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)
Best Deals (Selling at 4 stores)
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 Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 2016 Ford Mustang EcoBoost review
- 2 Synology DS216+ Review
- 3 Review: TCL C1 series 4K TV
- 4 Sony 75-inch UHD TV (X9400C) review: Sony and Android are a winning duo
- 5 LG 55EG960T OLED UHD TV
Best Deals on Good Gear Guide
Latest News Articles
- AMD packs 1TB SSD into a GPU for better VR and gaming
- AMD's new SSG Technology blends an SSD with a GPU?!
- AMD's Radeon Pro WX GPUs can create VR content for under $1,000
- Nvidia's latest Quadro GPU delivers a blistering 12 teraflops of performance
- Gaming desktops with AMD Zen chips will be hard to come by this year
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- FTSocial Media AssistantQLD
- FTCitrix SpecialistACT
- CCChange CoordinatorNSW
- CCChange Portfolio ManagerNSW
- FTSAP Team LeadVIC
- CCSystems AdministratorSA
- CCSenior Architect - CloudVIC
- FTFull stack (back end focus) Java Developer | Defence | NV1ACT
- CCInfrastructure Project ManagerACT
- CCContract Systems Analyst (Linux/MySQL) 1600803/SA/255Asia
- FTInfrastructure Technology Platform ManagerVIC
- CCProject Manager- Infrastructure and App Roles- Gov BackgroundNSW
- CCBusiness Analyst (ERP)NSW
- CCContract Analyst Programmer (JAVA/J2EE/SQL) 160726/AP/186Asia
- FT1st Level IT Support - Microsoft EnvironmentNSW
- CCOracle Pl/SQL DeveloperNSW
- FTSystems Administrator | Defence | NV1 / NV2 clearedACT
- CCSenior Business Analyst with Product Management experienceVIC
- FTProject Manager- Change ManagementSA
- CCDatabase AdministratorNSW
- FTServicenow DeveloperVIC
- CCTest Manager - Baseline SecurityVIC
- CCNetwork Engineer - NV2 ClearanceVIC
- FTOPEN_ASAP_Configuration ManagerACT
- CCProject CoordinatorACT