Nokia reportedly working on the 'Illusionist', an 8-inch Windows RT tablet

Nokia finally unveiled a Windows tablet at its conference in Abu Dhabi last month, the Lumia 2520 (pictured above), but already rumours are starting to come out that Nokia is working on a follow-up. Codenamed the "Illusionist," trusted Twitter leakster @evleaks has revealed that an 8-inch device is well on the way. Unfortunately, not much else was teased in terms of specification or imagery. 

Nokia Illusionist Tweet

While Nokia has ventured into the tablet market with the Lumia 2520, it's not difficult to imagine the company rolling out similar hardware in the same category. This Windows tablet is said to sport an 8-inch display, while the Lumia 2520 has a 10-inch, putting Nokia in a stronger position to tackle the iPad Mini from Apple, as well as other Android tablets.

We'll look forward to seeing details and more released in the near future.

Source: Twitter (@evleaks)

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

  • Looking forward to this.
  • Yes. Windows RT makes more sense on 8 inch tablets. Most people wont miss desktop in such form factors.
  • It is a nice to have but not really needed.  The bigger thing is the active stylus.  Correct me if I am wrong but to date has any RT tablet had one?  This is the reason I ordered a Dell Venue 8 Pro.
  • Dell Venue 8 Pro doesn't have LTE, does it?  If you want a true mobile tablet, the 8" version of L2520 will be a tremendous bargain.  It might be priced around $429 which would make it the lowest priced LTE tablet ever.  It is a must have for all the travelers who need to access info resources at anytime and anywhere.  Yes, I wish it would come with an active digitizer stylus.
  • No the Chipset Dell chose does not have LTE,  So I will be sharing internet connection from my 920 to it.  Having both would be nice, but if I had to choose Active stylus or LTE I would choose the stylus as you can always share another device's internet, but you cannot add in/share an active stylus with a device that cannot use it.
  • Really? All the less expensive ones just had 3G I guess? Interesting observation!
  • Exactly, if this will have N-Trig or wacom (hopefully wacom) active stylus support, this will be a winner for me.
  • Please PLEASE someone make more Wacom enabled Windows tablets! So far, user reviews of the pen on the Dell Venue 8 Pro have been disapointing.  The pen is horrible, not anywhere near the awesomeness of the Wacom pen on the Surface Pro tablets.  A great pen is probably THE top thing I look for.
  • Venue pen is not with a active difitizer.  Next to Surface Pro 2, the Sony Vaio Tap 11 also has a decent pen.
  • Vaio devices use N-Trig. Not bad at all, just not quite as good as wacom because of the wider support across software. Don't actually know what Surface Pro 2 uses, I don't think Surface Pro had wacom.  Spen is essentially slightly modified wacom. 
  • Surface Pro is definitely Wacom.
  • Hurry up with this!
  • Agreed. I'm OS agnostic and currently have a Nexus 7, but it's mainly used for EverNote, Netflix, Kindle, and NYTimes--all of which are available for RT. I'd absolutely pick one of these up, assuming MSFT doesn't kill it in the cradle. 
  • Why would MSFT do that?
  • Why would you pick one up if your Nexus 7 already does what you need? I can understand the appeal of new hardware, as I share it, but after some consideration, I really don't need / would not find much use for a tablet. Genuinely interested here.
  • Hopefully it'll be packed with awesome features like the 2520 is. Unfortunately, RT means I won't be buying it (even though it'll probably be super awesome).
  • Never understood this strong aversion. I haven't missed anything in particular on my surface rt except some apps, which seem to be coming at faster pace especially in Indian market
  • Well your name it RT so of course you like it!!  LOL!  I like it too actually and I hope this comes in the RT flavor, Wifi only.  I think people keep comparing RT to their desktop instead of the iPad or Android.  Wrong comparisson IMO.
  • I don't Nokia will make any wifi only tablets, they are aiming for a truly mobile solution and to do that it must support 4G/LTE. I'd rather have the option to have use it as opposed to not having that option at all. But yeah a tablet with active digitiser, Wacom pen, 10" with LTE + RT would simply be awesome.
  • How did u obtain surface in India?
    I also want 1
  • I'm missing quite a bit of software, but mostly open-source tools. Seriously, Windows RT is fully capable of running re-compiled programs - Why not unlock that option? If you are afraid of retards fucking around with the device, just put the settings deep into the menu. I, for one, would get thrice the enjoyment out of my Surface RT if I could actually run some minor nifty tools and program a few command-line programs for it myself. Windows RT is obviously the superior tablet OS, but in this regard I would've been served better with an android device. Linux sucks for everyday use but is perfect for specific usage.
  • My biggest problem with RT is that Bay Trail offers equivalent performance and the option to run full windows 8 when needed. I'm buying or recommending a surface 2 to my friend, aunt AND sister for this holiday, but I'd feel infinitely more pleased if they had just offered a bay trail surface 2.  If the Dell Venue 11 Pro had less bezel and looked a bit more like their XPS line, the Surface would have lost, easily.
  • My problem with RT is that its a one way compromise. You give up x86 apps for nothing in return. Atom baytrail tablets, at least right now, are cheaper, lighter, and longer battery life. I can't help but think the surface 2 and Lumia 2520 would be so much more popular if they packed baytrail instead. So many people want that build quality but aren't ready to give up legacy desktop support. The entire draw of "windows" is that you can use your legacy applications if you need to.
  • Security
  • I haven't seen any tablet with the features and size of 2520 that would outperform it in any category, nor be below $499.
  • Finally an 8" RT tablet!!!!!!
  • I think I will be buying this.
  • If it looks like 2520 and has at least full HD (1080p or better), instant buy!
    There is a market for high PPI Windows tablet I believe, I'm one of them at least.
  • Just bought the Dell Venue 8 Pro.. If I would of held off, probably would of got this
  • Well, don't forget DV8P is full Windows, whereas this is "just" RT. For some, that's a big difference.
  • In an 8" device. What desktop apps would you want to run on an 8" device? Maybe if you connect it to a monitor and keyboard. By the way, I haven't really seen any reviews that show the performance of Baytrail with desktop apps. My previous experience with Atom chips was awful. Anyone have any insight about Baytrail.
  • I saw a demo of civ 5 playing pretty well on baytrail, with support for touch. That alone has my friend planning to buy one.
  • Bay Trail is huge improvement over the last generation of Atoms. Both in performance and battery life. The Haswell is an even bigger improvement but it is more expensive and the reason why we are not seeing them in the new 8" tablets.
  • I saw people running a fair amount of games on bay trail with good performance. Reason enough for me, given the lack of them in the Windows store.
  • OpenVPN
  • Hey Dan .. Have you noticed the "secureboot isnt configured correctly" on the desktop of all dell venue 8 pros?? Do you know how to fix this?
  • shiz.. use bing to search the message, first article.. not providing link so you can learn to search the internet and learn stuff :P
  • I was looking at the venue 8 pro too. I accepted the lower res screen, but I could not tolerate the bad synaptics pen. nokia please give me wacom. I don't care if it's rt, but wacom please.
  • ^this x2520 Wacom or bust.  The Pen on the Venue 8 Pro is total crap.
  • You got the right one already.
  • Which probably means no pen support. Sighs....
  • Yep, RT means no digitizer for handwriting in One Note, sketching, etc. Just a lot of playing with metro apps. Huge opportunity missed.
  • Is that a system limitation or are Nokia and Microsoft just cutting some costs?
  • errm maybe you guys need to check this out first :P. handwriting starts at 2:30, also this on the original RT tablet using one note, not sure anywhere else :P
  • I pretty much need this RIGHT NOW!
  • 4:3 aspect ratio please.
  • Illusionist= Extremely thin?
  • Now that would be awesome, beat Apple at it silly game, an 8 inch tablet thinner than the ipad Air.  
  • That is just ridiculous. What a waste of effort. There are 4 full Windows 8" tablets that are released or about to be released at or about the $300 mark. What are they planning? To help people save $50 for an inferior version. If they want to do something productive stick a Haswell in it and give us something highend.
  • The difference is you get a quality device from Nokia. Not some junk that Acer put together in a month.
  • Like I said you have 4 choices. And Acers W4 is an upgrade from the W3 not a rush job. If that's not to your liking there is also the Lenovo Miix2 the Toshiba Encore or the Dell Venue 8 Pro. All of which are far superior to any RT version. RT=No sale ever! If Microsoft is wondering why they can't put a dent into iPad sales the answer is simple. No one wants the RT version. If I had to chose between an iPad and an RT version the RT would lose ever time.
  • Didn't want to sound like a jerk when referring to Acer. I've just had terrible luck with them. My Surface 2 (rt) is amazing. Amazing quality and amazing OS. It kills my wifes iPad in everything. Speed, battery, accessories, and programs (office in particular). If I wanted a laptop I wouldn't be shopping for a tablet.
  • You get everything RT has to offer in a full Windows version. It just gives you more choices. The new Bay Trail and Haswells have everything they need to compete in tablets. There's no reason not to be able to have it all.
  • Exactly. In all the arguments from the pro RT crowed, you only hear about why RT is good enough or they don't need x86. That would be s valid argument IF they could point to something you get in return for giving up x86. But just like with last years crop of devices, Intel atom tablets are proving to be cheaper, lighter, and just as good, if not better battery life. Im not trying to be anti RT. Im just confused at why people want to give up something for nothing.
  • I am just as confused as you are. I must admit that I am anti RT though. I think it is getting in the way of developement for other tablets. The focus should be on a full Windows tablet only.
  • What you gain from RT is security and stability.  Opening up your device to legacy apps means all the same headaches as before.  Malware, degraded system performance over time, stuff breaking... the list goes on. Also, Legacy apps can't tap into the new system hooks that Windows Store apps can, like universal search and share.  While I agee that being able to run them is a nice security blanket, there are tradeoffs for doing so.  There is something to be said for having a worry-free device. Legacy apps are also by and large not touch optimized.  For an 8 inch tablet, RT has alot going for it.  The 10 inch market is a bit broader, with the ability to accessorize with a usable keyboard.  There, Baytrail or full-on Haswell are a clearer win (in my opinion).  But even with 10-inch, I can think of alot of people who would want a worry-free device that just works.  RT's story gets better over time as more apps become available.
  • No device is safe from malware. There is an extra layer to security for RT I will give you that. Yes I will also agree that there might be some minor benefits but in my opinion nothing that would come close to outweighing the advantages of having a full OS.
  • Ok I hear that argument a lot now. I don't really buy it though. First off, windows creep, or whatever its called, just isn't as big an issue for me as it used go be. I think it's a combination of windows getting better and major software companies actually making their products run more efficient. But my systems don't slow down over time like my old computers used to. Secondly, and more importantly, you don't have to run desktop programs if you don't want to. You can stay in metro just like you can with windows rt. But maybe you want to access your company site through its vpn software. Or you want to attach a mouse and keyboard to play your steam games. Or there is some legacy app you need that isn't in windows rt's walled garden yet. In those cases, you'll be thankful you have full windows. The only reason to give that up is if you get something in return (price, battery, etc...). But this far that isn't the case. This is kind of my whole point.
  • This is just my personal experience.  The surface 2 is a smoother experience than the Dell Venu 8 Pro.  I was disappointed in the Dell mini, as I was hoping for a bigger difference between the new generation Atom and last years.  Last year all you said was definitely true.  My favorite Windows 8 machine was an Atom 10", and I would have echoed your exact words.  Not now.  My tests were based on impression, not benchmarks, but IMO Surface 2 is faster than the Dell mini.  My son and I did, admittedly unscientific testing by racing with them to do certain tasks, like load apps, but Surface 2 seemed faster all around.  Just from an "impression" perspective, for me, Surface 2 wins.  Of course, size matters, so each has its place.  I am on a plane right now, and broguht my Nexus 7 instead of my Dell Mini on my business trip, because lack of GPS hurts use cases for me on mini tablets.  BTW, on my surface 2, while in flight, I've been in touch with work via Outlook, Lync, and using Remote Desktop...In addition to writing a status report in Word.   I think Surface 2 nails the experience.  (Also watched Walk the Line :) ).  
  • Of course the Surface is the better device. It has the Haswell while the Dell only has the Bay Trail. Both are upgrades from last years Atoms. I would love to have someone put a Haswell in an 8 inch form factor.
  • Surface 2 is the ARM device.  I was not referring to the Surface PRO 2. 
  • So let me ask you do you find the Dell to be slow with the latest Bay Trail in it? I know they used the lowest end version with only a single controller.
  • Not sure I would say the Dell is slow, but I was hoping it would be noticeably faster than my Clovertrail w510.  And for me, it  was not noticeably faster.  But I don't have the other one anymore to do side by side, so maybe my memory is faulty.
  • Thanks. I would have hated to put a Bay trail in the do not recommend pile.
  • I picked up an Asus Vivo Tab RT with a keyboard on eBay for a really good deal acouple weeks ago.  It turns out it's the ATT version with LTE.  I probably won't activate the ATT data because I don't travel that much. I wanted to get an RT only version to see how I could get along without full Windows.  I use a full blown ASUS Haswell laptop for the development work I do.  I actually like the RT a lot.  With the 8.1 upgrade the split screens are really usable. It actually less confusing to use than my full blown Laptop with Win 8.  I basically do everything in the RT interface except the Office apps. It's pretty fast and great for reading books, email and browsing. (Which, IMHO, is what 80% of the people need computers for.)  But its still nice to be able to work in Excel and Word if I need to. For me the Asus RT is a great, very portable compliment to my full blown laptop.  I couldn't develop on the small screen of the Surface or SPro anyway (even with a second monitor). I also think they're a little heavy to use a book reader. Also I can't develop on tablets with the Bay Trail processor because they don't have SLAT. SLAT is needed to run Hyper V and be able to develop Win Phone 8 and Win 8 RT apps using the emulator. To bad Asus dropped development for RT only tablets. Maybe they'll be back if MS an Nokia can show there is a market. I am always looking at new things though.  I do want to look at the Dell VP8 when it hits the store shelves.     
  • You are right. You get all the potential malware and whatever else is lurking in exe files. I'll stick with ARM running without AV protection choking it up. They aren't putting a dent in sales because it was poorly market and overpriced by at least $100. Touch cover (imo, not wonderful, but usable) should have been bundled with it for $349-399. If you want to grow share quickly you have to totally out price the competition with an equal product. If you were correct, iPads nor Android would sell well because you can't put desktop caliber apps on them either.
  • The Pro 2 is more expensive than the iPad or larger Android tablet. While in the 8" range the price are very similar. You will now be able to get a full desktop OS for nearly the same price. And I believe AV is built right into Windows 8 now and I'm not seeing any performance issues because of it. Of course they still have to catch up in screen resolution but the Bay Trails can handle that now. The Haswells would be a performance dream.
  • HM we need a surface 2 pro counterpart from Nokia, that's what I'd like to see. Smaller tablets have no use for me personally
  • If this is under $300 then it will replace my Nexus 7.  This combined with my Win 8.1 laptop and my Lumia 920 will cover all my bases perfectly!
  • ^ this
  • Put a real stylus (Wacom) in this and the same screen tech as the big tablet and I'll be all over it when it comes out! Was thinking of getting the Venue 8 Pro, but that has a crappy stylus, and it ain´t a Nokia, so I think I'll wait for this.
  • yeah!
  • how about changing windows RT to Windows Tab 8 or windows 8 lite Windows 8
    Windows Phone 8
    Windows Tab 8 (Windows 8 Lite) "RT" ruins the image of windows 8 OS
  • Fully agreed... sounds like "ReTarded" :P
  • Or better yet just get rid of it period. It's taking up resources from real tablet designs.    
  • RT = "real tablet". ;)
  • Lol. The market spoke last year and we will see what it says this year. Who knows maybe I am wrong. :)
  • So the name matter more than the actual use? By the way, they are planning on merging RT and WP8 at some point.
  • Please not another RT, it feels like a WP8 in laptop form. Also what's up with the huge cost gap? They're either cheap and crippled ~$300 RT/Atom tablets/ultrabooks or $1000+ Haswells. When are we going to see AMD Trinity/Richland APU tablets in the mid-$500 range? Definitely going to be way cheaper than their Intel counterparts with more well rounded performance than their pathetic Intel HD igpu.
  • Not "another" RT? There is only one available right now. I'm sure one more is hardly gonna hurt anything when you have lots of options available for full Windows 8.
  • ^
  • Have you used a baytrail tablet? This isn't the same atom from the crappy netbooks of 2007. Aside from very graphic intensive games, these $300 devices can handle pretty much anything an average consumer will throw at it.
  • I personally would rather have RT on a small tablet.  I think most desktop legacy programs would be too small and cumbersome to use on a screen this size in my opinion.  I would use a tablet this size mostly for consumption and Internet.  Maybe some quick and dirty document editing in a pinch, but nothing I would want to snap a keyboard on and use for any length of time.  If that were the case I'd get a larger tablet or a laptop with Window 8.1 with desktop.  I think everything has it's strengths and weaknesses.  This device would be more consumption and less productivity orientated, but I believe there's probably a market for both.
  • But the "Illusionist" has to offer a yellow color option!!!!
  • What is going to happen to all of these Nokia devices when MS acquires it all? I realize they'll want to keep all of the phones, but tablets are in direct competition with their own product. Don't see why they would want to maintain some of these Nokia products when they become part of MS.
  • Anything in the pipeline should still be released. Given Microsoft's track record, support should be just fine throughout the product lifecycle.
  • Actually, evleaks has said before that the "illusionist" WILL have stylus support. So that's probably a first for Windows RT if it's true.
  • Good stuff if true! What kind of Stylus though? I really, really hope it's one from Wacom.
  • I would really like a Nokia 8inch table.
  • If this comes in $300 or less, I'm probably buying it. Currently considering a Nexus 7 but I would really much rather have a Windows device on absolutely ever factor except for the Kobo app (and I would be using any tablet for a lot of eReading).
  • Yes!!!
  • Cool
  • Why still RT!!?!?!?!?!?!?  Please MS or Nokia or Micronokia give me a 8 inch with Bay Trail and full W8.1
  • Evleaks just whispered in my ear that there is a Lumia N-gage RT due out next weekend :P
  • Active Stylus! Why do MS and Nokia keep missing that? I use OneNote and love having a stylus to take quick handwritten notes.
  • I'm enjoying ASUS Vivo Tab RT right now. My next tablet is going to be Nokia as well as next smartphone either. Windows RT is fair enough for lightweight long lasting tablet. No iPad and indeed android tablet is comparable even to 1stgen Windows RT tablet in usability, convenience and UX. If I need to run x86 software, I have got desktop PC.
  • Why RT? Go for Pro!
  • I definitely going to buy a new tablet this holiday season.  But Nokia Illusionist is suppose to come in first part of 2014!  Ugh!  I will probably purchase either the Nexus 8 or iPad Mini Retina.  Just don't know.  Never use an Android device before but those who have are mixed in their feeling of it.  None have use a pure Android like the Nexus however.