Forget 'Avatar.' How about that Apple iPad ad?

Apple aired the first advertisement for the iPad tablet computer during the 82nd Academy Awards ceremony.

Apple aired the first commercial for the iPad last night. The iPad will hit shelves on April 3, Apple says.

For committed geeks, there was plenty to dislike about the 82nd Academy Awards ceremony – "Avatar" lost out on the Oscar for best picture, and the "Star Trek" reboot was scarcely mentioned. (Ben Stiller, his face painted a bright "Avatar" blue, managed to namecheck Spock.) Luckily, there was plenty to like about the 82nd Academy Awards, even if most of the good stuff happened during the commercial break.

That's right, folks: Last night marked the first-ever airing of the Apple iPad television spot. As Apple commercials go, this one lacked the multicolored whirl of past ads. The bulk of the footage shows a man putting the iPad through its paces – he fiddles with his photo library, reads the New York Times, reads a book, checks his email, clicks around a map of the Eiffel Tower, downloads a movie.

In the background, the Danish band The Blue Van plays a song called "There Goes My Love." (There is probably gold in this for The Blue Van, as past Apple artists Feist, Jet, and the Caesars can attest.) The ad is purposeful, sharp, and over in 30 seconds. The point is easily-understood: the Apple iPad is a Swiss Army knife device. It plays video, it plays TV shows, it stores photos from your last tropical vacation. And it does it in style.

The iPad ad has been a popular topic of conversation on Twitter and Facebook, where users drooled over the visuals of the much-anticipated device. "Nothing new, but mouth watering nonetheless," one Twitter onlooker wrote. The iPad, which was rumored to be delayed by production difficulties, is set to hit shelves on April 3rd.

Will you be in line for the Apple iPad launch? Follow past coverage of the iPad on our special topics page. And then drop us a line via Twitter or Facebook.

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