Under the Surface: Behind the scenes with Microsoft's new tablet
A trip to Microsoft headquarters yields an inside look at a process that began several years ago — even before Apple launched the iPad — and led to the new touch-friendly Surface tablet.
Oct. 16, 2012: A machine etches part that will eventually make up the Surface, an intriguing new hardware product from Microsoft built for the company's Windows 8 OS.
Oct. 16, 2012: Colorful covers for the Surface tablet, with a flexible, integrated keyboard, are seen in the company's industrial design studio in Redmond, Wash.
Oct. 16, 2012: The Surface tablet udergoes reliability testing in a Redmond, Wash., lab.
Oct. 16, 2012: Prototypes of the Surface tablet are seen in the company's industrial design studio in Redmond, Wash.
Oct. 16, 2012: A teardown of the forthcoming Surface tablet reveals the parts that will make up the company's flagship new product.
The new Microsoft Surface, the company's answer to the iPad?
Oct. 16, 2012: A Microsoft employee shows off a prototype of the forthcoming Surface tablet in the company's reliability lab in Redmond, Wash.
Oct. 16, 2012: Steve Sinofsky, president of Microsoft's Windows division, and Panos Panay, general manager of Microsofts Surface team, discuss the Surface tablet in the company's Redmond, Wash., headquarters.
An Intel-powered version of the Surface will measure 13.5mm in thickness; a version powered by chips from rival maker ARM will be just 9.3mm thin.
A fold-out keyboard clevelry integrated into the Surface's case -- combined with a "kickstand" in the back of the tablet -- turns this tablet into a full laptop.
A "kickstand" built into the tablet props it at an ideal angle for typing or desktop work.