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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.

Speaking of software, Logitech's configuration utility for the trackpad, a System Preferences pane called Logitech Preferences Manager, lets you configure tap and Multi-Touch gesture behavior, as well as see the current battery level. However, if you don't need that battery status, you can use the Rechargeable Trackpad without Logitech's software. With or without Logitech's software, the Rechargeable Trackpad supports nearly all of the same Multi-Touch gestures that Apple's trackpad handles: clicks, right-clicks, two-finger clicks, two-finger scrolling, spread/pinch to zoom, rotate, swipe back and forth between webpages, swipe between full-screen apps and spaces, show Launchpad, show the Desktop, enter Notification Center, and double-tap to zoom.

The only gesture that I find the Rechargeable Trackpad gets wrong out of the box is that it uses Lion's three-finger double-tap to bring up inline definitions, instead of Mountain Lion's three-finger single tap. If you've already set your gesture preferences in OS X's Trackpad preference pane, you'll still need to set them again in Logitech's preference pane.

A status light on the Rechargeable Trackpad--a hidden LED positioned just below the surface in the upper-right corner--flashes red if the trackpad is running low on juice or shows green when it's charging. I wish the trackpad displayed a more-precise sense of how much battery life is remaining. You can launch System Preferences, find the Logitech Preferences Manager, and check on your remaining battery status using the iconographic there, but I'd prefer something like a series of LEDs on the trackpad itself.

The rub

My complaints to this point--wishing for a better battery indicator, a slightly clickier click, and one different default gesture--are all pretty minor. However, I do have one bigger complaint that, while not turning me off from the Rechargeable Trackpad, is a true disappointment: Logitech's trackpad doesn't seem quite as smart as Apple's about detecting whether I intend to trigger a one- or two-finger event.

What I means is that the Rechargeable Trackpad occasionally--mistakenly--interprets me as having used two fingers on the trackpad when I think I've used only one. Put another way, the Rechargeable Trackpad seems less capable than the Magic Trackpad at handling incidental contact. The result is that Logitech's trackpad sometimes erroneously believes that I want to scroll the page, or perform a right-click (a two-finger click), when my intention is to use just a single finger on the trackpad.

This isn't a deal-breaker, as when the problem occurs, nothing catastrophic happens. It's merely an annoyance--for example, the page scrolls when I want to simply move the cursor. And after using the trackpad for a few weeks, I've gotten better at avoiding the latent finger or palm that seems to cause the issue in the first place. But it still happens to me a couple times per day.

 

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