Apple Magic Touchpad Review


If there is one thing that is universal about any product Apple releases, it’s that there are people who instantly hate it, and people who love it, buy it but find it hard to justify why they do, other than they just love Apple products!

For me, I take every piece of hardware at face value and weigh up if it will be useful to me for my day to day work routing, or if other people may find it beneficial to them to some degree, and I weigh that all up before I begin writing my views on the hardware.

Since using the Apple Imac computer system here, I have never been happy with the mouse that came with the unit. I could have changed it to a regular Windows mouse, but the point has always been that I use the product the company supplies with their equipment and see how I get on with it, as everyone else who buys it, has to face the same hardware!

My wrists and finger joints have suffered badly, through the last year or so, and when Apple suddenly released their new “Magic Trackpad” I was instantly curious to see if this would be something that would be usable for my day to day computer needs, and potentially alleviate the pain a little since the angle and position of everything has changed.

So off to the Apple shop in Glasgow I went, paid £59.00 and walked out of the store and came back to try the unit out and record the un-opening of the new piece of equipment. For some people watching a video of people opening up their purchase is crazy, but to a growing number of people they want to see first hand what a particular product is like, and what you get for your money, and I suppose also join in with the excitement or the disappointment of the event.

IN THE BOX
Opening the box you are immediately greeted with a square grey tablet covered in plastic. There is a booklet that you will just throw away, and the basic gestures that you can use with the pad are described on the back of the box. Turn it on by pressing the button at the side and the thing connects to the iMac! You should do software update that will download a new driver for the Trackpad, and this will allow you to customize the various settings in any way that you wish.

IN USE
If you are used to using a laptop with a trackpad then you will feel right at home using this device, but being larger than what you will have been used to it is in fact a difference experience from what you might expect.

The first major improvement when using the Internet is the way you scan glide up and down pages buy simply stroking the touchpad with two fingers. Flick backwards and forwards to site you have been on by swiping left and right with three fingers, and if you are typing things online or, writing an article such as this, a quick press with two fingers brings up the auto-correct facility and you can amend any spelling errors in your document.

Initially it feels weird as years of using a mouse are ingrained, but even now when I am on a Windows PC, I am suddenly stroking the mouse to move up and down a page, and clicking the side bars starts to feel a laborious task! How quickly you can adapt to change will be the crucial factor on how you get on with this product, but you will see positive benefits of using this in general day to day activities.

Now, the Trackpad will not replace a mouse completely if you use a product like Photoshop or any other design application, as there are some things you just need more detailed control over, and a mouse or even a Wacom pad with a pen will be used to better effect. In saying that, this page was produced using the “Magic Trackpad” with Photoshop used to crop and colour the images used, the spell checking etc, and it was all straight forward, and my fingers and wrist are not aching like they used to!

TO FINISH

Some people have said that the cost of the device is high and the product is limited, but I’d have to disagree with this, more so when it appears that the biggest complainers have not even tried one of these devices out! For me, and I think other people with similar aches and pains in their hands, will find this product really easy to use, and having the ability to use gestures to control your imac really does enhance the current experience even more!

This device can also be used with Windows 7 if you have a Bluetooth facility on it, but you will only be able to move and click and that’s about it. No gestures would appear to be possible at the moment. Considering that the product is designed for Apple’s PC equipment, this does not come and any surprise, but you never know what will be released by someone as time goes by.

Reviewed by: Gordon Keenan – (e): gordon@tasystems.org

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Posted on August 12, 2010, in Apple and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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