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I use a trackpad everyday pretty much all day long. However, the trackpad I use is not by choice really. It's on my MacBook Pro and I use it because it's the path of least resistance. Not because I really love it. Sure I could use a wireless mouse. I could even use a wireless Wacom tablet. I do use both when I'm going to be at a desk/table for an extended period of time. I definitely use my tablet when I have any serious retouching work to do in Photoshop. The trackpad is OK. I don't hate it, but I don't love it either. I use it because it's built-in and more convenient when traveling and on the go. 

I never thought I would actually like using a trackpad on a desktop computer

Like I said above, I use the trackpad on my MacBook Pro because it's built-in. However, your options are wide open when you use a desktop computer. You can use a mouse, trackball, tablet or any other pointing device you want. So when I saw the Magic Trackpad, I almost immediately dismissed it as "not for me". Not once did I ever think I would prefer or like using a trackpad on a desktop computer. One day while visiting a friend I saw that he had one. I asked him how he liked it and he said that he "loved it." I said, "really? no seriously. It's just us. How do you like it?" He really did like it. Not to mention he was using it with a 30" Cinema Display. We were on our way back to my house and he said that he would bring it for me to try. I thought, "yeah, whatever." I humored him and gave it a try. The first thing that I have to admit liking about it was the fact that the entire pad clicks down onto the two front feet. For some reason I like the feel of this over the existing MacBook Pro trackpad. When Apple removed the button from the MacBook Pro I really did miss it and still do. However, I didn't hate this new larger trackpad. So I decided to get one and give it a try. 


I like it and I don't like it


Here's what I've come to realize about the Magic Trackpad. I like it depending on what I'm doing with it and I don't like it depending on what I'm doing with it. For example, I absolutely LOVED IT when I had it on my iMac media center. I have a dedicated iMac running iTunes to pump music through the house and stream videos to Apple TVs. On that Mac the Magic Trackpad was GREAT. I configured it so that I could just tap to click. I loved the size of it and not having to move the mouse around in the limited amount of desktop space that I had. I loved the two finger scrolling too. However, once I moved it to my Mac Pro (the computer I use for video editing), I wasn't as happy with it. It seemed like more work than using a mouse and more often than not I would reach for the Magic Mouse to get stuff done faster. 


The Bottom Line

You will either lover or hate the Magic Trackpad depending on the type of work you're doing and the apps you're running. If you're a web browsing, iPhoto browsing, page flipping kinda person then the Magic Trackpad is probably going to be great for you. The multi-touch finger gestures are awesome. However, if you're a graphic designer or visual artist and you are used to using tools in an app with precision then the Magic Trackpad is probably not going to be for you.

You can get the Magic Trackpad here for $69.

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