Jul 15, 2011

Cisco’s Cius for Corporate Customers Only

It seems the Cisco wants to invent sub-genre to the popular tablet PC: a “business tablet”.
On Wednesday, the voice and communications tech company released its Cius tablet, but only for enterprise-level customers. Powered by Google’s Android mobile OS, the tablet is being positioned as a corporate-wide alternative to Apple’s popular iPad and HP’s corporate-level Slate 500.
“The PC world as we know it has been shattered,” said Kara Wilson, vice president of marketing for Cisco’s collaboration solutions during the launch. “Cius is a built-for-business tablet, it’s not a consumer-focused device.”
Besides its “exclusive” status, the Cius is also noteworthy as one of the first devices to use Intel’s low-power Atom Z650 processor. Known as Moorestown, the dual-core Z650 failed to find any mass adopters since its launch last year, but it seems Cisco is willing to give it a try thanks to its reported multipoint videoconferencing capability.
It’s armed with a hefty 1GB of RAM, although storage capacity falls somewhat short at just 32GB of flash memory. Despite being bulkier than Apple’s sleek product (due to its removable battery), the Cius is actually lighter at just 1.15 lbs over the 1.34-lb iPad
The device’s 7-inch touchscreen has a 1024 x 600 resolution, and can play back 720p (but not full HD) video. As a primarily teleconferencing company, Cisco has equipped the Cius with a 720 x 480 pixel front-facing camera for videocalling, and a 5MP camera in the rear. This will be used in conjunction with Cisco’s TelePresence videoconferencing system, WebEx tools and other Cisco applications including Cisco Quad and Cisco Show.

In addition, the tablet will support virtualization software from VMware and Citrix, and can run Windows virtual desktop.
The company says the device will have partnerships with a slew of networks. Apart from the standard Wi-Fi, users have the option of sighing up with Verizon’s 4G service and AT&T’s 3G or 4G by fall.
The Cius is rumored to cost $750 when it launches at the end of the month, undercutting HP’s $799 Slate. It will be available from Verizon and Cisco UC partners like CDW and Dimension Data.


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