Cisco's Android CIUS tablet available May 31

Tech Data announces ship date to qualified channel partners and the tablet stars in this week's episode of NCIS L.A.

Cisco's long-awaited enterprise CIUS tablet will be available on May 31 from Tech Data, the distributor announced on Thursday. To get the public's desire inflamed, the CIUS starred in Tuesday night's episode of NCIS L.A. -- and I have to say, it did look pretty good on T.V.

Nell uses the tablet to get data on the bad guy while conducting a secure videoconference and traveling in a cab.

The 7-inch Android tablet will first be available to Cisco's Advanced Unified Communications partners who are expected to sell it to enterprise accounts. The tablet fits into the accompanying, HD media station, shown to great affect on NCIS L.A. when geek-squad girl Nell Jones slipped it out of the docking station mid-sentence during a video conference (from wired to Wi-Fi), walked through the building and got in a cab (Wi-Fi to cell), all without a hitch. That's Hollywood. The use case was interesting, and did visually show what Cisco has been saying about this device -- that its not just a tablet toy but a real laptop/desk phone replacement.

The CIUS is docked in the HD Media Station when the video conference begins.

Nell grabs it out of the docking station mid sentence.  Click any picture to see the whole video clip.

As Tech Data describes: "While on-site, CIUS can be docked on Cisco’s HD Media Station for wired connectivity. When the user needs to go mobile, CIUS will recognize that the connectivity state has changed and will transfer automatically to the campus’ wireless network. In addition, CIUS uses Cisco’s AnyConnect Mobility Client for secure remote connections. Regardless of location, CIUS allows users to securely make voice or video calls, join or initiate WebEx conferences, and locate subject matter experts (SMEs) using virtual teaming and presence."

CIUS will ship with Android 2.2 (Froyo) ... not Android 3.0 designed for tablets. So it will have access to the Android market, though Cisco says it will give IT admins some ability to control what a user downloads. The CIUS will included a desktop virtualization client, too, which will let it run Windows apps. Cisco hasn't named the virtualization client, but given its tight relationship with VMware, we wonder if it could be a custom version of that? VMware doesn't yet run on Android, but the company announced last month that it would have an Android client for 3.0 (Honeycomb) and iPad available mid-year. (I'm am querying Cisco about it. If I get an answer, I'll update this post). The device will also ship with versions of WebEx, Quad (Cisco's Facebook/Twitter/blogging-like collaboration app currently available for the iPad) and SocialMiner (Cisco's tool that lets you track/manage brand names appearing in social media).

Cisco has not yet announced a price for the CIUS. Prices are expected to be less than $1,000/unit but whether that includes the docking station or not remains to be seen. Because Cisco will be selling these devices to enterprises through resellers, MSRPs are a little meaningless -- but the general expectation is that this tablet will be pricier than others. I would expect that volume prices for early adopters can be negotiated.

Here are some specs.

  • 7-inch, WSVGA capacity LCD touchscreen, 1024 x 600
  • Intel Atom 1.6 GHz
  • 1 GB RAM and 32 GB eMMC flash memory
  • Supports 720p 30-fps HD video
  • 5MP camera for still shots
  • Bluetooth 3.0
  • Supports SIP
  • 8.85 x 5.5 x 0.59 inches
  • 1.5 lbs.
  • HD Media Station docking station with telephone handset, 10/100/1000 Gbps ports, 3 USB ports, 3.5mm headset jack plus integrated speaker, DisplayPort for linking to a larger display
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