Microsoft are taking on the might of Apple's massively successful iPad, by unveiling the Surface tablet at an event in Los Angeles.
The world's largest software maker is set to to launch its touch-friendly Windows 8 operating system this autumn, and wants to make a big impact with its own device to kickstart demand.
The tablets will have fold-out covers that turn into keyboards and will come in two versions, one running on traditional Intel Corp chips, and another using ARM Holdings.
A specific price was not given but the cost will be "comparable" with current ARM tablets and Intel-powered Ultrabooks.
Sales of tablets are expected to triple in the next two years, topping 180 million a year in 2013, easily outpacing growth in traditional PCs.