AT&T gives Windows Phone buyers a break on purchase of Windows RT tablet

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AT&T has a good deal on Nokia’s Lumia 2520 tablet (shown above), but only if you’re willing and able to buy a Nokia Windows Phone at the same time.

The Lumia 2520, a 10.1-inch tablet running Windows RT, will cost just $200 with the purchase of a Nokia Lumia 925Lumia 1020, or Lumia 1520 smartphone. You do have to sign up for a two-year agreement to get that deal, so you’d be on the hook for an extra $10 in tablet data per month as part of AT&T’s Mobile Share plan.

Nokia Lumia 925
Nokia Lumia 925

Without the Nokia phone bundle, the price gets a lot worse. AT&T is charging $400 for the Lumia 2520 with a two-year agreement, and $500 without a contract. It might be worth just using your smartphone as a mobile hotspot instead of tacking on a tablet data plan, as you’d save $140 over two years that way.

Nokia’s Power Keyboard accessory, which turns the tablet into a small laptop and provides another five hours of battery, is sold separately. AT&T doesn’t mention a price, but Nokia previously said it will cost $150.

Unfortunately, these prices are as good as it gets for the Lumia 2520. There’s no cheaper Wi-Fi-only model available anywhere, and an unconfirmed report last month claimed that Verizon will have the same $400 on-contract pricing as AT&T. (Verizon has yet to announce a price or release date, but has confirmed it will sell Nokia’s tablet.)

The Lumia 2520 also happens to be your only option for a 4G LTE-enabled Windows RT tablet that isn’t running last year’s hardware. Microsoft’s Surface 2 won’t be getting an LTE variant until next year, and the only other Windows tablet that AT&T sells is the year-old Asus Vivo Tab RT. Nokia’s tablet has a faster processor and a 1080p-resolution display, which makes it a better option for editing Office documents on the road.

Still, if you want to run desktop programs besides Office, and not just apps from the Windows Store, you’re better off with a proper Windows 8.1 tablet even if it means relying on your phone for mobile hotspot use.

AT&T sales of the Nokia Lumia 2520 will start on November 22.

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