The other day I picked up the new Magic Trackpad 2.

I wasn't tempted by the new wireless keyboard, primarily because it lacks a numeric keypad. I still use an Extended Keyboard, but the old version of the standalone trackpad was a source of constant irritation to me, in spite of the fact that I've fully adopted the gestures in preference to using mouse buttons. These days I can barely operate a mouse.

For whatever demented reason, the old model of the trackpad was impossible to click just anywhere on its surface. It had to do with the trackpad's shape. The "clicker", for lack of a better work, was in the leading edge of the trackpad, closest to the position of your hand. It used the cylindrical battery compartment at the rear edge as a fulcrum. The closer you tried to click toward the top, the harder it was to actually get it to click.

Worse, if you rest the old model of the trackpad on a soft surface, like I do—I use a cloth-covered neoprene pad as a wrist rest—if you ever want to engage the mechanical clicking mechanism, fuggeddaboutit. It ain't happenin'.

Apple put in a clever software workaround: a "tap to click" function that took advantage of the trackpad's multi-touch capability. With this option enabled, a feather-light tap, quickly withdrawn, was enough to trigger it. And the "two-finger" click, or "right-click" as my wizened brain persists in calling it, was a terrific option, too.

The new Magic Trackpad 2 is better in pretty much every way. Its angle is shallower, but it's substantially wider and smoother. It still supports all the old options of the original model, and it has Force Touch—the ability to press harder, and harder still, and engage two different actions without having to do any other selection operation.

I have yet to test this feature extensively. In editing this page, I find that the hard force-click on a word causes it to open a little definition pop-up window. Of course, I'm using a web browser, but I expect other interesting applications of force touch will eventually make it as indispensible as it apparently now is on the new models of iPhones. We'll see. At this point, it's just a nicer, wider trackpad. And I can use it perfectly well, even with the mechanical clicking action, with it resting atop a neoprene mouse pad.