Magic Mouse vs Magic Trackpad: Which Should You Buy?

There’s no denying that both the Magic Mouse and the Magic Trackpad are fantastic products, but each is tailored to better suit slightly different needs. In this article, we’ll take you through the differences and help you make an educated decision. 

Magic Mouse vs Magic Trackpad: At a Glance

Magic Mouse 2Magic Trackpad 2
Battery LifeTwo MonthsOne Month
ChargingLightningLightning
Use While Charging?NoYes
Multi-TouchYesYes
Force Touch SupportNoYes
WirelessYesYes
BluetoothYesYes
Weight3.52 Ounces8.16 Ounces

Is Space an Issue?

One of the main things that should factor into the equation when comparing the Magic Mouse to the Magic Trackpad is how much space you have at your desk or workspace. 

Every iMac (probably including the upcoming iMac 2021) comes complete with a Magic Mouse. They are wireless, portable (plus lightweight!), and incredibly easy to use. Thanks to the Magic Mouse’s multi-touch gestures, it is ideal for the iMac’s quick pointer actions and side-swiping features. 

The Magic Trackpad, on the other hand, is a much larger piece of equipment (6 x 4.5 inches) and is intended to be used as a stationary accessory. An advantage of the Magic Trackpad is you can control everything using the power of your fingertips. This is not only great for people who spend extended periods of time at a computer for work, but also for gaming. The ability to move your arms around more freely reduces the ergonomic stress put on your body overall. The Magic Trackpad is still portable, but it is not as easy to lift and move about with one hand.

Magic Mouse vs Magic Trackpad: Gestures vs Force Touch

Both the Magic Mouse and the Magic Touchpad perform very similarly when it comes to gestures and general actions. However, the Magic Touchpad has a few extras up its sleeve, as you may have come to expect. For starters, you can pinch-to-zoom and rotate images with the flick of a wrist. 

Another extra you will get with a Magic Trackpad is Force Touch. Force Touch is similar to 3D Touch on the Apple iPhone. To activate Force Touch, simply click down on the Touchpad until you feel a second click. Once this has occurred, you can access Quick Look and Look Up, which are nice little features, but not something you’re likely to be using very often. 

Magic Mouse vs Magic Trackpad: The Charging Dilemma

Although the battery life is longer on the Magic Mouse than it is on the Magic Trackpad, there is one glaring issue when it comes to the time to charge. This issue only concerns the Magic Mouse, and is to do with the charging cable placement. 

You could argue that because the Magic Mouse comes free with every iMac, it’s unlikely to be the better all-round product. The charging port is situated underneath the mouse, meaning you are unable to use it (or your computer for that matter) while it is charging. It is best charged overnight, but short bursts would be enough to finish whatever you were doing. 

The Magic Trackpad does not suffer from this issue. You are able to use the Magic Trackpad while it is being charged, ensuring you will never get caught short of battery when you need it most.

Magic Mouse vs Magic Trackpad: Price

The Magic Mouse is a no-brainer if price is an issue. As stated earlier, the Magic Mouse comes free as standard with every iMac Desktop (although to get it in Space Grey will cost you an extra twenty bucks). If you wanted the Magic Trackpad, it would set you back an extra $50. 

The Bottom Line

The Magic Mouse comes free with every iMac Desktop, which will likely trump all other points for those of us on a tight budget. They have a small footprint and the classic Apple aesthetic, although lose points on the inconvenient charging port location and potential uncomfortableness for prolonged use. ($79.99 at Apple)

The Magic Touchpad, although the pricier of the two, offers a lot more versatility and ease of use. You are able to use the Magic Touchpad while it is charging, which is a massive plus over the Magic Mouse, and have a lot more freedom with the movement of your arm, which is fantastic news for those of us that spend prolonged periods of time at our computers. The Force Touch is a nice additional feature, but perhaps not something you would primarily be buying the Touchpad for in itself. ($129.99 at Apple)

Related article: 7 Best Alternatives to Apple’s Magic Keyboard 2020

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