• The Magic Trackpad Finally Debuts

    The long-rumored Magic Trackpad peripheral - essentially a MacBook Pro trackpad without the MacBook - has finally been released by Apple, a week after the FCC approved it, almost five months after trademarking the name and nearly a year after the device was first hinted at by Gruber. For all of Apple's renowned secrecy, they sure telegraphed this one.

    The Magic Trackpad is a smooth-surfaced standalone trackpad, designed with the same brushed aluminum finish as the Apple Wireless Keyboard. It kicks back at the same angle as the keyboard, too: pretty much begging you to get one as an option with your new iMac or Mac Pro. (Hey, it's only another 70 bucks and you're already paying a couple grand; go for it, big spender!) The same multitouch gestures and taps that work on the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air glass trackpads work on this device: two fingers to secondary-click, scroll, rotate, or pinch-to-zoom, three fingers to page through documents, and so forth.

    Significantly, though, Apple says the Magic Trackpad is 80% larger than the Mac Book Pro trackpad, though they don't give actual dimension. If you look at a Wireless Keyboard it will give you some sense of scale. This thing is really as much a small tablet as it is a big trackpad, with interesting implications for Apple's continuing march from the mouse pointer interface to a multitouch model, building on its successes with the iPad and iPhone. Expect more products from Apple that leverage multitouch, including - maybe very soon - iBooks for the desktop.

    People who have Apple wireless peripherals know what battery hogs they are, and the complaints were apparently not wasted on Apple, because along with the Magic Trackpad today, they announced the Apple (Magic?) Battery Charger with six batteries, apparently, so you can have two in your keyboard, two in your Magic Whatever, and two charging.

    The Magic Trackpad costs a magical $69 US, and ships within 24 hours, as of right now. That may change, so if you want one, you should probably order it quickly.
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