The year 2010 till now seems to have belonged to the Tablet PCs and we have seen and heard a lot about tablets so far. A common feature of all of the tablets we have come to know of so far caters to the home or personal segment and comes with innovative entertainment features to entice buyers so that a tablet that is built specifically for the business scenario has been lacking so far. This until Cisco decided to fill that yawning gap with a tablet they have named Cius and Cisco expects to make a mark with this one in the niche segment.
The most evident difference in features that the Cisco Cius presents is the video conferencing feature in 720p HD, for which it comes equipped with a 720p front facing webcam. This would cater for the great craze for video conferencing that’s picking up amongst consumers of today. The Cius will be capable of HD video streaming, real-time video as well as multi-party conferencing. Then of course there would be the regular tablet features that will allow its users to send and receive messages and email along with web browsing, all of the things that would cater to the requirements of those into serious business. No wonder Cisco therefore is placing the tablet in the consumer forum as well so that they don’t have to look out for the competition from iPad. Doing business applications using this device would be as good because Cisco has always been good at that.
Cius has a seven inch high resolution touchscreen that supports contact-based touch targets. The tablet runs on the Android OS and includes a host of apps that have been collaboratively developed for use by business-level users. At its core, there will be an Atom 1.6Ghz processor along with 32GB of Flash storage. It also has a removable battery system which could give a life of eight hours on a single charge.
Connectivity won’t ever will be a problem with the Cius, what with it being compliant with the 802.11b/g/n WiFi, 3G/4G, Bluetooth 3.0 along with 10/100/1000 Ethernet Connection. The device also boasts of micro USB and accelerometer as also of a back facing 5 MP camera capable of transmitting VGA quality videos. There would be optional add-ons to the device like the telephone headset from Cisco, HD Audio station , speaker phone and HD display port. These would enhance the entertainment features of this device as well. For the business users there is the integration with applications like Quad, Show and Share, WebEx Connect, Presence and the likes. In fact, it is the software package that Cisco says will do the trick for Cius since they maintain they have tried to focus on certain key areas with the software, which includes virtual desktop client, remote connections that are highly secured, high definition videoconferencing, and not to mention the collaboration applications mentioned above.
However, with the Cius, Cisco is aiming for something that none has been able to reach so far successfully. Tablets meant solely to cater for the needs of the business class irrespective of the gender of the user have proven to be a failure of sorts. Ones that were made with this sole purpose have just not succeeded till date. RIM is believed to be working on one such business tablet but with an add on. The device is to mesh with something like the Blackberry. The Cius, it seems will be way ahead of the tablet from RIM if what is being promised is indeed delivered. So it will be interesting to see how Cius fares in the real world.
Customer trials for this gadget are expected to commence from the first quarter of 2011. However, there has been no word on pricing as yet.
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