Microsoft has unveiled a new version of its Microsoft Surface at CES 2011 in Las Vegas,
that is considerably more powerful than the previous version. 

The new Surface 2, built by Samsung, will now be just 4-inches thick, ditching the bulky camera tech hidden in a box beneath the device which will mean that shops, museums and other outlets can, if they want, mount it on the wall.

If that wasn’t enough to get retailers excited, Microsoft has changed the underlying technology of the Surface completely. The new offering now uses a technology Microsoft calls Pixel Sense that actually tracks objects that come into contact with the massive screen, be they fingers or text on a paper.

Reading that information, be it a promotional flyer or a bank statement, then allows the software to fire up different actions.

Coming with 20 digit support for multiple users, Microsoft has turned to GorillaGlass to create its largest ever screen so it will be safe in virtually every environment - think bars, banks, and stadiums.

GorillaGlass, already found on smartphones, and exclusively in Sony Bravia TVs (to protect it against flying Wii remotes) is, as the name suggests, very tough - meaning it should withstand the beating that retail will demand.

Powered by Windows 7, the new Surface 2 should be heading to a retail outlet near you fairly shortly with the Royal Bank of Canada being one of the first places you’ll see it, says Microsoft. 

Customers of the banking chain will be able to check account details, and savings protections by using the devices.

Where would you like to see the Microsoft Surface 2? Let us know in the comments below.

CES 2011 is now in full-swing, be sure to check out our dedicated CES homepage for all of the news as it breaks, as well as detailed analysis.

CES tablet counter - the story so far