Microsoft has announced the arrival of two tablets, touchscreen computers running the firm's Windows 8 and RT operating systems.
Executives unveiled the devices at an event in Hollywood. Consumers will be able to choose to have one running an ARM-based processor and Windows RT, or one with a third-generation Intel Core processor, running Windows 8 Pro.
The tablets will come with covers that are 3mm thick and double up as keyboards using “unique pressure-sensitive technology”. According to Microsoft they will allow users to type more quicker than they could with on-screen keyboards.
The company said in a statement today: “Surface is designed to seamlessly transition between consumption and creation, without compromise.
“It delivers the power of amazing software with Windows and the feel of premium hardware in one exciting experience.”
But while consumers might welcome the arrivals, one analyst told the BBC that Microsoft's partners might not be quite as impressed.
Carolina Milanesi, research vice-president at technology consultancy Gartner, said: “Microsoft can offer a competitive price for these specifications as it doesn't need to pay itself a licence for the Windows 8 software which other manufacturers will have to do, and that might make its PC and tablet-making partners unhappy.”
The company hopes to make its new tablets available from October. According to a report by The Telegraph, no pricing details have been released.