Fixing a Magic Wand


Monday, 18 November, 2013

Content Bought a Twelve South MagicWand and finding your Trackpad clicks harder?

Having recently decorated my home office space, I bought a wireless Apple keyboard and a Magic Trackpad to minimise the wires on my new desk. I'm as guilty as any designer in wanting my workspace to look good and work well.

Twelve South MagicWand

However, I looked into a way to fix both input devices together as I felt it would also help orientate the direction input on the trackpad, rather than have it annoyingly rotate around my desk as it did.

I sought out the MagicWand from Apple accessorisers Twelve South, who through its claim of delivering the keyboard you dreamed of, package up an expensive polycarbonate rod, a piece of rubber and a stick of metal.

I actually read that this accessory makes Trackpad clicking a little harder on the side that's closest to the keyboard. I just dismissed this as being a surpassable inconvenience, in my quest for visual perfection.

Harder clicks

However, it does make a difference and after using the MagicWand for a couple of days, the extra pressure became a noticeable and annoying requirement, not really what you want through input devices that are meant to provide as seamless a connection as possible to your computer.

The MagicWand connects the two input devices via the main rod which holds the rounded back of the keyboard and Trackpad together. There is a small bit of rubber that fits between the two at the top corner, which I assume is to stop the metal rubbing against each other.

Twelve South MagicWand

Twelve South MagicWand

There is also a H-beam bar that is slid in between the devices lengthways that provides a much more rock solid connection, allowing the keyboard and trackpad to be picked up without either end drooping.

Twelve South MagicWand

However, it's this beam that causes the problem. The Trackpad click relies on it's "foot" being pushed down, and there is a little resistance that the h-beam causes via it's close proximity to the equivalent, but non-moving foot of the keyboard. I found that usually, my first click-in-a-while didn't register, and then I had to click again but harder.

Tap to Click?

Why not configure the Trackpad to use Tap to Click? Well, it never worked for me. I kept on clicking more times than not, and I like the tactile feel of a real click.

In fact, it's in the marketing copy that Tap to Click can be used if you want to use the Wand-connected devices on a couch on anywhere without a smooth surface.

The solution

Finally, I realised before I succumbed to repackaging and returning the MagicWand, that I could just remove the H-beam and the Trackpad is free to click as intended.

Twelve South MagicWand

For something that will spend most of it's life on my iroko wood desk, this is ideal, but if and when I decide I need my controls on the sofa (new Apple TV? As in a display?), back goes on the H-beam and the change to Tap to Click.


Products. Technology.

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