Apple Magic Trackpad review: Apple Magic Trackpad

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Typical Price: $99.00

Apple Magic Trackpad - trackpad

(Part #: MC380LL/A)
4 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

5 stars 2 user reviews

The Good Looks and feels great. Proper gestures on the desktop, unlike the Magic Mouse.

The Bad Not as precise or fast as a mouse. Some may not approve of the ergonomics. You'll need to buy Snow Leopard to use it on Windows.

The Bottom Line While we still prefer using the speedier and more accurate mouse, some will no doubt be interested in the Magic Trackpad. It's not magic — it does no more or less than you'd expect it to. But then, that's not necessarily a bad thing.

8.0 Overall

From the beginning, it's likely you've already decided whether you love, hate or are ambivalent towards the new Magic Trackpad. Following the iPad trend of making things bigger, the Magic Trackpad is simply a touch pad taken from a MacBook, made large and given a USB cable. It's also been given a rather high asking price for a rodent replacement, riding at the AU$99 mark.

We're perhaps under-representing the device — a decent amount of thought has clearly gone into the design; whether it's the fact that it has the same angle and feel as Apple's keyboard, or that you can still physically click the thing (the "button" itself is built into the foot pads at the bottom). The aluminium and glass pad is a nice bit of engineering to behold and alluring to the touch.

Like a keyboard, without keys

Like a keyboard, without keys. (Credit: Apple)

The major caveat is there before you open the package — it's not going to be as precise as a mouse. For some though it won't need to be, and for others still the full complement of OS X gestures it supports will be enough to tempt people over.

OS X System Preferences

Apple's System Preferences panel for the Trackpad continues its excellent combination of settings and video tutorials. (Screenshot by CBS Interactive)

The sheer size of the pad means that even on a 27-inch iMac, traversing the screen is entirely possible in a single swipe. It does allow for a little greater precision than your standard MacBook Pro pad, but users of any decent mouse will probably shirk. If your wrist already feels uncomfortable with the angle of Apple's keyboard, the Magic Trackpad will just increase your ergonomic woes.

The power button

The power button can't actually turn the thing off. It wakes the device and also broadcasts the trackpad as a synchronisable Bluetooth device. (Credit: Apple)

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