Apple chose the Oscars on the ABC television network to air its first iPad commercial on Sunday night in the US.

The Mac maker kept the ad simple, showing the device set on someone's lap and being used for a range of activities, from viewing pictures to surfing the internet and reading e-books. The commercial has already been posted on YouTube.

Apple often chooses high-profile TV events to place ads for its products. The company unveiled the Macintosh personal computer during Super Bowl XVIII in its popular 1984 commercial, for example, and has also aired iPhone commercials during past Oscars.

The iPad, a 9.7-inch touchscreen computer with no physical keyboard attached, is due out in the US on April 3 and is expected to become available in the UK later that month.

Although rumours last week suggested that the cheapest iPad would cost under £400 in the UK, Apple says official pricing won't be announced until next month.

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Apple iPad news