In addition to introducing a new 21.5" iMac with 4K Retina display and an upgraded 27" iMac with 5K Retina display, Apple also announced some interesting improvements to their computer peripherals that will begin shipping with the new iMac models.

First up is the Magic Mouse 2. There's not a ton of changes here, and as you can see from the image above the form factor of the mouse is relatively unchanged from the last model. It now comes with a built in battery which should last a month between charges, and can be recharged using the built in lightning port. Apple claims they have also improved the design of the feet so tracking with be smoother. The use of AA batteries in the old magic mouse was definitely the biggest annoyance, and although I'm not a fan of it for ergonomic reasons, the Magic Mouse 2 seems like a worthwhile upgrade to anyone who uses one often and has to keep replacing or recharging their batteries.

Next is the new Magic Trackpad 2. This is arguably the biggest improvement of the three updates, although one could argue that the Magic Keyboard 2 takes that title. I personally think the new trackpad is the biggest improvement because it includes the Force Touch technology from Apple's MacBook trackpads. Like the MacBook, the Magic Trackpad 2 uses force sensors and an electromagnet to simulate the feeling of a traditional trackpad. This allows you to click anywhere, which was a problem with the diving board design of the previous version. The new Magic Trackpad 2 also has a 30% larger touch surface than the last model, and like the Magic Mouse 2 it has a rechargeable internal battery which can be recharged via a lightning cable.

Last, but not least, is the the Magic Keyboard. For me the biggest upgrade here is actually an aesthetic one, as the previous keyboard was a strange marriage of aluminum and plastic along with a barrel running along one side to elevate it and fit in batteries. The new design with its internal rechargeable battery pack looks much nicer and fits well with the upgraded Magic Trackpad. Apple claims they've improved key stability by 33% via the use of a new scissor switch.

If you're not a Mac user you probably won't be any more interested in these new accessories than the last generation, but they all represent notable upgrades for users who do use any of the existing Magic accessories. The new Magic Keyboard will cost $99, while the Magic Trackpad 2 is $129 and the Magic Mouse 2 is $79. What's interesting is that the higher price of the Magic Trackpad 2 also means that swapping it in for the Magic Mouse 2 with the new iMacs requires a $50 fee, which used to be a free swap with the previous models.

Like the iMacs announced today, Apple's new peripherals are already available for sale on the Apple Online Store and will begin shipping this week.

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  • blackcrayon - Tuesday, October 13, 2015 - link

    Funny, when the keyboard and magic trackpad came out, one of the most common complaints was that they used AAs and didn't include a built-in rechargeable battery :) Reply
  • lordmocha - Tuesday, October 13, 2015 - link

    I would have bought this in an instant if it was USB-C, but now that it's lightning I'm having second thoughts. Yes I know, It's only required for charging once a month, but that makes it even more likely the cable will be lost or taken by a family member, I'd much rather it have the industry standard type-c. Reply
  • lordmocha - Tuesday, October 13, 2015 - link

    (I meant the keyboard, btw.) Reply
  • III-V - Tuesday, October 13, 2015 - link

    You're high as fuck.

    Getting rid of the AA batteries is a fucking godsend. No more "where do we keep the AA batteries?" "I don't know!" "I found the box, but it's empty!" "There's no room in our supply budget!"

    Please do the world a favor and go play in high-speed traffic.
    Reply
  • Deelron - Tuesday, October 13, 2015 - link

    Where do we keep the AA batteries? In the same drawer they're always kept in, right next to their recharger that gets used whenever a set is drained and then put back in the same place. It's not exactly rocket science, and I'd rather do a one minute battery swap and continue working wirelessly then to plug into a cradle or cable to keep working (or doing so after working), and I'd prefer to replace rechargeables over time then I would to potentially replace an entire peripheral when it's battery is no longer up to snuff. Reply
  • Morawka - Tuesday, October 13, 2015 - link

    that lithium battery is gonna wear out over a couple of years.. and you change AA batteries like once a year.. You can even buy fancy energizer lithium batteries that will last 3 years.

    Now if your battery wears out, you gotta make a trip to the apple store.. They dont want users fixing or upgrading anything without going through the proper channels.
    Reply
  • repoman27 - Tuesday, October 13, 2015 - link

    Or you could do the math. Apple rates their Lithium-ion batteries for 80% of their original capacity after 400 - 1000 complete charge cycles. So in 33 to 83 years, you can bring your Magic Mouse 2 in to the Apple store and bitch at them until they replace your battery for free. Reply
  • Beany2013 - Wednesday, October 14, 2015 - link

    Shame most Li-Ion batteries start to drop off a cliff after a few years capacity wise, regardless of how they are used, and even if left in a partially charged state, eh? The only way around that is to keep them at low temperatures, but even that just delays the problem, as the materials in the batteries will *always* destroy each other in the end.

    It's not as bad as it used to be now that the manufacturing process has been refined, but it's still not something I'd want to have built in to an accessory I'd fully expect to last a decade.
    Reply
  • nerd1 - Tuesday, October 13, 2015 - link

    So they downgraded their 'desktop' keyboard to be consistent with new macbook keyboard (which is beyond terrible to me) and charging a ton for it? Typical apple. Reply
  • name99 - Tuesday, October 13, 2015 - link

    Then buy a third party keyboard. WTF is stopping you?
    There are people who still use their ADB keyboards from 25 years ago...

    What the hell IS this mental pathology that insists "EVERYONE has to do things my way, and if some company introduces a product I don't like, it's not good enough that I have the choice to do things differently; I also have to stop everyone else from choosing to do things differently from me"?
    Reply

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