Laptops optimize

Cracking Open the Apple Magic Trackpad

Bill Detwiler cracks open the Apple Magic Trackpad in this teardown gallery. And, take the poll and tell us if the Trackpad will ever replace the mouse.

With the iPhone's release, Apple introduced the masses to Multi-Touch (using multiple-finger gestures to navigate the device's UI). In 2008, they brought Multi-Touch to laptops with the launch of the Macbook Air and updates to the MacBook Pro. In 2010, Apple is trying to bring Multi-Touch to the desktop, with the Magic Trackpad.

Come along as Bill Detwiler cracks open the Apple Magic Trackpad in this teardown gallery.

Apple Magic Trackpad teardown gallery

Photo credit: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic

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About

Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop supp...

16 comments
NexS
NexS

An enabler.

Animal13
Animal13

If given the choice, I use a mouse with my PC, even though it has a touch screen and a trackpad. Admittedly, I have a mouse with a jillion buttons on it (Tilt Wheel that spins for reading, page forward and back buttons, search button, plus the standard 2 buttons. I find the MAC's one button really limiting. That may be because I use one infrequently and have not mastered all the keyboard shortcuts...

NexS
NexS

Could I suggest you put text links to galleries next time (or at least indicate somewhere that the image is, indeed, the link to the page)?

Bill Detwiler
Bill Detwiler

In 2008, Apple brought Multi-Touch to laptops with the launch of the Macbook Air and updates to the MacBook Pro. This year, Apple is trying to bring Multi-Touch to the desktop, with the Magic Trackpad. But are trackpads more than just a passing fad? Do they have what it takes to seriously compete with the mouse? Original post and poll: http://blogs.techrepublic.com.com/itdojo/?p=1963

JackOfAllTech
JackOfAllTech

I guess I'll have to add you to my ignore list. I understand neither Santee nor you and if you're not going to try to explain yourself .....

howamil1
howamil1

What ever happened to the trackpoint? I got so use to it, it went and did just what I was thinking. Now, I would have to think to use this Trackpad. !! I'll stay with a track ball for now.

Bill Detwiler
Bill Detwiler

When I post a piece about one of our galleries, I usually provide both a text link and a linked image. This time the text link just slipped through the cracks. It's there now.

NexS
NexS

No, I don't believe so. I would, personally (and so would many others), much prefer to use a mouse over a trackpad. I have a few reasons i say this, and are as follows: 1. Trackpads are used (generally, and speaking from MY experience) for notebooks because of their spacelessness. That is, they don't take up much room, so they work well with mobility. Mobility is only an intermittent need. 2. Using a trackpad for everyday use would be absolutely and irreparably annoying. I think I'd pull my fingernails off if I had to use one day-in, day-out. 3. A mouse has a single point of navigating, which means you can be as exact as your own stamina will allow for the mouse pointer's direction. The trackpad, if accidentally touched, has, and always will jump around the screen like an excited flea in a kennel. 4. There are times when you want to not use a mouse, not the other way around. Graphic art - perfect example of using a non-mouse pointing device with a tablet and a pen-like pointer. Very precise - exactly what you want, but you wouldn't use it for navigating a data processing user's PC. 5. Apple made it. I'm sick of them trying to change the world with their wanky ideas.

NexS
NexS

Life isn't so bad! All I meant to say is that you're enabling the Apple-clan in the sense that the mindset says 'Everything that Apple make will be the one-and-only, even if it takes a while'. I disagree fully with that mindset. And I believe that you are traitorous to the current, clear mindedness, that a trackpad is a thing of 'space saving' and not an all-purpose pointer.

Animal13
Animal13

I had an IBM Thinkpad and I loved the trackpoint. They had some issues with it drifting but after several driver updates it got to the point that it was really superior. It originally took a little gettin used to but I liked not having to take my fingers off the keyboard.

NexS
NexS

:D Huzzah!

glenstorm_98
glenstorm_98

"Apple made it. I'm sick of them trying to change the world with their wanky ideas." They do more than try; sometimes they succeed, and we're better for it. *That's* probably what sticks in your craw. Resent their attitude if you like (not saying there's nothing to resent). I'll choose to enjoy their products, thank you very much. -Dw

NexS
NexS

Oh jeez, we're doomed!

JackOfAllTech
JackOfAllTech

Seriously, thanks. Unfortunately, I am very literal-minded (and a little OCD) so I don't always get subtle or indirect references. I despise Apple so yes, I was only referring to the usefulness of the device not bowing at the Apple altar.

NexS
NexS

But I stand firm that, while they have a keen niche eye, their fancy new products (iPad, for example) have no real substance other than the novelty of the item. I should also tell you that I grew up with Apple computers. I was in the generation where Apple subsidized primary schools for Apple computers (at that point, the coloured 'bubble' iMacs), so I know them fairly well. I still believe that they have limited use. My problem isn't their computing equipment, it's the niche gadgets and trying to re-invent the wheel.