Apple Magic Trackpad
Apple's Magic Trackpad aims to bring multitouch gestures to the desktop environment, but can it completely replace a mouse?
- Provides good touch precision, physically clicks when pressed, well designed, full gesture support
- Setting it up for a Windows PC is a hassle (and it will only offer limited gestures), uncomfortable to use as a mouse replacement for long periods
Apple's Magic Trackpad really isn't magical, but for those who want or need the full range of OS X gestures on their desktop computer it does a fine job. We don't think it will completely replace the mouse.
Price$ 99.00 (AUD)
Apple is clearly onto a winner with touch technology — its iPhone 4 smartphone and iPad tablet are selling like hotcakes, and its MacBook range of notebooks have successfully integrated many of the iPhone's multitouch gestures. Apple's Magic Trackpad aims to bring those same gestures to iMac and Mac Pro desktops. This expensive accessory isn't magic and won't completely replace your mouse, but the large size of the Magic Trackpad means it provides better precision than the trackpad on the MacBook.
The Apple Magic Trackpad is a solid-feeling block of aluminium that sits up on an angle thanks to a cylindrical compartment at the rear that holds two AA batteries. A power button is integrated neatly into the right side of the battery housing. The Magic Trackpad has a similar look to Apple's wireless keyboard, and like most Apple products it is well designed. While sitting on a desk, the Magic Trackpad clicks when you press it.
If you're using it with a Mac you'll need to run OS X Snow Leopard (v10.6.4) as well download a software update to use the Magic Trackpad. The device connects via Bluetooth and takes less than a minute to set up. It is compatible with Windows PCs but offers limited functionality and a rather painful setup process is involved: you'll need built-in Bluetooth or a Bluetooth receiver, a copy of Snow Leopard to install Apple's Boot Camp drivers, and Magic Trackpad software. Once you're up and running you only get access to single taps, right button taps, and two-finger scrolling.
When connected to a Mac, the Apple Magic Trackpad provides a wider range of gestures including click, touch, swipe, scroll and rotate. You can adjust settings including the tracking, double-click and scrolling speeds, as well as disabling or enabling three- and four-finger gestures. The gestures are the identical to the ones offered by a MacBook Pro touchpad; two of our favourites are the four-finger up-swipe to display all windows in Expose and swiping left or right using three fingers to switch through running applications.
Apple says the Magic Trackpad can be used either as a mouse replacement or in tandem with a mouse. We tested both scenarios and preferred the latter; although the Magic Trackpad's large surface means it can replace a mouse, its angle makes it uncomfortable to rest your hand on for lengthy computing sessions.
All in all, the Magic Trackpad isn't nearly as responsive as a mouse. It’s also a little expensive, but if you're a Mac desktop user who will benefit from the range of gesture controls offered, then it will be a handy companion.
Become a fan of GoodGearGuide on Facebook
Follow GoodGearGuide on Twitter: @GoodGearGuide
Stay up to date with the latest reviews. Sign up to GoodGearGuide’s Gear Daily newsletters
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Mate 10 Pro Review: A solid winter flagship that cribs from the best
- 2 Google Pixel 2 review: not quite 'pixel perfect' but damn close
- 3 Huawei Nova 2i review: Flagship features get smuggled into the mid-tier
- 4 Moto X4 review: This is what a world without MotoMods looks like
- 5 Giabyte Aorus X9 Gaming Laptop review: Full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Logitech Unveils MX ERGO, their first trackball in nearly a decade
- MSI's new Ryzen-ready motherboard coming to Oz
- Seagate Expands Portfolio with 12TB Drives for NAS and Desktop Computing
- Intel's 8th Gen Desktop Processors Go On Sale Today
- Seagate joins Bain bid to take control of Toshiba Memory
PCW Evaluation Team
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic
I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.
It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.
- Huawei Mate 10 Pro review
- Dell Inspiron 5675 Gaming Desktop review
- Hands On: Our first impressions of Sony's a7R III
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
Product Launch Showcase
- CCIntegration SpecialistQLD
- CCBusiness AnalystACT
- CCSCCM EngineerNSW
- FTSystem AnalystVIC
- CCChange ManagerNSW
- FTTechnical Product ArchitectQLD
- FTInformation Security ConsultantQLD
- FTBusiness Analyst - InsuranceOther
- FTProject ManagerACT
- FTJava Software Engineers wanted (Melbourne CBD location)VIC
- FTSolution Manager - SAPOther
- CCRecords AnalystNSW
- FTBusiness Analyst - eCommerce/Supply ChainOther
- FTJunior Infrastructure EngineerACT
- TPOrganisational Change ManagerQLD
- FTSenior Network EngineerOther
- CCF5 Operational Support EngineerWA
- FTBusiness Analyst - PEGAOther
- FTBDM/Account Manager - TechnologyACT
- FTNetwork Lead AcrhitectNSW
- FTProject Manager - Rail , Develop Strategy. Need RISI cardOther
- CCCRM DeveloperVIC
- CCService management Business AnalystNSW
- CCSenior RF Engineer - OptimisationVIC
- FTCobol DeveloperOther