Of all the companies you might have expected to create a tablet based on the open source Android operating system from Google, Cisco was probably not at the top of the list. Nevertheless, not to be outdone by competition, Cisco seems more prepared to actually distribute and market their tablet than other players at the table.
The most obvious reason why is that Cisco has an actual market: businesses. Their tablet, called the Cisco Cius (pronounced “See-us“), is designed for business employee collaboration. By selling it through traditional corporate channels, they also do not have to worry about pushing it out to stores.
The tablet seems to be well-equipped for business and pleasure with 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-fi, 3G/4G data, and Bluetooth 3.0. It supports 720p HD video with Cisco TelePresence for video conferencing, a virtual desktop system for cloud computing applications, and collaboration applications.
The tablet itself has a 7″ screen, which means the average person can hold it between the index fingers and thumbs. It supports bluetooth and USB devices (including handsets). It reportedly has 8-hour battery life, although that is sure to change once employees start watching movies in the break room.
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Undoubtedly, Cisco saw an opportunity to lock down the business market on tablets before HP or Lenovo could slip in one of their stripped-down versions of a consumer tablet. Running Android on it means they configure the technology however they like and still get the software support they need from Android developers. The Cisco website does not list a release date but instead asks you to contact a representative. It may very well be already available to ship.