A little confusing, but also refreshingly minimal, and lookin’ extremely cool, Surface by Microsoft is a coming-soon line of killer tablets: thin, light, stylin’, with a laptop-level computing power option. The most striking feature is a cover that doubles as a keyboard, in five colours and two versions: Touch Cover with a touch skin, and Type Cover, a traditional keyboard with super-skinny keys for that familiar force feedback feel. There is also digital ink, a pen/stylus mode with its own digitizer, that feels close to real pen on paper. Other deets include a 10.6″ HD screen, front and rear cameras, stereo mics, microSD slot, up to 128GB RAM, and a full-size USB port that makes it friendly to external devices like smartphones. Protection comes from Corning Gorilla Glass and the VaporMg (that’s vapor-mag) magnesium-based casing. More complicated, Surface will arrive in two major configurations, with entirely different architecture and OS: first, the Windows RT mobile platform version, to be followed by the slightly thicker, heavier, i5 CPU-powered Windows Pro 8 model—a big choice to be made. And many key details are still under wraps, like battery life and…price tag—Microsoft is clearly targeting the iPad, so comparisons there may well be in the ballpark. To watch!