Microsoft has joined the tablet market by launching Surface, its own range of Windows-run devices that it claims will provide its operating system with the "ultimate stage". The technology firm kept details about last week's event secret until the last moment - even its location - but has unveiled to the world the tablet it believes can challenge Apple's iPad.
So what can people expect? Firstly, Microsoft says that software takes centre stage with a full-sized USB port and a 16:9 aspect ratio, helping deliver full high-definition capabilities. Additionally, Surface has a touch cover that represents a "step forward in human-computer interface", sensing keystrokes and gestures better than ever. This, the company believes, enables people to touch type significantly quicker than an on-screen keyboard.
Secondly, Microsoft has revealed more details about the way the device itself is constructed. Surface is built from a combination of material selection (called VaporMg), which moulds metal to a similar standard as a luxury watch. This means parts can be as thin as 0.65mm, creating a product that is light and strong in equal measure.
The use of VapoMg also means the Surface tablet includes a built-in kickstand, allowing its user to watch a movie or other video with ease. High definition cameras are also located at the front and rear of the tablet.
Reviewing the device, Adrian Covert of gizmodo.com said that the device is more akin to a laptop, but not as bulky.
"The Microsoft Surface may be billed as a tablet, but hiding in its 3mm cover is a pressure-sensitive keyboard called Type Cover which will allow the tablet to transform and resemble more of a computer on the go without the burden of a bulky keyboard case," he explained.
Microsoft said that it is to release two models of Surface: one that runs an ARM processor featuring Windows RT and another that runs with a third-generation Intel Core processor that includes Windows 8 pro. The latter will not be available until 90 days after the release of the Windows RT version, which is expected to come out in the autumn.