Besides on notebooks and laptops, I don’t really see myself using a touchpad on a normal PC, until I got myself my Mac Mini and the Apple Magic Pad. The experience of using the Apple Magic Pad is actually much better compared to using the trackpads on any Wintel notebooks. Maybe it’s because of the comination of the size of the Apple Magic Pad plus the gestures introduced by Apple in their various upgrades of their OSX operation systems. With the release of Microsoft Windows 8, the usage of gestures as a form of interaction with your PC just got into whole new level.
After purchasing and installing my copy of the latest Microsoft Windows 8 Professional Upgrade on my XenServer, I realised that the new Windows 8 is not as similar to Windows 7 that I was hoping it to be. With the new Windows 8, gestures are more intutive but I seriously think that Microsoft missed out the fact that not every one has the luxury of having a trackpad or a touch screen monitor. That’s what brought me to look for a good touch pad to compliment the Windows 8.
After a little googling, I realised that there aren’t really that much options for me to choose from. One option for me is to use the Apple Magic Pad and hack the available BootCamp drivers so that the Apple Magic Pad can be used on a normal PC. However, for this approach, I would still need to get a bluetooth dongle that will work with my current rig, something that I’ve not been having much luck with since many months back. Hence, I decided to go with the idea of getting devices that are designed for Windows 8. The two big players in input devices, Microsoft and Logitech, do come out with some equipment in preparation to support Microsoft Windows 8 but the choices are really limited. Anyway, the Logitech Rechargeable Touchpad T650 some how caught my eye with its sleek design and cool dark look. The next thing I did was tracking it down in Singapore. Made a trip down to Funan IT Mall after work, I managed to find a few sets of it in Challenger, who was nice enough to include a few dollars off for their store members.
The box of the Logitech Rechargeable Touchpad T650 is quite small, only big enough to fit the actual device in. The front of the box clearly showed the device is designed specially for Microsoft Windows 8. It also shows that the trackpad is using the Logitech Unifying Receiver which is good news for me as I can reuse my current one (using it for the illuminated Keyboard K800 and the Performance MX M950 mouse) to reduce the number of usb connected dongles. The rear of the box shows some examples of the gestures that you can use on this devices inMicrosoft Windows 8.
Opening up the box, you can see how the Logitech Rechargeable Touchpad T650 is fit nicely into the paper drawer that slips out. Weirdly, looking at this design reminds me of some of the devices that I bought before except that they come in pure white, shiny silver or sometimes black. Below the device itself housed a simple setup guide and a black docket that opens up to reveal an unifying receiver and a micro-USB charging cable, both nicely laid out.
The Logitech Rechargeable Touchpad T650 has a nice glass top surface that is so smooth to touch that it feels like touching baby skin. The back of it has a little piece of sticker that give you the reminder instructions of how to connect the device to the unifying receiver just in case you are too lazy to even read the quick setup guide provided. The top edge of the device reveals a single micro-SD port that will be required to charge the unit up when necessary.
So how big is this device? I’ve included a few shots of it compared to a Apple iPhone 4 (no, I’m not on iPhone 5 yet) to give you a feel of the dimensions. The Logitech Rechargeable Touchpad T650 is ony about as thick as the iPhone 4 and about two iPhone 4 sitting side by side to each other.
The Logitech Rechargeable Touchpad T650 also comes with a slight slop from the top to the bottom of the device to enable a comfortable rest of the hand using it.
On the right side of the Logitech Rechargeable Touchpad T650 is the power button that your can use to turn on of off the device to save the battery juice. When you turned on the power to the device, there will also be a gree LED on the top right corner to indicate the device is online.
So how does this compared to the legendary Apple Magic Pad then? You can see from below that both devices are above the same size. In terms of the slop, the Apple Magic Pad is more inclined. I’m not to sure how designers of both manufacturers determine the magic angle that customers will be happy with.
To setup the Logitech Rechargeable Touchpad T650 , I’ve first updated my Logitech SetPoint software to the latest version via its own online update. Once this is done, connecting the device to my existing unifying recevier is a piece of cake. The latest version of Logitech SetPoint also allows the user to have a go at gestures available. Interestingly, the Logitech Rechargeable Touchpad T650 is also usable in a normal Windows 7 PC and not only usable by a Windows 8 machine.
Overall, I still like this device very much. For anyone who is looking for a good way to enhance your user experience in using Microsoft Windows 8, I would recomend the Logitech Rechargeable Touchpad T650 .