Microsoft has used its mysterious keynote speech this week in Los Angeles to announce a new Windows 8 RT or Intel-powered tablet called the MS Surface. Yep, they’ve called it the same name as an earlier MS project, which is almost as confusing as ‘the new iPad’ for Google search.

The Surface (tablet) is a 2lbs, 10.6-inch tablet PC with a magnesium case, USB 2 port, Gorilla Glass, and a built in kickstand in the tablet’s outer shell for propping it up.

It has a Smartcover-esque magnetic case as well, called the Touch Cover, but what’s interesting is that this opens up into a (3mm thick) keyboard - complete with touchpad for whizzing the mouse pointer around in classic view.

This keyboard would make more sense if the machine had, say, Microsoft Office on it, which is handy as that’s exactly the case.

If you’re not one for a new-fangled flat keyboard, however, there’s always the ‘Type Cover’ for the Surface instead, which comes with proper physical keys and a real trackpad (naturally at the expense of slimness.)

Washing windows

Surface (Windows RT version) will come in 32GB and 64GB models, while the Intel-powered, full-fat Windows version will pack in larger storage.

Microsoft didn't say when the Surface will be available or how much the tablet will cost during the event, but did mention it would be priced around that of 'comparable tablets'.

Expect to hear more about the company's latest foray into tablet PCs in the coming months.

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