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View Full Version : Going from glassy trackpad to MBA trackpad




Kilamite
Jan 17, 2010, 06:42 PM
Looking investing in a 21.5" iMac and a MacBook Air to replace my MacBook Pro. However, I've become really accustomed to the glass trackpad. I went into my local store to try out the Air again, and realised just how much I prefer the glass trackpad and buttonless design.

Has anyone else done a similar transition? How do you find the Air trackpad now?

I wish Apple would update the Air to have a glass trackpad..



zedsdead
Jan 17, 2010, 08:45 PM
I would hold off. The laptops are due for an update soon. While the MacBook Air has a great trackpad, there is a noticable difference from the glass trackpad. I personally would wait to see what apple does.

Scottsdale
Jan 17, 2010, 09:08 PM
I hated going from glass to MBA trackpad. I used the glass for two months and got addicted. I still miss the feel of the glass and the buttonless design eight months later.

When I think of actual differences between the MBA and 13" MBP, the trackpad plays a bigger part of what I want than the 2 GB RAM limitation in the MBA. I would wait and see if the MBA changes lead to a glass trackpad you would like to have. If not, buy an MBA refurbished or on closeout. That way, at least you give Apple a chance to update to the trackpad you would prefer.

You will miss the glass trackpad as long as you have an MBA without one. It's less than ten days until we probably know a whole lot more!

jimboutilier
Jan 17, 2010, 09:11 PM
I was used to a MBA (RevA) Trackpad for about a year when I switched to a uMB with the new Trackpad. I use my uMB for about a year before transitioning back to a new (RevC) MBA last month.

I was a bit worried about the trackpad as well because I loved the new glass buttonless trackpad. As it turned out the transition was easy and painless and I don't mind going back.

Given the thickness and travel and weight of the glass trackpad I'm not sure we'll see it in the MBA in its current form as it would take considerable redesign to have it fit in the AIR and not add weight.

Kilamite
Jan 18, 2010, 01:48 PM
I hated going from glass to MBA trackpad. I used the glass for two months and got addicted. I still miss the feel of the glass and the buttonless design eight months later.

Yeah that is really what I'm worried about.

The event on the 27th, I really have no hope of Apple putting in a glass trackpad in the Air. They've had a year and a half to do it.

Never know though, and I'm in no rush to buy. But by end of February, I'd ideally want my setup to be complete.

jahala
Jan 18, 2010, 02:54 PM
I have been using the unibody Macbook and Macbook Pro laptops for the last few months. I just got a Rev. B Macbook Air with SSD this weekend. For me, the transition was pretty seamless because I tend to use the glass trackpads as if they have a button, anyway. I.e., I use my thumb to click the bottom of the pad.

I really like the mba so far. I kind of like having the trackpad button, actually.

coast1ja
Jan 18, 2010, 04:53 PM
My first Mac was an MBA... I have recently been bouncing between various MBPs, and I have to say I actually like the button better. It's a nice place to rest your thumb and the trackpad doesn't mistake your thumb for another finger and disrupts pointing. I also like that the button is quieter when clicking. The button has a softer feel when clicking on the MBA. I also don't like the sensation of my fingers moving on the trackpad when I click... call me anal, but it is just odd to me.

As for feel of the trackpad, putting a Zagg invisibleshield on the MBA makes it feel quite a bit like the glass trackpad.

I realize that I'm in the minority here, but I honestly wish I could get a button back!... I bet the glass is heavier too, but I can't confirm that.

ayeying
Jan 18, 2010, 06:28 PM
I hated the glass trackpad. Having a "buttonless" button just seems weird for me. Also, with this button, it's a breeze through the crappy Touchpad drivers for Boot Camp.

nj-mac-user
Jan 18, 2010, 07:17 PM
I honestly believe that if the MBA was going to get a glass trackpad it would've gotten one in the last update. I think the form factor of the MBA has alot to do with it not being in it now. One of the things I like with the glass trackpad though is that you can set the right click to use the bottom right corner whereas with the MBA it isn't possible obviously.

Scottsdale
Jan 18, 2010, 10:29 PM
I honestly believe that if the MBA was going to get a glass trackpad it would've gotten one in the last update. I think the form factor of the MBA has alot to do with it not being in it now. One of the things I like with the glass trackpad though is that you can set the right click to use the bottom right corner whereas with the MBA it isn't possible obviously.

I completely disagree, as I think Apple can make one fit with the same form factor. What others pointed out that made the most sense, is that Apple probably ordered way too many MBA cases, trackpads, and etc. With demand low and sales absolutely horrible with the first MBA, Apple probably wanted to go through its existing inventory.

I think the next MBA update will include a glass trackpad whether the rest of the case changes or not.

SnowLeopard2008
Jan 18, 2010, 10:54 PM
I completely disagree, as I think Apple can make one fit with the same form factor. What others pointed out that made the most sense, is that Apple probably ordered way too many MBA cases, trackpads, and etc. With demand low and sales absolutely horrible with the first MBA, Apple probably wanted to go through its existing inventory.

I think the next MBA update will include a glass trackpad whether the rest of the case changes or not.

It's not a matter of hardware inventory, it's a matter of feasibility. The MBA is already extremely thin. It's not thick enough to support the glass trackpad. Also, glass adds to the overall weight. Apple can make the glass really thin, but then it will have problems with flexing, cracking, bending, etc. during clicks. Thin glass will easily crack as well. If you can back up your argument and refute mine, then you are right.

Mactagonist
Jan 19, 2010, 09:41 AM
It's not a matter of hardware inventory, it's a matter of feasibility. The MBA is already extremely thin. It's not thick enough to support the glass trackpad. Also, glass adds to the overall weight. Apple can make the glass really thin, but then it will have problems with flexing, cracking, bending, etc. during clicks. Thin glass will easily crack as well. If you can back up your argument and refute mine, then you are right.

So how much more thick/heavy is the new button less track pad then the old style?

Popfry
Jan 19, 2010, 11:59 AM
It's not a matter of hardware inventory, it's a matter of feasibility. The MBA is already extremely thin. It's not thick enough to support the glass trackpad. Also, glass adds to the overall weight. Apple can make the glass really thin, but then it will have problems with flexing, cracking, bending, etc. during clicks. Thin glass will easily crack as well. If you can back up your argument and refute mine, then you are right.

That's incorrect on so many levels. I do repairs on macs of all types and I can say that the difference in trackpad depth is negligible and they would have pretty horrific product designers if they couldn't make it fit, which we all know they don't. The overall weight of putting a glass trackpad instead of the current is also insanely negligible. There is absolutely no way you could notice any difference. A glass screen on the other hand is noticeably more heavy and even with tempering or strengthening it would have a good risk of breaking. Source of thought: From handling both of the trackpad assemblies.

DAMAC3
Jan 19, 2010, 12:39 PM
I've had two Macbook Air units and the 13" and 15" Macbooks (Pro) with the glass trackpad. I really like the glass trackpad, but I didn't think it was enough of a difference to avoid the Air. I actually just got back from meeting someone from Craigslist to sell them my 15" Macbook Pro, and I am not buying anything until after the 27th. I expect I might just buy a used Rev A or B Air and add a Runcore SSD because my laptop doesn't do much heavy lifting anymore, and I want something lighter. But we'll see what happens on the 27th.

jimboutilier
Jan 19, 2010, 01:42 PM
That's incorrect on so many levels. I do repairs on macs of all types and I can say that the difference in trackpad depth is negligible and they would have pretty horrific product designers if they couldn't make it fit, which we all know they don't. The overall weight of putting a glass trackpad instead of the current is also insanely negligible. There is absolutely no way you could notice any difference. A glass screen on the other hand is noticeably more heavy and even with tempering or strengthening it would have a good risk of breaking. Source of thought: From handling both of the trackpad assemblies.

Cool, can you tell us the height and weight differences then? Things like "negligible" are not particularly helpful when a 1mm difference could result in something not fitting in an AIR.

The glass trackpad would need full assembly thickness at the thinest part of the AIR where the AIR's trackpad used a separate raised button to achieve fit. Outside of a glass trackpad redesign or a MBA case redesign not sure how it could possibly fit.

halledise
Jan 19, 2010, 01:46 PM
Looking investing in a 21.5" iMac and a MacBook Air to replace my MacBook Pro. However, I've become really accustomed to the glass trackpad. I went into my local store to try out the Air again, and realised just how much I prefer the glass trackpad and buttonless design.

Has anyone else done a similar transition? How do you find the Air trackpad now?

I wish Apple would update the Air to have a glass trackpad..

the Air's pad works fine for me - and that's coming off a MBPro which had the glass pad.
I rarely if ever use the button on the Air and so fail to see exactly what is the issue being raised here :confused:

nj-mac-user
Jan 19, 2010, 04:28 PM
I completely disagree, as I think Apple can make one fit with the same form factor. What others pointed out that made the most sense, is that Apple probably ordered way too many MBA cases, trackpads, and etc. With demand low and sales absolutely horrible with the first MBA, Apple probably wanted to go through its existing inventory.

I think the next MBA update will include a glass trackpad whether the rest of the case changes or not.

All I'm saying is that if it were possible, why wouldn't Apple have done it already? That would've been a huge selling point for the last update. We can speculate all we want, but in the end there's a reason it wasn't in Rev C. 1-2mm makes all the difference inside of a MBA.

Scottsdale
Jan 19, 2010, 04:34 PM
Cool, can you tell us the height and weight differences then? Things like "negligible" are not particularly helpful when a 1mm difference could result in something not fitting in an AIR.

The glass trackpad would need full assembly thickness at the thinest part of the AIR where the AIR's trackpad used a separate raised button to achieve fit. Outside of a glass trackpad redesign or a MBA case redesign not sure how it could possibly fit.

The thing is that it doesn't matter if it's thicker in the MBP. It's not about using the same part as is used in the MBP, it's about making the material fit the MBA. I am sure Apple can design a trackpad made of glass to fit in the MBA. If they can design all of their other technologies, this is a breeze. It might even be a piece of glass as the trackpad, and they use tap-to-click or even buttons. It might be slightly different in implementation or use. However, my thought is that Apple will make the trackpad exactly the same to the end user but thinning the underside (to reduce space demands), and make it feel just like it does on the MBP. Don't count Apple out on something it wants to do. I believe the glass silky smooth "experience" is important enough to Apple for it to make it happen in the MBA.

We will hopefully all find out within eight days!

Scottsdale
Jan 19, 2010, 04:46 PM
All I'm saying is that if it were possible, why wouldn't Apple have done it already? That would've been a huge selling point for the last update. We can speculate all we want, but in the end there's a reason it wasn't in Rev C. 1-2mm makes all the difference inside of a MBA.

Not if my theory is correct, and Apple had enough trackpads around to just keep the MBA supplied until its next refresh.

I don't care how thick the trackpad is in the MBP; that's most likely irrelevant. We don't know that the trackpad cannot be thin enough to be in the MBA, and still function the same as it does in the MBP.

Has anyone ever thought that Apple made the glass trackpad the "correct" size for the MBP, and that the trackpad could be made thinner and still fit in the MBA while functioning the same as it does in the MBP?

I think a lot of people are giving Apple too little credit. Apple finds ways to make the experience better for all. Apple has been able to thin everything else, do you all really think Apple cannot thin a glass trackpad into the MBA? I think you're comparing Apple to pc manufacturers that don't care about thickness... Apple is always going extremely thin, lightweight, and shiny... and if it wants a glass trackpad in the MBA it will find a way to make it happen within the necessary size constraints.

Really. This is Apple not Acer.

Kilamite
Jan 19, 2010, 05:59 PM
I'd far prefer the trackpad to be glass but with an actual button.

The MBA button is a little flimsy - a thicker and more balanced button is what I'd like.

Dwanep
Jan 19, 2010, 06:36 PM
I have had both and love my Air but if a new version would come out with a glass track pad I am in line to buy it. I liked it so much better.

coast1ja
Jan 19, 2010, 08:35 PM
I'd far prefer the trackpad to be glass but with an actual button.

The MBA button is a little flimsy - a thicker and more balanced button is what I'd like.

I agree, the glass feel with a sturdier button and I would be happy... My old Rev. A button fealt a bit 'mushy', but that could have been because of use. My Rev. B button is a little better.