back to article Apple releases multi-touch 'magic' trackpad

Apple has introduced the much-rumoured and Federal Communications Commission-approved Magic Trackpad, a wireless touchpad for all you fanboys who hate mice. Apple Magic Trackpad The £59 Bluetooth gadget a multi-touch unit designed to bring to desktops the same tap-and-drag, pinch-to-zoom, page-flipping, two-finger scrolling …


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  1. Jimmy Floyd
    Jobs Horns

    An epiphany!

    Reading this article, I've come to the conclusion that I would detest Apple not nearly as much were it not for this 'magic' label. I know it was placed in the title ironically, but when confronted with users who really believe that their latest iThing is truly a gift from God, I am filled with an overriding sense of righteous indignation that means I must ... MUST strike down their naivety.

    If public opinion of Apple was that they made very pretty gadgets that work very well for what they do, but also come with the technological equivalent of training wheels and a lease (for you to wear) that significantly reduce their capabilities, then I'd accept them a lot more. Perhaps that's why I respect the Mac - because you have a lot more freedom than with the iPhone / iPhad.

    This constant PR spin to label them as special, however, I have come to realise is the root cause of my unquenchable desire to rip apart the façade. But, of course, that veneer of magic is The Enabler of Ludicrous Prices.

    1. Gareth Gouldstone

      ... indistinguishable from ..

      As Arthur C Clarke said 'Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic'. For non-technical users, trackpads etc probably seem magical. Certainly the iP*d seems to fall into that category.

    2. gregkelly1985

      Thanks but no thanks

      I'm pretty certain (but not 100%) that most people who buy Apple stuff don't do so based on it's name. I don't understand your jibe about training wheels and a lease either, as having purchased my first ever Mac two months ago it seems to be able to do everything I ever asked of my Windows laptop and I am certain that Mr Jobs hasn't held my hand through any of the processes.

      No doubt that their PR do try and put a spin on their products but which PR doesn't? I think your problem lies with the competence of their PR for successfully latching on to a good idea - as for you to be complaining about it means you must have witnessed it working QED, it's good PR.

      All PR spurt nonsense, just look at Microsoft's new tagline "Be What's Next".

      1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

        Re: Thanks but no thanks

        "I'm pretty certain (but not 100%) that most people who buy Apple stuff don't do so based on it's name."

        Not the name, that kitsch^H^H^H^H^H^Hstylish glowing logo on the back of the screen.

        1. gregkelly1985
          Black Helicopters

          Re: Re: Thanks but no thanks

          "Not the name, that kitsch^H^H^H^H^H^Hstylish glowing logo on the back of the screen."

          Which incidentally is the brand value that they've worked to attain. When all is said and done, it boils down to brand loyalty and in this day and age, loyalty isn't something that's high on everyone's list. I want the best product, which should suit my own needs. In the car market, if I want something stylish, I'll go to the Italians, well built - Germans, this isn't something that can'd be undone however (and easily I might add), so companies have to work hard to keep up their own standards with each product. Apple do that admirably and to that end deserve the loyal fan base they have. Their products have for so long, directly hit the ideals that the fan base bestow on them and to that end, they have built up an almost collateral whereby they might have the chance to make a mistake without anyone being too upset. This is well deserved and can be seen by looking at Microsoft with Windows - Vista was a widely criticised OS (although I personally didn't have any problem with it), yet 7 sells like hot cakes.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Halo


    I think the main question is, does it still work if you hold it differently to how Mr Jobs want's you to hold it.

  3. JohnBoy
    Thumb Up

    Mightier than ever!

    Really good idea - totally new spin (or should that be pinch, tap, drag?) on the boring old computer mouse.

  4. Anonymous Coward


    Apple are doing batteries?

    Running out of ideas perchance, Apple? I'd have left the commodity guys to this particular market if I was you, to be honest.

  5. OffBeatMammal

    nice trackpad

    looks like it could be fun...wonder how long until Windows drivers are available

    I suspect the batteries are just a branding exercise... after all, look how much Apple actually hate replacable batteries :)

    1. mafoo

      Same time as mac ones it seems

      Windows drivers:


      64bit :

      Mac :

      released at the same time.

      Incidentally the Mac drivers add support for inertia scrolling to lots of old Mac laptops.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    Right click gonna be a bugger.

    Looks like it's customisable, but it has the faint whiff of Apple making something for the sake of making it look good rather than any practical value. Even with customisation of button function/placement, it's hardly "intuiative".

    1. Tony Smith, Editor, Reg Hardware (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Right click

      Two-fingertip tap. Easy.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Erm, have you ever used an apple trackpad?

      Right click (or secondary click, for normal people) - just click with two fingers. Or two finger-tap. Since Apple first added a multi-touch capable trackpad to their laptops.

      Or CTRL-click. Like you have been able to do for.. well forever.

      1. Anonymous Coward


        ...command/splodge/apple click if your in WoW :P

    3. MrT

      Apple touchpads...

      They work really well - at least when I had a Macbook as well as a Dell Inspiron I found myself automatically trying the Apple way on the Dell, but not the PC way on the Macbook - it's easier to use and get to grips with than you might think. The hardest thing was to remember to keep the mouse button down when navigating menus, and even that's not difficult to remember.

      Now if I could've stopped the Macbook overheating to the point of damaging the case...

  7. G.H.
    Jobs Horns

    About time...

    Took Apple five years to release a "magic" trackpad after buying and shutting down the company that made them in the first place. I sincerely hope it won't take another 5 years for a combined touchpad/keyboard to surface. With people paying $1200 for a TouchStream keyboard on eBay, this is another reason to dislike the cult of jobs.

  8. Anonymous Coward

    "has the lowest 'vampire draw' of any similar charger on the market"

    So it doesn't charge the batteries properly?

    1. Anonymous Coward


      Are you using the new nickel-cadnium-garlic batteries?

  9. Rob 101

    Not totally new

    Been done a few times before as USB and with the multi touch for windows. There's the Brando one and one I can only see in Japanese.

    OK, so this one is for apples, looks (a lot) nicer, is bigger and is "magic" but I do hope Apple aren't going to try and patent multitouch trackpads (OK, maybe it would make for a laugh when they fail).

    I'm still waiting for full DNI before I'll be really impressed with a new form of interface.

  10. ratfox
    Thumb Up

    Might be nice

    When I had a Dell laptop, I used to plug in a mouse whenever I could.

    Now that I have a MacBook, I am happy using the multi-touch trackpad.

    It does make a difference.

    I am not sure the Bluetooth part is useful, though. How often do you need to recharge?

    I already have too many gadgets to recharge.

  11. Mage Silver badge

    Apple and mice

    They have always hated mice.

    It has to have a button. Three are needed at times. Jobs only reluctantly lets them have one.

    A mac user I know was positively delighted when I showed her that a 2 button + scroll wheel "PC" USB mouse gave her more usability.

    She put her apple mouse in the waste basket.

    No doubt for later recycling :-)

    The penguins have no truck with inferior mice.

    1. Tony Smith, Editor, Reg Hardware (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Apple and mice

      Apple Magic - that word again, urh - Mouse has (effectively) two buttons and a scroll wheel equivalent. Does everything I've ever needed a mouse to. Using one now.

      1. Blain Hamon

        The only problem

        The only problem I have with the magic mouse and the mighty mouse before it was that there's no way to specify clicking both the left and right mouse buttons at the same time (On the mighty mouse, tapping both sides is treated as a left mouse click, which makes sense, but...).

        True, this only becomes an issue in gaming, and I typically use a Kensington trackball anyways, but still, a 95% solution, but not 100%.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Jobs Horns

          not only when gaming

          Mouse gestures for back and forward in Opera use a 'hold one button, click the other'. So not even 95% solution, more like less than 50% as web browsing is a much larger proportion of most peoples time

          1. Blain Hamon

            Mouse gestures in Opera?

            So trying to not troll here, but Opera on the Mac is quite a rarity, and that gesture seems... 'odd' to put it charitably.

            Heck, I'm tempted to retract my 95% to 99%... Tried using the macbook trackpad on Team Fortress 2 last night, and the only real drawback was that I couldn't trigger the uber while healing with the medic.

    2. Eponymous Howard



      A mac user I know was positively delighted when I showed her that a 2 button + scroll wheel "PC" USB mouse gave her more usability.

      She put her apple mouse in the waste basket.

      *** long ago?

      The Mighty Mouse has been out since, what, 2006-ish. It may be crap design, but it is multi-button and scroll wheel - well, scroll nipple. And OSX has always supported multi-button mice.

      And the Magic mouse does everything a two buttoner does (and apart from the odd occasion when the bluetooth goes flaky, is a joy to use).

      Methinks you are making shit up.

      1. Mage Silver badge

        Re: Er... → # ↑

        Eponymous Howard long ago?

        This was about a year ago.

        And old Mac that had come with OS9.

        Upgraded to OS X.

        The point is the brand new "PC" mouse worked perfectly.

        I've noticed a than practically the only comments I make that are down voted are ones to do with Apple topics. And these are up voted too.

        It's my experience Apple Users accept a load of nonsense, over charging and poor quality that other users would never defend.

        I note you can get an entire wireless keypad and trackpad for 1/2 the price of the overpriced "Magic Trackpad".

        You can get a €6 optical USB mouse that is better than a "Mighty Mouse".

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I'm not the only one who read this as "Tragic Macpad"?

    Dyslexia FTW!

    1. RichyS


      Shouldn't that be "dyslexia TFW!"...?

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Still not quite right

        "dailysex TFW"

  13. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

    That's actually quite tempting

    I don't get on with trackpads, but I'm not a particular fan of mice either. This thing might actually be quite nice. Although as I've only got a PC, will I be allowed one?

    I've never been particularly tempted by MacOS, but they do make some pretty hardware nowadays. It's just a shame about the prices. It'll be interesting when the flood of Android tablets hits whether I'll start crying into my beer about what I paid for my iPad. I doubt it though.

  14. ChrisC Silver badge

    Just as well they're pushing the environmental benefits of the charger...

    ...because it certainly won't save anyone any money with its reduced power consumption. Not when a slimline charger + 6 hybrid NiMH batteries from other manufacturers can be had for around a tenner less, which would more than cover the costs of leaving a less efficient charger plugged in 24/7 - assuming a 300mW idle draw (based on the Apple claims of being 10x more efficient with their 30mW draw), a tenner would be enough (at present electricity prices) to cover the cost of leaving this less efficient charger idling away for 20 years or so...

    Besides, if you're really that fussed about the environmental damage caused by the piddling idle power consumption of the average charger, you're probably not the sort of person who'd leave it plugged in once the charge cycle has ended.

  15. Sarah Davis

    Is this universal or anal ?

    great idea, i've been using the Korg Nanopad (£40) as a trackpad and 12 programable buttons for music apps and desktop on my PC for a while so not sure if this would actually offer any advantage, but the real question is does this doohicky work with all computers/OS's making it one universal interface or is it another anal Mac only fadget and the rest of the world will have to wait until a forward thinking company makes a univeral one ?

  16. JaitcH
    Jobs Horns

    I;ve got something like this already ...

    It's made by Bamboo, < >.

    BTW, gray is a terrible colour, Jobs, shows the dirt so quickly; so you better market some Magic Cleaner. You can't copyright it. you are too late.

  17. Wibble

    Just need a pen option

    Sounds like a great idea; should be able to place the mouse pad in front of the keyboard, between your arms, so should be easy to use. It'll be nice as it's larger than a normal pad, so the gestures should be a doddle to use. Just imagine using Omnigraffle (that's like, but better, than Visio for the Windows oiks) and manipulating objects; rotating, resizing, etc. Thus far, it's not possible to do that on a normal desk unless you're using the Macbook; if you've a remote keyboard, forget it.

    I can't help but think that it'll be a great device if you could use some form of pen/wand, a-la Wacom tablet. Then you have all the benefits; use it as a normal touch-pad mouse and creatively for those times where a pen is mightier than the finger.

    For those who rate Apple's mice by the smeg-awful puck thing from 10 years ago; the Magic Mouse is just about the best mouse I've ever used. The scrolling is amazing and it's really comfy to use for hours at a time. It scrolls vertically and horizontally and does a bunch of other gestures such as 'back'. It's rarely wrong with right-clicking, unlike it's Mighty Mouse predecessor and it's umpteen orders of magnitude better than the aforementioned phuck.

  18. Anonymous Coward


    Wonder if the multitouch will work in my OSX VM?

  19. RichyS

    Aren't Apple missing a marketing trick here?

    "The new Apple Magic Charger(R)...This charges everything. Again."

    1. Shingo Tamai

      The magic charger...


      ...isn't that magic at all.

      Note how they avoid telling you what the batteries capacity is and how much time you actually need to charge them.

      Oh, and it's "only" 25 quids...

  20. Shingo Tamai

    Magic carpal tunnel syndrome for everyone at "just" 59 quids.

    If you thought the mouse was bad, try to move your hand for 5 minutes on a raised block-notes and see how much strain this thing is going to put on your wrist..

  21. Nexox Enigma


    The touch pad is the one bit I actually like about my (work supplied) macbook pro - it almost makes up for how much the rest of the GUI intentionally slows me down at every opportunity.

    Now if they were really thinking, they'd have slapped an optical tracker on the bottom of this baby, so you can slide it around and use the touch pad. No idea how that'd work really, but remember, if they make it, it was my idea first.

    1. Gareth Gouldstone

      GUI ... slows me down?

      Any GUI will slow you down, that's why command line interfaces still exist (and why Macs work well with keyboard shortcuts - look them up).

      Just learn the UI; it may be different from Windows/KDE/Gnome, but certainly no slower.

  22. mafoo

    'vampire draw'

    "has the lowest 'vampire draw' of any similar charger on the market"

    I was going to make some twilight related joke there, but my brain just couldn't justify the effort after about 1 second of thinking it through.

    Im sure there's some teenage girl who reads theReg who could...humm.

  23. digstar

    want one

    really like the idea and look of this, price is a bit extreme, but seeing I am a mug and paid out for the matching keyboard already........ would love to get rid of my mouse when using my mini.

    Makes even more sense for the fact I use it as a tv tuner/media centre thing, a lot easier to use on your knee on the couch than a mouse!

  24. Anonymous Coward


    Apple sales figures argue that their marketing team are doing a perfectly good job so jibes at them seem a little hollow. I'm sure at their monthly sales meetings they could care less whether they are magical or not and I'm also sure Microsoft and co would be delighted if anyone ever thought anything they release was in the slightest bit magical.

    Advertisers promise all sorts that clearly are a stretch of the imagination, look at cars (the drive of your life springs to mind, yeah, right), scents which promise to make you into a hollywood star and have women falling at your feet, the list goes on and on.

    As with every product, don't like, don't buy. If calling a gadget "magic" gets your blood boiling so badly then perhaps you need to have a look at your own anger management issues as its really not worth getting worked up about.

  25. Mr Floppy
    Jobs Horns

    not a bad price if it's true

    According to

    "These are very long shelf-life batteries", then $29 dollars for 6 low self discharge batteries and smart charger isn't bad.

    Questions: are these really LSD batteries and what is their source? Are these rebadged eneloops or just some cheaper rebadged alternative similar to those sold by Aldi which are inferior? What is the mAh capacity? I assume 2000mAh given thats the common point for LSD batteries.

    Is "vampire draw" just Apple's way of saying trickle charge? Is it using a pulse mode trickle charge?

    Why don't Apple just use language that has been used for years by the industry? For regular person, it wouldn't matter but a bit of extra information for those who need to know would be nice. Suppose it doesnt affect me as I'll still be using my Maha C9000 and Imedions.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I'm going to stick with my rat.

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