Finally “Clicking” with the Magic Trackpad

My wife and I moved into our new home several months ago. I was slow to unpack things and even took a week or so to get my desk together and Mac back up and running. When I finally did, my Magic Mouse wasn’t there in the same box as the rest of the Mac’s accessories. I’ve been a mouse user for years and years, but I needed a pointing device and the Magic Trackpad was right there. I hooked it up and figured I would give it a shot, just until I tracked down the Magic Mouse.

Well, I’m here to tell you that everyone was right. The silent movement and tap-to-click have been a godsend. How could I have lived with that awful clicking noise for so many years? I’ve been more productive than ever by mastering the broad, yet intuitive, gestures to throw windows around, switch spaces, and perform complex macros.

And the ergonomics; oh the ergonomics! My wrist has never felt so free and natural. The improvements to my computational life have been so far-reaching and life-changing, in fact, that when I finally happened upon my old Magic Mouse in a drawer, I chucked it straight in the trash.

Pysch. 😜

I’m back to the Magic Mouse, and loving it. Despite my sarcasm above, I don’t hate the Magic Trackpad. It’s a wonderful piece of tech that works better than any other trackpad on the market. And if I couldn’t use the Magic Mouse, I’d probably switch back over to it rather than get a different mouse. I love that other people love it.

But the Magic Mouse works perfectly for my hand and the way I like to work on a Mac. Despite what folks say about the sushi roll shape of the Magic Mouse, I find it to be the most comfortable mouse I’ve ever used. I did get wrist strain from using the Magic Trackpad. That’s gone with the mouse in my hand.

I’ve got all the gestures I need set up on the touch surface of the Magic Mouse. A two-finger double-tap brings up Mission Control. A two-finger swipe gets me back and forth between my desktop spaces. The scrolling is smooth and effortless. Speaking of effortless, I’ve never found clicking and dragging things around with a trackpad to be particularly easy. With a mouse, there’s no thought or finger acrobatics necessary. I find getting the pointer to the exact spot I want on the screen to be far more precise with a mouse.

I don’t even mind the weird charging mechanism on the bottom of the mouse. When I get a battery warning after god knows how many months of use, I don’t find it onerous to plug it in for 30 seconds. That quick charge gets me plenty of juice to get the rest of my work done for the day before plugging it in to fully charge overnight. And then I’m good again for months. I’m not saying it couldn’t be better, but I am saying that it’s not the horrific design failure to me that it seems to be to everyone else.

The couple of months that I spent with the Magic Trackpad reminded me that there’s really no right or wrong answer here. Different strokes for different folks. I’m so glad that Apple makes a world-class trackpad for people who prefer that type of input. I’m even more glad that, many years after it’s been clear that the laptop form factor is king, they also still make a mouse for people like me.

I used to keep the Magic Trackpad to the left of my keyboard to use for some gestures. But I think I’m going to enjoy this one-on-one time with the Magic Mouse for a bit.1

  1. Maybe. It occurs to me that there are some gestures that only work with the trackpad when operating an iPad with Universal Control, which I do quite often. We’ll see if I miss them, but perhaps the Magic Trackpad will return to my desk one day.↩︎

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