Thursday, October 27, 2011

Test of Magic Numpad Mobe

The wireless keyboard from Apple is useful in many ways: small and wireless, it is easy to place the feet of an iMac, for example. Only problem, it lacks the numeric keypad and ten additional keys on the keyboard wire. If you use an Apple Wireless Keyboard and Trackpad Magic, Mobe has a very elegant solution to offer. The Magic Numpad is a film to put him on the trackpad to add virtual keys. Software can then interpret these keys and send them to the Mac: this gives the equivalent of a wired keyboard, but occupies less space. Excellent or false good idea? Response in this test.

Three movies and software

The Magic Numpad takes the form of two components: the films to stick on the Magic Trackpad on the one hand, the other software. The two elements, only the latter is essential: the software can operate without the movies, but they are useful to know where to position his fingers, just ...

Magic numpad 

Mobe provides not one but three films to stick on the trackpad. When you purchase the Magic Numpad, you can choose three different configurations:

* NUM10 simply contains the numeric keypad on a nearly two-thirds of the surface, the rest being left to the trackpad; 

* The NUM20 reproduces the end of a wired keyboard with numeric keypad on the right and scroll arrows on the left; 

* The NUM30 contains its share of the white keys to personalize it with a felt also included in the carton.

You choose the movie that is best for you, knowing that it is better to choose the right from the start. The manufacturer indicates that the films can be removed easily and rested, but the installation is not simple and one should avoid the (un) stick too often.

Once the film is placed, you must download the software necessary for its operation. The address is provided in the package and the application can be downloaded for free and without control, its use requires you to enter a serial number located on a map in the packet. Mobe does not a priori the use of its application on multiple Macs, you can pretty much buy once the Magic Numpad and install it on three Macs and three different trackpad. Practical and economical.

In practice

Once the film is installed and the air bubbles generated by using the small plastic card also comes in the box, everything will be done by the software proposed by Mobe. It is discreet by lodging in the menu bar of Mac. The icon has two functions: access the preferences on the one hand, always display the currently activated on the other. The icon changes as well as the Magic Numpad is in trackpad mode and keypad and allows a glance, to navigate.  

To change mode, just three options to the user. A keyboard shortcut associated with this default action: F6 increases from one to another very easily, but it is impossible to change the shortcut. Alternatively, click on the menu and then click the first option, but it's not the fastest. We can also use the top right of the label that is dedicated to switch from one mode to another. To activate the numeric keypad, perform a double tap on the virtual key, to return to normal trackpad, a single tap is enough.

Other information given to the user, an alert is displayed temporarily semi-transparent when changing mode. Take a walk by the preferences of Magic Numpad is essential at least to choose the film placed on the trackpad. Depending on the model chosen, the application allows you to configure more or less custom keys. Each time the user has the choice of key printed on the film or launch an application. Other general parameters are present, such as blocking the cursor keypad mode (model NUM10 allows the joint use, the other two stickers under) or activation sounds supposed to give the impression that using a physical keyboard.

Numpad preferences 

Some keys are left blank: Mobe thus provides a black felt end that allows you to write a word on these keys. What, in our example, identify a key to the Mail application. The felt is not permanent, you have the right to make mistakes, but it also means that the text fades in as and when in use.

The Numpad, a (false) idea?

The combination wireless keyboard + trackpad or laptop Mac with a Magic Numpad film is very convincing, at least if you have only limited use of the numeric keypad or additional keys associated. The transition from one mode to another is quick and easy, you can type some numbers into a spreadsheet quickly before returning to the trackpad mode. Alternatively, use the keys F13 to F19 leaving the Magic Trackpad digital and using the trackpad built into a Mac to move the mouse.

Needless to delude ourselves, however, the Magic Numpad will not replace a real keypad. If you spend your time in a spreadsheet, invest in a full wired keyboard or a dedicated number pad will certainly be more cost effective and efficient. The Magic Numpad keys are tactile and they make a blind entry difficult or impossible. For € 10 more, so you can have a Bluetooth keypad that should work better to capture a lot of data: test of LMP Bluetooth Keypad. 

Mobe numpad 
We also identified some problems in the software tested version of Magic Numpad. Typing too fast on the numeric keypad, you get numbers quickly duplicated without asking. We also had some problems with the corners assets OS X Lion and with the expansion of the dock icon when the program was active, but it is not systematic problems and could be related to our configuration.

Overall, Mobe offers an intelligent and quite effective in temporarily transform into a numeric keypad Trackpad Magic Booster. As long as you do not have a too frequent use, the Magic Numpad is a good solution for those who do not want to bother with a full wired keyboard cumbersome.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.