Should you get the Magic Mouse 2 or Magic Trackpad 2 for your Mac? Here's what you need to know!

Apple currently offers two different input devices for the Mac: The Magic Mouse 2 and Magic Trackpad 2. The first is Apple's latest take on the original graphical user interface controller. The second is a stand-alone version of what's found in every MacBook on the market. Both move the pointer around on macOS but do so in different ways and with different pros and cons. Here's what you need to know!

Note: I'll be honest here, I'm not a fan of any mouse Apple has ever made. Still, I'll do my best to keep my personal biases out of this comparison.

Move for move

Magic Mouse 2 and Magic Trackpad 2 both let you move the pointer or cursor around your Mac's screen but both do it in different ways. The Magic Mouse 2 is a small device that you push and pull across the table. Move the mouse left and the cursor goes left. Move it down and it goes down.

While the Magic Mouse itself is small — 0.85 inches (216 mm) high, 4.47 inches (1135 mm) deep, and 2.25 inches (571 mm) wide — you need enough table space to move it around.

Magic Trackpad is the reverse. Instead of moving it, you move your finger around on top of it. Then, the on-screen pointer mimics the movement of your finger.

The Magic Trackpad is slightly bigger — 0.43 inches (109 mm) at its tallest point, 4.52 inches (1149 mm) deep, and 6.3 inches (16 cm) wide — but, since it doesn't need to be moved around, it doesn't need any additional space on your desktop.

  • If you want a traditional mouse-moving experience, and you have the space on your table, go with Magic Mouse 2.
  • If you don't have as much space or you want a more MacBook-style experience, go with Magic Trackpad 2.

Gestures vs. Force Touch

Both the Magic Mouse 2 and Magic Trackpad 2 support the same basic gestures in macOS. You can swipe to scroll up or down, left or right, to page backward or forward, to switch between desktops, and more. You can also tap and double tap to zoom or access Mission Control.

Only Magic Trackpad 2 has Force Touch, though. That's Apple's new, pressure sensitive interface technology. You "press harder" to access second-click options, to zoom or scrub faster, etc.

  • If you're okay with basic gestures and don't mind the cramped surface, you'll be fine with Magic Mouse 2.
  • If you want a bigger surface and access to not just gestures but Force Touch, go for Magic Trackpad 2.

Charging while you work

The biggest update to Magic Mouse 2 and Magic Trackpad 2 was the inclusion of rechargeable lithium ion batteries. Plug them in via Lightning cable and they not only pair immediately but they charge just like an iPhone or iPad would. Unplug them when they're done and you can use them wirelessly for hours and hours.

There's one difference, though. The Magic Trackpad 2 has a back plane big enough to fit the Lightning port. That means, if you want to or need to, you can plug in your Magic Trackpad 2 and keep using it while you charge.

Not so Magic Mouse 2. Since Apple didn't redesign it, and the original design has no flat surface large enough to hold the Lightning port, that port is on the bottom. So, when you want to charge it, you have to flip it over to plug it in, and that means you can't use it at the same time.

  • If you want to be able to plug in and charge while you work, you'll need to go with the Magic Trackpad 2.

Who should get the Magic Mouse 2?

If you want a traditional mouse experience and you won't miss the lack of Force Touch or the ability to charge while you work, get the Magic Mouse 2.

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Who should get the Magic Trackpad 2

If you want a Macbook-style experience complete with Force Touch and the ability to charge while you work, get the Magic Trackpad 2.

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Magic Mouse 2 vs. Magic Trackpad 2: Your choice?

You know I chose the Magic Trackpad 2 but, if you've made your choice, I'd love to know what you chose and why. If you still have questions, drop them in the comments below!