Logitech Touchpad T650 review: Multitouch gestures on any Windows 8 PC, tablet

As an actual touch pad, the T650 works as expected. Single-input navigation was responsive, and multifinger gestures worked as well as on the best Windows laptops when used with desktops, tablets (such as the Acer W700), and docked laptops. If you think that sounds like qualified praise, you're correct. The T650 works with the officially supported Windows 8 gestures, such as sliding in from the left side to open the Charms bar, or from the top to access the application menu, as well as its own gestures, such as swiping up and down with four fingers to maximize and minimize open windows.

But, if you're looking for the same easy, intuitive navigation in Windows 8 (or Windows 7) that you get on a MacBook, you're not going to find it. It's still impossible to beat the three-finger expose view in OS X, which allows you to quickly flip between both apps and the open windows within apps, all with one hand.

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And, if you plug the T650 into a MacBook or iMac, it works, but the system sees it as an external mouse, not a trackpad. Because of that, you only get left and right mouse button support -- no gestures. That means it isn't an ideal touch pad for swapping between Windows and Mac PCs.

You may have noticed that I mention using the T650 with a laptop. Why would you want to do that if your laptop already has a touch pad built in? Many people dock their laptops connected to an external monitor, sometimes adding an external keyboard and mouse as well, especially if the laptop is docked in a closed or out-of-the-way position. Having a standalone touch pad along with a wireless keyboard makes for a smoother transition between using your laptop on the go and as part of a docked desktop setup.

The glass-topped Logitech Wireless Rechargeable Touchpad T650 is part of a new wave of standalone touch pads and a larger push toward touch and gesture control in general. A handful of new Windows 8 PCs are now includingtouch pads in the box, but if you don't have one of those, this is an easy way to make the leap. It works easily with Windows 8 systems, though if you're looking for a completely Apple-like experience, this isn't an exact match -- but the blame for that falls on Microsoft, not Logitech.

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