When you buy a new iMac you will need to choose between the Magic Mouse and the Magic Trackpad. Which one is better? While it is somewhat a matter of personal preference, the trackpad has several advantages over the mouse that you may want to consider before making your decision.
Hi, this is Gary with MacMost Now. On today’s episode let’s talk about deciding whether to get one of these or one of these.
So you are about to purchase a new iMac. You’re scrolling through the options considering different things you can get with it and you notice, of course, that you can choose between a Magic Mouse or a Magic Trackpad. Now they are the same price so which one should you get.
Now there are a lot of factors to take into consideration. Your first instinct may be to go with the Magic Mouse because perhaps you have used mice all the time and you don’t want to switch. But you should seriously look at the Magic Trackpad as a good alternative.
I’ve got both connected to this Mac right here. We can go into System Preferences and there is a Mouse and Trackpad pane. I can go into each one and see some of the gestures and options offered.
So I can see for instance here for a Magic Mouse that I’ve got point and click controls for scrolling. You can scroll across the top of the Magic Mouse. You can also secondary click and decide whether or not that is on the right or left side since it is just a touch surface you can basically think of it as a two button mouse even though you can actually touch any part of the surface you want. You can Smart Zoom double-tap with one finger. You also get more gestures in here where you can swipe between pages. You can swipe between full screen apps and you can activate Mission Control.
But that is it as far as Gestures are concerned on the Magic Mouse.
Now on the Magic Trackpad you get much more. You’ve got point and click things. Even three finger drag. You’ve got Scroll and Zoom gestures and you even have this whole section here of more gestures with all sorts of different things that you have. So it is a full set of Gestures. This is actually the same set of gestures you would get if you bought a new Mac Book Pro which of course has Trackpad built in.
Now there are other differences as well. Of course ergonomically they are very different. The Mouse is something you hold in your hand and you need space on your desk to move around. So you are actually moving your arm as you control the Mouse and the cursor on your screen.
The Magic Trackpad on the other hand stays in the same place on your desk. So you are not actually moving your arm you are just barely moving your fingers across the top of it. This is the same thing, as I said, with the Mac Book Pro. So it is a little bit different in the ergonomics and also how you use your desktop space. You are going to need some sort of pad for the Magic Mouse to be on depending upon the surface of your desk and what that is like and just some space to move the mouse on. Whereas the Trackpad always stays in exactly one spot and never moves.
They both take two AA batteries and you can use rechargeables in there like the ones Apples sells. So there really is no advantage or disadvantage for each one over battery power.
One thing I really like about using a Magic Trackpad is that it is the same on my Mac Book Pro as it is on my desktop Mac. So I don’t have to switch pointer devices. Not one minute using a mouse and the next minute using a Trackpad.
Also, there are some hints that this is the future. Consider first of all that 60% of all Macs sold are laptops. So most Macs actually use a Trackpad. The Magic Trackpad has been fairly successful. In fact PC manufacturers are now starting to offer it as an option to have a static trackpad that sits next to your keyboard.
So it may be that the Mouse is on the way out and Trackpads are the way of the future.
I also find the Trackpad to be a little more accurate with the way that I use a cursor. So I can just barely brush the top of it and move over a few pixels whereas with the mouse I move an entire device to move the cursor. I find that I can’t get quite as much precision. Now other people may disagree and find the opposite.
One thing to note about the Magic Trackpad is it doesn’t do something a lot of people thing it should do. It is that you can’t hold it like this and actually click on it. I can move the cursor around it just fine but clicking on it does not work. The reason is that you are actually clicking the surface down so it needs to be on a flat hard surface, like a desk, in order for the clicking motion to work.
So for me the advantages of the Magic Trackpad are many more Gestures to choose from, the full set. It is the same as what Mac Book Pro’s use so it is what a majority of Mac users are using and it stays at a single spot on your desk and doesn’t require you to move your arm around as much.
The advantages of the Mouse are if you are used to using the mouse then this will probably be a better device and you won’t have to get used to using something new.
So if you ask my opinion I go with the Magic Trackpad. It’s what I use and I think it has a lot of advantages. So when somebody asks me which one they should get I say go with the Magic Trackpad.
So that is my opinion on choosing between the two. I would love to hear your opinion. You can leave a comment on this video at the MacMost website.
Until next time this is Gary with MacMost Now.