PC Magazine reviews Apple Magic Trackpad 2: ‘A solid update to the original’

“The Apple Magic Trackpad 2 ($129.99) offers some big updates when compared with the original Magic Trackpad — which turned an ancient-in-technology-years five this year. The concept is the same — take the excellent trackpad from Mac laptops and put it in a form that you can use with your iMac, Mac mini, or Mac Pro,” Jim Fisher writes for PC Magazine. “If you’re a trackpad devotee, it’s a solid update to the original edition, offering a wider surface and an internal rechargeable battery that Apple says can go for a month between charges. But the price jump is off-putting—the new version costs nearly twice as much as its predecessor. That’s a lot to pay for a rechargeable battery and Force Click [sic] capability.”

“On basis of merit alone, the Apple Magic Trackpad 2 is a worthy successor to the first iteration. Force Click [sic] may get the headlines and certainly requires some explaining for those who haven’t used it before, but the real upgrade here is the larger surface area and internal rechargeable battery,” Fisher writes. “With the Magic Trackpad 2, it’s simply a matter of plugging it into a USB port via the included Lightning cable to charge.”

“But there’s that price tag. At $130 it’s not quite an impulse buy, although its a bit easier to stomach as a $50 upgrade option when buying a new iMac. If you currently use the Magic Trackpad on a daily basis, you’re probably better served to keep doing so — unless you really can’t stand dealing with rechargeable or disposable AA cells,” Fisher writes. “Force Click [sic] is a fine addition as an extra function, but not one that’s worth upgrading for.”

Full review (3.5 stars out of 5; Con: “Expensive”) here.

MacDailyNews Take: Force Touch might seem like an “extra function” to those who’ve never used it, or to those who erroneously refer to it as “Force Click,” but it’s not simply some extra function, it’s a productivity booster, and it’s only going to become more essential to OS X, not less.

PC Magazine has an annoying habit of using prices against Apple products in reviews. You cannot get a trackpad of this quality that does Force Touch at any price other than this. This is it. It’s like comparing the price of a MacBook to a Chromebook or some POS Windows laptop. It’s meaningless. Yes, PC Mag, BMWs cost more than Kias.

Let your readers know the price and determine for themselves if they think it’s too expensive or not. That is not for reviewers to judge. One man’s “expensive” is another’s pocket change.

If $129.99 for the world’s best trackpad that offers features no other trackpad in the world does is too much for you, then you must be a Windows sufferer. Stop dinging Apple products on price, PC Magazine. The world is not composed only of cheapskate Windows ignorati – and thank Jobs for that!

Lightning strikes again for Apple with all-new Magic Mouse 2, Magic Keyboard, and Magic Trackpad 3 – October 13, 2015
Apple’s cool new Magic Keyboard, Magic Trackpad 2, and Magic Mouse 2 rethink how we interact with computers – October 13, 2015
Apple’s new iMacs offer affordable, high-performance desktop systems, powerful peripherals – October 13, 2015
Apple updates iMac family with new Retina displays, unveils all-new Magic Keyboard, Magic Mouse 2 and Magic Trackpad 2 – October 13, 2015


  1. Slightly off target but have you ever tried the trackpad on a lenovo thinkpad. It is seriously lame. Two fingers have to be at least an inch apart to register a right click. The responsive to clicking by finger tapping and scrolling is abysmal.
    I’m so glad I only have to use that at work when in meetings otherwise it would drive me crazy.

    1. I’m actually typing on my work Lenovo X250 right now. I have NEVER tried to use the trackpad or “ball” and always use a BT mouse.

      On my PowerBooks/MacBooks I’ve NEVER used a mouse and only use the trackpad. Go figure.

    2. I have yet to use a trackpad as smooth as Apple’s. I always used a mouse no matter what because I hated trackpads. Then I got my 2009 Macbook Pro is when I think I started using the trackpad or it may have been the one before. But still to this day any PC laptop I have used sucks.

    3. Would have to agree with this one. The Lenovo trackpad is an absolute piece piece of JUNK. Generally speaking so is the whole machine having owned one several years ago. It was the thing that forced me to the Mac.

  2. It IS expensive, extremely so, i.e. AU$199 in Australia. And it’s absolutely excellent, of course.

    But if Steve Jobs’ intention was to make a computer “for the rest of us” I don’t think it included this trackpad.

  3. While it might seem like a steep upfront cost, remember, you’re not paying for batteries anymore. That can seriously add up over the years. I go through about 5 batteries a month for the keyboard and mouse. After almost 6 years, that’s 360 batteries. At about $15 for a pack of 40, that’s $135.

    1. Yea but I’m wondering how long the battery in it will last though. You know apple, it will be a heck of a time changing it if they even want you too. Have to buy a whole new unit probably threw their eyes. I see your point though on having to buy batteries.

    2. Apple’s rechargeable batteries work just fine for me. I’ve never had to replace them. I’ve been cycling between a couple of sets of batteries weekly for years for each Magic Trackpad. It only takes a couple of minutes to swap out, and a thumbnail will unscrew the battery bay easily.

    3. I’ve replaced the NiMh batteries in my wireless keyboard, mouse and trackpad… maybe once. Battery prices have come down, resources are less expensive.

      The one thing about the new trackpad that I DO like is that it’s easy to tell if the thing is turned on or off. Having a toggle switch at the back makes way more sense than a button on the side with an ambiguous indicator light.

    1. The listed system requirements at Apple are:

      Bluetooth 4.0-enabled Mac computer with OS X v10.11 or later

      According to the MacTracker app, NO. You can run OS X 10.11, but you’ve got Bluetooth 2.1 built-in, which doesn’t qualify. 🙁

  4. These ARE a lot of money. But so are batteries. I’ve resorted to buying in bulk for my insatiable magic mouse. Also, I had an original track pad, and the batteries leaked and corroded the aluminum so bad I couldn’t get them out…no way, no how. Don’t know how soon I will drop some cash on these, but probably will eventually.

    Now, what would REALY be cool is if I never had move my hands off the keyboard to use a mouse of trackpad. What if the tops of the keypads were capacitive touch sensitive, and you could lightly gesture across the tops of the keys to move elements on the screen? You’d still need another device for certain functions, but for positioning a curser or swiping a screen up/down, left/right. That would be magic for me.

    1. I’ve used Apple’s rechargeable batteries in my Magic Mouse and Magic Trackpads for years, and never had to replace them. They typically drain to 15% or so weekly, an alert pops up, I swap them out in a couple of minutes, and get back to work. Oh, and no need for a coin to open the battery bay. My thumb nail works just fine. Just don’t over tighten it.

  5. A few points:

    – I don’t know what they source article says the original Magic Trackpad costs “$104.40 at PinnacleMicro”. That’s a ripoff. It’s currently $64.99 at OtherWorldComputing.com (aka MacSales.com). You can buy it used for $62.95. (No, I don’t work there…).

    – There’s no reason you can’t use a Magic Trackpad (1 or 2) with a MacBook or even an iOS device. It’s Bluetooth. It just works. I, for one, get arm strain from using the trackpad on my MacBook Pro all day. Being able to move my arm into a different, more ergonomic position via the Magic Trackpad is very helpful, as long as I have room for it beside my MBP.

    – As for the final street price, let’s wait and see what the other vendors offer. (At the moment, I can’t find anyone but Apple selling it online).

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