Cisco Systems has hopped on the tablet PC bandwagon with a device of its own that uses Google Android software and is targeted at business customers.
The company announced plans for the new tablet, called the Cisco Cius, during its annual customer conference in Las Vegas on Tuesday. The device, which will only weigh about 1.15 pounds, will sport Cisco's collaboration software that integrates virtual desktop applications with high-definition video.
Specifically, the new device will have front- and rear-facing cameras that record in high definition for video conferencing and a 7-inch high-resolution screen. The device will be integrated with Cisco's TelePresence video conferencing system to provide one-click access to video conferences. It will also be integrated with the WebEx meeting products. It can connect to the Internet via Wi-Fi or through a 3G cellular network.
Unlike other tablets, such as Apple's iPad, the Cisco Cius is designed for business users. Cisco didn't announce specific pricing, but the company said it will retail for less than $1,000.
Google Android is used in a number of smartphones and a growing number of tablet PCs. Cisco says the advantage of using the operating system is that it will allow the company's business customers to tap into the growing Android developer community, which is developing new business-class products.