Despite Steve Jobs' prediction a couple of years ago that a touchscreen-enabled iMac was in the near future (he claimed that it eventually became uncomfortable for your arm and would thus turn off users), a few adventurous companies have released a touchscreen for iMac and MacBook. However, they haven't exactly been intuitive or affordable.
Welcome, Zorro Macsk, released for the iMac by TMDtouch from Shenzhen China. At a mere $199 on Amazon, this 21.5-inch touchscreen is intuitive while at the same time affordable.
Rather than a pressure-sensitive, resistive overlay, the Zorro Macsk features several infrared transmitters encased in a lightweight plastic and metal frame, similar to the current all-in-one machines offering a touchscreen-enabled monitor, like HP's. Picture quality remains clear as there is no extra layer of glass or plastic. It is packaged along with a high quality protective film for your iMac's screen for those who want one. There is also an included metallic stylus with a rubber head, compatible with capacitive touch screens.
The Macsk is available in seven colors: silver, black, white, blue, pink, green, and silver-and-black combo to match with the current generation of iMac. Installation is a breeze: hang the frame over the front of the iMac, plug in the USB cable and patiently wait for 15 seconds. No software is required whatsoever, although TMDtouch will release upgrades in the future with firmware updates. No ports on the iMac are blocked when using the Macsk, such as SD slots or webcam. It also claims to be Windows XP and up compatible, although the reviewer did not test it on a Windows platform.
Engadget tested the Zorro Macsk, finding that although it was designed for Lion, it worked just as well using OS X Snow Leopard (10.6). Tapping objects was simple, and all gestures worked as expected, even toggling right-click by holding a finger down for approximately two seconds. However, it was tough to tap the proper targets at first, although reviewers blame this on OS X's user interface not being optimized for touch. After a little playing around, the problem seemed to disappear.
Double tapping wasn't as easy. Although they spent a large chunk of time testing out the Macsk, the tapping speed required for a double tap was never achieved. It was a also tough to utilize pinch-to-zoom and rotate, displaying noticeable lag despite the device claiming a response time of under 16ms. The rotation feature would often over-rotate. Two-finger scrolling, however, was smooth and easy.
The Macsk supports certain gestures using three fingers or more, requiring reviewers to upgrade to the latest Mountain Lion OS. After upgrade, the aforementioned problems persisted, and only a few of the multi-finger gestures worked: switching desktops with a horizontal swipe of one hand; minimizing and maximizing windows with a vertical three-finger swipe; quitting an app by swiping both hands down; and toggling ExposГ© by swiping one hand down. The gestures that didn't pass the test: pinching or spreading five fingers to toggle Launchpad or desktop; swiping up to toggle Mission Control; horizontally swiping both hands to zoom in or out; and swiping up both hands to toggle desktop.
Although there is a lot that does not work as promised, the company plans on releasing firmware upgrades. At only $199, when compared to similar options that can cost a whole lot more such as the Troll Touch priced starting at $899, it's a no-brainer. It is worth the investment if you are looking for a fun new way to mess around on your iMac, especially for young children.