Cisco, Dell, HP


Cisco isn’t exactly the first name you think of when you think of personal computing, but these are strange days in the tech industry. Cisco will be launching their own slate product called the Cius (pronounced “See-us”), and stay true to the company’s roots, the device is being marketed as a business collaboration tool. With Cisco TelePresence support, a detachable 8-hour battery, virtual desktop client and VPN through Cisco AnyConnect, it may be what you’re looking for in a enterprise-level device.

Cius’ combination of Google Android with an Intel Atom is the first we’ve seen and this pairing is likely determined by proprietary Cisco software and by the demanding nature of compressing and streaming 720p video from the device itself.

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The Cisco Cius (pronounced “See-us”, get it?) as seen in a promotional video.

  • Screen: 7″ 1024×600
  • CPU / RAM: Intel Atom 1.6GHz, 1GB RAM
  • Storage: 32GB Flash
  • Operating System: Google Android 2.2
  • Networking: 802.11a/b/g/n, 3G/4G data
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 3.0
  • Camera: 5MP camera rear camera, 720×480 30fps front facing camera
  • Battery: Detachable and serviceable 8-hour battery for a full day of work
  • Weight: 1.15lb / 0.52kg
  • Cisco features:
    • HD video (720p) with Cisco TelePresence solution interoperability
    • Virtual desktop client enables highly secure access to cloud-based business applications
    • Collaboration applications including Cisco Quad, Cisco Show and Share, WebEx, Presence, and IM
    • Cisco AnyConnect Security VPN Client
  • Accessory: HD Soundstation supports Bluetooth and 3 USB ports, 10/100/1000 wired connectivity, display port output, and a handset option
For more information, see Cisco’s product page.


Dell’s plans for portable Android devices have been leaked all over the web for months, and regardless if this was planned or not, these leaks have created brand awareness well before the release of an actual product. For months we had heard about a 5″ Android device and finally in June 2010, Dell started selling the Streak 5 which uses Google Android 1.6 and features a host of applications like a media player, a photo viewer, GPS, camera, and a phone. However, the small screen on the Streak 5 left consumers craving for more and Dell is more than happy to oblige. This fall Dell is expected to release the Streak 7, a 7-inch slate capable of 800×600 resolution and early Dell roadmap documents indicated that WiFi was its only networking option. In 2011, Streak 10 will be coming around which will be similar to the Streak 7 but is expected to be a step up and sport a HD display and an optional TV tuner. These new slates are going to run Google Android (presumably Android 2.2).

Not to be missed, a 3″ device will also be coming nicknamed “Aero” and expect it to be more of a smartphone than a traditional slate device.

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Dell’s Streak 5. A 7″ Streak 7, and a more capable Streak 10 are coming.

Known Details: Streak 7
  • OS: Google Android 2.2
  • Networking: WiFi only?
  • Display: 800×600
Known Details: Streak 10
  • OS: Google Android 2.2
  • Networking: WiFi only?
  • Display: “HD display” (1280×1024?)

HP / Compaq

Back at CES 2010 in January, the HP slate was paraded in front of millions by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and touted as the next big thing from Microsoft enabled products. The HP slate looked good and appeared to be well on its way to market, but suddenly HP canned the product in April 2010. As the story evolved, HP purchased Palm and the next logical step was that Palm’s WebOS would begin appearing in HP products including the dormant HP slate. If HP can get WebOS onto their slate product, it will be the only slate product on the market to be using the software. WebOS has long been praised for its interface and functionality, and there is anticipation that the transition from smartphone to a slate will prove to be successful. It will be interesting to see if the WiFi hotspot functionality will remain as it was one of the more popular features at the time (Google’s Android has since added similar functionality in the 2.1 update).

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Steve Ballmer showing off the HP Slate during CES 2010 in January.
HP cancels this product weeks later.

Depending on how quickly HP engineers can integrate WebOS into their slate design, all signs and rumours are pointing to some sort of launch or release by end of this year. Given the high profile status of this device and its colourful history, HP has been understandably silent on this topic. Don’t expect to see much detail on a new HP slate until the company is ready to show it off. Recently HP has trademarked the term “PalmPad”, and it has been rumoured that the new WebOS slate has been delayed until next year.

Before the Windows-HP slate was cancelled, the device was expected to be a 8.9″ with a wide aspect ratio of 1024×600 resolution. It was also expected to run a 1.6 GHz Atom CPU, 1GB of RAM, and Windows 7 Home Premium. 3G, USB 2.0, and SD was also going to be standard, while HDMI, extra audio connections, and external power can be had through an optional docking station.

HP Update (July 20, 2010):
Looks like HP may be releasing a Windows 7 slate afterall. According to this Engadget report, an “HP Slate 500” has appeared on the HP website and shows that it will be Energy Star certified. A waltz through Energy Star shows that the device will be using an Intel Atom Z530. This could mean that another HP slate product is coming to market and will be using either Android, Chrome, or Windows on Intel hardware.
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