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Apple’s trackpads are arguably vastly superior to most Windows trackpads. They are extremely accurate, responsive and easy to use. They are one of the main reasons why I wouldn’t want to switch to a Windows laptop for work again. Can Apple’s external trackpad, the Magic Trackpad 2 live up to that quality?

 

With 6.3″x4.52″ (16×11.49cm), the Magic Trackpad 2 has a similarly huge surface as the newest Macbook Pro’s. Both the Macbook Pro’s trackpad and the Magic Trackpad’s width are identical. The external trackpad’s is slightly deeper though, which is in order to match the depth of the Magic Keyboard 2. Weighing only 0.51 pounds, it’s an accessory that’s easy to carry around. 

External Trackpad vs Macbook Pro Trackpad

 

What is Apple’s external trackpad good for?

 

Apple’s Magic Trackpad 2 is meant as an external replacement for the Macbook Pro’s trackpad. It is only fully compatible with MacOS devices. It’s great for those owning an iMac, a Mac Mini or a similar machine but want a usage experience that’s closer to a Macbook’s (except for the portability aspect). Those owning a Macbook, which they hook up to an external display can also make great use of the trackpad. In combination with a keyboard, it allows you to tuck your laptop away in a position, that allows for a better airflow. That improves thermal issues while working at home without having to rely on a mouse.

 

Because the second gen trackpad finally lies flat on the ground, it can be used on any surface too. Therefore it can easily be used in bed as well, which makes it extremely useful in case you are streaming to a tv or a beamer via a Mac. In that particular use case, the trackpad has a huge advantage over mouses, since they usually don’t do well on soft surfaces. 

 

 

External Trackpad Sideview

 

The external trackpad leaves nothing to be desired…

 

Just like the Magic Keyboard 2 and the Magic Mouse 2, the trackpad decides to ditch batteries in favor of Apple’s standard charging method. That means that you’ll get another lightning cable with the purchase of the trackpad. For those worrying about the battery life, I can reassure you that it’s not an issue! It usually takes a few weeks until I needed to recharge it.

 

Bluetooth pairing is simple and can be forced by connecting it to the Mac via lightning port. Once connected it won’t disconnect until you either turn it off or connect it to another device via cable. Just like most trackpads in the Macbook lineup, it supports Multi-Touch gesture and Force Touch (used to show a preview of the file you’re hovering over).

 

You can easily see, that the Magic Trackpad 2 is meant to be used with the Magic Keyboard 2. Their depth and their height is the exact same. They both have beautifully rounded edges and feature a similar style. The trackpad’s color matches the keycaps of the keyboard. Meanwhile the chassy is in the same grey as the keyboard’s body. There is also a spacegrey variant, which matches perfectly with the spacegrey keyboard (which, unfortunately, is only available with num pad).

External Trackpad with External Keyboard

The Magic Trackpad 2 looks and feels extremely premium. It’s quality is even superior to the other Magic products. In my opinion, Apple’s trackpads have always been the best ones in the business. I can say the exact same about this one, both design and functionality wise.

 

 

Verdict

 

Using the snappy Multi-Touch gestures feels great and can’t be done as smoothly on any mouse. That being said, some mice can reproduce the functionalities. A good example for that is the MX Master 2 by Logitech. While the trackpad is more than enough for most daily tasks, it can’t always replace a mouse. It’s pretty much useless in video games, especially in first person shooters. Some applications such as Maya use features that are bound to the mouse wheel and are not supported on any trackpad. For me personally the combination of the small Magic Keyboard 2, the Magic Trackpad 2 and the MX Master 2 *insert link* works best. I usually rely on the trackpad and use the mouse for some special occasions.

 

In case you are getting a new iMac device, I would suggest you pay the 50$ extra to get the Magic Trackpad 2 instead of the Magic Mouse 2. If you are just looking for an upgrade over your old trackpad or for a mouse alternative however, then the demanded 120$ is pretty steep, yet justified. If the price is not that much of an issue to you, then I can highly recommend the trackpad. It’s one of the few devices that I would not want to replace!

To view the trackpad on Amazon, simply click here*.