A Look Inside Apple's Magic Trackpad

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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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With its ultra-thin design and single-use functionality, users might think that a teardown of Apple's new Magic Trackpad would be straightforward and uninteresting. But the experts at iFixit show us in one of their famous teardowns how Apple pulls off the design and puts it all together into a sleek package.

As is becoming increasingly common for Apple's device, particularly its peripherals, disassembly is not for the faint of heart, with a fair amount of prying required and some adhesive to fight through in order to fully access the internals.

Once inside, iFixit discovered a small logic board roughly in the center of the device carrying the same Broadcom Bluetooth chip used in the Magic Mouse and the same Broadcom touch controller found in the iPhone, iPod touch, and MacBook Air, in addition to 256 KB of flash memory. The remainder of the interior surrounding the logic board contains a white plastic spacer designed to prevent damage to the logic board should the device be squeezed.




Magic Trackpad's clicking mechanism
One of the other interesting design features we previously noted is the Apple's use of the Magic Trackpad's feet to generate the "click" when the user presses down on the device's surface. iFixit's teardown reveals how depressing the surface of the trackpad causes the feet to push up onto a hinged metal plate that runs along the front edge of the device inside the chassis. That metal plate then contacts a small mouse button to activate the clicking functionality.

Article Link: A Look Inside Apple's Magic Trackpad
 

Mike84

macrumors 6502a
Jun 23, 2010
813
131
So, these guys basically tear down everything that Apple makes just to look inside?

Sweet!
 

3282868

macrumors 603
Jan 8, 2009
5,281
0
I still don't understand why it's needed. It's just an oversized MacBook trackpad for desktops. :confused:

...and c'mon, the monicker "Magic" for their touch peripherals is lame...
 

saxon48

macrumors 6502a
Jun 14, 2010
863
71
Barad-dûr
I still don't understand why it's needed. It's just an oversized MacBook trackpad for desktops. :confused:

...and c'mon, the monicker "Magic" for their touch peripherals is lame...
I don't get it either. There's nothing wrong with the Magic Mouse, and there's always BetterTouchTool if people want multi-touch functionality from the mouse...
 

spazzcat

macrumors 68030
Jun 29, 2007
2,637
1,417
I still don't understand why it's needed. It's just an oversized MacBook trackpad for desktops. :confused:

...and c'mon, the monicker "Magic" for their touch peripherals is lame...
Maybe for you, but I been wishing for one of these for some time.
 

Queso

Suspended
Mar 4, 2006
11,824
7
I still don't understand why it's needed. It's just an oversized MacBook trackpad for desktops. :confused:
Yes, that's exactly what it is. For those of us that use MacBooks and have become used to multi-touch it's an absolute pleasure to finally do away with mice.
 

willy-wonkapple

macrumors newbie
Jul 28, 2010
18
0
recycle & reuse

from giz:
The alien autopsseurs over at iFixit pried the Magic Trackpad apart like Arthur pulling the sword from the stone. The big surprise? ...there weren't any. It does use the same touchscreen controller chip as the iPhone, however. What's that mean?

It means Apple is continuing their trend of reusing guts across multiple devices. For this trackpad, Apple also uses the same Bluetooth chip found in the Magic Mouse. In other words, other than a diminutive logic board, there are really no new electronics within the Magic Trackpad. With the right tools and enough Apple products, you probably could have Frankensteined the thing yourself.
 

NebulaClash

macrumors 68000
Feb 4, 2010
1,810
0
Boy, I can't wait for Apple to introduce the iGravity device, then iFixit tears it apart and we can finally understand the principles of anti-gravity so that I can finally get my damn flying car they promised me!
 

bluedog3401

macrumors regular
Sep 4, 2008
178
0
I was really hoping to have them find a surprise inside. If it contained a gyroscope, it would have been a no-brainer that they intended to release the iOS and apps on something like an iTV or even an 'emulator' to run on the desktop machines like iMac, Mac Pro, etc.

With the motion sensor and trackpad in laptops, they were almost there. To me it makes sense to try and get all the excitement and development of the App store onto additional spaces.

Competing in the set-top box gaming by undercutting price while giving you access to your purchases on multiple devices would be awesome. Sony asks you to purchase PSP games at $25-50/ea. If you want the similar game on your PS3, you buy it again for a minimum of $30+

With Apple and the iOS, a developer can write their app and have it available on millions of devices, with some tweaks/redevelopment they could have it on the iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch and any Apple iTV/upcoming iOS based TV system if Apple made this happen. This type of move would be disruptive to the portable gaming market AND the set top game systems.

Its ironic, portable gaming seems to have been an offshoot of dedicated gaming systems. Apple has come at it from the reverse, starting with a portable unit that allows for games. Let's see them put these games in the living room with an iTV - iOS-based device. Come on Apple!
 

sishaw

macrumors 65816
Jan 12, 2005
1,147
19
I still don't understand why it's needed. It's just an oversized MacBook trackpad for desktops. :confused:

...and c'mon, the monicker "Magic" for their touch peripherals is lame...
Some people like trackpads better than mice. For those people who have a desktop, this is really nice. No one is forcing it on you.
 

kernkraft

macrumors 68020
Jun 25, 2009
2,456
1
...With its ultra-thin design and single-use functionality, users might think that a teardown of Apple's new Magic Trackpad would be straightforward and uninteresting...
Users would be right. This is straightforward and seriously uninteresting. I expected even more to it...

What I am curious about is the margin. This must be the most expensive aluminium since the release of the MacBook Air (from which I had two - one broke, so I bought another :) ).
 

skiltrip

macrumors 68030
May 6, 2010
2,813
213
New York
Since I've gotten my MacBook Pro back in April, I've really grown accustomed to the trackpad on it. At first I used a wireless mouse, but used it less and less until now I never use a mouse with it. It's nice to see I can have the option of the track pad if I ever got a desktop/imac again.

Not sure how it would translate to a desktop environment though.

On a MacBook, the trackpad is right smack in the middle, and is kind of congruent in a way to your screen. So movement is real intuitive, almost like the screen is just a zoomed in version of what you're doing on the trackpad. With this new Magic Trackpad, I wonder if it would "feel" any different having it off to the right (or left) of your keyboard. I suppose one would get used to it pretty quick.

And, I also think the "Magic" thing in their new product names is over the top.
 

muchadoaboutnot

macrumors member
Jul 27, 2010
44
0
I'm unconvinced of the utility vs. a regular mouse (as a Windows user, I assume there will eventually be Windows drivers), but the use of the mouse feet as a way to generate the click is fairly clever.

The only problem I foresee with that is using it on your lap (for an HTPC). If both feet aren't on something stable, you won't generate the click.
 

ModestForumName

macrumors regular
Apr 11, 2010
167
2
Boy, I can't wait for Apple to introduce the iGravity device, then iFixit tears it apart and we can finally understand the principles of anti-gravity so that I can finally get my damn flying car they promised me!
>=0 they promised us hovercars. but i would seriously love that job. hire me next iFixit??
 

kernkraft

macrumors 68020
Jun 25, 2009
2,456
1
Now if only they built one into a wireless keyboard...
Then they wouldn't be able to charge you twice. Also, lefties or righties would complain. Or if there are both in your household, both would complain.

But to be fair, this device matches the angle, appearance and dimensions of the wireless keyboard, so Apple probably found the best solution for the problem.

Just one thing - will it be easy to accidentally click it? On my unibodies, I have a platform for my hand.
 

kirky29

macrumors 65816
Jun 17, 2009
1,459
298
Lincolnshire, England
I still don't understand why it's needed. It's just an oversized MacBook trackpad for desktops. :confused:

...and c'mon, the monicker "Magic" for their touch peripherals is lame...
I've been wanted something like this for quite some time, the trackpads on Mac's are super. So nice to use. Even if I don't fully replace my mouse with this, I'll sure use it a lot........
 

saxon48

macrumors 6502a
Jun 14, 2010
863
71
Barad-dûr
Then they wouldn't be able to charge you twice. Also, lefties or righties would complain. Or if there are both in your household, both would complain.
Unless there were ports on either side to connect it to suit one's needs. But that's a little too much..