Cisco Joining the Tablet Game with Android-based Cius

Cisco is planning on jumping into the tablet computer market in early 2011 with its Cius. The tablet device will run Google’s Android platform, include a camera for video chats, and will be targeted at business users.

Cisco is calling the Cius “an ultra-portable, mobile collaboration business tablet that offers access to essential business applications and technologies.”

Cisco’s Cius tablet

The tablet will incude a 7-inch touch-sensitive display, Wi-Fi, 3G and 4G data connectivity, and Bluetooth 3.0 support. It will also include Cisco’s collaboration apps such as WebEx, along with the company’s own secure VPN client.

Cisco’s Cius promo video

Cisco looks to be targeting the button-up crowd with its tablet device, and is clearly shying away from words like “magical,” which is exactly how Apple describes its own iPad multimedia tablet. With the current popularity of the iPad, Cisco’s move to set itself outside of Apple’s target market was probably wise.

Cisco isn’t saying yet how much the Cius will cost, or exactly when it will hit store shelves and corporate IT departments.