In pictures: Microsoft Surface tablet

Microsoft's new 10.6in Windows 8 tablet

  • Microsoft has announced its Surface tablet, aiming to compete with the iPad. Let's take a look! The Microsoft Surface tablet is constructed from magnesium and manufactured using liquid metal. Microsoft claims the magnesium, PVD finish is the first of its kind in the PC market.

  • The case of the Microsoft Surface is melted down in the manufacturing process and then moulded to the details needed for the design. Bevelled edges have been utilised in order to make the tablet comfortable to hold. The ARM-based version of the Surface is only 9.3mm thin. The Surface utilises a magnetic connector to attach to a keyboard dock. There are two covers available. The first is a 3mm thin accessory called the "Touch cover" that uses a full multi touch keyboard and also includes a trackpad. The Touch cover is available in blue, red, pink and white colours. The red version is shown here.

  • The Microsoft Surface includes a built-in kickstand, which pops out from the back to stand on a desk or table. Microsoft says that putting a kickstand in the product wasn't an easy decision as it "breaks seamless lines". However, the company stressed it needed to take a chance and says the kickstand hinges attempt to feel and sound like closing the door of an expensive car.

  • The second accessory available is a "Type cover" which includes a full trackpad with clicking buttons, coming in black only. Microsoft says it will appeal to users who prefer traditional tactile keys over touching a flat surface. Microsoft will launch two versions of the Surface tablet. The first is an ARM-based device running Windows RT aimed at consumers, while the other uses an Intel-based chip to provide the full version of Windows 8 Pro for business and corporate users.

  • There is no expandable memory in either model of the Surface. The Windows 8 Pro variant comes with 64GB and 128GB storage options compared to the 32GB and 64GB models of the ARM-based Surface. The display of the Microsoft Surface is coated with Gorilla Glass and both models also have a full sized USB port. The display on the ARM-based Surface has a resolution of 1366x768, giving it a pixels per inch (ppi) rating of 208. The Windows 8 Pro takes that one step further with a full HD resolution.

  • Microsoft is still yet to reveal some details about the Surface, including price, availability and battery life. The company has stressed the Surface will be priced competitively when compared with an ARM tablet or an Intel-based Ultrabook PC. Microsoft hasn't announced if or when the Surface will be released in Australia.

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