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Apple Readying External Trackpad for Desktops?

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 27 comments

With WWDC going on this week, all eyes were on the iPhone 4, Safari 5 and iOS. However, there's a little something else that's garnering headlines around the blogosphere and so far, it hasn't appeared at WWDC.

Back in February, Apple filed for a trademark on the name 'Magic Trackpad' suggested the company's Magic Mouse wasn't the only 'magical' input device at Cupertino. Yesterday Engadget suggested that this Magic Trackpad might have been part of the lineup in Steve Jobs' keynote speech, but that never happened. The site did post some pictures along with the report and later added a few more images from a source who claimed to be testing the device.

This source said the Magic Trackpad supports handwriting recogition, all the functions of the Magic Mouse and possible some features of a MacBook trackpad. The multitouch Bluetooth device is aid to be aimed at desktop Macs. One Engadget reader threw together the following cardboard mock-up based on the leaked images.

It's still not clear what exactly this is; we could be looking at a simple trackpad for a desktop concept or it could be a miniature Wacom-style tablet.

More pictures here.

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Top Comments
  • 22 Hide
    datawrecker , June 8, 2010 9:51 PM
    Is that the new iCardboard??? Hope it goes for under $500.
  • 10 Hide
    Kelavarus , June 8, 2010 9:54 PM
    At least it's not the Magic Pad. That would just be too much.
Other Comments
  • 22 Hide
    datawrecker , June 8, 2010 9:51 PM
    Is that the new iCardboard??? Hope it goes for under $500.
  • 10 Hide
    Kelavarus , June 8, 2010 9:54 PM
    At least it's not the Magic Pad. That would just be too much.
  • -2 Hide
    Anonymous , June 8, 2010 10:00 PM
    I need a wireless computer for home use. ++

    Plus, Can I get a wireless CPU? latest version? anybody

    Gee 1!!
  • 9 Hide
    sabot00 , June 8, 2010 10:11 PM
    I thought the only reason they use trackpads on laptops is because you can't put a mouse inside a laptop.
    I think everyone agrees mouses are easier to use, more natural, and here's the killer: GAMES.
  • -1 Hide
    nforce4max , June 8, 2010 10:12 PM
    Screw it I rather be stuck using an Altair 8800 than any of this fancy shiny Apple crap.
  • 0 Hide
    vertigo_2000 , June 8, 2010 10:12 PM
    I'm rich! At least I will be once I sue Apple.

    I've already patented the useless, rectangularish-shaped, brownish, paper-based, wireless device for the computer.

    I'll soon be rolling in the money. Does cold hard cash give papercuts when you roll in it?
  • -3 Hide
    vertigo_2000 , June 8, 2010 10:18 PM
    But can it play Crysis 2?

    Someone was gonna do it! You know they were.

    Bah... whatever... red down-thumb me then.
  • 1 Hide
    7amood , June 8, 2010 10:29 PM
    datawreckerIs that the new iCardboard??? Hope it goes for under $500.


    +∞
  • 1 Hide
    Abrahm , June 8, 2010 10:43 PM
    sabot00I thought the only reason they use trackpads on laptops is because you can't put a mouse inside a laptop.I think everyone agrees mouses are easier to use, more natural, and here's the killer: GAMES.


    Yeah no kidding. I can't stand track pads, I always plug a wired or wireless mouse into a laptop if I have the chance. Why in the world would I want a track pad for a desktop?
  • 2 Hide
    johnb4467 , June 8, 2010 11:35 PM
    I actually far prefer a trackpad for many activities, especially with the gestures of the macbooks/pros. Reading a PDF, for instance, is much more fluid, as you just swipe three fingers down to go to the next page. Yes, I KNOW there is a page-down button, but it feels much more fluid on the trackpad (you down have to go searching for the button, etc...all the controls are on the same surface). I've actually been looking forward to a product like this for a while.
    Just for reference...I [mainly] don't use either a trackpad OR a mouse -- I use a wacom tablet. Much more intuitive (and easier on the hands) than either, except [like I said] for reading PDF's, scrolling webpages, etc -- trackpad is lightyears ahead on convenience there.
  • 0 Hide
    johnb4467 , June 8, 2010 11:38 PM
    *don't
    (sorry...still don't know how to edit messages here...) :( 
  • 1 Hide
    jaysbob , June 8, 2010 11:38 PM
    datawreckerIs that the new iCardboard??? Hope it goes for under $500.


    it's the most user-friendly cardboard square to date!
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , June 8, 2010 11:43 PM
    Multiple-touch for desktop. This is designed to be used with a mouse not replacing a mouse. I wan pinch and zoom and other cool features that u can't do on a magic mouse. Then I will use my MX revolution for games. Simple. Yes please
  • 0 Hide
    tayb , June 9, 2010 12:07 AM
    Not sure of the purpose of this device. Wacom makes an external tablet for photo editing and what not but this doesn't seem large enough to fit the bill and there is no mention of pressure sensitivity. I've never once though "Gee I wish I could get that annoying trackpad for my desktop."

    Maybe I'm wrong though. Hard to tell dimensions of an image without a reference so it may very well be large enough to be an external digitizer for artists and what not. It may also be pressure sensitive. Guess we'll have to wait and see.
  • 2 Hide
    g-thor , June 9, 2010 12:18 AM
    The iCardboard Magical iTouchpad will revolutionize computing as we know it. You are looking at the iFuture, my friend. No other device that anyone can come up with will iNfluence your life like this will. it is iNcredible.
  • 1 Hide
    frozenlead , June 9, 2010 12:33 AM
    johnb4467(you down have to go searching for the button, etc...all the controls are on the same surface)

    So, for those of us who know how to type and where all the buttons are...and, by the way, all the keys on your keyboard are located on the same surface: the keyboard.

    :p 
  • 0 Hide
    twisted politiks , June 9, 2010 12:53 AM
    sabot00I thought the only reason they use trackpads on laptops is because you can't put a mouse inside a laptop.I think everyone agrees mouses are easier to use, more natural, and here's the killer: GAMES.


    Not if it supported multi-touch and had a high resolution. this would be much better for drawing programs on computers than a mouse. And as for your comment on games, those things dont work on Macs, remember XD
  • 0 Hide
    falchard , June 9, 2010 1:47 AM
    No one really prefers a tracking pad over a mouse on a laptop. Why adopt it on a desktop?
  • 0 Hide
    G-Systems , June 9, 2010 1:52 AM
    sabot00I thought the only reason they use trackpads on laptops is because you can't put a mouse inside a laptop.I think everyone agrees mouses are easier to use, more natural, and here's the killer: GAMES.


    I'm sure Apple isn't trying to compete with the mouse with this (if they develop it for mass market)... It's kind of like their idea re: the iPad. It's not there to replace the laptop--but to accompany it. This pad is for handwriting transfer and zoom/selection functions... That's all... It literally CAN NOT replace the mouse for the same reason you just gave... Unless, of course, it will allow you to just use your hand in the motion of a mouse--then it is. But, people like Logitech will fight tooth and nail to not have the mouse replaced...

    Interesting story...although it's just speculation...
  • 0 Hide
    micky_lund , June 9, 2010 2:50 AM
    datawreckerIs that the new iCardboard??? Hope it goes for under $500.

    too true, tho it would be called the iCard, because the word after the 'i' can never be longer 5characters (eg. phone,pad)
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