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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  • Morawka - Tuesday, October 13, 2015 - link

    the whole apple philosophy is "do it our way because we know better". They take choice away from the users. If they could get away with 3rd party keyboards and mice, they would've done it long ago.

    The whole eco-system is anti-choice and user lock in.
    Reply
  • blackcrayon - Tuesday, October 13, 2015 - link

    "The whole eco-system is anti-choice and user lock in."

    He/she says on an article about optional *USB* peripherals... Couldn't make this stuff up.
    Reply
  • blzd - Sunday, October 18, 2015 - link

    There are very options for keyboards with Mac layout. Reply
  • blzd - Sunday, October 18, 2015 - link

    Very few*. Also Apple doesn't sell any of their older peripherals so in a way you're stuck with whatever they give you. Reply
  • r3loaded - Tuesday, October 13, 2015 - link

    £110 for a goddamn trackpad? They've literally doubled the price!! Reply
  • lordmocha - Tuesday, October 13, 2015 - link

    Yep. In Australia, the old wireless was $90, the new is $165. Reply
  • tipoo - Tuesday, October 13, 2015 - link

    Is the sensor any different on the MM? Logitech, Microsoft and the like have been using various sensors that go past the usability of regular laser types for a while now. Bluetrack, Darkfield, etc. Better resolution and ability to track on non regular mouse surfaces, even glass.

    How about the side capacitive buttons which I always found a bit too annoying to activate? Or the annoying right click (which, as I recall, pretty much required you to lift your other finger off for it to recognize the right side being pressed alone)?

    As for the keyboard, I'm flabbergasted as to why they still don't like adjustable angles. Even the old ones fixed higher angle was better. People make fun of me because I attached felt tips to the upper bottom part of my rMBP, because I hate the flat keyboard angle and find it strains my wrists unnecessarily (I know with proper hand placement, ie floating above the wrist rest, it should not, but depending on where you're sitting that's not always possible). Same with the war on key travel. I consider my rMBP the absolute minimum. Maybe I'm already becoming an old fart behind the times and in a few years everyone will have key travel in the nanometers, but I don't find it comfortable at all when you start hitting 90+WPM.

    The Iris Pro 6200 ends up looking pretty good, but I pine for the 72EU Skylake Iris Pro instead. No dGPU on the 21" will be a turn off for some with only the Broadwell one.
    Reply
  • tipoo - Tuesday, October 13, 2015 - link

    Oh, and that cheaper 24GB (yes, 24) fusion drive should at least be the base in everything by now. OSX is not fun on HDDs anymore. Reply
  • nerd1 - Tuesday, October 13, 2015 - link

    Like I said, apple want a CONSISTENT user experience over all its platforms - and for this case, the same as the new macbook. Reply
  • jimbo2779 - Tuesday, October 13, 2015 - link

    HDDs will give a very different experience to a machine with an SSD. No consistency there

    The MacBook would like run better than either iMacs with an HDD in it
    Reply

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