expected, and it's very comfortable to hold. Nokia's also created a power keyboard of its own which reminds us a bit of the Microsoft Surface Touch Cover, although it offers an additional battery, a couple USB 2.0 ports on the back, foldable segments that let you transform it into a stand and raised keys that offer a bit more travel.