Apple’s Magic Trackpad: Not Magic, just good

Apple Magic TrackpadI’ve been living with this thing on my desk for a couple of weeks now, and I think I like it. I bought the Apple Magic Trackpad because I like how the interaction on all my ‘i’ devices works. I love my iPad and use it all the time at home and at work, so I figured I would give the Magic Trackpad a shot.

The first thing I discovered is that I had to download an update to get it to work right. Not a big deal, and had I not tore through the wrapper like a kid opening his first Christmas gift, I would have seen the handy little sticker telling me this, but where’s the fun in that. After that it was smooth sailing.

My impression is that’s a useful alternative to using the mouse, and the long list of gestures makes it very useful, but it takes some tweaking and getting used to. I had to crank up the acceleration and tracking speed because I kept running out of surface, and keeping the device depressed while dragging is a little cumbersome. You can get around that by setting it to tap rather than click, but it seems like the tap is just a little too sensitive, and I end up selecting and dragging things I don’t really want to. After just a couple of days of almost exclusive use, I was pretty used to it.

It works well in the applications I regularly use; save two. It really doesn’t suit my working style in art programs like Photoshop and Illustrator. In fact the only Adobe application I use it with is Dreamweaver, and then only if I don’t have any of the other apps already open. It just isn’t conducive to the fine, accurate movements needed while working in Photoshop. The other (big duh here) is gaming. Yeah, no real reason to even go into it here, it’s just not designed for gaming.

Overall, it’s a solid addition to my desktop, and I would like to get the Magic Trackpad working with Windows XP on my box at work (although you will need Bluetooth on your PC to do it). For a lot of the day-to-day crap I have to do it would be great. I know I could use my Wacom Tablet for that, but that thing is huge, and thick, and doesn’t do gestures. Plus with one of these attached to my computer there, it would effectively keep people off it because they wouldn’t know how to use it. I bet Apple never thought of it as a security device.

So if you have about $70 bucks burning a hole in your pocket, I would get an Apple Magic Trackpad and let your fingers have some fun while sitting in from of your Mac.

%d bloggers like this: