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Apple’s Standalone Peripherals Are Getting Upgraded

Posted by zduncan | Posted in Computer, Computer Accessories | Posted on 22-10-2015

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A massive update is in store for the standalone products offered by Apple. This includes the company’s keyboard, mouse and trackpad, with ways of making each device a lot better than they used to be. One of the key changes coming to all the devices is the fact that they are all ditching their AA battery requirements in favor of built-in batteries that charge via Lightning cable. These new batteries are expected to last for about a month on a single charge and are supposed to quickly charge enough for nine hours of use after just two minutes of being plugged in.

Aside from the battery changes, each device is getting a design change with some being more than others. The trackpad is getting the biggest change in the fact that it is no longer terrible. The new trackpad comes with a flat metal base and a white top that slopes downward back to front. The surface of the trackpad is wider and has a more rectangular shape and also comes with some new tricks. Force Touch is now supported and, the feature that most people will love, you now have the ability to click the trackpad literally anywhere on its surface. However, all of these new bells and whistles come with an increased price tag as the new model runs $129.

The next thing to see a big change is the Apple keyboard. The new keyboard looks far different from its predecessor, having a single piece of metal that gently slopes down from top to bottom, much like the trackpad. As a matter of fact, the trackpad and the keyboard actually fit perfectly side-by-side. The keys themselves are slightly wider than the older model, reducing the air gap around them though their placement is identical. The function keys also see a change in size, shifting from tiny rectangles to full square keys that are very satisfying to press on.

Even though the keys are in the same place, they feel very different. These new keys are far shallower than their predecessors, which might not seem like a big difference until you factor in the slope of the keyboard. Each row of keys is closer to being level with the row next to it, meaning you have to move your fingers slightly more to reach certain keys. I’m sure you’ll get used to this quickly though you shouldn’t expect perfect typing right out of the box. This new keyboard is also getting a price hike to $99.

The Apple mouse sees the least amount of changes compared to the trackpad and keyboard. The new mouse looks practically identical to the old one, with the same flat top that looks like no other mouse on the market. The new one is slightly longer, which makes it feel less awkward in your hand. The biggest change is on the bottom of the mouse, where there is no longer a thin, removable plate covering where the batteries would be. This is significant because that thing was a pain to remove. Apple has also noted that it has redesigned the “rails” the mouse slides on though they seem pretty much the same. Like the other two products, the new mouse is increasing in price to $79.

All three of these products are also receiving slightly new names as well. The trackpad is now known as the Magic Trackpad 2 instead of the Magic Trackpad, the Magic Mouse is now known as the Magic Mouse 2, and the keyboard is called the Magic Keyboard. Why not the Magic Keyboard 2 you might ask? Well, because the old keyboard was simply known as the Apple Wireless Keyboard. Magic or not, I think the new one should be called the Magic Keyboard 2 for continuity purposes. All three products are currently available from Apple.

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