back to article SUPERSIZE ME: Nokia unveils Surface rival and 2 plumped-up phablets

Nokia announced a rival to its new owner’s Surface RT tablets today, along with its first two phablets, aka phondleslabs, at the final Nokia World partner event in Abu Dhabi today. Nokia also disclosed that Vine and Instagram are coming to Windows Phone, making it a little easier to sell to that vital demographic of self- …


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  1. MrWibble

    "And the pricing is certainly aggressive: the $499 before tax and subsidies means it’s roughly where Atom-powered netbooks used to live."

    Although that doesn't include the $150 for the keyboard, which was always included in the good old notebooks.

    Sees like a lot of cash for a keyboard that clips on, given that a decent bluetooth one can be had for around $25.

    1. MattEvansC3

      It also has a battery so not exactly comparable with a bluetooth keyboard.

  2. MattEvansC3

    This is what the Surface RT should have been

    The only advantage ARM and therefore Windows 8RT had over Intel was that it supported LTE/4G on the SoC. Why the Surface RT didn't support LTE/4G to begin with to make it do something cheaper Intel tablets couldn't is beyond me.

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: This is what the Surface RT should have been

      This actually sounds pretty attractive. It's much more like the price people are saying the Surface should have been, AND it includes the keyboard at that price?

      Depending on full spec, they might have something good here - what fixed and removable storage options for instance? Battery looks especially impressive following the story today about Windows power issues.

      1. Tom 38 Silver badge

        Re: This is what the Surface RT should have been

        It's much more like the price people are saying the Surface should have been, AND it includes the keyboard at that price?

        Article suggests no:

        The Lumia 2520 … is keenly priced ($499); the $149 detachable Power Keyboard has a gesture trackpad

        1. JDX Gold badge

          Re: This is what the Surface RT should have been

          Thanks for the correction, I must have missed reading what I didn't want to see!

          1. Tom 38 Silver badge

            Re: This is what the Surface RT should have been

            Thanks for the correction

            No problem, correcting people on the internet is like one of my top 5 favourite things that isn't a bodily function.

  3. Big_Ted


    Iwonder if MS will stop production of its suface 2's (the RT version) an leave Nokia to cover the consumer market with their Slate Pro being the aimed at the enterprise market.

    It would make more sense than MS tryig to do it alone, to be honest Iwould rather buy a Nokia Lumia RT tablet than a MS one.....

    1. Getriebe

      Re: Hmmmmm

      I guarantee the answer is no.

    2. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Hmmmmm

      I don't see MS/Nokia merging these things any time soon, Nokia will probably carry on as before for some time. The sale presumably won't even happen for several months?

  4. Thomas 4

    All new Nokia tablet....=]

    ...with Windows RT. =[

    You raised my hopes and dashed them quite expertly. Bravo, sir!

    1. MattEvansC3

      Re: All new Nokia tablet....=]

      Depends on usage really. On a tablet form factor I'd find losing legacy software an acceptable trade off for 3G/4G support. Outside of the big cities there's not enough of a free WiFi hotspot infrastructure.

    2. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: All new Nokia tablet....=]

      It's a deal breaker for some, but for others RT puts Office in a cheap, 15 hour laptop.

      1. Zola

        Re: All new Nokia tablet....=]

        but for others RT puts Office in a cheap, 15 hour laptop.

        It's not the full Office though, is it? It's the crippled version that doesn't support Macros, which makes it pretty useless in a corporate environment (or for those expecting to open "complex" documents). And if all you want is to knock out the occasional word processed document or spreadsheet, there are free "Office" products capable of that on just about every other platform.

        Plus you need to factor in the price of the keyboard for it to be a "laptop" and it's not really a cheap laptop after all.

        If Office on RT did all that the full-fat Office version did, I'd agree that RT would be a lot more compelling, but since it doesn't, it's not.

      2. M Gale

        Re: All new Nokia tablet....=]

        "Office" in big fat quotes with functional and license restrictions on using it to do any actual work with.

        Not that this ever stopped anybody using "student and teacher edition" before, I guess. Sorry, now it's "home and student", and the license is even more restrictive. Awesome. And only 500 quid you say?


        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: All new Nokia tablet....=]

          ""Office" in big fat quotes with functional and license restrictions on using it to do any actual work with."

          It's easy to license it for non restricted use in a corporate environment. If you care to bother doing so.

          About the only functional limitation is no VBA support, but that's hardly surprising bearing in mind much VBA codes is based on add-ins that are CPU architecture specific...

          1. M Gale

            Re: All new Nokia tablet....=]

            It's easy to license it for non restricted use in a corporate environment. If you care to bother doing so.

            And after eventually finding the link, it's £79.99 a year. Every year, for a gimped version of Office. They even have the cheek to label the button "buy now". Buy? As in purchase? Looks like rental to me.

            So nearly £600, then, and then another 80 quid a year for the enforced upgrade treadmill that will probably have you buying another 600 quid ARM tablet-top in a couple of years to keep up.

            Fuck me, what a bargain.

        2. Paul Shirley

          Re: All new Nokia tablet....=]

          Surely in Microsofts brave new future you'll all migrate to Office365, hammer your 4G data allowance to use it but get the 'full fat' experience. Or at least the 'fat'... so RT will stop being a problem.

          Of course in that world RT will have no advantage over 'any other tablet OS' (unless MS artificially cripples them) and there will still be no point using RT!

          1. Getriebe

            Re: All new Nokia tablet....=]

            ++ Surely in Microsofts brave new future ++

            I thought the future was a touch version of Office written for ARM. Do you know summat I don't?

  5. The Man Himself Silver badge

    how much?

    " the $499 before tax and subsidies means it’s roughly where Atom-powered netbooks used to live"

    Where were you buying your Atom-powered netbooks from? I would have considered that the going rate for one of those to be around or just over £200/$300

    1. It'sa Mea... Mario

      Re: how much?

      it was for pre-Atom netbooks (the original EEE for example). The Atom powered ones the vendors wanted about the same money for as a cheap 'full' laptop. :(

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: how much?

      $499+$149 for (essential) keyboard = $648 is the number for for netbook comparison.

      Personally find this kind of device more interesting in the 10" space than netbook or older pure-play tablet designs like iPad. Traditional tablets have already refocused on the 7/8" space anyway. But its a tough market to crack and seems to me Nokia need to drive prices down before these attractive devices can take off.

      1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

        Re: Re: how much?

        I'm being told to expect c. £399 without keyboard and £99 for the keyboard, incl VAT.

        1. Bod

          Re: how much?

          Slash it to £299 with keyboard, £199 without, then it would be very attractive.

        2. Ian Michael Gumby

          @Andrew.. Re: how much?

          Elop the next Microsoft head? ;-)

      2. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

        Re: how much?

        This bothered me. I have an original EeePC 701 4G, ~700MHz single core Celeron. It's slow, but not remarkably slow. It runs Linux at least as well as low end Pentium 4 systems with the same OS, and can do basic browsing (with FlashBlock and NoScript), play streaming and local media well enough to be useful even now (although 4GB is a major hurdle).

        I've played with Intel Atom netbooks, and they are not hugely better, although the battery life is generally longer.

        I'm sure that using benchmark comparisons, the difference is evident, but from a usability basis, doing what netbooks were originally designed to do, the original concept was sound (only damaged by the stupid Linux distributions that were originally shipped, allowing Microsoft a chance to ruin [IMHO] the concept with a cut-down WinXP).

        So I wonder whether the Atom based devices in the £400/$500 mark were actually a real improvement, or more a means of the manufacturers being able to sell more expensive kit.

  6. Andy Roid McUser

    good to see

    It's encouraging to see micronokia doing a samsung and trying different form factors to see what sticks. The platform is 'good enough' now. Certainly better than my Motorola xoom 1 when it launched with honeycomb but I still use that device every day. When my battle weary xoom dies, which could be a while as its built like a tank, I could be tempted by some nokia hardware as for me the platform is irrelevant just can I do the stuff I need to do on it. .. jot down idea's, note taking, email , browse and watch movies when traveling.

    1. Sloppy Crapmonster

      Re: good to see

      The camera in the 1020 was what caught my attention. It became a "yeah it's Microsoft but that's a really nice camera" rather than the other way around. With a camera that I could get on any other device I bought, the fact that it's Windows RT weighs heavily against buying it.

      Windows Phone/RT might be the best mobile OS out there, but *I personally* need some reassurance I'm getting something out of it. I've dealt with MS products for far too long to give them the benefit of the doubt.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "The 2520 has a 15-hour (8800mAh) battery and it can reach 50 per cent of a full charge in 45 minutes, according to Nokia"

    Wow. Maybe the Ipad killer we have all been waiting for. RT is certainly a better and more powerful OS than IOS. And a proper version of Office too....

    1. monkeyfish

      15 hours is certainly a lot better than the ~3 hours you'd get with a similarly priced laptop. That's a killer (and often overlooked) feature. Nokia were always the kings of battery life, mind. But we'll have to wait to find out if it holds up in real world tests...

    2. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      "a proper version of Office too"

      Er no. Not if you have VB-heavy business stuff based on years of painful Office-based development, which is a big point for corporate users.

      Still, aside from the debate about the fundamental usefulness of WinRT, at least Nokia is offering something that looks a viable competitor in battery life, price, etc.

    3. Putonghua73

      re: iPad killer

      Ah, the old 'WoW killer' POV re-hashed.

      I respectfully disagree:

      1. another new entry in a *very* competitive space

      2. MS Office isn't the killer app for tablets (could be a play for the business sphere - my previous company was handing out iPads for front-line staff, despite all 10 kinds of merry hell IT encountered trying to set group policies across the assets)

      3. it's less about the OS and more about the eco-system

      This is where Apple has achieved lock-in. Thankfully, the iPad isn't as tied to iTunes (although the chain is still there - and yes, it is a PITA) as it once was, and while iOS 7 is a lil Fisher Price 'My first tablet' in terms of garish colour scheme, it is an improvement (as well as helps to sell more iDevices for Apple). It's the App Store that is the *real* killer app.

      For all the fart app jokes, there is a wealth of quality apps that in tandem with the actual iPad experience, actually causes me to insert the Charlton Heston quip, "I'll give you my iPad when you pry (or take) it from my cold, dead hands". Or, more realistically, when Apple decide that it's time for an upgrade re: forced obsolescence.

      I do concede that the increased battery usage (if holds up in real world usage) is a welcome feature. Not enough for me to put aside my iPad. Note: I have no qualms with handing over my HTC Desire - battery usage is f**king appalling!

    4. M Gale

      15 hours

      Sounds impressive. However for those of us who've had a TF201 for years, it's not all that impressive.

  8. Robert Grant Silver badge

    Native Instagram and Vine?

    6tag (instagram) and 6sec (vine) are unbelievably good 3rd party clients, amongst several very good ones. Official apps are only there so reviewers stop bleating the myth that there isn't an Instagram or Vine client.

    Tablet looks quite cool, but I'm still an RT skeptic. I guess it's nice to have Office on there, but I dunno. If it had vaporMg and the Touch cover at a decent price, I'd go for it. Or wake up.

    1. PaulR79

      Re: Native Instagram and Vine?

      3rd party clients generally offer a better experience anyway and you get to live without ads and other meddling the companies like to force via updates. The only reason to use native versions is, for example with Twitter, push notifications.

  9. Dave 126 Silver badge

    The WinPho feature that allows children to use a device for games without then deleting contacts etc seems very sensible, based as it is on how people actually use tablets and phones in the real world.

    Children seem drawn to expensive and fragile bits of kit, and instinctively know when they are being fobbed off with a cheap toy instead of, say, a DSLR, a smart phone or a pair of spectacles. Why toy manufacturers haven't cottoned on to this, I don't know.

    1. Jonathan 29

      On that slight tangent, I do find Apple's approach here quite interesting. They are obviously aware that a large number of their tablets are used by children and sometimes really quite young children, yet they show no signs of doing anything that would make it easier for parents to either limit the time it can be used for or the content that can be accessed. I doubt I am wrong in thinking that their strategy is to get you to buy your children their own iPad with its own ID.

    2. The obvious

      cottoned on?

      "Why toy manufacturers haven't cottoned on to this, I don't know."

      They have. That's why they continue to make what they do (cheaply with a tidy profit) because parents buy them and then get them something else next year instead of losing the market to apps at a couple of bucks a throw.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    All you need to know

    "a nice idea, since switching from typing to swiping is inconvenient."

    That right there is the best example of why Win 8 is such a horrible idea.

    Also, the reason people use their tablets in the morning and evening might be because, oh I don't know, they actually have a job to do. Just because they're not online doesn't mean their tablets aren't being used. I use mine quite a lot for reading or games, and I have no need to be online for that.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    if "according to nokia"

    .. means "according to elop" then sorry i must turn away, there's an constant stench of BS on his breath.

    1. Big_Ted

      Re: if "according to nokia"

      God when will people like you realise there are more people than just Elop making decisions at Nokia. If the board disagreed with his decisions he would have been kicked out by them.

      The BS comes more from uninformed opinion like yours......

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: if "according to nokia"

        Yup, he is the BS master "yes board, listen to my wordssssss, winphone will be a successssss, you must look in to my eyeeeesssss, everyone wants winphonesssss"

        I am fully informed, if you think Elop was a straight talking visionary ... well...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: if "according to nokia"

      That reminds me, haven't listened to any of Jim Thirlwell's music for a while. Although that involved a foetus on the breath.

  12. MattEvansC3

    If Nokia and Microsoft are clever they'll release this in all the Lumia colours and work with the mobile phone companies such as Phones4U and push colour coded bundles. Something like £55 per month on a Three 24 month contract for a Lumia 920 with a 500min/5000text/All you can eat data sim and a 2520 RT tablet with an all you can eat 4G sim.

  13. Sir Sham Cad

    Split the line?

    It seems to me that there is a split between Business and Consumer users when it comes to the Microsoft brand for devices. Bluntly, Business feels comfortable with the familiarity and Consumers are just meh about it. "Microsoft" is that thing that runs on the computer. The one device that MS has made a huge success is known as "X-Box" not "Microsoft X-Box" by the consumer.

    So, here's a great opportunity to do a Steve Jobs on the MS mobile device line. Dump the Surface RT, split the line into Business and Consumer. Business = Miscrosoft branded Surface Pro tablets, Consumer = Nokia branded RT tablets. Split the phones into Windows Phone Pro and Nokia Windows phone devices.

    It just seems logical to me. Not that I'm in any way a marketing genius so I could be totally wrong!

  14. Jemma

    Doesnt matter in the slightest

    After the way I've been treated by Nokia & Microsoft hell will freeze over before I buy, recommend or suggest these devices to anyone. The lies over lies over half truths about Symbian - the crappy unreliable hardware - the abuse of customers repeatedly - the only people worse are Apple & Essex Police.

    I have to say I would trust Amon Goeth with a creche of Jewish kids more than I would trust any of the above.

    Microsoft you should be aware, you have alienated a whole range of different customers for many different reasons - and once you've done that they're lost for good. Give yourself a pat on the back - you'll never have to worry about being a monopoly again.. won't that be relaxing...

    Too soon?

  15. knarf

    Might mean some nice phone/tablet deals from resellers

    I expect some great deals on phone and tablet deals the why Sammy has done over the last few years.

  16. ArthurKinnell

    Shoehorn Linux onto it, then I'll be able to run it up the flagpole and push the button on that, I'm thinking Ubuntu Touch.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Shoehorn Linux onto it"

      They are aiming quite heavily at the low end corporate market though. Using Linux would negate the security architecture advantages of RT such as secure boot....Anything with a form of Linux on it gets fully rooted in next to no time...

  17. ArthurKinnell

    If we can shoehorn linux

    If we can Shoehorn Linux onto it, then I'll be able to run it up the flagpole and push the button on that. Has got to be Ubuntu Touch for me.

    1. tojb

      Re: If we can shoehorn linux

      --My guess is that cygwin won't work

      --Bluestacks (android support layer) doesn't support RT. They've said that they might, next year.

      --Wait for an unlocking sploit and put cyanogen or one of hundreds of excellent ARM-compatible linuxen on board.

      --Just buy a different one.

      1. Tom 7 Silver badge

        Re: If we can shoehorn linux

        Cygwin can be made to work on the RT - unlike the really important bit of MS office (VBA) all the bits already run on ARM - but if you put Linux on you wouldn't need to would you?

    2. RealBigAl

      Re: shoehorn linux

      Shoehorn Linux will be released on Distrowatch anyday now

    3. alexmcm

      Re: If we can shoehorn linux

      I thought that was going to be a witty comment about how Linux gets shoehorned into every bloody comments thread on this site (regardless of any relevance to the topic.)

      But it turns out you were just shoehorning Linux into the thread. :(

  18. Bladeforce

    Sometime next year ai predict another massive write off for both Microsoft and Nokia here

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I avoid anything that's cripped with:

    Windows Phone

    Windows RT

    Windows 8.x



    So no thanks, i'll pass. There are cheaper/better options than Microsodft/Nokrosoft these days.

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: I avoid anything that's cripped with:

      Nice to know what an anonymous poster thinks, thanks.

  20. Dickturnip

    Id rather buy a laptop.

  21. Mystic Megabyte


    I've never seen a Windows tablet but I did see someone with a Winphone, can I claim a prize?

  22. Moosh

    Why does Microsoft insist on competing with themselves?

  23. Candy

    SD Card slot

    Finally, a decent WinPho device (the 1520) with decent MicroSD support. Hurrah.

  24. websey


    People keep commenting about never seeing a windows phone or windows tablet,

    The funny thing is windows phone is gaining market share faster than shit off a shovel

    In my office an example there are 14 people 3 who were given win phones for business the rest of us have a selection of win phone and apple

    10 win phone by choice

    1 iphone 4s

    3 win phone because the company says so

    so market share in my office is 92.8% and 71.4% by choice and those that were given win phones have said they are going to replace their allotment of android devices (2) and iphones (1) when they next upgrade

    So stop talking all this bollocks about win phone it is a fast / secure / easy to use os

    1. Jess

      .. about win phone it is a fast / secure / easy to use os

      So what?

      It is irrelevant how good it is, if you can't trust that it won't be made obsolete by the next OS being both incompatible with the hardware and software of the previous version? Or that it might be just dropped.


      WM6 - WP7 - WP8 that incompatible with each other, that they should be regarded as different platforms.

      Kin, Various non intel windows NT versions - dropped


      Symbian, Meego. WP7 all dropped

      And it is now looking like RT and WP will be merged into WP9. What are the chances of WP9 working on existing kit?

    2. This post has been deleted by a moderator

      1. websey

        Re: windows phone is gaining market share faster than shit off a shovel

        It's funny that Nokia lumias are filling the spot that used to be reserved for landfill android but seem to come better equipped then most of them ever did and also run a lot better except for maybe the Orange San Diego

        The point is you keep saying you never see a windows phone but I think you are blinded by your own bias

        1. Jemma

          Re: windows phone is gaining market share faster than shit off a shovel

          £60 for a dual core A9 4.5 ips screen android with SD & HDMI out which is compatible with SGS4 accessories - 8/2mpix Samsung camera set - or 5 times that for a WP8 handset that not only doesn't do what I need it to, it CANNOT do what I need.

          A rough comparison gives a Nokia price of £250 handset only for more limited hardware & software. Apple at least £500, Samsung probably inbetween the two.

          Give me one good reason why I should buy an RT or WP 8 device for silly amounts of money when a £60 vsun i5, kingsoft office & a £7 printing app give me everything I need?

          I can't hear you...

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