Magic Trackpad 2
Can you feel the Force Touch?
£109 Manufacturer Apple, apple.com/uk Dimensions 0.49-1.09x16x11.5cm Weight 231g Connectivity Bluetooth, Lightning to USB (cable included)
Of Apple’s three new input devices (see page 88), this is the only one to offer something truly new: Force Touch. It also carries the largest price tag, which is enough make you pause for thought.
Force Touch complements MultiTouch with an extra gesture: after a light press to click, pressing harder provides another level of haptic feedback and can trigger a different contextual action. It serves as a shortcut to things such as Quick Look previews in Finder, an overview of an app’s windows from its Dock icon, and finding definitions of the word under the pointer.
The downside to Force Touch’s implementation on the Mac is that it isn’t always obvious what it will do. This is more pronounced on OS X than with 3D Touch on the iPhone because its haptic feedback can be ambiguous – you get a click from deep pressing even when nothing actually happens, whereas the iPhone gives you a buzz of rejection on places such as the Home screen. Developers are already making use of Force Touch in apps, which compounds the discovery issues – while also making this trackpad a more worthwhile purchase.
Officially, Bluetooth 4.0 is required, but the trackpad worked fine with a 2011 iMac (either over Bluetooth 2.1 or the bundled cable). With limited testing time, though, we can’t say for sure how less power-efficient forms of Bluetooth will impact the quoted month-long battery life. Alan Stonebridge As Force Touch adoption rises (due to MacBooks), this will become easier to justify, but right now it’s a luxury.
New gesture, haptic feedback
Larger, with better dimensions
More pleasant design
Limited benefits so far
The trackpad wisely ditches its old squarish shape for dimensions more like your Mac’s display.