David vs Goliath: Apple iPad Air vs Nokia Lumia 2520

Will the underdog Lumia 2520 beat all odds and snatch tablet glory from the heir apparent to the king of slates?

Two new tablets. One is the darling of the gadget scene, unveiled to great oohs and ahhs and expected to take its place on top of the tablet pile. The other is an underdog, a tablet newcomer that seems to be doing its best but might not be able to finish the race. The answer then should be pretty obvious then, or is it?

Plastic (Polycarbonate) vs Metal

Both the Apple iPad Air and the Nokia Lumia 2520 share  the same concept of a unibody design. However the unibody design is the only thing that they have in common and other than that, their design directions are really a far cry from each other.

Apple of course has gone with its signature aluminium and taken its design cues from the iPad Mini. They’ve managed to shrink the thickness of the tablet to the same size as its smaller counterpart and that is no mean feat. Its build quality is undeniable and the attention to detail, from the milled holes to the laser-cut chamfers, just gives it that all round classy but sexy look.

On the other hand, the Nokia Lumia 2520 is the total opposite of the iPad Air. Where the latter goes for metal, the former uses plastic, or as Nokia would call it, recycled polycarbonate. Not that it’s cheap looking, far from it. In fact Samsung ought to take a page out of Nokia’s book if they wanted to use plastic (sorry, we mean polycarbonate) and still make their devices look less… well, cheap. The design of the Lumia 2520 falls in line with the rest of the other Lumia devices, leaving no doubt as to what its heritage is. And with 4 bright and loud colours, the Lumia 2520 is really shouting out that it’s young, hip and fashionable.

That being said, as hip as the Lumia 2520 is, it doesn’t look bleeding edge. It still makes for a fancy looking gadget but we wouldn't say that it'll really turn heads. The iPad Air on the other hand just pushes the design of the iPad further. Yes, it may lack additional colour options, but so what? We’ll still look good when we're whipping it out.

Winner: Apple iPad Air

Screen wars

The iPad Air of course still maintains its Retina screen and despite its shrunken down size, still manages to pack 2048 x 1536 resolution into a 9.7in screen. While its on paper pixel density numbers, 263, might not seem as impressive as the likes of the Nexus 7 and even its sibling the iPad Mini 2, it’s still a very decent screen to gaze upon.

The Lumia 2520’s screen on the other hand doesn’t pack as many pixels into its 1,920 x 1,080 screen. With a pixel density of 218, it’s lower than that of the iPad Air.  It does however have some nifty features including Nokia’s ClearBlack Display filter that cuts the glare from the tablet's screen, making outdoor visibility even better. That’s pretty awesome for a tablet as you’re more often than not going to be using it outdoors.

Though the pixel density of the Lumia is lower than the iPad Air’s, the inclusion of its ClearBlack Display gives the Lumia an edge. With better visibility outdoors, this means you don’t have to crank up the screen brightness too much. And that also means healthier battery life.

Winner: Nokia Lumia 2520

iOS 7 vs Windows 8.1 RT

This part of the comparison was pretty painful, especially for the Lumia 2520. Fact of the matter is, Windows RT has a lot to catch up to (if it’ll ever catch up at all). We’ve gushed over iOS 7’s improvements and the library of apps that the iPad Air has access to is extensive. The Lumia 2520 With Windows RT on the other hand, just leaves much to be desired.

Many have already written Windows RT off, but it seems that Nokia (or rather Microsoft) is still clinging on to it. We could go on but just think about it, what would you say about an OS that is busting out the bubbly because they’re finally getting Instagram?

'Nuff said.

Winner: Apple iPad Air