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Hands-on with the Logitech Rechargeable Trackpad for Mac

If it seems like we've been posting a lot about Logitech products lately, it's because the company has been embracing Apple products like never before. That means that we're seeing a lot of new Apple-only products, and the company is being great about sending us review equipment to test out. The latest item from the company is the US$69.99 Rechargeable Trackpad for Mac. While the company's website still shows that the item is only available for pre-order, one lucky TUAW reader will get a chance to win this new accessory from Logitech.

Design

Size-wise, the Logitech Rechargeable Trackpad for Mac is identical to Apple's Magic Trackpad, measuring 5.25 inches wide by 5 inches deep. Unlike the Apple trackpad, the Rechargeable Trackpad does not have as much of a tilted surface.

The Apple trackpad has a definite demarcation between the touch-sensitive glass surface and the metal section containing the batteries. Not so with the Logitech trackpad, which is a solid slab of glass. The sensitive portion does not extend all the way to the top of the trackpad, so it may take those who are familiar with the Apple trackpad a minute to get used to the usable area.

Unlike the Apple trackpad, there are no removable batteries, thus eliminating the cylindrical bulge at the top of the Apple unit. The Logitech unit has a rechargeable battery -- hence the name. To charge the battery, the company includes a standard USB to micro-USB cable. The battery can be charged while the device is in use. There are two small buttons -- a slider on the side to turn power on and off, and a recessed push button on the bottom to set up pairing.

The Logitech trackpad is attractive looking and the finish matches just about any modern Apple product. My only complaint is that I like to put my Apple trackpad right up against the side of my Apple Wireless Keyboard -- they match up nicely and almost look like a single unit. Not so with the Logitech trackpad, which is a completely different height.

Functionality

Pairing the Logitech Rechargeable Trackpad was a cinch -- I just turned it on by sliding the power switch, a green LED appeared on the top of the unit, and then started blinking blue. I used the Bluetooth Setup Assistant to add the device, and then the LED shut itself off.

For regular scrolling, clicking, and right-clicking, the Logitech trackpad worked identically to the Apple unit. Two-finger scrolling on web pages was identical as well. However, getting some of the other gestures to work was problematic. It appears that Logitech will have drivers available soon; at this time, the address listed on the bottom of the trackpad redirects to a master mouse / trackpad driver page, and the T651 (the model number for this device) is not currently listed.

Of course, this trackpad is also listed as "available for pre-order," so it's not surprising that the full driver set isn't yet available. I have no doubt that the company will soon have drivers available to make all other standard OS X gestures work perfectly.

Conclusion

If you'd like a fully-functional and rechargeable trackpad for your Mac, Logitech's Rechargeable Trackpad is a worthy competitor to Apple's Wireless Trackpad. As soon as the full driver set is available -- which should be soon -- the Rechargeable Trackpad will support all OS X gestures.

Pros

  • Can be charged while in use, which is not true of Apple's Wireless Trackpad
  • Very "Apple-like" design, lower profile than Apple's trackpad
  • Lower cost than Apple's trackpad if the cost of Apple's Battery Charger ($29) is taken into account

Cons

  • Doesn't match up height-wise with the Apple Wireless Keyboard, if you're obsessive-compulsive about such things

Who is it for?

  • Anyone with a Mac who wants an alternative trackpad to the Apple offering

Giveaway

One lucky TUAW reader is going to get a chance to be one of the first Mac owners to own a Logitech Rechargeable Trackpad for Mac. Here are the rules for the giveaway:

  • Open to legal US residents of the 50 United States, the District of Columbia and Canada (excluding Quebec) who are 18 and older.
  • To enter, fill out the form below completely and click or tap the Submit button.
  • The entry must be made before December 21, 2012 11:59PM Eastern Standard Time.
  • You may enter only once.
  • One winner will be selected and will receive a Logitech Rechargeable Trackpad for Mac valued at $69.99.
  • Click Here for complete Official Rules.


Categories

Accessories Mac

If it seems like we've been posting a lot about Logitech products lately, it's because the company has been embracing Apple products...