Introducing the Apple Magic Trackpad [First Look]

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It only makes sense that the company who brought us the first mouse would try to re-invent the way desktop computers are used. Apple is attempting to bring multi-touch to the masses with its new Magic Trackpad. While this might seem like just a trackpad, this could be a sneak peek on how Apple plans to implement iOS onto OS X. Regardless of their intentions, this is the most exciting input device since the Magic Mouse. Read the rest after the break.

Not so sexy looking next to an old iMac keyboard.

Apple has again applied their mastery of the un-boxing experience with the Magic Trackpad. You simply open the box and the trackpad is right there for you. There is a sticker on the trackpad wrapper itself reminding users that they need Snow Leopard and the Apple Magic Trackpad Software Update to use the device. Since this device was meant to complement the new line of iMac’s, owners of older iMac models will find that the driver for the Magic Trackpad will not show up automatically in Software Update. Download it here instead.

Once the setup process was complete, using the trackpad was an easy but jarring experience. While recent generation Macbook and Macbook Pro users will quickly become accustom to the gestures concept, iMac and Mac Pro owners will probably keep a mouse nearby at least until they get used to the trackpad. Even as I was editing the photos for this post I found myself quickly reverting to my Magic Mouse as I am still learning to integrate the Magic Trackpad into my workflow.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the Magic Trackpad was designed to complement the Apple Wireless Keyboard. Owners of older Apple keyboards will find that the angle of the Magic Trackpad is different and that putting the trackpad next to a full sized keyboard might alter the way you setup your desktop environment. While this should not deter purchasing this device, it’s good to keep in mind if you have a smaller desk like myself.

Scrolling with inertia is nowhere near as smooth as it is on the Magic Mouse. The Magic Trackpad will truly come alive when a 3rd party creates software similar to SideTrack that is able to take the device beyond the OEM defaults.

Getting used to the Magic Trackpad will take some time and patience. Since nobody has had more than a few days to use this device, only time will tell if it’s a game changer or yet another Apple device that takes control of our wallets.