Cisco Cius vs Blackberry Playbook | Features and Performance
Cisco Cius and BlackBerry PlayBook are two different tablets devices by Cisco and Research in Motion respectively. Cisco Cius was released not so long ago, towards the end of July, while BlackBerry PlayBook was released during the first quarter of 2011. Following article discusses the similarities and differences between the two devices.
Cisco Cius is an Android tablet, which was released towards the end of July 2011. In the sea of tablets focusing on the consumer market, Cisco very correctly released a tablet designed around Cisco Architecture with the enterprise market in mind.
Cisco Cius is a 7 inch tablet device featuring a capacitive multi touch screen with 1024 x 600 resolution. The display is a TFT display supporting many hand gestures for interactivity. Cisco Cius is well optimized for Portrait use. It runs Android 2.2 (Froyo). The device has a single core 1.6 GHz CPU with 1 GB memory and 32 GB internal storage. The new Cisco Cius can be also used as a desktop computer by docking it to a new Cisco desk phone.
From the outlook it appears that the Cisco Cius is more focused towards the enterprise market. We make this statement with not mere speculation, but with features provided by the new tablet. Cisco Cius is designed to be used with “HD media station”; a dock designed for Cisco Cius, which is also an advanced telecommunications system complete with a phone handset. The “HD media station” includes three USB ports, a display port, a mouse, a keyboard, a headphone jack and a power over Ethernet jack. When docked on “HD media station” the Cius can utilize a key board, mouse and can display video using the Display port. However scaling in the video output is reportedly low quality. If the company has Cisco phone system, users will be able to take calls from where ever they are using their desk number.
Communication applications such as email, telephony, voice mail, video conferencing, and chat play a key role in Cisco Cius. A phone application is available with three panes. It has contact list, dial pad, and active or missed call alerts all in one screen. When a voice mail is received to the mail box it will be converted to text and delivered visually. A picture with a status icon will show the availability of the contact person. If the icon with the person’s image is tapped it will be possible to make a call. A special feature of the chat application is the easy switch to a phone call or a video call. One will be surprised if the high quality video conferencing facility of Cisco is not integrated to Cisco Cius. The new tablet provides high definition video with Cisco TelepresenceTM solution interoperability. The front facing camera has auto focus with 2 X digital zoom. Available TelepresenceTM rooms are in a pane to left side.
Unified inbox widget occupies a huge portion of the Cisco Cius home screen. It has details of the 5 contacts taken from the corporate directory based on interactivity with them. The unified inbox widget will also show the availability of the person via email, chat and phone. The contacts application is also populated from the corporate directory. This is an excellent feature for a tablet aligned with enterprise use. The calendar is also another interesting productivity application available in Cisco Cius. The calendar allows starting conference calls directly from meeting appointments available in the calendar.
Cisco has created their own online application store with applications supporting the Cisco Cius. This application store is called “App HQ store”, and companies can create their own app stores in this infrastructure. Though Cisco Cius is an Android tablet, the Android market place application is not yet available with the device. However, this service is not available for free of charge.
It will be to the relief of enterprise users to know that all data available in Cisco Cius is encrypted to a special chip. Meanwhile viewing Microsoft office applications is made available by Quickoffice. All in all, Cisco Cius will stand out from the rest of tablet competition as an enterprise based solution considering it’s neat support for communication and productivity.
Blackberry PlayBook is a tablet by Research in Motion; the famous Blackberry company. The device was released to consumer market during the first quarter of 2011. In contrary to the flood of Android tablets in the market, Blackberry PlayBook offers a different flavor. The operating system in PlayBook is QNX. QNX is an embedded system based operating system used even in fighter jets. Blackberry PlayBook is a 7 inch tablet, which is reportedly lighter than iPad 2. With a 3 mega pixel front facing camera and a 5 mega pixel rear facing camera, Blackberry PlayBook is satisfactory for taking photographs as well as video conferencing. The camera application allows switching between video mode and picture mode. The Blackberry PlayBook has a multi touch screen with 1024 x 600 resolution.
Blackberry PlayBook has a dual core 1 GHz processor with 1 GB memory, and internal storage is available in 16 GB, 32 GB and 64 GB. Research in Motion has introduced an array of accessories for the tablet as well. A number of cases are available for RIM to protect Blackberry PlayBook in style. A convertible case is also available, which can be doubled as a stand as well. BlackBerry rapid charging Pod, Blackberry rapid Travel charger and Blackberry Premium charger are the other set of accessories available, and sold separately for BlackBerry PlayBook.
Switching between applications is quite easy in BlackBerry PlayBook. This is done by simply swiping inwards from left or right side of the screen. A tap maximizes the application and throwing it up will cause the application to shut down. The responsiveness of the operating system is also much commended. Blackberry QNX facilitates a multi-touch screen, which recognizes many interesting gestures any tablet user will love. The operating system supports gestures such as swipe, pinch, drag and many variants of them. If a user swipe from bottom of the screen to the middle, it will be possible to see the home screen. If a user swipe left or right while viewing an application, it’s possible to switch between applications. A virtual keyboard is available for text input, however, finding special characters and punctuation needs some efforts. Precision is also another factor where the keyboard can improve.
BlackBerry PlayBook comes with many necessary applications pre-installed. A customized Adobe PDF reader is available, which reportedly has quality performance. Therefore it is no surprise that PlayBook comes with a complete suite capable of handling documents, spreadsheets and slide presentations. Using Word to Go and Sheet To Go applications users can create word documents and spread sheets. However, slide presentation will not be possible to create, while excellent view functionality is provided.
“Blackberry bridge” allows the Tablet to be connected with blackberry phone with Blackberry OS 5 or above. However, the performance of this application is below expectations. The calendar application will unlock only if it’s used with a Blackberry smart phone.
Users can download more applications from “App World”; where applications for BlackBerry PlayBook are available. However comparing with its competitors, App World needs to come up with more applications for the platform.
The email client available with BlackBerry PlayBook is called “Messages”, which is quite misleading to SMS messaging. Basic functionality such as searching email, selecting multiple messages, and message tagging is available in the installed client.
The browser of BlackBerry PlayBook is much raved for its performance. The pages load fast, and users are able to navigate even before the entire page is loaded, which is really a neat functionality. The browser boasts Flash Player 10.1 support, and heavy flash sites are loaded with smoothness. Zooming is also reportedly very smooth.
The native music application available with BlackBerry PlayBook categorizes music by song, artist, album and genre. It is a generic music application, which allows minimizing if user needs to access another application. The video application allows users to access all their downloaded and recorded videos in one place. An option to upload videos from the device is not available. Quality of recorded video is acceptable.
In Conclusion, BlackBerry PlayBook will be a good tablet device for the enterprise market. Though, names with the “Play” moniker, BlackBerry PlayBook is perhaps more suitable for a more business minded users.
What is the Difference between Cisco Cius and Blackberry PlayBook?
Both Cisco and Research in Motion are two organizations who have been key players in the enterprise market; Cisco with its networking and RIM with the BlackBerry smart phones geared towards enterprise market. Therefore, it is no surprise that the two players developed tablet devices also intended more for the enterprise market. While, the Cisco Cius is strictly for the enterprise market, BlackBerry PlayBook can be used both as a consumer device as well as an enterprise device. One glaring difference between the two devices is the different operating systems included in the devices. Cisco Cius has Android 2.2 running, while BlackBerry PlayBook has the QNX operating system based on the famous Neutrino operating system. It is important to note that Android 2.2 is not optimized for tablets, while BlackBerry QNX is specially designed, with BlackBerry PlayBook in mind. In terms of processing power, the Cisco Cius uses a 1.6 GHz single core processor while the BlackBerry Playbook uses a 1 GHz dual core processor giving more power to BlackBerry PlayBook. The memory available in both devices is similar; 1 GB. Cisco Cius is only available with 32 GB storage, while BlackBerry PlayBook is available in 16 GB, 32 GB and 64 GB. Another obvious difference is that Cisco Cius is designed to be used with “HD media station”; a dock designed for Cisco Cius which is also an advanced telecommunications system complete with a phone handset. By using the “HD media station” users can turn the tablet to a desktop computer as well. At the moment BlackBerry PlayBook doesn’t even have a simple docking station. However the BlackBerry PlayBook has the ability to pair a BlackBerry smart phone with the tablet via the “Bridge” and a similar feature is not available in Cisco Cius. The App HQ Store designed by Cisco enables users to get applications for Cisco Cius. A unique feature is available with App HQ store, which allows companies to maintain their company application store within App HQ Store. This is a feature not available with BlackBerry App World as well as other applications stores.
• Cisco Cius is a tablet device by Cisco and BlackBerry PlayBook is a tablet device from Research in motion
• Both Cius and PlayBook are 7 inch tablets
• Cisco Cius has Android 2.2( Froyo), and BlackBerry PlayBook has QNX operating system.
• Cisco Cius was designed to be used with “HD media station”; a dock designed for Cisco Cius, which is also an advanced telecommunications system, such a facility is not available with BlackBerry PlayBook
• The BlackBerry PlayBook is designed to be used with a BlackBerry smart phone, but the Cisco Cius is designed to be used with HD Media Station only.
• Cisco Cius allows users to download applications from “App HQ store” and BlackBerry PlayBook allows applications to be downloaded from “App World”.
• Cisco Cius allows companies to maintain app stores within “App HQ Store” for a fee, while such a facility is not available with BlackBerry PlayBook.