Microsoft's CEO Steve Ballmer used his keynote speech at CES to debut three tablet, or Slate PCs, as he calls it, made by HP, Archos, and Pegatron. 

The unveiling came after a range of tech publications played panto as to what Ballmer was going to announce. 

Starting off late after power outages struck the stage, only towards the end of a lengthy segment highlighting unique PC's built by Microsoft's manufacturing partners did Ballmer move to showcase the new form factor computers known as "Slate PCs".

During the segment, three attractive tablet like machines of various sizes were displayed produced by HP, Archos, and Pegatron.

However, none of these devices held any resemblance to the so called "Courier" whose user interaction videos and unique design had the internet a-buzz starting in the fall of 2009.

Nor did they appear to be anything more than just touch operated Windows 7 PC's, built into a tablet-like case.

After a few quick words Ballmer then went on to pick up the smallest of the three built by HP.  

It's important to reiterate that during this segment, Ballmer did not use the name "Slate" to refer specifically to the model by HP, but instead as a generalised term referring to the overall form factor.

Little to no official details at the time this article was written were available from HP either, so we're avoiding jumping the gun on calling the HP product "The Slate" just yet.

Using the HP device, Ballmer then demonstrated using the Kindle app on the device, mentioning that it provided the complete digital book experience all in full colour.

After stating vaguely that all of the "Slate PC's" on display would be available in 2010, he then accessed Windows Media player to start another video designed to add a bit of comedy into the atmosphere, which featured American Saturday Night Live star Seth Myers.

That was it.

Needless to say those hoping for final definitive answers related to the "Courier" or expecting a major product to be announced to compete with the likes of Apple's rumoured upcoming tablet were left baffled.

Along similar lines, very few other noteworthy bits were discussed throughout the rest of the event.