By Jeffrey the Barak
For the most part it did not hurt, and because it worked so well as an input system, I assumed that it would always be what I used. I even used a pen-based trackpad for while and owned a Windows Tablet PC for a while, but nothing matched the mouse for all round usefulness. In fact when traveling with a notebook computer I would often take a mouse along as well.
But then normal trackpads were rendered obsolete by the Magic Trackpad. Or to be more accurate, Macbook Pro users suddenly got very large trackpads that led to the Magic Trackpad.
My last couple of mice, the Mighty Mouse, and then the Magic Mouse has issues. The Mighty Mouse always needed to be cleaned to scroll properly because dust and hair would interfere with it, and the Magic Mouse, which I initially loved gave me my first ever computer related wrist pain.
It was this pain that led me to try the Magic Trackpad and yes, that is why my wrist does not hurt. But it’s not just about pain-free comfort, the gestures and general usefulness of the Magic Trackpad have transformed the interface of computing for me. Even in spreadsheets and photo editing and even when dragging and dropping, I prefer the trackpad to the mouse that I cradled for two decades.
It may take a day or two to get completely used to, but having a nice relaxed arm and the fingers resting comfortably on the desk in the handwriting position takes all of the physical stress away from navigation and control.
Add to this the tremendously useful gesture controls for scrolling, pinching, zooming and page turning etc., and the computer interface is transformed from the move and click of a mouse to something much more dimensional and intuitive. And activating the optional tap to click really adds to the utility of this device. The very idea of going back to a mouse after this is unthinkable.
When OSX Lion comes out this year it will be even better. I have already installed reverse scrolling under Snow Leopard and it makes much more sense after the short adjustment period.
So I have to say, my Magic Trackpad is a remarkable device and one of the best interface innovations I have yet to experience.
Jeffrey the Barak is not a mountain yak and he eats bananas.