The iPad 2 is coming -- and soon.

Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) unveiled details of its refreshed tablet, including a surprisingly early March 11 availability date.

Given the impressive specs and rock-bottom pricing, it's easy to wonder whether existing tablets that at one time or another were tapped as potential iPad killers -- from Xoom to Samsung's Tab -- are as good as dead.

There's also now a lot of pressure for Research In Motion (Nasdaq: RIMM) to come out strong when its PlayBook finally sees the light of day. If the plethora of Android tablets hasn't made a dent in Apple's tablet stronghold the way the operating system has excelled in the smartphone space, why are we assuming that the BlackBerry maker is going to fare any better?

RIM's PlayBook is going to score points at the enterprise level, but will it flop at the consumer level? RIM can't afford to hit the market by simply matching Apple on features and price points.

Apple's armor is getting thicker. Could it be that there will never be an iPad killer?

Briefly in the news
And now let's take a quick look at some of the other stories that shaped our week.

  • There's a lot of job hunting going on -- in China. Online recruiter 51job (Nasdaq: JOBS) announced blowout quarterly results, with revenue and earnings soaring 34% and 44%, respectively.
  • Costco (Nasdaq: COST) delivered a robust quarter, fueled by a 7% spike in same-store sales. Rival BJ's Wholesale (NYSE: BJ), meanwhile, grew its comps at a little more than half of Costco's clip.
  • China's leading video-streaming website continues to lose money, but at least it's looking good doing so.'s (Nasdaq: YOKU) revenue surged 183% higher.
  • Demand Media (NYSE: DMD) is growing, acquiring live-blogging giant CoveritLive. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed, but CoveritLive serves up multimedia live event blogging to more than 60 million monthly visitors.

Until next week, I remain,

Rick Munarriz

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Costco is a Motley Fool Inside Value pick. 51job is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendation. Apple and Costco are Motley Fool Stock Advisor choices. The Fool has written puts on Apple and owns shares of Apple and Costco. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz recommends windshield wiper fluid when trying to look back. He owns no shares in any of the stocks in this story and is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.