Microsoft has unveiled a new tablet device called Surface that it hopes will rival Apple’s iPad.

The firm’s chief executive officer Steve Ballmer said that Surface would be just one part of a new family of devices that the company has been working on.

Unlike the iPad, the Surface is a tablet-PC hybrid. The screen comes with a kick-stand so it can be stood up and the cover has a built-in keyboard.

The device has been developed in conjunction with the firm’s upcoming operating system Windows 8.

Steven Sinofsky, president of Microsoft’s Windows division, said the surface is simply a “tablet that’s a great PC – a PC that’s a great tablet”.

Two versions of the Surface will be made available initially, a 9.3mm-thick and 13.5mm thick incarnation.

Each device will boast a 10.6-inch HD display and come with a variety of storage options – ranging from 32GB to 128GB.

Posted by Samantha Green

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