NEW YORK (

TheStreet

) -- A tablet so nice,

Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Report

introduces it twice.

Apparently this isn't déjà vu. Microsoft is once again preparing to unveil a tablet device at the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is expected to showcase two tablets, one made by

Samsung

, the other by

Dell

(DELL) - Get Report

, according to a report Tuesday in

The New York Times

, which cited people familiar with the plan.

Despite a big introduction by Ballmer a year ago in Vegas (see photo, courtesy of

Engadget

), Microsoft -- and more importantly, Windows 7 -- has been absent in the tablet market, which is dominated by

Apple's

(AAPL) - Get Report

iPad and

Google's

(GOOG) - Get Report

Android-powered devices.

At least one of the Microsoft tablets is expected to have a slide-out keyboard, according to the

Times'

sources. And both tablets seem to be targeted to laptop customers as opposed to the iPad, which is seen as more of a media player or entertainment device.

It is not clear what operating system will be featured on the Samsung and Dell devices, but presumably it will be Windows 7. However, sources talking to the

Times

speculate that Ballmer may give a preview of Windows 8 software.

--Written by Scott Moritz in New York.>To contact this writer, click here: Scott Moritz, or email: scott.moritz@thestreet.com.To follow Scott on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/MoritzDispatch.>To send a tip, email: tips@thestreet.com.