Nokia earlier this week unveiled the
But executives at chipmaker Qualcomm say Nokia's tablet has a clear advantage over the Surface 2 in everything from processor speed to graphics, video playback, and wireless connectivity.
"The performance on [the 2520] is brilliant," Raj Talluri, senior vice president of product management for Qualcomm's application processors, told CNET. "It's really at the next level. It's not even really a contest [compared to Surface 2] ... In every area, it's much bigger, faster, and lower power."
Update: Qualcomm got back to us and wanted to clarify that Talluri was comparing the processors, not the tablet. In the interview, Talluri was holding and gesturing toward the Nokia tablets while talking.
Of course Talluri is biased -- Qualcomm provided the processor for Nokia's device while Nvidia made the Surface 2 chip. But in terms of sheer speeds and feeds, the Lumia 2520 does have some things to offer beyond the Surface 2. For processors, Microsoft's tablet houses a 1.7GHz Nvidia Tegra 4, whereas Nokia went with a 2.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 for the Lumia 2520. As CNET noted Thursday, the 2520 seems poised to be a more capable gaming machine than the Surface 2.
Talluri and Stephen Horton, a Qualcomm executive who works on product management for tablets and other computing devices, said Microsoft largely went with an Nvidia chip for Surface 2 because of timing.
"Let's put it this way," Horton said. "They're buying the company that did [the Lumia 2520] device. They clearly are very excited about it."
Microsoft and Nvidia declined to comment.
There will be no clear winner, however, until consumers vote with their wallets. Up to this point, few have chosen Windows RT products.
However, Windows RT has some big drawbacks compared with
"We have a longer term view on these things," Talluri said. "The RT of today may not be the RT of tomorrow. But the vision of a device that's both your entertainment and productivity device that you want to carry with you is going to be there. We invest for the longer term."
In smartphones, meanwhile, Qualcomm is the undisputed king. It either provides the wireless chips, such as 4G LTE, or the application processor in most major devices on the market, including the
Qualcomm said partners are working on more than 40 tablets using its processor that should hit the market within the next year. A big reason companies are choosing Qualcomm chips is the ability to support high screen resolutions, Talluri said, and many who work with Qualcomm on smartphones find it easy to shift to tablets with the chipmaker.
"Once you make the phone, it's an easy step to make a great tablet because you've already done the hard work and the same processor can support both," Talluri said.
And Horton pointed out that the first Android devices, such as the
"Google and Microsoft are very capable organizations, [with] lots of technologies," Horton said. Microsoft "didn't hit a home run out of the gate on the very first product, but they're working on it."
Zack Whittaker contributed to this report. Updated at 8 a.m. PT on Oct. 29 with comment from Qualcomm.