Sunday, August 1, 2010

Magic Trackpad review

Apple's Magic Trackpad is stupidly simple: it's a laptop trackpad that lives on your desktop. Over the past few years, there have been rumors that Steve Jobs has his sights set on eliminating buttons from Apple products altogether, and this certainly feels like the next step in the plan. But does it make sense? Is this an improvement over standard input devices like a mouse or trackball? More importantly, in the age of iPads and netbooks, does anyone even need an external input device like this? click read more for the answers

The device is considerably larger than Apple's laptop offerings, of course, measuring 5.17 inches long by 5.12 inches wide, giving you a surface area of around 22 square inches (we're subtracting that band at the top). That sounds like it should be a plus, but in execution in almost feels like too much space.
Inside, you've got space for two AA batteries (we're sure Apple would love for you to use its new rechargeable variety), and there's a Bluetooth radio onboard (2.1, presumably), allowing quick and simple connections to most systems. As you would expect, the trackpad is multitouch.
The software which controls and allows you to customize the Magic Trackpad is functionally identical to the trackpad preference pane in OS X. The only notable difference is that Apple has added an additional gesture -- a three finger move that allows you to move windows around or drag objects.

Magic Trackpad was as a control surface for my HTPC setup.

Magic Trackpad is also compatible with Windows XP, Vista, and 7 systems. You can get around well enough with the device on your PC, but it doesn't support anything beyond two-finger gestures like horizontal and vertical scrolling.

It's an excellent device for those who prefer touch input to mouse or trackball. In all, at the $69 price tag it's difficult to call something like this a must-have.


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