Yet another tablet will be making its way to Indian shelves come first week of October. The newest face on the Indian tablet scene sees Cisco’s entrant into the fray, the Cius, which is designed to be the first-of-its-kind Enterprise-class Business Tablet. It’s quite possible the BlackBerry Playbook is shrugging its rounded shoulders somewhere right now.
A bit on the heavy side
The Cisco Cius is an Android FroYo (2.2) device that’s equipped with an Atom Z615 Processor (1.6GHz) processor to ensure speedy delivery of data. From what we could see of the device, it does manage to prove this statement correct. Although Cisco has included highly customised apps like an all new Calendar, a Chat app called Jabber that allows for IM, voice, video, voice messaging, desktop sharing, and conferencing and a neatly structured email app to name a few. Android’s basic FroYo UI is quite evident - it's merely the apps that are customised. A few Cisco apps that will be preloaded onto the device include -
- Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client (VPN)
- Cisco WebEx conferencing
- Quickoffice Lite
- Unified Inbox
- Visual Voicemail
The company, following in the footsteps of other manufacturers like LG, HTC and Samsung, also has its very own app store called AppHQ that features over 2000 specially designed and chosen apps for the business class user. It’s designed to be a secure, cloud-based storefront with apps for IT managers and other Enterprise users. All the apps that feature in this specific online store are Cisco-validated before publishing.
For the enterprise user on the go
Getting back to the device itself, the Cisco Cius is a small, bulky and slightly heavy-set device with quite a solid build. It’s equipped with a 7-inch multi-touch display sporting a 1024 x 600 pixel resolution. Dual cameras are available to support video calls of course. The front facing camera can stream calls and record video in up to 720p (@30 fps). The rear 5MP camera also supports 720p recording. We were also informed that the Cius will also support full HD i.e. 1080p video playback. The built in speaker is quite loud making handsfree calling a non-issue.
A large speaker-phone dock is an available accessory for the tablet that serves as a docking station. The Cius is equipped with a 3.5mm handsfree socket for IP telephony and audio in general, micro USB (2.0), mini HDMI, and MicroSD card support up to 32GB. The device will also come with 32GB of internal memory. Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP + EDR and Wi-Fi functionality is also provisioned for. Cisco’s tablet is also 4G compatible but whether or not the Indian version will retain this feature is unknown just yet. It will however, be 3G capable of course.
Just to be crystal clear though, the Cius is aimed purely at the Enterprise user and not the average customer looking for a tablet device. Although the official Indian pricing has yet to be announced, the US price is slated at $700 (Rs. 34,300). Throw in the dock and the Cius will set you back by a cool $1000 (Rs. 49,000). For those users already owning any of Cisco’s latest video calling solutions and who wish to upgrade, the company has an upgrade option that will allow you to pay the difference between your existing product and the Cius.