Cisco Cius review: First Look

The Cisco Cius is an Android tablet designed specifically for businesses, but can it succeed in such an incredibly competitive market where others have not? We take a sneak peek at the Cius to find out.

Unusually, an optional docking station will also be available. It resembles a desktop phone and can indeed be used as a both a voice and video phone when the Cius is docked. The tablet can also take advantage of a wired Ethernet network connection when docked which is a first for any tablet as far as we know.

A projector connected to the Cisco Cius via its docking station

The Cius docked in its docking station and connected to a projector, keyboard and mouse.

The Cius has a DisplayPort connector and a pair of USB2 ports for attaching a keyboard and mouse. When used in conjunction with a remote desktop virtualisation app such as Citrix, it's therefore possible to use standard Windows software on the Cius as long as you have a fast internet connection. Cisco representatives were unable to confirm if there's a limit to the resolution of any monitor connected to the docking station, or indeed the micro HDMI port on the Cius itself.

The docking station for the Cisco Cius

The docking station with the Cius removed.

We also have our concerns about whether the Atom processor will be able to handle multitasking numerous apps, including a virtualised remote desktop.

So what are our first impressions?

Verdict

For businesses that already use Cisco services, the Cius is a very compelling tablet. For businesses that don't, it's more difficult to justify at its high price of $750 (bulk orders will bring this down to around $700 but UK pricing has yet to be confirmed). The price does include the Communications Manager deployment software and a video conferencing licence too, but this isn't as attractive if you already have deployment and video conferencing services in place. There's no getting over the fact that the Cius costs around twice as much as an iPad 2. Whether it's worth the cost depends not only on the usual concerns of responsiveness and battery life, but whether the ability to access Cisco services is worth the high cost for you and your company.

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