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Summary:

AT&T announced contract options for the Lumia 2520 tablet running Windows RT 8.1, but if you ask the right questions, you find the contract-free pricing and per session LTE data costs. That may be a better way to go if you want Nokia’s tablet.

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AT&T made the Lumia 2520 tablet available on Friday for $399 with two-year contract. The carrier also has a special bundle price: $199 for the tablet with the purchase of a Lumia 925, 1020, or 1520 smartphone. AT&T added the tablet can be had for zero down and equal monthly payments of $25. The Lumia 2025 is Nokia’s first tablet to run Microsoft’s Windows RT 8.1 software and it’s the first RT device to include an integrated LTE radio.

If you’re not familiar with the Lumia 2025, here’s a bit of a recap. It has a 10.1-inch full HD touchscreen display, weighs 22 ounces and runs on Qualcomm’s 2.2 GHz Snapdragon 800 chip. Microsoft Office is pre-installed and the device has a 6.7 megapixel rear camera with Carl Zeiss optics. The 8000 mAh battery should last for 11 hours and can be recharged up to 80 percent capacity in as little as one hour. The tablet includes 2 GB of RAM, 32 GB of internal flash storage and has a microSD card slot for additional memory expansion.

All in all, the tablet looks impressive and having built-in access to AT&T’s LTE network is a definite plus. I’m not sure I’d spring for the contract pricing options that AT&T is touting however; perhaps if I needed a new phone and wanted one of the Lumias.

I think we’re beyond the point where buying an LTE tablet comes with a contract. Apple’s iPad is a perfect example of this: You buy the tablet and pay for mobile broadband on an as needed basis. So to me, the better deal is buying the Lumia without contract for $25 a month over 20 payments, which works out to $500.

I circled back to AT&T and asked if consumers can buy the tablet outright and was told, yes, for $499. And at that point, there are a few other flexible data options. The tablet can be added to a MobileShare plan for $10 per month, for example. New session-based plans include $5 for 250 MB to be used in one day or $25 for 1 GB, good for three months.

Other add-on session plans include:

  • 250 MB for 30 days for $14.99
  • 3 GB for 30 days for $30
  • 5 GB for 30 days for $50

I can understand why AT&T’s press release focuses on the contract-based prices and smartphone bundles: What carrier wouldn’t want more guaranteed revenue streams? If the Lumia 2520 looks appealing though, there are more options available to use the tablet on AT&T’s LTE network.

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  1. Fix your link, its the Lumia 2520, not 2025 :)

  2. This is why Microsoft has a small market share Friday, November 29, 2013

    AT&T will NOT sell you the Nokia 2520 even at full retail price. AT&T forces you to buy a data plan even if you don’t need one. I have unsuccessfully tried to buy the tablet from two AT&T retail stores. They however said that Best Buy and Radio Shack WOULD sell the device without a data plan. Doesn’t make sense to me.

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