Setup is a snap
Simply snap your keyboard into one end of MagicWand and your Trackpad into the other and you are ready to work.
Left or right
You can place your Trackpad on either end of MagicWand, making it ideal for right and left handed users.
MagicWand in Macworld, June 11
MagicWand in iCreate, July 11
Leave it to Twelve South to come up with a device that’s both so simple, and painstakingly obvious in hindsight, that it’s a must-have ... Read More
Twelve South releases a MagicWand
You’re probably as skeptical about this MagicWand as I was when it showed up at my door. This new instalment from Twelve South seems like little more than a plastic tube on the surface, but let me tell you, it solved a very real problem that I previously had. It took me a couple of minutes to work out what a long piece of plastic was going to accomplish for me, but then I saw the MagicWand slogan, “Connects Magic Trackpad to Apple Wireless Keyboard,” and the lightbulb that normally illuminates over my head at these particular moments actually exploded this time. This particular piece of plastic was about keep my desk just a little bit tidier.
Leave it to Twelve South to come up with a device that’s both so simple, and painstakingly obvious in hindsight, that it’s a must-have. The MagicWand literally connects your Magic Trackpad to your Apple Wireless Keyboard. You slide both devices into the MagicWand,connect the spacer, and away you go. The end result is a consolidated device: Magic Trackpad and Keyboard united at last. Like I said off the top, I was skeptical, but after playing with it for the last couple of days, I’m not exactly sure how I functioned without it. That seems to be the norm with Twelve South. They make great products that no one has ever thought of before. While I’m constantly skeptical about their products on release, they always live up to my expectation, and ofter surpass my early uneducated assumptions. I should really stop second guessing Twelve South. They release great product after great product. I should know, as I now own a BookArc, BookBook, BassJump and MagicWand. Not one of them has disappointed.
when they see what other companies are planning to ask for similar add-ons, MagicWand may look like a bargain ... Read More
Hands-On: Twelve South’s MagicWand Unifies Apple’s Magic Trackpad + Wireless Keyboard
Young though it may be, Twelve South has become a reliable source of smart accessories for Apple users over the past year and a half. MacBooks notably benefitted from the sturdy BookArc stand, iPad users more recently received the super-sharp portable Compass, and now desktop Mac users are getting in on the action with MagicWand ($30), a typically well-named accessory aimed at users of Apple’s Wireless Keyboard and Magic Trackpad.
Using only three pieces, MagicWand unifies these two increasingly important peripherals to become a one-piece input solution that’s a little under an inch narrower than Apple’s USB-wired Mac Keyboard with Numeric Keypad. Piece one is a silver tube with a groove that perfectly fits the battery compartments and rubber feet of the Keyboard and Trackpad; piece two is a matching silver H insert that joins the Keyboard and Trackpad together for stability, and piece three is a gray soft rubber insert that goes at the top of the joined accessories, serving as a pad between their metal top edges. Combined together, everything looks and feels mostly like it was made to be joined this way, and the silver tube has rubber feet of its own to replace the ones it covers up. Some users may pooh-pooh Twelve South’s use of plastic rather than metal for the silver parts, particularly given the $30 asking price, but the plastic keeps the weight down while making the tube flexible enough that the Apple parts can be popped in or out without fear of scratching. A little paint from the tube may rub off if you run the keyboard through it rather than just popping it out, but it won’t damage Apple’s silver aluminum.
The overall experience of joining the Keyboard and Trackpad together is nice, but there are a few little user experience oddities that people will need to overcome. First, as Apple has placed both of the peripherals’ battery access points and power buttons in the same place—on the far left and right sides, respectively, of their tube compartments—you’ll have to give up the ability to manually turn the Keyboard on and off unless you want to disassemble the MagicWand, which isn’t a problem to the extent that the Keyboard can automatically manage its power most of the time. Similarly, replacing the Trackpad’s batteries will require you to pull it off of the MagicWand once every two or three months, which again isn’t a big issue. Left-handed users who mount the Trackpad on the left will gain easy access to its batteries but not its power button.
Second, because the two peripherals are so close together, you may experience some accidental cursor movement due to fingers slipping onto the Trackpad from the edge of the Keyboard. Third and arguably most important, the rigidity of the H bracket between the Keyboard and Trackpad limits the latter’s ability to flex its bottom left corner when used as a right-hand trackpad, making left clicks unreliable unless you perform them closer to the Trackpad’s center or activate the Tap to Click feature. Left-handed users who mount the Trackpad on the other side will find right clicks to be similarly challenging.
Given what Twelve South had to work with here—two Apple peripherals that weren’t originally designed to be physically tethered to one another despite very obvious similarities—MagicWand is a pretty cool accessory. It reduces keyboard tray clutter and prevents an issue we’ve occasionally had whereby the Trackpad and Keyboard wind up rubbing against (and even overlapping) each other during normal use on a desk; it also enables both items to be carried together for use away from a desk, with sufficient sturdiness to make that relatively safe. Our suspicion is that the price may seem a little high to some users, but when they see what other companies are planning to ask for similar add-ons, MagicWand may look like a bargain, though also the simplest of the bunch. Until and unless Apple comes up with a unified and dedicated typing and input solution for Macs, MagicWand will do the trick for most users.
Once snapped into the MagicWand... they seem as one. ... Read More
MagicWand Helps Aluminum Keyboard and Magic Trackpad Stick Together
Twelve South’s MagicWand is a 16-inch strip of aluminum with a single purpose in life: to make your Apple keyboard and trackpad get along better. The Bluetooth aluminum keyboard and the Magic Trackpad slide into the c-section strip and are held together as one solid unit. You can use it on the desktop or on your lap.
I have had one to test for the past week or so and it is a typically solid accessory from Twelve South. The two peripherals snap into place by their battery bulges — the round bits that prop them up from the rear. Once snapped into the MagicWand, you slide an h-section plastic bar between them. This, along with a rubber t-section insert, keep the pad and board in line with each other. Once connected, they seem as one.
For me, using the unit on the desk isn’t so great. One stray touch on the now very nearby trackpad can send your cursor off to another part of your text and have you tying in the wrong place. This is more of a problem with my flailing typing style, though. The actual MagicWand is meant for a desk, and has rubber feet at the rear, just like the Apple originals.
On the lap, though, it’s better, forming a solid lap-top desk. You can sit back and control a media center Mac Mini, for example, or just lean back in your desk chair as I am now, taking a break from all that endless sitting up straight.
The MagicWand will cost $30. It works great, but I prefer to have my Magic Trackpads (I have two) out on either side of my keyboard, and pushed a little back. If you do fancy one, then go ahead. You won’t have a problem with build quality.
For those who wish Apple made a Wireless Keyboard with a built-in Magic Trackpad, the MagicWand gives you the next best thing. ... Read More
From the moment Apple introduced the Magic Trackpad, a standalone, Bluetooth version of the company’s Multi-Touch trackpad, some Mac users have pined for a way to join it with Apple’s Wireless Keyboard—after all, the two are essentially identical in their designs, making them appear to be a perfect pair. For some people, such a setup would be perfect for controlling a Mac mini used in a home-entertainment system from your lap. Others just want a tidier desk.
We’ve seen a few options for pairing the two devices—no Bluetooth pun intended—including wood trays from Combine Collective and Tree Designs; Magic Lapdesk’s side-by-side and laptop-style plastic trays; and the machined-aluminum BulletTrain Express mounting platform.
A less-expensive, and in many ways more elegant, solution can be found in TwelveSouth’s MagicWand, a simple, aluminum-colored plastic rail that holds your Wireless Keyboard and MagicTrackpad together, securely, without adding a bulky frame or changing the overall size or appearance of either.
The MagicWand is almost exactly the length of a Wireless Keyboard and Magic Trackpad placed side-by-side, and is shaped like a tube with the top sliced off. You snap—don’t slide—the rounded battery compartment of each input device into the groove, rotating the device until the MagicWand’s own silicone “feet” point straight down. At that orientation, grooves inside the MagicWand grab the device’s own silicone feet to help prevent rotation during use. You can place the Magic Trackpad on either side of the Wireless Keyboard, depending on whether you prefer to use the trackpad with your left or right hand.
TwelveSouth could have stopped here, which would have resulted in a setup that’s stable on a desk or other flat surface. But if you pick up the entire contraption by the keyboard, the Magic Trackpad can rotate independently about 20 or 30 degrees; if you pick it up by the trackpad, the Wireless Keyboard rotates a bit more thanks to its heavier weight. So the company has included a thin, aluminum-colored piece of plastic with an H-shaped profile. TwelveSouth calls this the H-beam Stabilizer, and it slides between the two devices, essentially locking them together. With the H-beam in place, the setup is considerably more solid.
TwelveSouth also includes a small piece of grey silicone, called the T-pad Insert, to fill the bit of space between the H-beam and the MagicWand itself. This piece is a thoughtful touch that makes the package look much more polished.
Once all three pieces are installed, you barely even notice the MagicWand is there. You can see a tiny sliver of it along the top edge of the keyboard and trackpad, and, of course, you see the H-beam and the piece of grey silicone. But as the images above make clear, the fit and finish are impressive—TwelveSouth has done an excellent job of matching the finish and design of Apple’s devices. The setup is also surprisingly stable. You can pick it up by either end, and the most you’ll see is a very slight bend at the joint between the trackpad and the keyboard—and only if you pick it up by the trackpad, thanks to the keyboard’s weight.
There are, however, a couple drawbacks to joining your keyboard and trackpad together like this. The first is that, since both the Wireless Keyboard and the Magic Trackpad have their battery compartment on the left and their power button on the right, each device will have one of the two blocked. This is only a minor inconvenience when it comes to the blocked battery compartment, given how infrequently you need to change the batteries on the two devices—the MagicWand is easy enough to remove and reinstall. But if you regularly power down your keyboard or trackpad, doing so is more of a hassle when using the MagicWand. (TwelveSouth points out—correctly—that both devices sleep when not in use, so there’s little need to actually power them down. Unless, I should point out, you’re planning on traveling with the setup and want to avoid accidental input; but I suspect few people would actually travel with the setup fully assembled.)
The second drawback relates to the MagicTrackpad’s “clicker.” As I noted in our review of the Magic Trackpad, although the device doesn’t have a traditional trackpad button, it does indeed support physical “clicking”—each of the trackpad’s two front feet has a button built into it, so when you press down on the trackpad, one or both of those buttons is depressed. But when the Magic Trackpad is attached to the Wireless Keyboard using the MagicWand, the H-beam Stabilizer dampens the trackpad’s movement on the edge closest to the keyboard. So if the trackpad is positioned to the right of the keyboard, you must press a bit more firmly to get a click in the lower-left corner; if the trackpad is to the left of the keyboard, you must press more firmly to get a click in the lower-right corner. (The Tap to Click feature is unaffected.)
The only other potential issue is that, in my experience with many Apple-focused accessories, metal-looking finishes tend to wear off of plastic over time. We’ll have to wait and see how the MagicWand holds up in this respect. (It’s worth noting that if you remove the H-beam Stabilizer, it leaves a bit of its silver finish on the edge of your Wireless Keyboard and Magic Trackpad, though you can easily wipe off the residue.)
Given its minimalist, device-matching design; stability; and reasonable price (compared to similar accessories we’ve seen), it’s easy to recommend the MagicWand. For those who wish Apple made a Wireless Keyboard with a built-in Magic Trackpad, the MagicWand gives you the next best thing.
We’ve been testing out Twelve South’s Magic Trackpad + Apple wireless keyboard unifier for some time now and in short: it’s awesome. ... Read More
Review: Magic Wand Magic Trackpad + Apple wireless keyboard connector
We’ve been testing out Twelve South’s Magic Trackpad + Apple wireless keyboard unifier for some time now and in short: it’s awesome. The Magic Wand works as advertised and is incrediblity simple to set up and start using. Simply slide your wireless keyboard and magic trackpad into the aluminum bar, push in the piece of supplied rubber to keep both input devices in place, and you’re set.
Many users of the wireless keyboard and trackpad with their Mac desktops have long noticed that the trackpad tends to slide far from the keyboard. In my experience it is just plain annoying. Twelve South’s Magic Trackpad works to defeat the issue and does in a fairly-inexpensive and intuitive manner. The product also works for anyone as you can slide the trackpad or keyboard into any side of bar, so it’s perfect whether you are right or left handed…
We don’t have any major gripes with this product except for two minor annoyances. The first is depending on the direction you place the trackpad and keyboard into the Magic Wand (right or left handed) you will completely block either the keyboard or trackpad’s power button. This may be an issue for some but is definitely not a significant issue since the Apple wireless keyboard and Magic Trackpad have excellent power conservation technology and use very minimal power when not in direct use.
The second would be with actually performing clicks with the Magic Trackpad when its’s in the Magic Wand. Since the Magic Trackpad’s clicks are initiated when the “feet” of the device are clicked, the Magic Wand tends to block the feature just a little bit. This issue is typically only present on the bottom left side of the trackpad and is more of an issue for me. I don’t think many people will care as the trackpad gestures and clicks are still fully functional.
The Magic Wand is perfect for anyone who does not want their wireless keyboard and trackpad sliding around, or for anyone who uses both devices for a home theater type setup. The Magic Wand is available now for $29.99 with free shipping from Amazon.