Skip to main content

Apple Magic Trackpad Review

These days many computer users learned how to compute and surf on a laptop rather than on a traditional desktop. For these users, a trackpad—which combines both a touchpad and mouse buttons— is more familiar than the traditional computer mouse. Apple, with its extensive experience with multi-touch trackpads has introduced an item that people have been asking me about for many years: the Apple Magic Trackpad ($69 list), a trackpad for desktop computers. Like its counterpart on Mac laptops, the Magic touchpad supports four-finger multitouch gestures, and it offers Apple's much-lauded design aesthetic. But for those used to navigating with a traditional mouse or with a touchpad that has separate mouse buttons, the learning curve could be a tad steep.
The Magic Trackpad is essentially a sloping slab of aluminum with a glass mousing surface. It feels like a larger version of the trackpad found on all current MacBook and MacBook Pros. The Magic Trackpad is just under an inch high at the top, about 5 inches wide, and just over 5 inches deep, which gives you about 80 percent more surface than the trackpad on the MacBooks. It is exactly the same height, slope, and depth as the Apple Wireless Keyboard. When placed flush with the Wireless Keyboard ($79 direct), the Magic Trackpad even looks like it's part of the same unit. The sloping design lets you comfortably use the Magic Trackpad while resting your palm on the desk surface, something that may be awkward with some traditional computer mice.
The bottom of the Magic Trackpad is standard Apple white plastic, but the notable features are the rest pegs on the bottom of the unit. At first glance, they resemble standard feet to keep the trackpad from moving around the desktop. The feet are actually the mouse buttons for the trackpad. When you put a little pressure on the top of the Trackpad surface, you hear and feel a reassuring click, just like on the MacBook trackpads.Sharp-eyed Mac users will note that Apple did produce a keyboard with a detachable track-pad for the Twentieth Anniversary Mac in 1997. That trackpad was a wired model with a physical mouse button, and of course the technology of the time did not support multi-touch. The Twentieth Anniversary Mac's initial list price of $7,499 meant that very few were seen out in the real world (Jerry Seinfeld had one on his eponymous show).
Using the Magic Trackpad
Like the trackpads on the MacBooks, the Magic Trackpad supports up to four simultaneous multitouch points. You can use one finger to click and drag. Two fingers have the most functions: scroll, rotate, pinch/open zoom, and secondary tap (right-click) are all two-finger options. Three fingers allow you to swipe back/forward in programs like Safari, iPhoto, and Preview, Apple's built-in photo/jpeg viewer. Last, but not least, four fingers let you swipe left/right to bring up the application switcher, and four fingers up (show desktop) and down (show all windows) activate Exposé, a feature in Mac OS X that allows for quick navigation.
Using multi-touch has a somewhat steep learning curve for the novice, but once you start using the gestures they become second nature. In a move that's better than a help file, the trackpad control panel in Mac OS X 10.6 (under System Preferences) shows you videos of all the gestures and what they do. The Magic Trackpad is a Bluetooth device, so it pairs easily to your iMac or MacPro, and it runs on two AA batteries. Apple is currently offering an Apple Battery Charger for $29 with six extra NimH AA batteries.
The Magic Trackpad software is an automatic software update from Apple in Mac OS X, so you won't have to install anything from a CD or DVD. I tried the Trackpad out in Window 7 in Boot Camp on an iMac 21.5-inch (Core i3) ($1,199 direct, 4 stars), but so far it only works as a simple one-button mouse. I have hopes that Apple will update the drive for Windows support, since the Magic Mouse now works as a scrolling mouse (two buttons plus the scroll wheel). Therefore, for now the Magic Trackpad won't replace the mouse for the cross-platform Mac user.I tried to pair the Magic Trackpad to an iPhone 4 and an Apple iPad without success; so far, it doesn't work with these devices.
In my opinion, the Magic Trackpad is much more comfortable to use than the Apple Magic Mouse($69). There's a lot more surface to use multi-touch, and in my hand at least, the Magic Mouse is too squat to use comfortably. Too bad you can't replace the Magic Mouse with the Magic Trackpad in an order for a new iMac, seeing that they cost the same. If you're considering purchasing one of the new iMacs released in mid 2010, I'd recommend adding the Magic Trackpad as an option or picking one up at the Apple Store.


Popular posts from this blog

Synology DS112j NAS detailed Review

The Synology DiskStation DS112j offers an ideal entry product for those looking to start moving their files to a network storage location. The DSM software is class leading and will allow users massive potential to improve their network functionality.

Review Synology DS112j
A special thanks to Synology Inc and Thinkdigit for providing this device for review.
The Synology DS112J is a new NAS server intended for small business and personal home uses. For those who are unfamiliar with NAS concept. According to Wikipedia, A NAS unit is a computer connected to a network that provides only file-based data storage services to other devices on the network. Although it may technically be possible to run other software on a NAS unit, it is not designed to be a general purpose server. For example, NAS units usually do not have a keyboard or display, and are controlled and configured over the network, often using a browser. NAS not only operates as a file server, but is specialized for this …

uTorrent and BitTorrent beta comes to Android, available on Google Play

Earlier this year, we heard reports that BitTorrent Inc., was working on an Android version of its popular uTorrent and BitTorrent client. Fans of the uTorrent and BitTorrent torrent clients can now rejoice!, your favorite desktop torrent clients are now available on your mobile devices, because BitTorrent Inc. has launched a beta apps of uTorrent and BitTorrent clients for any mobile or tablet running Android OS. These are fully functional, standalone clients unlike the Remote apps that were available until now.  There are many torrent clients already available on Google Play, but most of them are have limited functionality and are ad-supported unless you have a paid version but both of these apps are currently free, with features like RSS feeds for serialized downloads, unlimited upload/download speed, and running and downloading over WiFi in background, currently there are no limits on download sizes either. Both apps support devices running Android 2.1 and higher.
Here are some scr…

World’s cheapest Deca-core Vernee Apollo Lite the all-metal with HELIO X20 CPU, 4GB RAM announced for just $200

Vernee, the newest entrant in the Chinese smartphone brands, has gathered a lot of attention with its flagship Vernee Apollo smartphone that was recently launched at $400. The Vernee Apollo came with high-end features and was the cheapest smartphone with 6GB of RAM. But Vernee has outdone itself with 'Lite' version of the Apollo, which retains the powerful Mediatek Helio X20 chipset and offers 4 GB of RAM for just $200. The Vernee has also launched Thor another ultra low-cost smartphone priced at $130 and sports competitive specification.

Vernee Apollo Lite features a 5.5-inch Full-HD display at 1080×1920 pixels with 401ppi while the Vernee Apollo comes with a 5.5-inch 2K display (Personally we feel anything above 340ppi is almost indistinguishable to most users).Vernee Apollo Lite comes with an all metal uni-body design, just like it's bigger sibling Apollo but with minor design changes. It looks similar to Apollo but the fingerprint sensor and rear camera module have gone…