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July 27, 2010 / Alistair

Apple launches the Magic Trackpad

Sets the mousetrap?

Magic Trackpad: Mouse killer?

This week Apple released updates to it’s iMac and Mac Pro range, as well as adding a 27″ cinema display to it’s fleet of gorgeous but oh-so-expensive monitors. But most interesting was the introduction of a new product, the Magic Trackpad, which is basically the trackpad from a MacBook as a standalone device in the style of the wireless keyboard.

Sure, it’s sexy and sure, it’s got all those lovely multitouch features – and, we’ve been promised, many more from the chap behind BetterTouchTool – but is there a point to it? And is it worth the 60 quid asking price?

We love our trackpad and often wish we could use it in place of our Magic Mouse – yup, card-holding Apple fanboys here – but are the guys from Cupertino expecting us to use a mouse, keyboard and trackpad? We’re not sure.

Ok enough blathering, gaming is definitely a no. Hardcore games like mice with lots of buttons so a trackpad is out of the question. What about video, audio or photo editing? At the Geek and Gadget we can see this working out well, but some users would prefer the tactile feedback a mouse provides.

Despite many drawbacks, this smacks of Apple trying to kill the mouse. Since the launch of the iPhone and iPod touch bak in 2007, Apple has been all about the multitouch. Introducing it to MacBook was the next step, and now the Magic Trackpad has brought multitouch to every Mac users, even if they don’t have a notebook.

An update to iLife is due soon and it’s rumoured to have a new application. This app and the rest of the iLife suite will certainly make more use of multitouch than ever before. The Magic Mouse was just a stepping stone to this and we predict the next version of OS X to rely heavily on touch. You’ll never need to reach out and poke your iMac, but add an LCD to the Trackpad and you’re there.

Will the Geek and Gadget be getting a Magic Trackpad? If we have our MacBook set up to a display and closed, then possibly. But so far it does nothing more than the Magic Mouse, and £60 is hard to stomach, even for a fanboy.

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