The Magic Numpad: Resolving the numpad problem
y introducing the new chiclet keyboard back in 2009, Apple said farewell to the numeric pad. By leaving the useful numpad behind Apple created an emptiness for people who need to process plenty of numbers a day. Mobee, the company behind the world’s first inductive charger for the apple wireless keyboard and mouse, tried to fill the void by releasing the Magic Numpad.
The Magic Numpad is a transparent overlay which sticks to the top of your magic trackpad. These foils work together with a brilliant peace of software that comes with it. The package contains 3 foils, one for calculating, one with other ‘useless’ keys that you normally have and an extended version with some programmable keys. Besides that you’ll find a cleaning cloth and a copy of the software.
The concept of having these at home is brilliant but by having a pricetag of $30 just ruins its reputation (not to mention the horrible name they gave the thing) You can get a (wireless) numpad for less then that and after a little while you start to realise you just spent $30 on 3 foils you could make yourself in a few hours.
Surprisingly enough this device works extremely well, or should we say that the magic trackpad does its job very well? The numpad duo seems to have very few drop-outs but this numpad isn’t going to replace your beloved tactilel numpad. If you type in numbers regularly I would buy one of the better (but uglier looking) numpads out there. The lack of tactile feedback will force you to look down every time you want to type a number, it’s almost slowing you down instead of making you more productive. I even caught myself using the number keys on top of my keyboard instead of the device, just because they actually give me a feedback.
Besides all that we can’t deny it’s a fun looking product. If you already own a Magic Trackpad and you type in a few numbers at times this product will suit you well. The design blends in nicely and would be a perfect fit together with the magic bar (another poorly named product from mobee).
The software that comes with the product allows you to map down the keys you need and if you are using the extended film you can even add a few custom keys. Considering that the software and the Magic Trackpad work this well, it would be more logical to sell the software, allowing people to print out a few keys themselves. Dropping the price from $30 to $10.
Honestly, I wouldn’t recommend you buying the magic numpad. The void that it fills just creates a new void. It doesn’t resolve the problem that it meant to resolve. If you want to be productive I suggest you go out and buy a tactile numpad. (for example the logitech N305)
Besides its great software we really can’t mention any other advantages of using this. If you like to collect accesoires that fit your mac not bothering the price-tag, this is probably something you can look into.
-Blends in with your mac
-Well built free software
-Touch buttons without feedback
-No advantage for typing in numbers