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Logitech Rechargeable Trackpad is a welcome, if imperfect, input device

Lex Friedman | March 7, 2013
I use Logitech's Wireless Solar Keyboard K750 every day. That keyboard satisfies my particular needs: I prefer a full-size keyboard with a number pad, and I want it to work wirelessly without having to remember to change batteries.

I use Logitech's Wireless Solar Keyboard K750 every day. That keyboard satisfies my particular needs: I prefer a full-size keyboard with a number pad, and I want it to work wirelessly without having to remember to change batteries.

Since I acquired that keyboard more than a year ago, I've considered also replacing my Magic Trackpad with something that doesn't require batteries. But once I went trackpad, I just couldn't go back-pad. So I kept on keeping on with my Magic Trackpad, swapping in replacement AA batteries when the need arose--a smidgen too frequently for my taste, I thought.

Which is why Logitech's announcement of its $70 Rechargeable Trackpad for Mac was big news for me. I was delighted to get my hands--or, really, fingertips--on one.

What it says on the tin

The Rechargeable Trackpad for Mac is, like Apple's own standalone trackpad, a glass trackpad that supports OS X's Multi-Touch gestures. But unlike Apple's trackpad, this one has a built-in, rechargeable battery. You charge that battery by connecting one end of the included USB-to-Micro-USB cable to the Micro-USB port on the back of the trackpad, and the other end to a USB port on your Mac. Logitech says three hours of charging should give you about 60 hours of use.

To conserve battery power, you switch off the Rechargeable Trackpad using a power switch on the right-hand edge. I'd prefer a smart-shutoff feature, like the one on Logitech's wireless keyboards, that would put the trackpad to sleep after a certain period of inactivity, but since recharging is quick and painless--and because you can use the Rechargeable Trackpad while it charges--this is a minor complaint.

The Rechargeable Trackpad's surface doesn't feel noticeably different from that of the Magic Trackpad, but the incline of the trackpad's surface does. The back of the Magic Trackpad sits about 3/4 of an inch off the ground (largely due to the space required for AA batteries), while the Rechargeable Trackpad's rear rises only 1/4 of an inch. It's unlikely that you'll miss the Magic Trackpad's incline, especially if you're comfortable with the fully flat trackpads built into Apple's laptops."

Like the Magic Trackpad, the Rechargeable Trackpad physically clicks by making its front two feet double as buttons; when you push down on the trackpad, those feet trigger a pointer click. My first day with the Rechargeable Trackpad, I found that its physical click required more force to trigger than that of the Magic Trackpad. After a few weeks of use, though, it's no longer an issue--the difference was small enough that I largely got used to it. I'd still say that the click is still a hair less "clicky" than I'd prefer, but it's entirely manageable--and likely only an issue if, like me, you've been using Apple's trackpad. (If you prefer tap-clicking, you can opt for that approach. In fact, tap-click is enabled by default in Logitech's companion software--a decision that resulted in accidental clicks all over the place before I realized what was going on. I'm no fan of that feature, and once I disabled it, sanity returned.)

 

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