Ergonomic MacBook Air Setup: Trackpad vs. Mouse

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by darrenli32, Jun 19, 2019.

  1. darrenli32

    darrenli32 Newbie

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    Hello,

    I spend most of my day at work using a MacBook Air. Recently, I've realized how bad for my posture this is, so I bought a laptop stand, a magic keyboard, and a magic trackpad.

    However, I'm wondering if I should've gotten a bluetooth mouse instead of a magic trackpad? Would this make my setup more ergonomic? I had a magic mouse but I returned it because it doesn't let you scroll up and down.

    Thanks in advance.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2019
  2. Starlight5

    Starlight5 W I N T E R B O R N

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    @darrenli32 I personally find trackpoint to be the most ergonomic pointing device, because unlike mouse or trackpad it allows hands to stay on keyboard's home row. These keyboards ain't cheap though, and trackpoint takes some time to adjust to and is not for everybody - while some people love it, others genuinely hate it. To give you a perspective, here are some examples:

    * Thinkpad Compact USB keyboard
    * Thinkpad Compact Bluetooth keyboard
    * Thinkpad Ultranav Keyboard
    * IBM M13 Trackpoint II mechanical keyboard
    * IBM RT3200
    * Tex Yoda II mechanical keyboard
    * Tex Kodachi mechanical keyboard

    All these keyboards (except maybe RT3200) will offer superior typing experience over Magic Keyboard, alongside the trackpoint.

    Then, there are trackballs. Some people find them more ergonomical. Logitech MX Ergo is a good example.

    If you want something more conventional, well Bluetooth input devices always introduce delays, and getting a 2.4GHz wireless mouse may be better idea. I'd suggest Logitech - even their cheap mice are great, and last forever; some more expensive models support both Bluetooth and dedicated 2.4GHz dongle, if you want to stick with Bluetooth for now.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2019
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  3. darrenli32

    darrenli32 Newbie

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    Thanks for the advice Starlight! Yes those keyboards seem to be exactly what I'm looking for, as I won't have to move my hands much in order to move my cursor. However, do these keyboards allow you to scroll up and down a page with the use of your two fingers? The only reason I like the magic trackpad is because of that option.

    EDIT: I searched for wireless keyboards with a built-in trackpad and it came up with options like this: https://www.amazon.ca/Logitech-Wireless-Illuminated-Living-Keyboard/dp/B00ZOPVSKW/ref=sr_1_fkmr1_1?imprToken=rBDsK1oyGqNsq8.BDm7nhA&keywords=Logitech+Wireless+Touch+Keyboard+K400+Plus+with+Built-In+Touchpad+for+Internet-Connected+TVs+(Renewed)&linkCode=g13&linkId=9fb35d1d124f47ce8896b2d38a5cda0f&qid=1560981598&s=gateway&sr=8-1-fkmr1

    Does anyone have experience with these types of keyboards? How's the feel and the two-finger scroll? Preferably, I would want a keyboard with the trackpad directly underneath the keys, as to mimic my Mac. Right now, I have the magic trackpad beside my magic keyboard and it's already causing pain because I have to shift my arm to use the trackpad.

    Achieving proper ergonomics is a pain. You solve one problem (posture) and then you create another problem (pain in arm).
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2019
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  4. Starlight5

    Starlight5 W I N T E R B O R N

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    @darrenli32 keyboards with middle trackpoint button (i.e. all I mentioned except IBM M13) allow scrolling without removing your hands from the home row. As for keyboards with built-in trackpads - I very much doubt anything remotely as good as Apple Magic trackpad even exists. Some programmable mechanical keyboards allow mouse control via keys, a friend has one and loves it - you may want to look into that as well. Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2019
  5. darrenli32

    darrenli32 Newbie

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    Sorry. I don't understand. From looking at the pictures and watching the reviews on Youtube, the little red nipple allows you to move the cursor, while the buttons on the bottom allow you to either left or right click.

    But where on the keyboard does it allow you to scroll up and down a page using your two fingers?
     
  6. Starlight5

    Starlight5 W I N T E R B O R N

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    @darrenli32 when you keep the middle button pressed (with your thumb), trackpoint controls scroll instead of cursor, providing precise scrolling experience. When you're done scrolling, you lift thumb from the middle button, and trackpoint returns to cursor control mode. About like this.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2019
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  7. Aroc

    Aroc Notebook Consultant

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    The magic mouse supports scrolling. It also supports full macOS gestures. Granted the one I have is a few years old. But I do agree avoiding the purchase as I don't really like it. But to each his own.

    I second the suggestion of @Starlight5 of a Thinkpad external KB with trackpoint or going in the othe direction of a programmable mechanical keyboard.

    Trackpoint is a great solution since one doesn't have to move one's fingers off of home row. He's given you excellent information about it and I agree with him. It's not to everyone tastes. But I bought this Thinkpad X1C6 largely because of the ka\eyboard and trackpoint. I have been carrying around either my 11 year old Thinkpad T61p or my 2 year old Eurocom and using it with a Bluetooth thinkpad keyboard. At home, I use a Roccat mechanical 10keyless keyboard with a Razer mouse and an oversized gamer mousepad. I prefer the shoulder/skeletal alignment of having the mouse closer to home row of the keyboard since the keyboard lacks a number pad (hence the 10keyless moniker)

    Yes, I carry and use a external KB with a laptop 99% of the time. The Thinkpad KB and trackpoint is really that good.

    He's also right about the BT vs 2.4GHz wireless RF. I'd prefer RF or even wired over BT any day for a mouse. The keyboard is a toss up.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2019
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