Without going against the grain on mystical fingers that go tapping, sliding and gliding over smooth surfaces, we saw a certain Cupertino-based company cast the spell with the Apple Magic Trackpad just after the iPhone 4 release. Talking about accessories coming out of Cupertino, Apple hasn’t sliced out peripherals that could make heads turn. To know if this latest hardware offering has changed the game for Apple, we take it under our wings for an in-depth review.
Encased in a paper box, Apple keeps it to minimum with a packaging that accommodates the device along with information and warranty booklets. The box is imprinted with the trackpad image while the backside shows pictorial representations of finger gestures.
Needless to say, the single-surface trackpad evidently carries the Apple charm with its looks as well as design. It has been precisely cut out to fit into the Apple portfolio. We placed the accessory next to the new 27-inch iMac and it looked like one big happy family alongside the keyboard and its cousin rodent. It is almost like replacing a MacBook or MacBook Pro trackpad with nearly 80 percent larger area to drool your fingers upon.
Sitting beside the keyboard, the Apple Magic Trackpad simply looked like its extension. For a visual description, just slice out a 5.17 (L) x 5.12 (W) square piece from the keyboard, replace the surface and there it is. The curved top edge, just like the keypad, inclines the device in an angular position (similar height and inclination) for comfortable usage. The right edge integrates the power button while the left edge of the circular base forms the opening to tuck in two AA batteries that power the peripheral.
Turing it over, the base reflects angelic white plastic etched with the Apple logo. The teflon rubber feet support the device for a better usage and grip. The design elements are flawless and the built quality is impressive. The huge surface embeds a minuscule LED flickering at the top left to indicate Bluetooth connectivity. As aforesaid, the Apple Magic Trackpad has been built of a single sheet and the entire surface area is one clickable button. It has been crafted of wear-resistant glass and aluminum sporting a smooth texture.
Connecting the trackpad to the Mac system using Bluetooth technology was simple. It didn’t take over a minute and was just like connecting any other Bluetooth device. However, you’d require Mac OS X 10.6.4 or above and trackpad software update. Under settings, we could tweak the speed for tracking, scrolling and double click. So, adjust it according to your working speed and preferences. The multi-gesture supporting peripheral allowed us to enable/disable any gesture. The software also displays an informative video describing each gesture by simply placing the cursor on the imprinted name.
One-finger gestures included tap to click, dragging, drag lock and secondary click. The secondary click can be assigned a location either at the bottom left or right corner. The two-finger scroll was smooth and on rotating the image our fingers had even more space to tread around. It also supports two finger gestures such as pinch, secondary tap and screen zoom. The drag feature is enabled with three fingers. Furthermore, by swiping four fingers upwards the Expose function shows up while moving sideward it let us switch applications. Well, the four finger application switching turned out to become one of our favorites.
The Apple Magic trackpad seems like a great option for Macbook and Macbook Pro owners. They would find it quite familiar to the smaller version of the touchpad embedded on their machines. In fact, they could take utmost advantage of it without the intrusion of keyboard or device’s edges. Moreover, users could get a wider area to play their fingers on. However, using it with the gigantic iMac or say larger screen didn’t appear beneficial to a great extent.
Powered by AA batteries, you could keep a tab on the battery life which is indicated in the software. However, with the recent battery charger in its tow, we would appreciate if Apple had bundled rechargeable batteries with the accessory.
The trackpad surface enabled smooth sliding of our fingers and we could perform all the functions with ease. It gets quicker once you get the hang of all gestures (some of you may be proficient at it). We didn’t find it hitting the right spot at times, so there’s lack of precision compared to the good ‘ol mouse. After prolonged usage of the trackpad, our fingers somehow felt almost tired. We started missing the ergonomic design that supports our palm while mousing around. However, it may not be the same for everyone. The touch surface could make its sect of followers in the tech realm but we are still loyal towards the traditional mouse.
It has been crafted to directly take a seat next to other Apple products. So, needless to say, the Magic Trackpad has been aesthetically designed.
The design and looks didn’t compromise on the built quality which is certainly sturdy.
Macbook owners could add in this peripheral for a wider area and elevated comfort.
Twirling our fingers over it didn’t produce precise and sharp movements like the traditional mouse.
The trackpad does not seem convenient for larger screens.
Apple should have tucked in rechargeable batteries in the bundle.
The elegant looking accessory could charm any Apple lover with its looks. If you are used to those touch gestures on the Mac then this one certainly makes a great option with a larger surface area. On our rating chart, it has managed to enchant us enough to gain a rating of 8 on 10. The Apple Magic Trackpad attaches a price tag of Rs. 4,000 (inclusive of taxes).