Wireless Trackpad... Worth the price?

I have a new to me MB Pro (2015 edition) with Mojave. My home setup is to attach Cinema Display monitor and use a bluetooth keyboard and trackpad. this worked for years with my MBA. The laptop is on a stand so it’s like I have two monitors.

Had the MB Pro for 24 hours. The trackpad is feeling clunky. It was bought in 2011. Is it worth the $120 to upgrade to the new trackpad?

One thing to consider if you’d like to save the money is to change the setup and monitor configuration.

Keep the laptop open in front of you and elevate the external monitor so its lower edge aligns with the top edge of the laptop screen. Keep the laptop centered relative to the external monitor and use the internal keyboard and trackpad of the MacBook Pro. Maybe this arrangement of monitors can suit you. I seem to recall that this model has excellent keyboard and track pad.

I often use this setup and keep chat windows, reference materials and an open notepad in the lower monitor while keeping the focused work on the external.


If you have a brick-and-mortar Apple Store nearby, you might want to check out the Magic Trackpad 2 before buying. I agree the older model is clunky – feels like an afterthought. My older one has been in a drawer for years. It is a bit of a bother to use a Magic Trackpad alongside a MacBook Pro – constantly shifting from one to the other. I found that I just gave up on the external trackpad.

What do you use to elevate the monitor? Interesting idea…

One thing I realized recently is that I have less worry about spilling my coffee on the external keyboard…

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I can’t say if it’s worth it for you, but I was very pleased with the upgrade from v1 to v2. It feels great, like the MBP but bigger. You can choose to tap or click etc and it clicking anywhere on the surface requires the same, minimal pressure.

In order to reduce my trackpad use though (for RSI/ergonomics reasons), my home setup now has a keyboard centre, MS mouse on the right and the new trackpad on the left for scrolling and gestures.

It probably helps to be moderately ambixtrous for this setup, but it’s pleasant.

I’ve used a trackpad as my primary pointing device on my desktop Mac (or laptop connected to an external display) for many years. I used the original Magic Trackpad for most of that period, then upgraded to a Magic Trackpad 2 along with my new iMac a couple of years ago.

I don’t make use of the Force Touch features in the Magic Trackpad 2 very often. I have a couple of things set up in Better Touch Tool, but don’t really do that much with them. For me, the two advantages over the original Magic Trackpad are the larger area and the internal battery. The larger area is useful, particularly since I’m using it with an iMac with two external monitors, so I’m moving my mouse pointer side to side quite a bit. The ability to charge it via Lightning rather than periodically replacing batteries is nice.

Is either of these things worth $129? Maybe, maybe not. I’ve still got a couple of 1st generation Magic Trackpads that I use with other computers that I haven’t upgraded yet, so the evidence suggests that I don’t value the benefits of the newer model that much. That said, if I were getting a new Mac that comes with a pointing device I’d certainly shell out $50 to make it a Magic Trackpad 2 rather than a mouse.

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Amazon appears to have refurbished ones for $90 which come with a 90-day warranty:

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The monitors I have had access to were all equipped with a mechanism to adjust the height. For more static stands, I have seen so many variations. Books, bricks, inverted Tupperware, metal boxes, flower pot stands… It all depends on what you have available and find accepable visually.

”Monitor risers” is a whole category at Amazon too. This will give a more polished look, but now we’re back to spending again :slight_smile:

My go-to is reams of paper.

This was the error I made when I got my iMac last year. That Magic Mouse is just gathering dust while I continue to use the first gen Magic Trackpad.

One thing though: Apple is the only brand for decent trackpads. For any other computer, I disable the (always crappy) track pad.

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The “Magic Mouse” is the ‘spinning hard drive’ of Mac accessories: it’s an outdated piece of equipment that leads to a worse experience and Apple should have killed it off a long time ago, but apparently they still want to squeeze every last dollar out of us.


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