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CES: Microsoft shows off Surface 2.0

Microsoft officials demonstrated an updated, thinner version of the Surface multi-touch tabletop computer at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) on January 5.
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Microsoft officials demonstrated an updated, thinner version of the Surface multi-touch tabletop computer at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) on January 5.

Microsoft officials shared a few particulars on the next-generation Surface 2.0 device, which Samsung is manufacturing with Microsoft, according to reports, during an afternoon press conference at the show.

The new Surface is only four inches thick and uses Gorilla glass to make it more durable. (Officials said the new Surface includes the biggest single piece of Gorilla glass out there.) It also is horizontally and vertically mountable, making it more appealing than the current "big ass table" Surface tabletops that are on the market -- and possibly an alternative to flat-screen TVs (or maybe even a nice adjunct to Microsoft TV, which many are expecting the company to unveil during CEO Steve Ballmer's keynote at CES tonight.)

Istartedsomething blogger Long Zheng captured some images of the Surface 2.0 in his live blog of the Microsoft press conference. Here one from Zheng's Flickr set:

(image credit: Long Zheng)

I've asked Microsoft for availability and pricing details for the new Surface tables. No word back so far.

I wondered aloud (in my blog) earlier this week whether Microsoft might show off some new Surface tablets at CES. The new thinner tables are not tablets, by a long stretch, but they seem more commercially viable than the current Surface systems -- and I'd think more likely to attract developer interest.

I'm curious whether Microsoft and its partners will continue to downsize the Surface, moving forward, and how small it will be able to go....

Update: A couple more details on Surface 2.0, courtesy of WinRumours.com. WinRumours says the new Surface is running an AMD CPU and Windows 7. WinRumours also says the new Surface will ship in 2011.

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