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June 30, 2010

Cisco Announces Android-Based Tablet

By Alice Straight, TMCnet Web Editor


Cisco (News - Alert) announced a new device today - the Cius, a "mobile collaboration business tablet," which is based on Google's open-source Android (News - Alert) operating system and is integrated with Cisco's collaboration and communications applications.

The tablet will feature a seven-inch diagonal, high-resolution color screen with contact-based touch and it has a detachable and serviceable 8-hour battery for a full day of work and can connect remotely with Cisco AnyConnect Security VPN Client. It also has a 720p front-mounted HD camera and a five-megapixel camera on back.
The Cius weighs in at 1.15 lbs, and supports HD video streaming, multiparty conferencing, e-mail, messaging, browsing and applications for creating, editing and sharing content in a local network or through the cloud. An optional HD audio station has a speakerphone, HD DisplayPort and USB ports, and, for audio conferences, there are dual noise-canceling microphones. Connectivity includes 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-FI and 3G, with 4G available later.
The company is offering Cisco Collaboration Application Protocol Interfaces, or APIs, through a software developers kit.
The tablet is expected to be released for customer trials in the third quarter, and to be available in the first quarter of next year. The company has not announced prices.
TMCNet's Tom Keating (News - Alert) has already blogged about the Cisco Cius.
"I'd venture a guess that 60 percent of iPads are used by business professionals for both work and home use," Keating wrote. "Thus, Cius could easily eat up iPad market share. With the Cius sporting the front-facing camera, which the iPad doesn't, the Cius could easily crack into that 60% market share due to the telepresence / HD video capabilities. Add in the growing popularity of the Android community and apps, and Cisco could have a winner on its hands."

Alice Straight is a TMCnet editor. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Alice Straight


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