This past Tuesday, June 29th, Cisco Systems revealed the Cius, a 7-in. touchscreen tablet computer that runs the Android OS.
The device was demonstrated by Cisco CEO John Chambers with a live videoconferencing transmission over the tablet from researchers on a submarine in the Aegean Sea. The audio portion of the demonstration broke up slightly, but the video was constant. A satellite link was included in the connection and added some minor delay. Chambers showed how the Cius (pronounced "see us") can be held in a wired docking station for desktop use and then carried as a mobile tablet when needed.
People have already started comparing it to the iPad. Here's what I find most notable between the two. The screen size is significantly smaller at 7" compared to the iPad 9.7". The processor in the Cius is faster at 1.6GHz as opposed to the iPad 1GHz. Where the Cius outshines the iPad is in it's front and rear-facing camera's for HD video conferencing and sharp still images. No doubt both are coming in the next iPad revision.
It will be interesting to see how well Cisco succeeds in getting businesses to adopt it and if makes any headroom in the consumer space. Pricing and availability was not yet available at the time of this posting.
- Android operating system, with access to Android marketplace applications
- Intel Atom 1.6-Ghz processor and 32-GB of flash memory provide the power to run and store Android applications locally
- 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, 3G/4G data and Bluetooth 3.0
- HD video (720p) with Cisco TelePresence solution interoperability for lifelike video communication with the simplicity of a phone call
- 7-inch, high-resolution, color screen is ideal for displaying streamed media, online content, and visual presentations
- Forward-facing, integrated HD (720p and 30 fps) video camera with zoom functions
- Rear-facing, high-resolution 5-megapixel camera enables real-time, VGA-quality (640 x 480) video capture and still-photo capture
- Virtual desktop client enables highly secure access to cloud-based business applications
- Integration with collaboration applications including Cisco WebEx, Presence, and IM
- A detachable and serviceable 8-hour battery supports all-day communications under normal conditions
- Weighing in just over 1.5 pounds