Tablets could replace your phone and PC

Apple’s iPad and its business-oriented followers may become the all-in-one replacement for your PC, mobile and desk phone.

Buying IT and communications technology might be about to get a whole lot easier: an analyst says a new business-oriented iPad competitor shows that tablets could replace your PC and desk phone.

The device in question is the Cisco Cius.

The Cius has a seven inch screen, a couple of inches behind the iPad, and runs the Android operating system.

What makes it stand out is the option to pop it on a stand that includes a telephone handset and lets you connect to a monitor, mouse and keyboard. There are also some smarts under the hood that could let you run Windows and all the apps you use at work on the Cius.

You need some pretty heavyweight back-end IT to run Windows on the Cius so that probably won’t be an option for small business.

But if you are looking at new desktop phones – posh ones come in at around $400 apiece – the Cius’ approximately $1000 price tag with dock and handset looks pretty good given that it’s also a very attractive tablet. Tablets cost $600 or so, making the Cius a very decent two-in-one deal, especially when you consider it is pre-wired to allow videoconferencing.

Analyst firm Ovum believes it is therefore “destined to replace the corporate desktop feature phone.”

It also has a crack at the smartphone market, because the Cius is capable of functioning as a mobile phone, or will be in early 2012 once Cisco sorts out some plans with local telcos.

What do you think about the Cius? Is replacing your PC and phone with a tablet at all attractive? Let us know in the comments field below.

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