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Handhelds Hardware

Cisco's Tablet Act Like a Desktop 120

Posted by timothy
from the as-long-as-you-have-a-desktop-already dept.
holy_calamity writes "Cisco's Cius tablet, due next month, is bulkier than the iPad 2 and has a smaller screen but it also brings tricks other tablets don't have. It can be connected to a keyboard, monitor and mouse to act like a desktop. Using an app to connect to a virtual desktop replicates a full PC experience, Cisco claims. The Cius also encrypts all data and is easily controlled by IT managers, who can control access to apps and other features."
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Cisco's Tablet Act Like a Desktop

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  • the iPad can do that (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 30, 2011 @02:31PM (#36625600)

    The iPad will happily use a bluetooth or usb keyboard and can mirror its display via VGA or HDMI, and in a few months, it can mirror its display wirelessly via an appleTV.

    • The iPad will happily use a bluetooth or usb keyboard [...]

      ($29 adapter required)

      [...] and can mirror its display via VGA or HDMI [...]

      ($39 adapter required)

      Sorry. Just adding those pesky "truth in advertising" asterisks...

      • by CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) on Thursday June 30, 2011 @04:17PM (#36627082)

        Yeah about that [cisco.com]: "Optional HD media station with USB peripherals, 10/100/1000 wired connectivity, and a handset option"

        And from TFA: "A WiFi only version of the tablet will be available worldwide from July 31 at an estimated price of $750." I can't see anything on storage capacity.
        Wifi-only iPad2 starts at $499 (16Gb) to a max of $699 (64Gb)

    • by swb (14022)

      It works great with a bluetooth keyboard, but I *do* wish Apple would support the bluetooth mouse profile. Touch doesn't translate well to Windows via RDP and reaching to touch the screen is a nuisance with an external keyboard running, although you can get a lot done with a Bluetooth keyboard.

  • by Keruo (771880) on Thursday June 30, 2011 @02:32PM (#36625606)
    My $99 dealextreme android tablet was happy to respond when I connected usb keyboard and mouse to it.
    It also has vnc and remote desktop apps to connect to othe devices.
    • by Kenja (541830)
      My Dauphin DTR 1 back in the early 90's had a PS2 keyboard and mouse port. Windows 3.1 for pens did most of what everyones so impressed with on these new tablets. But back then it was geeky, now its hip.
      • by gl4ss (559668)
        windows 3.1 had better desk control, longer shelf-life and better copy-paste between apps and less overhead by the os. oh what the world has become..
        • Take off your rose colored nostalgia glasses and try to install Windows 3.1 with trumpet windsock connected to the internet in a VM. Then try to use it a week for anything remotely useful. Have the suicide hotline number nearby when attempting this.

    • by Sez Zero (586611)
      Your $99 special is way ahead of the $750 Cisco offering; Cisco's offering can only connect to a keyboard and mouse indirectly (when docked to Cisco's new deskphone).
  • by plover (150551) * on Thursday June 30, 2011 @02:32PM (#36625612) Homepage Journal

    If IT locks out the app store, it won't be successful.

    Like the iPad, it's too big to carry thoughtlessly like a phone. You have to have a reason to carry it. If Sally in accounting can't put Angry Birds on it, or the Kindle app, she won't want to carry it around. Those are the real reasons she carries her iPad everywhere, despite her claims of using it for calendar or email.

    Good luck Cisco, but making it IT friendly is the opposite of making it user friendly.

    • by grasshoppa (657393) <`gro.oc-onpt' `ta' `ydenneks'> on Thursday June 30, 2011 @02:37PM (#36625708) Homepage

      I don't think you quite understand the market Cisco is playing to with this. They aren't trying to compete with the ipad in the consumer space, they are presenting an option for business customers ( where angry birds would not be installed ). As much as i hate cisco, this device interests me. A highly controlled device would make me feel better about pushing out HIPAA and PCI applications, for example.

      • by Dunbal (464142) *
        Yes because everyone knows that Cisco stands for security.
      • by samkass (174571)

        Yes, but they're competing against the iPad. The iPad already has options for VPN, VNC, Citrix, encryption, external monitor displays, bluetooth keyboards, Exchange support, remote wipe, restricted settings, etc... Except for the fact that this article is obvious astroturf I'd wonder why the author thinks these things make Cisco's offerings so special.

        • by jedidiah (1196)

          > Yes, but they're competing against the iPad.

          No, not really. Apple gives minor lip service to business users but isn't really committed to them. Anyone that's not a total fanboy realizes that.

          Think of all of those times where some fanboy responded to some complaint about how "this product isn't made for you". Shoes on the other foot now.

          • by Anonymous Coward

            Apple is smarter about the business market than the business players are. Owning the consumer market is a sure-fire way of making sure the CEO wants to be able to use that cool new iphone thing he's been reading about. It also means users will bring it in and start using it for work, much to the dismay of IT departments everywhere who prefer platforms designed for them (IT, not users). In this way we see Apple devices showing up on corporate networks all over the damn place and blackberry devices disappe

      • they are presenting an option for business customers ( where angry birds would not be installed )

        If they were clever they'd build in a 'personal sandbox' where the user could swap between corporate and personal personalities on the device. The corporate VPN would be safe from Angry Birds, and the users would clamor to get them.

        Use the @gmail account for the personal side, the @corp.com account on the business side. Really, IT doesn't hate users, they just have a mandate to protect the business, and the te

    • by hellfire (86129)

      If Sally in accounting can't put Angry Birds on it, or the Kindle app, she won't want to carry it around. Those are the real reasons she carries her iPad everywhere, despite her claims of using it for calendar or email.

      Thanks for the shameless iPad bash. Really. It's not like Stereotyping detracts from your argument or anything.

    • If IT locks out the app store, it won't be successful.

      Define "success"? Users won't like it or companies won't buy it? There's a difference, and the latter wins. It's the same reason companies don't buy office workers Alienware PCs.

      If IT blocks internal programs, VPN and corporate websites from Sally's iPad, how's she going to have a choice. In the corporate environment, everyone takes the company phone. Most company phones suck, but the minutes and data are paid for. So, which tablet device are you going to use for streaming? The new one that nobody of

      • IT frankly doesn't care what Sally likes better for Angry Birds, or Sally at all for that matter.

        Unless she's the CFO.

        • The CEO and probably the CTO want to play angry birds on their iPad.

        • by jedidiah (1196)

          >> IT frankly doesn't care what Sally likes better for Angry Birds, or Sally at all for that matter.
          >
          > Unless she's the CFO.

          Anyone else will get FIRED.

          • by geekoid (135745)

            Yeah, like IT has that power.

            "What's that? those nerds it IT won't let sally get what she needs? The sally I see every day? don't worry I'll take care of it."

      • by the clean (671672)
        From what I understand there will be different options from wide open at the app store to a Cisco sanitized app HQ and home development, to a completely locked down only IT can push apps to it. Maybe birds will fly with broken and bandaged wings
      • If IT locks out the app store, it won't be successful.

        Define "success"? Users won't like it or companies won't buy it? There's a difference, and the latter wins. It's the same reason companies don't buy office workers Alienware PCs.

        ...

        Until the fired boss from Sony or Groupon or the Social Security Administration replaces our boss, and tells us to unencrypt everything, because nobody would ever, EVER, leave an iPad or iPhone just laying in a bar. [gizmodo.com]

        Sounds like you are railing on iOS, but do you realize that iOS has nearly ever feature you are touting in this not-yet-existent Cisco tablet? Even the example of leaving a phone in a bar is a stretch -- the thing was immediately wiped remotely.

    • by Gerzel (240421)

      Actually being able to lock out app stores would be a big selling point.

      Cisco generally goes for the corporate sector not the home user. Thus being able to strictly control what applications are on the devices isn't just a selling point, it is a requirement for many of their customers.

    • Wierd. I have an inside jacket pocket my iPad slides into. Makes it easy to carry it everywherre without a thought...
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Nothing to see here. Move along..

  • It says it hooks into the Cisco deskphones and can lets you get work calls everywhere. Oh, and your IT department controls it.
    I certainly look forward to running Eclipse on a tablet and taking work calls at all hours on a machine I can't administer. Thanks Cisco!
    • who says youre th one making the decision?

    • by Jahf (21968)

      You wouldn't run Eclipse on this. You'd run your phone, internal IM, email, calendar, etc on this.

      Your Eclipse/emacs/vim/whatever box would still sit under your desk.

      You'd be able to pick your "phone" tablet/etc up and carry it around with you so that you can keep in touch when not at your desk.

      Cisco (disclaimer: I work for Cisco but not with the group making the tablet) doesn't want this to become your development machine. They want to merge your current messaging platform with a tablet to add other benefi

      • If my company doesn't find out about it I'm not. I work for a place that is as cheap as hell though. I wouldn't necessarily want to be on multiple boxes though. It's convenient to just have one good one.
  • The post doesn't really describe the features properly, read the full article. Other than that it actually seems like a really good idea and definitely has the enterprise environment in mind. Its not really useful to the average person and it seems like some of the features would still work fine, and solve some IT headaches when it comes to tablets even if the place doesn't have all the cisco equipment to take advantage of all the features. And somehow it doesn't have the normal cisco price tag.
    • by jimicus (737525)

      And somehow it doesn't have the normal cisco price tag.

      Care to bet on that? According to TFA:

      "Cisco will sell it along with related services and infrastructure"

      Who wants to bet that the management tools will cost more?

  • other tablets don't have hdmi out and usb devices? yea right. what does it do when it's NOT connected to monitor, keyboard and a mouse?
    • by gl4ss (559668)
      it's actually a 1.6ghz atom netbook without a kb running custom android(the site was loading slow).
  • I won't say for iPad because I've never tried such a thing with it, but with any Honeycomb tablet, you can connect mouse & keyboard (via Bluetooth for all of them, and via USB for those which have the ports, like Asus Transformer). Connecting an external monitor is, obviously, not new at all. And then there are plenty apps available for VNC and RDP for "full desktop experience".

    • by ArhcAngel (247594)
      Enterprise IT Administration!!!
    • Anyone with half a brain who's into tablets knows this. Surprise! You've been subjected to a Slashvertisement for some new product which.. tada, brings nothing new to the playing field.
      I mean the asus transformer makes the tablet into an expensive netbook with a keyboard and touchpad. Bluetooth keyboards and mice have been around forever. How many tablets do not have a mini-hdmi? All the big ones do.

  • by vijayiyer (728590) on Thursday June 30, 2011 @02:39PM (#36625738)

    So it's a lot like an iPad, but heavier, bulkier, and with a smaller screen, for more money. And your IT manager can stop you from putting apps on it. Sounds like a winner!

    • by GameboyRMH (1153867) <gameboyrmhNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Thursday June 30, 2011 @02:42PM (#36625776) Journal

      Inferior specs and capabilities never stopped any Apple product from being a runaway success, so I'd say it has a chance.

      • by mr1911 (1942298)
        Except it isn't an Apple product Fail.
      • by Ex Machina (10710)

        Inferior specs and capabilities never stopped any Apple product from being a runaway success, so I'd say it has a chance.

        Uh Apple desktops in the 90s

      • But Apple products look nice and have rather good build quality. Have you taken a look at this thing ? It's built as a slot-in accessory to a desk phone and it shows.

      • by 222 (551054)
        Inferior is hardly an appropriate phrase. The device is Android powered, has solid central management (You're on drugs if you think I'm going to activate and deploy iPads via iTunes.) and most importantly, integrates well with Cisco's voice and video servers. I have a single device that provides a) thin client functionality b) a softphone for use with CUCM / CallManager and c) acts as a video conferencing endpoint for telepresence. As someone who works in corporate IT with a lot of Cisco gear, this device
      • by theurge14 (820596)

        Stop me if you've heard this conversation before:

        "Well MINE came with a 8MP thingy instead of a measly 2MP thingy. And furthermore it has a latch that you can remove so you can swap the CMOS battery whenever you want. And I paid $100 less for mine."

        "Yeah, but every single app has jerky screen-tearing animation. And what's with all the useless crud that comes installed on that thing?"

        "What useless crud? I rooted mine with SuperHalogenFrodoMod and installed all the good stuff and got rid of that crud."

    • by gl4ss (559668)
      it's x86. dunno why roll with just android on that thing. except the thin client angle. it's a great work computer for anyone who doesn't do any computer work.
    • by Sir_Sri (199544)

      Yep, because it's *not* going to have all that time wasting crap on it your boss hates you using. That may come at a premium, but it's cheaper than lost productivity because you handed someone an iPad and they now spend all day playing games and watching movies rather than you know, doing what they're paid for.

      • by Changa_MC (827317)

        Ah yes, because it's impossible to lock down an iphone/ipad via exchange policy + webfiltering.

        • by geekoid (135745)

          That's great, except it's trivial to get around by going tom a coffee shop.

          the iPAD is horrible for IT management.

    • And your IT manager can stop you from putting apps on it. Sounds like a winner!

      Indeed, that is a winner for your IT manager, who gets to decide which devices to buy for your company and which devices are allowed to access the company intranet.

    • by geekoid (135745)

      A lot like an iPad, but with complete enterprise integration.

      Yes, have IT be able to implement controls on a device that's using your network IS a winner.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    on routers and switches, the things it knows about, and stop wasting money on useless projects. No wonder the stock halved in a year...

  • The iPad also has a keyboard, encryption and remote IT/enterprise access controls and most Android tablets do as well. The thing is I don't want a tablet to be a computer - a tablet is simply not powerful enough since it is (or should be) optimized for battery operation. I don't want a computer acting as a tablet either since it's not optimized for battery operation or touchscreen controls.

  • by Aladrin (926209) on Thursday June 30, 2011 @02:48PM (#36625876)

    My Asus Transformer (Android) does basically the same thing. It has a keyboard/trackpad attachment, and I use the wireless network to connect to my Windows PC. I can do pretty much anything except gaming. (Video is a bit slow on framerate, too.) And of course, all the normal Android stuff is available, too.

    • Notably, this thing runs Android. Its another Android tablet, but by someone who cares about solid communications and security infrastructure.

      I'm sure it will be a solid contender.

    • Exactly, the Asus already does all this, and likely just as well as the Cisco tablet will but at half the cost. Nothing to see here folks, just your daily dose of Slashvertising.
  • by ltwally (313043) on Thursday June 30, 2011 @03:23PM (#36626382) Homepage Journal
    Actually, this sounds like a good move on Cisco's part. Why?

    1. Apple makes devices for the consumer market. They have never had good support for the enterprise, where an IT department needs to have the ability to lock down any and all devices on their network.

    2. Cisco, however, has very strong ties to the enterprise market. This will give them a definite advantage in both marketing and knowing what features potential (corporate IT) clients will require.

    3. Apple has proven that there is a (consumer) market sector for these types of devices. There is a chance that market will fall over to the corporate sector.

    The fact is that some of the very features which would make this unattractive to the consumer market are requirements for the corporate/enterprise sector. Such as the ability to lock down the app-store, and place other restrictions and controls on the device's usage. The corporate sector is long accustomed to paying more for less, so the price isn't as big an issue as many here are making it.

    At this point, I guess we will just have to see if a tablet is of any real use in the enterprise.
    My suspicion is that, right now, that answer is mostly "no". Time will tell.
    • A lot of the conversation on this board reminds me of the sorts of conversations that went around when the IBM PC came out. There were lots of arguments about the fact that there were plenty of other PCs that did everything the IBM did, only better vs. "It's from IBM, nobody ever got fired for buying IBM." IBM dominated the PC market until they tried to stop the advance of PCs at the 286 processor. By that point the MS-DOS running on everybody else's PCs were fully compatible with that running on IBM PCs, s
  • by UttBuggly (871776) on Thursday June 30, 2011 @03:24PM (#36626384)

    Got to see of these very recently. The execs at my company are always wanting the latest and greatest and we are a Cisco shop with a slew of 79XX IP phones.

    We finally went with the Cisco/Tandberg TelePresence EX desktop units. 24 inch monitor that replaces the desktop monitor, integrated video conferencing, and a cool little "mini-me" control pad/handset peripheral.

    http://www.cisco.com/en/US/prod/collateral/ps7060/ps11303/ps11308/ps11327/images/data_sheet_c78-627494-1.jpg [cisco.com]

    Hardly portable, and no computing power, but every one of the big office folks has an iPad2 with WebEx, Facetime, etc. on it, so they're happy.

    We got Citrix to work very well for application needs that don't run native on iOS, have centralized management of the iDevices in house, so the Cisco tablet made no sense whatsoever.

    Still, I imagine some shops will slurp some Cisco Kool-Aid and snap these puppies up. RTFA, Cisco IS hedging their bets with iOS and Android apps for collaboration.

  • Like others have mentioned, the Eee Pad Transformer does the same stuff, but will cost less, is not as bulky, is faster, and has better video and connectivity.

    Not sure why anyone would use the Cisco when tablets like the Transformer are flooding the Market and Windows 8 will be able to leverage them to provide the same functionality at a fraction of the cost. (and I frakking HATE Microsoft...so for me to say that...well I feel a bit dirty)

    I currently use mine to do damn near everything a my work PC can do.

  • Forgive me if I missed something, after all I don't own a tablet, but did tablets surpass laptops in speed and capability? I mean these magic devices called laptops have been doing exactly this for years and they have never matched a desktop in raw power. Suddenly tablets, which are smaller than most laptops, are so much further ahead than laptops that this article chooses to compare them with desktops instead of laptops? I find it hard to believe to be sure.
  • ah, they have made the tablet fit for the enterprise and followed a simple recipe:

    - make it great for the system administrator
    - put outdated heavily modified software on it that likely will not be updated with a newer version
    - put in the option to limit it severely, which the administrator likes, but the end user will hate
    - make it extra bulky with a small screen
    - make it more expensive
    - add a particularly ugly docking station

    So, make something less convenient to use for more money, and it'll sell
    • by acoustix (123925)

      ah, they have made the tablet fit for the enterprise and followed a simple recipe:

      - make it great for the system administrator
      - put outdated heavily modified software on it that likely will not be updated with a newer version
      - put in the option to limit it severely, which the administrator likes, but the end user will hate
      - make it extra bulky with a small screen
      - make it more expensive
      - add a particularly ugly docking station

      So, make something less convenient to use for more money, and it'll sell very well in the enterprise world.

      So you're advocating that devices used in the enterprise should not have any user restrictions whatsoever? Users should be able to install any apps and expect it to work with the existing hardware software. Is that right?

      • I'm not saying i have a solution for the problem. I just wonder how long before it will be unacceptable that you can do so much more with your own equipment at home faster, easier and at a lower cost than you can do at work.

        It could just be more flexible and more user friendly. Make something you can just install your own software on, but lock down the enterprise part, so only authorized programs can access data or network services that should be locked down. I think that may already be possible with the ip

  • Cisco's Tablet Act Like a Desktop

    It do?

    Who writes the headlines and can we send him back to kindergarten?
  • The HP Slate 500 has been around for about a year, its a tablet PC replacement with windows 7 pro, Asus, Acer all make windows tablets like this one. What does that mean? VPN, Office, vSphere, SSMS, SSIS all working flawlessly on a tablet with a 10"-"12" diameter. I won't bother listing the vast array of other features these have for a tablets. If I want a desktop replacement I fire up VPN > RDP > my work computer and boom, i7 proc on my tablet. The Cisco tablet is just a well advertised edition to

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