Back to the Experience: Avaya is using the nontablet device as a vehicle for its newly released Avaya Aura 6.0 collaboration software, a package that delivers a one-stop integrated shop for all collaboration needs, including videoconferencing, texting, email, calendar, contacts, and so forth.
The Avaya is capable of running Android apps, but considering its $2,000 price tag, you're presumably buying it for its high-end collaborative functionality, not for running business apps on a platform that isn't optimized for the system's form factor. Also, Avaya announced that Aura 6.0 will be made available for other systems in the future, including PCs, laptops, tablet PCs, and smartphones -- meaning you can save on that two grand and load up the software on your existing machine -- at the risk of inferior videoconferencing.
The closest rival to the Avaya Experience is Cisco's forthcoming Cius. The Cius promises to be a rich collaboration device, thanks to such features as the requisite HD display, camera, and speakers, as well as a specially designed docking station for a desktop experience (that is, the ability to use a large-screen monitor to do your Cius computing).
Cisco is also framing the Cius as a potential supplement or full-blown replacement for a thick Windows PC client through the magic of desktop virtualization -- but I'll believe it when I see it.
And the iPad? It's most certainly not a rival to Avaya's collaboration package device. The iPad's strength isn't collaboration. It doesn't even have a camera (yet). It's a media consumption device with questionable applications in the business world.
This article, "Avaya wraps up collaboration in tidy package -- but don't call it a tablet," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Get the first word on what the important tech news really means with the InfoWorld Tech Watch blog.