Will Android climb aboard and dominate tablets the way it has smartphones? That remains to be seen, and though rumors have swirled that Asus, HP and especially Samsung (Galaxy Tab anyone?) were/are going to make a run at an Android tablet, the most visible example of Android appearing on a tablet device so far has been courtesy of ... Cisco. Yep, that Cisco, which leapt into the tablet game with both feet in June by announcing an Android-based tablet set to be sold through channel partners as part of Cisco's UC and collaboration portfolio.
Among the Cius' highlights are realtime video, multiparty conferencing, e-mail, messaging, Web browsing, and cloud-based content sharing. It checks in at 1.5 pounds and includes a front-mounted 720p HD camera and a 7-inch VGA touch-target display, a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera, 8 hours of battery life, an accelerometer and support for 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi and 3G, with 4G services also promised. It'll also be supported by Cisco's Unified Communications Manager and provide support for Cisco Quad and a range of other Cisco collaboration tools.
Cisco has yet to confirm pricing and said customer trials will begin in the third quarter of 2010, with Cius available in the first quarter of 2011. It's an experiment for sure -- tablets are new territory for Cisco -- but talk about a company that loves to experiment.