Monday, July 26, 2021

Apple’s Magic Trackpad Review

August 6, 2010 by · 22 Comments 

Apple has a knack for making things look nice. So it goes without saying that the new magic trackpad looks awesome. I have the wireless keyboard and next to each other, they look like one continuous flow of aluminum and curves. However.. how good is the trackpad in replacing the traditional mouse?

Well.. first let’s look at the install process.

After unboxing the trackpad, I noticed that the batteries were included and were already installed (way to go Apple!), so I went ahead and paired the trackpad to my Mac Mini. For the most part, it seemed to work until I tried to do the gestures.. whoops. They didn’t work. After closer inspection of the packaging materials, it seems you need to download a driver set for the trackpad.

So I went to Apple’s site and downloaded it, installed it, and configured it. Once done, the trackpad was fully operational. However, I noticed another thing..

I bought my mac mini so that I could use it as a media center. To that end, a mouse was impractical as I used my sofa as a ‘mouse pad’ but the movements weren’t that easy to do. The trackpad seemed like a great idea, for there is no movement required. What I quickly noticed, though was that you can’t click on the track pad unless you have something solid underneath it. The two little feet that the trackpad has are actually the button actuators so if they are not lying flat against something hard, they wont push in.. and you wont have a ‘click’. This has led to me now having to have a book or magazine underneath the trackpad for me to actually be able to push it in.

From a usability perspective, the device works as advertised, but because of its size, sometimes wrong actions occur. For example, I have sometimes accidentally zoomed into a website when I was merely trying to double click… oh well. You get used to it.

The device itself is as responsive as the magic mouse.. but not as responsive as their plugged in variety.. All in all, however, I can recommend the trackpad as a viable alternative to the mouse, but don’t expect to be able to use it lying down on the sofa unless you put a book underneath it.

For now.. no comments on the battery life since it is too new.

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