Say hello to Apple's new Magic Keyboard, Magic Mouse 2 and Magic Trackpad 2 for the Mac (pictures)
Apple implements its first overhaul of Mac input devices in years, with new versions of its keyboard, mouse and trackpad. And say goodbye to battery swaps: they're all rechargeable now, too.
Out with the old, in with the new
Along with the hardware improvements are all-new accessories: the Magic Keyboard, Magic Trackpad 2, and Magic Mouse 2. The new models are shown below, compared with their predecessors above.
Same, but different
The Magic Mouse 2 looks the same as the older version, but is a hair lighter with better rubber tracks along the bottom.
The minimalist design has its fans, but it's never been my favorite mouse, and for years I've recommended swapping it out for the trackpad.
The rubber runners on the bottom panel have been tweaked for smoother gliding over your table or mousepad. (The newer model is on the right.)
XL tracking area
The Magic Trackpad 2 has a larger surface area -- it looks huge compared to the original version -- and now supports Force Touch, just like the pads in the MacBook and MacBook Pro.
More scrolling room
The pad goes from aluminum-colored to off-white, and looks and feels massive. Apple says the surface area is 29 percent larger.
Without the the cylindrical battery compartment, the pad has an even more minimalist look, lying flat on the tabletop with a slight wedge shape.
Lithium ion rechargeable battery
All three accessories lose their reliance on disposable batteries, instead moving to internal rechargeable lithium ion batteries. Like iPhones and iPads, they're rechargeable via a Lightning cable. A full charge should last a month or more, according to Apple.
The rechargeable battery allows the trackpad to slim down, removing the bulbous battery compartments that dominated the previous designs.
Force Touch now included
Force Touch uses four corner sensors to replace the hinged "diving board" mechanism found in most touchpads, including Apple's previous ones.
A deeper dive into how Force Touch works and what it can do can be found here.
The Magic Keyboard also loses the cylindrical battery compartment, and now sits flat on your desk as well.
New typing mechanism
The overall footprint is 13-percent smaller according to Apple, but the key faces themselves are slightly larger and have a new scissor mechanism under each key.
The top row of function keys has graduated to full-size from the half-height keys on the previous Apple keyboard.
In hands-on use, typing feels very similar to the older keyboard, and also similar to typing on any Mac keyboard, save for the wide, shallow keys of the 12-inch MacBook.
Apple includes an on-off switch on the top right side of the keyboard to save battery life.
Connecting via Lightning also pairs the accessory with the system, so you don't have to search for it through the Bluetooth menu. (The new keyboard is shown on the right.)
The new Magic Keyboard and Magic Mouse 2 are default accessories with all new iMacs as of today, and you can swap in the Magic Trackpad 2 for an additional $40 when ordering.
The accessories are all available separately, too -- and they'll work with any existing Mac that utilizes Bluetooth 4.0 or better wireless.
But they're all a bit pricier: $79 for the Magic Mouse 2, $99 for the Magic Keyboard and $129 for the Magic Trackpad 2. That's an increase of $10, $30 and $60 over the prices for the respective predecessor products.