What's this sorcery you ask? It's Mobee's third magical offering and the answer to those of you who use a Magic Trackpad, use Apple's Wireless Keyboard and miss the good old days when keyboards came with a numeric keypad. All bad jokes aside, if you're using a well equipped keyboard such as the awesome Logitech K750 wireless solar keyboard that's both Mac and PC compatible, then you're in good hands and already have access to a numpad. Otherwise Mobee's latest, the Magic Numpad, is set to bring you virtual numpad goodness to your Magic Trackpad with a few custom perks.
You must agree that when it comes to Apple accessories, this innovative Swiss company has some of the most useful products that help make a Mac user's life a heck of a lot more convenient. We loved Mobee's magical inductive chargers - the Magic Charger and Magic Bar that brought effortless wireless charging to the Magic Mouse, Magic Trackpad and Wireless Keyboard. Will Mobee hit the spot again with the Magic Numpad? We find out right after the jump!
For the $29.90 the Magic Numpad will cost you, you'll get three individual films with three gradually vary from a simplistic numeric keypad to a numeric keypad complete with arrow keys and custom keys. Included with these films is a precise tip pen with permanent black ink you can use to fill in the empty keys when customizing your layout as well as a cleaning cloth to clean the glass surface of your grimy, fingerprinted Magic Trackpad before installation. It's worth noting that you can use also your favorite colored Sharpie for the job. You also get a card with a scratch-off serial number to activate the Magic Numpad software. So if you thought you could use the software with your makeshift numpad layout, think again.
Simply put, the Magic Numpad consists of three different high quality films that are transparent and just like a sticker or a screen protector, you apply them onto your Magic Trackpad. The film is perfectly cut to cover and fit the entire glass surface of the Magic Trackpad. Although the Magic Numpad films do resemble most screen protectors, the films are noticeable more rigid and much easier to apply resulting in virtually no air bubbles underneath the film once applied correctly with the help of the including plastic application card. It takes little no no effort in applying the Magic Numbpad film, and even those of you who never applied a screen protector will find the process quick and simple.
With the help of the included Magic Numpad app, the Magic Trackpad is transformed into a magical multi-use wireless input device. Utilizing the huge, flawless touch-sensitive surface of the Magic Trackpad, the Magic Numpad film seamlessly mixes together with the design without degrading the touch sensitivity. Your finger will glide across the film just as smooth and effortlessly and unlike some skins such as the GelaSkins we've reviewed for the Magic Trackpad, the Magic Numpad films are literally indistinguishable between the smoothness of the glass surface.
In order to use the Magic Numpad, installing and keeping the app running in the background is a must. The app itself is lightweight so it won't interfere with your usage and it's quite user friendly as well which is great. Setting up the Magic Numpad is a matter of launching the app and selecting the correct settings in accordance to the Magic Numpad keypad layout you've applied to your Magic Trackpad. Each film layout is marked with an appropriate number (NUM10, NUM20 and NUM30) so to easily distinguish between the different numpad layouts. You've got the option to turn on a clicking feedback sound effect that resembles a mechanical key press each time you press a key.
Depending on the numpad layout, you are able to customize the top row of buttons along with a few blank ones that you can rename to your liking. Anything from assigning specific actions to apps is done by selecting a virtual button in the Magic Numpad app and the changes take affect instantly.
To further ease the use, Mobee took the liberty to add an instructional video a la Mac OS X that launches the first time you open the app to better help you understand using the app. You can always refer to the instructional video at any time later on in the app. This sure beats reading a manual. To turn on and utilize the virtual numpad on your Magic Trackad is a matter of double tapping the on/off "button" on the top right corner of each Magic Numpad layout. While the app runs secretly in the background and hidden from plain sight, it is quick and extremely responsive to every key press along with turning on the numpad functionality. Thanks to the already flawlessly Multi-Touch surface the Magic Trackpad provides, each key press is lag free and precise. The keys are spaced out neatly from one another and help reduce any unwanted key presses and mistakes from being made.
Unfortunately, it isn't all smooth sailing. As of this review the Magic Numpad app is at version 1.2, and suffers from a few kinks which will hopefully be addressed by Mobee soon enough. The biggest of bugs the app suffers from is when tapping more than one numeric button at a fast pace, the second number of which you've tapped will register a single button tap as two and will input two of the same numbers at once. This is obviously a big problem, but it only happens when quickly tapping numbers as any fast typist would.
The second bug or flaw due to the Magic Numpad app is that double tapping near the on/off button of the film will trigger the button turning on the numpad when the numpad is turned off. This of course can become very annoying and result in unwanted button presses. Lastly, there is no continuous scrolling when tapping and holding an arrow key when wanting to scroll thru pages or even playing games which renders these arrow keys quite useless. So the app isn't quite polished enough to deliver a flawless experience an actual numpad can give you until Mobee addresses these issues.
But as was said earlier, the Magic Numpad works quite well for the most part. You are able to fully use your Magic Trackpad for Multi-Touch gestures even while the Magic Numpad's functionality is turned on using the blank part of one of the film layouts. There's just enough spare room to the left side for using the Magic Trackpad as a trackpad along with a touch numpad. Things like customizable hot keys that bring up all sorts of applications like an on-screen calculator, iTunes, Spotify and so on and so forth with a touch of a button are the Magic Numpad's best features.
While there are some considerable drawbacks with the software running the show, the Magic Numpad does a good job transforming a Magic Trackpad into a more useful peripheral in a clean, well organized matter. With that being said, because of various bugs the Magic Numpad app suffers from as of this review, we cannot recommend the Magic Numpad until Mobee rolls out an update to fix some of these crucial issues we've been experiencing.