Cius Elbows into Tablet Market

Cisco announced plans for a new tablet called the Cius—pronounced “see us”—yesterday, which will be targeted for businesses as end-users and released for sale next year.

The 1.15 pound device sports a 7-inch screen and permits workers to connect to Cisco applications like WebEx and TelePresence, allowing them to participate in videoconferences and share documents via the screen.

According to the San Francisco Chronicler, it is “in essence a portable communications and collaboration platform.”

The Cius will run a version of the Android operating system and is compatible with Wi-FI and 3G services.

The Cius is equipped with two cameras: a 720p high-definition webcam on the front and a 5 megapixel camera on the back for still images and video.

According to an article in the New York Times, Cisco is talking about the tablet now in the hope that developers will begin creating business software for the product.

Barry O’Sullivan, senior vice-president of the company, told the Times that the Cius could replace the need for a desktop computer on each employee’s desk. The device runs on an Intel chip—one that usually powers laptops—and has hook-ups to connect it to a monitor and keyboard.

The Cius will arrive on I.T. desks with security and management controls that can be tweaked and customized in great detail, a clear bid to give the device an edge over more consumer-oriented products.