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Apple Magic Trackpad Gets Official

Andy Vandervell


Apple Magic Trackpad Gets Official

Apple did its thing today, taking down its websites and posting a teasing notice. As ever the internet went into a kind of mild frenzy, a little bit like a wasp that's been given a heavy backhanded swatting. It has announced a few updates to various products (details coming soon), but the addition to Apple's range is the Magic Trackpad.

As you might have guessed, it's meant as an alternative to a mouse and is modelled on the MacBook Pro trackpads, but it's much bigger. How much bigger? 80 per cent to be exact, and the design complements Apple's own keyboards in its dimensions and styling.

All the usual gestures apply, including click (where you press down anywhere on the pad), scroll (using two fingers), swipe and rotate. It's wireless, using Bluetooth, and the combination of inactivity detection and "an on/off switch" have the novel effect of conserving battery life.

All this trickery will cost you dear, though, with the Magic Trackpad retailing for £59! What do you think Apple fans, worth the money? Apple haters? Well, no need to ask you chaps, but try to be polite.


Apple Magic Trackpad

Neil B

July 27, 2010, 6:24 pm

If it's bluetooth, surely this could be used with a Windows PC too? I think it's quite funky but I should imagine things would get a bit tedious after a while and you'd revert to using a mouse.


July 27, 2010, 6:31 pm

Any chance that a grid-layout-oriented software could turn this into a wireless numberpad as well? I think that'd be handy rather than have to use the keyboard or pull up a calculator widget.


July 27, 2010, 6:44 pm

Is there a right click?


July 27, 2010, 6:46 pm

Considering the MBP trackpads are awesome (for trackpads anyway), this could be a nice addition to a desktop Mac. But on the other-hand, if you couple a Magic Mouse with BetterTouchTool, there's nothing that you can do with that Magic Trackpad that you can't do with the Magic Mouse...


July 27, 2010, 6:50 pm

the best introduction is the apple battery charger, it will charge two (count them two) NiMH batteries for just £25, it puts my £7 can charge 4 batteries at the same time and also can do two 9v batteries charger to shame.

but of course you get two battries for free with the apple charger where I only got a measly 8 NiMH battries with my £7 charger

I feel cheated that I could've got far less for £25



July 27, 2010, 6:51 pm

So one day Apple thought 'Let's bring multi-touch to the desktop', so they came up with the Magic Mouse and it was.... bad.

So instead, they've now thrown away decades of preference for mice and gone the desktop trackpad route. As far as I can tell, the only benefit over a standard mouse is multi-touch, which isn't really that useful on a desktop OS with a point-and-click interface. I'm sure this is a very cool gadget, but it's destined to be forgotten.


July 27, 2010, 7:02 pm


If recent Apple launches are anything to go by it's bound to rake in the cash. Time to buy some Apple shares.

Am I the only who's shocked by the price tag. WTF! I guess someone has to pay for the magical engineering which goes into these things.


July 27, 2010, 7:04 pm

As a Mac desktop user, I am very intrigued by this device. But as a photographer/editor (hobbyist) I am curious as if it can completely replace a mouse. Would be great if they also released a pressure based stylus to go with it...I'm not sure Wacom would have been that thrilled at that though!

Brian Carter

July 27, 2010, 7:07 pm

I can see this being useful for the 27" iMAC which IMO is effectively an HTPC. I'm not a fun of trackballs so I kind of want one for my Windows PC for when I plug it into the TV for iplayer etc...but I'd only get it at 1/2 the price and even then it would be hard to justify.

Alternatives I'm looking at for this are:



(they both come with a keyboard but have their own deficiencies)


July 27, 2010, 7:13 pm

@PK: Apple's marketing indicates that this is just a pointing device. Creative types won't be throwing out their Wacom tablets any time soon... :)


July 27, 2010, 7:19 pm

@ravmania: Am I the only who's shocked by the price tag. WTF!

I've paid more for a PC gaming mouse.. :)

@Divination: Is there a right click?

I assume it's a two finger press aka(multi-touch).

I'm not sure it's something I'd buy like, mouse for me all the way. One of the reasons I like PC gaming more than say XBox360/PS3 is the good old mouse. :)

@PK: Nice idea, stylus. :)


July 27, 2010, 7:34 pm

When I saw this earlier (not on TR) I thought it could be cool. Enabling multi-touch, maybe helping RSI (though maybe making it worse!). But then sense set in 2 seconds later, touchpads are a necessary evil on laptops and most people plug in mice when they can. It's hardly going to be accurate, so any graphical work is out the door. Even selecting text or any standard mouse activities will be really hard to accomplish. Multi-touch is not easier for scrolling (do Apple mice even have a scroll-wheel?).

So sure multi-touch is nice and all, but when you cannot replace a mouse and need this as well as a mouse, what's the point?

Someone really needs to give Steve Jobs a dictionary so he can look up the word "magic". Cos he's been abusing it for years and it's only a matter of time for ASA come down on Apple over its miuse. I mean if people can get out of paying speeding tickets cos of badly worded road signs then unless this doubles as a teleporter or flying carpet the name is a joke.

@ravmania: The time to buy Apple shares was 6-18 months ago, they are going to be pretty stable for a while now despite all this 'magic'. :-/


July 27, 2010, 7:49 pm

@ravmania: "If recent Apple launches are anything to go by it's bound to rake in the cash."

Oh sure, it will sell plenty and it'll be all the rage for a while. After some time, everyone will realise it's not that useful, they'll go back to their mice and so it will be forgotten about, much like the toasted sandwich maker at the bottom of my kitchen cupboard.

Sorry, I'm feeling cynical today...


July 27, 2010, 7:58 pm

@HK. look up the word "magic"

Good grief @HK, it's just a name. Even HTC have used it. I assume you don't take everything literally, like Apple computers are made of "Golden Delicious" & "Granny Smith" apples.

You actually start of with some sensible comments aka(RSI), and then seem to step into the twilight zone.


July 27, 2010, 8:02 pm

If you already have Magic Mouse then it is completely redundant to own Magic Trackpad.


July 27, 2010, 8:18 pm

@HK: If product names had to be that literal then we wouldn't have the Rolls-Royce Phantom, the Ford Falcon or the Hyundai Pony, to name a few...

The Skoda Superb and Suzuki Swift would also be done for misrepresentation :)


July 27, 2010, 8:43 pm

I can actually see how this works... if you prefer to have a fixed object that takes up a considerable amount of desk space rather than a mouse that is.

Otherwise it's just another shiny device for people who buy all their furniture from IKEA to use.


July 27, 2010, 8:54 pm

So it's an expensive external trackpad ... why on earth would I want one of these ?

It's "magical" pointless devices like this that will start to wear away that halo from the Apple brand as the great brainwashed of this world finally understand what the rest of us have been saying for so long .....


July 27, 2010, 9:44 pm

Meh, the future is Kinect ;)


July 27, 2010, 10:26 pm


Yes yes, you are better than other people, have a cookie.

If you consider there've been quite a lot of people who at first wanted to buy a Wacom writing tablet to be used as a Magic Trackpad, there seem to be enough people who see a use for this.

Besides, can we drop this stuff already? People had been whining about the "pointlessness" of the iPad, and they were dead wrong it seems. Can't we just assume that perhaps Apple knows what they're doing better than some random internet surfer?


July 27, 2010, 11:02 pm

Theres a reason that someone hasn't made one of these before.


July 27, 2010, 11:49 pm

The reason Apple have released this is because they will be releasing their multitouch 3D OS 10.7 in 2011/2012 timeframe they have patented this interface and the multi touch gestures.

This product is to get consumers adjusted to mulit-touch and the future OS's that Apple will be releasing


July 27, 2010, 11:52 pm

Here is what Apple 3D os patent looks like:


Apple Multi-touch finger gesture to be released in future products:



July 28, 2010, 12:54 am

Although I personally favour my IBM trackpoint keyboard as I find the transition easier when switching from my Thinkpad to my desktop. I can see the ergonomic advantages of this device over conventional pointing devices.


July 28, 2010, 1:45 am

Whether this is the future or not, I don't know, but I applaud Apple for trying to push things forward in terms of how we interact with our computers. I can't imagine it would be any good for gaming, at least, not without software being specifically written for it in mind, but I could definitely see how I could use my PC for everything else with this device. A few people here should forget this has any Apple logo on the box and open their minds a little.

Any clarification on whether this will work with my W7 setup? What with the OS supporting multi-touch right out of the box.

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