Mac Mouse vs Trackpad

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Updated November 18, 2022

When Apple lovers go to select the best computer mouse, they’re faced with a challenging decision. Apple offers two options when it comes to cursor control, their Magic Trackpad and Magic Mouse mouse. Each makes a serious case for itself. So, if you are caught at a crossroads, below, we’ll be comparing the advantages and disadvantages of each. And in the end, we hope to get you closer to deciding which is best for you.


  • Apple’s Magic Trackpad and Mouse come with multi-touch gestures and high-grade functionality.
  • The trackpad is a more ergonomic mouse, as it has a large, flat surface allowing users a more accessible range of movement.
  • Compared to the Magic Trackpad, Apple’s mouse has a longer battery life and is preferable for frequent travelers or those with limited desk space.

For gamers, feel free to check out our resources, like our comparison of playing with a controller vs a mouse for Halo Infinite. Additionally, we have a guide on when to replace mouse feet, which is a critical task for any elite gamer.

For those with carpal tunnel or hand problems, you’ll want to read our guide to learning how to hold a gaming mouse.

Insider Tip

Apple offers a 14-day return policy for anyone wanting to try out the trackpad and mouse before making a final decision.

Differences Between Magic Mouse Versus Magic Trackpad

When choosing a great mouse for a Mac, the Magic Trackpad and Magic Mouse are great options if you’re looking for some of the sleekest mouse technology on the market. However, there are stark differences between the two, and it comes down to how you judge things like size, functionality, ergonomics, and battery life.

However, it’s important to remember that these devices share many of the same great features. For example, either device has a multi-touch surface, Bluetooth wireless connectivity, and rechargeable batteries. If you want a further look into Apple’s devices, we have a dedicated article explaining what an Apple Magic Mouse is.

Range of Movement

The Magic Trackpad has a much larger surface than the mouse, giving the user more freedom of movement. Conversely, one complaint many have about the Magic Mouse is that the surface area is relatively small and can cramp your hand if you use it for too long.

The Magic Trackpad is designed as a large flat surface, which allows users to shift their hand position, creating a more ergonomic design. So, regarding overall comfort, most prefer Apple’s trackpad, as it also means users are more likely to use the device for extended periods without pain.


Both Apple devices support a wide range of valuable gestures, but the new Magic Trackpad features a few additional gestures unavailable on the Magic Mouse. These extra gestures include the power to rotate an image and a pinch-to-zoom function that’s super useful for editing pictures.

Haptic Feedback

The Magic Trackpad implements state-of-the-art haptic feedback mechanisms that give users a greater feel for their device and a more immersive experience. And better still, it allows users more control over how they can use their mouse as a controller. For example, users can adjust their preferences to set up various commands via force touch feedback.

Haptic feedback is great because it’s known to help increase user efficiency and accuracy, which leads to higher productivity. On the other hand, the Magic Mouse doesn’t come with haptic drivers and uses a traditional mechanical approach to communicating commands.

Battery Life

Battery life is a bright spot for the Magic Mouse. On average, Apple’s mouse battery lasts up to two months, while the Magic Trackpad’s battery life is about half.

Of course, the battery life depends on usage, but the trackpad is much larger and requires power to fuel the haptic drivers and actuators.


Users cannot use their Magic Mouse while charging, as the charging port is located at the bottom of the device.

Compactness & Travel

If you’re a frequent traveler and need to bring your computer setup along, you might be best off with the Magic Mouse. Apple’s trackpad surface measures 6×4.5 inches and weighs 8.16 ounces.

On the other hand, the Magic Mouse is much smaller, dimensionally speaking, and only weighs 3.52 ounces. Therefore, the Magic Trackpad may not make sense if you have limited desk space.

STAT: The first Apple Magic Mouse was sold in 2009. (source)


As we all know, Apple products are never cheap. But for those trying to budget, the Magic Mouse is the clear winner, costing $50 less than the Magic Trackpad.

  • Magic Mouse: $79
  • Magic Trackpad: $129

Mac Mouse vs Trackpad FAQs

What are some ways to improve efficiency on a trackpad?

Changing the pointer speed is a great way to improve the accuracy and speed of the command. However, it’s also important to ensure the mouse driver is up to date.

Can you use an Apple mouse or trackpad on a PC?

Both the Magic Trackpad and Mouse connect to Bluetooth-enabled PC devices.

Is the trackpad or house better for gaming?

A mouse’s curved surface gives users a more precise and quick way to move the mouse cursor, which is better for gaming.
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