Photo by Robert Scoble via flickr

Another week means another battle in the tablets wars. The release of Apple’s iPad 2 dominated this week’s headlines. Even before Wednesday’s launch, an alleged prototype spotted in China sparked much speculation in tech circles ranging from the device’s size and price, to whether Steve Jobs would make an appearance despite being on medical leave. Jobs did take the stage, announcing the new product to the delight of Apple fans and shareholders alike.

Reactions were mixed among critics and some felt strongly that there were more developments that Apple could have made. The newest iPad does enable significant face time, integrating both a front-facing camera and HD video capabilities. Apple has also created a Smart Cover and applications for Garageband and iMovie to beef up its pioneering tablet. As for price, the iPad 2 costs the same as the original iPad at $499.99 to $829.99.

Meanwhile, BlackBerry maker RIM conveniently garnered some attention of its own this week by leaking the April 10 launch date of its Blackberry PlayBook tablet. The company also showed off some of the PlayBook’s gaming capabilities at the Game Developers Conference, right around the corner from the iPad 2 launch in San Francisco. Even Hewlett-Packard joined the tablet conversation, accusing the PlayBook of copying its operating system design.

When it comes to tablets, Motorola Mobility CEO Sanjay Jha believes the most important feature is software. It remains to be seen whether software alone will make up for a higher price in Motorola’s own Xoom tablet. What we can say with certainty is that this week’s launch of the iPad 2 will continue to drive innovation among the companies vying to loosen Apple’s iron grip on the tablet market.

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This week in social media

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