What looks to be a beautifully designed tablet from Microsoft, and one that helps makes some sense out of the Metro/Windows mess that will be Windows 8. Pricing and launch dates aren’t yet announced – here’s hoping Microsoft haven’t announced this too early.

It shouldn’t really be (but it is) surprising how much Apple influence is here, and if this is the future of the PC then it shows how much the iPad has changed the market.

It’s also interesting that even the event was Apple-inspired, from the basic format of a discrete press-event at a conference hall through to the secrecy they achieved (I didn’t see any leaks about this before the event). Of course it’s easier to keep something secret if it isn’t yet being manufactured across the globe, but still.

By definition the real value of a tablet can only be appreciated with hands-on usage. It’s also slightly ominous that Microsoft didn’t have the Intel version at the ‘hands-on’.

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