Last week, Apple announced new peripherals for the Mac. In this article, Ken Doe takes a look at the new Magic Keyboard and Magic Mouse 2.
On October 13, 2015, Apple released the new Magic Keyboard, Magic Mouse 2, and Magic Trackpad 2. Less than an hour after the release, I ordered a Magic Keyboard and a Magic Mouse 2. After using the new peripherals for a few days, my verdicts are in.
First, we’ll take a look at the Magic Keyboard. Apple’s last, major keyboard redesign was in 2007, so it’s great to finally have an upgrade!
The Magic Keyboard features an all new design, which is noticeably thinner and lighter than its predecessor. In addition, the keys use an updated scissor switch, which offers 33% more stability. I can feel the stability with every character I type, and during my first typing test, I scored 108 words per minute.
Another useful tweak is the larger function keys (brightness control, volume control, media playback, etc). The prior keyboard had miniature keys in the top row. The keycaps also use Apple’s new San Fransisco typeface.
The Magic Keyboard has a built-in lithium ion battery. This means users don’t have to switch out AA batteries, every so often.
The Magic Keyboard charges with Apple’s Lighting cable, which is included. Apple claims that a two hour charge will power the device for at least a month. This is the same with the Magic Mouse 2. Not only does the Lightning connection charge the keyboard, but it also automatically pairs it with the computer; no more manual pairing and PIN number typing.
I also tested this with Windows on my Mac, and the automatic pairing worked flawlessly.
Overall, this is a much-needed, and very solid upgrade. The only downside I noticed is the price. The Magic Keyboard is $20 more expensive (USD) than its predecessor; costing $99 USD. In the long run, this seems to be okay because one is not spending money on AA batteries, anymore!
Magic Mouse 2
Lastly, we’ll look at the Magic Mouse 2. This new accessory also features a rechargeable lithium ion battery, and it charges with Lightning. Additionally, it automatically pairs with Lightning.
The removal of AA batteries makes the mouse feel significantly lighter, and less resistant to surfaces. In my testing, the mouse glides seamlessly over surfaces, and I haven’t needed a mousepad. All of the multi-touch gestures from the previous Magic Mouse are still supported in OS X.
I am incredibly satisfied with this mouse upgrade, but there are a few things to be aware of. First of all, the Lightning port is on the bottom of the mouse, so one cannot use the mouse while it’s charging. Another thing I noticed is more of a third-party software issue. MagicPrefs is a power-user plugin that enables users to add custom gestures to the Magic Mouse. This plugin does not work with the Magic Mouse 2. I hope there will be an update to the software, one day.
The price of this mouse also increased over the predecessor. It now costs $79 USD, as opposed to $69. However, one is saving money on disposable AA batteries.
To sum up, these upgrades have been very solid, and I think they’re long overdue. It’s great to have them now! If you wish to view a 90 second video that covers these two accessories, a video embed is included in this article. Thanks for reading.
My name is Ken Doe, and I run a content creation group known as the Computer Clan. In addition, I provide online hardware and software training, and I teach small video production classes at local tech colleges. I have been using the Final Cut line of NLEs since 2008, and I have never considered switching to anything else. It helps power my unfathomable love for producing a great video.
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Many thanks to Ken for taking the new peripherals for a spin. We would love to hear from users who have spent time with the new Magic Trackpad.