July 13, 2011

Which Enterprise Tablet? Cisco Cius or HP TouchPad

You need a tablet at work. Your IT department wants an “enterprise” tablet, a “big” brand. So, which enterprise tablet will it be? Cisco Cius or HP TouchPad? Or another?

Enterprise Tablet Contenders
A Google search for “enterprise tablets” and “business tablets” shows the contenders currently actively marketing for the enterprise tablet market.

Cisco Business Tablet aka Cisco Cius, Motorola Xoom, Samsung Galaxy Tab

A second search shows the two traditional enterprise vendors – HP TouchPad and Cisco Business tablet aka Cisco Cius.

A search for “business tablets” shows the same vendors – HP TouchPad and Cisco Cius – and a third vendor we will talk about in a moment.

So, these are currently the top-four who are actively marketing enterprise tablets. A surprise - BlackBerry PlayBook is missing from this list, RIM seems to have toned down their marketing efforts. A later addition to the list is likely to be the upcoming Dell Peju Business Tablet.

Cisco Cius
Cisco Cius is a 7-inch Android tablet for $750.

Cisco’s pitch – If you use Cisco TelePresence, WebEx, VXI (for secure cloud access) or AnyConnect (VPN) then consider the Cius. It is optimized for these apps.

Like Amazon’s curated appstore for Android, Cisco also provides a curated Android appstore, AppHQ, for business applications. But, unlike Amazon’s appstore, Cisco AppHQ is mostly empty and the apps that are there have zero to very few few downloads (screenshot below). 

Would you consider Zig Ziglar’s Inspiring Words of Encouragement as a must-have business app for Cisco customers? More on AppHQ here.

Cisco’s business tablet is perfect for IT departments who can lock down users in every possible way, but of not much use for users who can’t do much with the tablet. And, Cisco’s tablet marketing needs improvements.

HP TouchPad
HP TouchPad is a 9.7-inch WebOS tablet starting at $500.

HP’s pitch – If you use HP Printers, then consider the TouchPad. It is optimized for printing with HP printers.

HP also has an appstore with a handful of apps. And, it is literally just a handful – apps for VPN access, web meetings etc. And, given it is WebOS, HP is unlikely to ever get a larger number of apps like iOS or Android.

While there is not much that a user can do with the TouchPad, IT can. IT can lock down a user at every possible level making her do even less work.

Dell Peju
Dell Peju, a Windows tablet from Dell running Windows 7 Pro or Windows 8. It is said to have the full functionality of a PC except it is a touch device.

Presumably all Windows software can run on the Peju except that none of it is optimized for touch.

Apple iPad
And, finally the third supplier alluded to above – Apple iPad.

IT departments may have been initially reluctant to approve the Apple iPad but it is impossible to ignore. iPad is the highest quality, most popular, highest selling tablet in the market today. And, it has the largest number of apps, which makes it the most useful for users. Both users and It departments will be happy with the iPad. It is by far the best choice for a business tablet.

And, now, Apple has focused efforts to also sell iPad as a business tablet with a large number of business apps available on the App Store, together with volume purchasing for business. Apple has also stepped up it’s marketing for iPad as a business tablet, check the iPad business tablet ad below.

So, the answer to the question, which tablet for work, Cisco Cius or HP TouchPad? is likely to be Apple iPad for business.