In Short

Ever since Apple debuted the PowerBook 500 series in 1994, trackpads have been a mainstay on Apple's portables. They've made their way to countless other laptops as well. But until 2010, trackpads were absent on the Mac except for some specialty third-party devices. All that changed when Apple introduced the Magic Trackpad, which works just like the trackpad on MacBook laptops but is much larger.

The Magic Trackpad is a multi-touch trackpad that sports a similar composition and design to the trackpad found on Apple's laptops. It's canted at the exact same angle as Apple's Wireless Keyboard, so you can set the two of them flush, side-by-side, for a continuous work surface.

The Magic Trackpad sports a glass surface with 80 percent more area than a laptop trackpad. In its base are feet that act as button triggers, so you get the same "click" response you're accustomed to from a laptop trackpad.

The trackpad itself, combined with Apple's OS X driver software, recognizes gestures, so you're doing more than just moving your finger to move a cursor on screen You can scroll with two fingers in any direction, pinch to zoom, rotate using your fingertips, swipe left and ride to page forward and back, even activate ExposΓ©. You have control over how the Magick Trackpad works using the Trackpad system preference.

Inside it's powered by AA batteries, and it communicates with a host Macintosh via Bluetooth.

The Magic Trackpad isn't standard equipment on any Mac model, but works with any Mac equipped with Bluetooth and OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.4 or later. It costs $69.