Trackpads swap the constant wrist movements you’d make pointing and clicking with a mouse for more fluid swiping, scrolling, and gesturing. It’s a more natural and comfortable experience that doesn’t typically use any wires. Plus, you get even more surface area on an external trackpad than the one that’s built into your laptop.
We’ve researched a dozen different trackpads (including mice and keyboards with built-in trackpad features) to use with your computer. They’re perfect for a multitude of tasks, from editing images to just browsing the web. Here are our favorites!
1. Apple Magic Trackpad 2
If you own a Mac computer or Chromebook, we recommend Apple’s very own trackpad, dubbed the Magic Trackpad. Measuring in at 6 inches long and 4.5 inches deep, it’s the largest surface area of any trackpad. Plus, it’s equipped with a rechargeable battery that’ll last longer than 2 months.
As you’d expect, it works just as well as the trackpad that’s built into the MacBook. I use one everyday and prefer it to my mouse for editing images in Photoshop. The trackpad easily recognizes clicks and taps, supports plenty of multitouch gestures, and scrolls like a dream. The trackpad comes in silver or space gray.
2. VOGEK Wired Trackpad Touchpad
We appreciate this trackpad’s plug-and-play functionality — meaning you don’t have to fuss with installing any drivers or software before using it. The trackpad is compatible with both Windows 10 and Windows 7. It has a smooth glass surface, supports multi-touch and gestures, plus it comes with a USB-C cable.
If you hate wires, VOGEK also manufacturers a wireless variant that has a battery life of around 2 months.
3. Jelly Comb Ultra Slim Portable Aluminum USB Wired Touchpad
Windows 10 and Chromebook users will love this trackpad’s numerous multitouch gestures. You can zoom in on images just like you do on your smartphone by pinching outward, easily scroll with your fingers, or go back on webpages with a single tap.
The trackpad feels fluid, and it helps prevent wrist fatigue that you’d normally experience with a standard mouse. It only works with Windows computers, and it plugs in to a standard USB port. If you prefer living a cord-free life, Jelly Comb sells a wireless rechargeable variant, too.
4. Microsoft Arc Mouse
This touchpad from Microsoft gives you the best of both worlds. It works as both a mouse and a touch-sensitive trackpad, so you can easily scroll vertically or horizontally, or just use your computer’s cursor like normal.
We love how compact and portable it is. It even folds down for easy transport. The Arc Touch mouse is a great option for those who like to work in coffee shops, airports, or wherever there’s a Wi-Fi signal. It’s available in black, burgundy, cobalt blue, or gray
5. Perixx PERIPAD-501 Wired USB Touchpad, Portable Trackpad for Laptop and Desktop User, Black, Small Size
Perixx’s touchpad comes in two sizes: a small one that measures in at just 2.3 by 1.7 inches, and another that’s 4.7 by 3.5 inches. If you prefer having physical buttons rather than a single smooth surface, both options are equipped with two buttons for easy clicking through your computer’s interface.Both trackpads are for the PC, and they support plenty of gestures to rotate, zoom, and scroll. Perixx PERIPAD is comfortable, quick to set up, and it supports multitouch.
6. Logitech K400 Plus Touchpad Wireless Keyboard
If you have your computer hooked up to a TV and need a wireless keyboard with a built-in trackpad for some couch surfing, you can’t go wrong with this option from Logitech. It’s a slim, lightweight, and inexpensive option that works best with PCs.
It has a long 30-foot range, and it’s powered by a pair of included AA batteries. The batteries last an impressive 18 months before requiring replacement. We love that it has plenty of hot keys for easily adjusting volume or music playback.
7. REIIE H9+ Backlit Wireless Mini Handheld Remote Keyboard with Touchpad
If you don’t want a full-sized keyboard like the K400 Plus we just mentioned, this remote-control-style trackpad is another portable option to consider for easily surfing through Netflix. It’s backlit and has a built-in multitouch trackpad to easily scroll through webpages.
It isn’t the most comfortable device to use, and you’ll probably type significantly more slowly on it than you would with a standard-sized keyboard. But it’s a lot better to use than typing with a cursor, and its trackpad is very responsive.