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Oprah declares Apple's iPad her 'favorite thing ever,' gives away 275

Daytime television personality Oprah Winfrey did her part to drive iPad sales for the holiday season, as the top-rated host declared Apple's touchscreen tablet her "No. 1 favorite thing ever."

On her show this week, Winfrey unveiled her list of "ultimate favorite things." Topping the list was the iPad, which she also gave away to the 275 audience members who were there for the taping of her TV show.

"From our very first moment together, I knew it had stolen my heart," Winfrey told her audience, before she "cued the angels" and an iPad was lowered from the ceiling sporting angel's wings. The television host pranced around the device as audience members screamed with excitement.

"Words cannot describe what I feel for this magnificent, magnificent device," she said, holding a 3G model in her hand. "I really think it's the best invention of the century so far."

Winfrey's promotion of the iPad comes just days after a digital version of her publication, O, The Oprah Magazine, became available on the iPad (iTunes link). The $3.99 software is billed as a "taste of the December issue," and includes an animated cover with Winfrey personally unveiling the issue.

Other items on Winfrey's "favorite things" list include a five-year membership to Netflix, a Nikon D3100 Digital SLR Camera, and a Volkswagen 2012 Beetle.

As an immensely popular television host, Winfrey has a great deal of influence over the sale of products. In 2008, her endorsement of Amazon's Kindle e-reader led to a flood of orders. Online retailer Amazon had trouble keeping up with demand for its device for the remainder of the holiday season.

In April, soon after the iPad launched, Winfrey praised the device as "amazing," and highlighted the device as an interactive e-reader. Her "Book Club," which has made numerous books national bestsellers, is also featured in Apple's iBooks application for iOS devices.