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Touchpad vs. Trackpoint


I’ve got a T40 also, and the touchpad is generally, OK, but if I’m doing any sort of fine mouse work (diagramming or what not), then I have to go back to the mouse. Generally, I’ll have one hand on the mouse, and the other on the hotkeys, and that’s just not possible without the mouse.


you should be able to scroll on your T40, probably via the control panel, my T42 does.

I believe you just drag down the right side of track pad


Come on, pointing devices are soo stone age. This is 2006, why can’t the computer see exactly what I’m looking at?


As more laptops now come with both devices, I’m surprised nobody’s implemented a hybrid scheme - for example, where the pad works as your pointing device, and the ‘point’ does scrolling.

Or, maybe someone has, and I haven’t found it yet…


As more laptops now come with both devices

I don’t think there’s any data to support this assertion-- the only laptops I know of that have both are Thinkpads. Admittedly a big and important brand, but it’s only one brand.

And since IBM invented the Trackpoint, why should they, of all vendors, use both? I think it says a lot about the love/hate attitudes people have on this issue.


I’ve never seen a stand-alone touchpad. I’m sure they must exist. I nice big one like a mousepad would be interesting.


As more laptops now come with both devices

I don’t think there’s any data to support this assertion-- the only laptops I know of that have both are Thinkpads.

The Dell Latitude D610 I am typing on right now has both. I actually disabled the nub because there’s a physical flaw in the frame of the laptop that causes the trackpoint to start drifting. Since I’m not a fan of the pointer (not responsive enough for me), disabling it doesn’t affect me.


I like touchpad because sliding is more convenient than rolling movement which I have to do on trackpoint. Ergonomically touchpad offers more degrees of freedom. The physical location of trackpoint makes it extremely difficult to me.


el - I bought a standalone touch pad about 10 years ago, it is a serial mouse. it’s about credit card sized and about a half inch thick… Problem is that it is waaay to light to be useful, you are usually pushing it around the desk instead of the mouse about the screen.

Still, it sits in my emergency reserve pile.


As more laptops now come with both devices

I don’t think there’s any data to support this assertion-- the only laptops I know of that have both are Thinkpads.

Sorry, I wasn’t clear. That was meant as “more than previously”. And, yes, I have no data to back that up assertion either ;-(

Anyway, I have a Dell D610, which has both…

  • Roddy


Well, after having owned a number of Macs and Thinkpads over the years, I recently bought a MacBook - my first Apple laptop. I simply can’t get used to the Touch pad.

I regularly find myself at the edge of it (with maximum acceleration) with no space left, and still not quite were I want the pointer to be (annoying for drag and drop). With tap-clicking enable, I end up clicking by mistake, and having to move my hand away from the home row is both frustrating AND painful for the wrist in the long run (did I mention the sharp edge of the cabinet under the wrist ? Terrible.)

So after a week or so, I’m going to be selling my MacBook. Love the OS, love the UI, am a BSD user myself so it’s familiar. I could live with the single mouse button, but no, definitely no, using anything else than a TrackPoint is useless. Sorry Apple.


still not quite were I want the pointer to be (annoying for drag and drop)

On a normal Synaptics touchpad driver install, you continue pressing at the edge of the pad in this scenario; the movement will continue and even accelerate as you press harder.

That said, drag and drop is not ideal on a touchpad, but I think drag and drop is not ideal as an interaction metaphor anyway…


I have a Powerbook 1400 cs and a powerbook 165. my brother has a thinkpad g41 with no trackpad. the trackball is good too but i like tracpad the most. i like the trackpoint the least


I can’t use touchpads. Every time I try to “move the mouse,” it registers as a click, instead. Maybe I need to update the drivers, maybe I need to fiddle with the settings, but I just don’t have the patience to mess with this.

The only problem I have with the trackpoint is that the occasional drift freaked me out. I did find this http://wwwcssrv.almaden.ibm.com/trackpoint/files/nonoise.html which finally explained what the heck was going on. :slight_smile:


The trackpoint is the only pointing device that allows touch-typists to keep their fingers close to asdfjkl;. A typical mouse slows me down, as my hand has to leave the keyboard. A touchpad is almost a solution, but it requires some awkward thumb stretching to keep one’s fingers on asdfjkl;.

To be fair, I try to avoid using the mouse and often use shortcuts or hotkeys etc to get around the screen. Some seem to think that this is backwards thinking, but when it comes to getting around the screen I seem to be able to run circles around mouse user coworkers.

If you don’t use alt-tab, you probably don’t get where I am coming from.

I had a work-supplied T23 Thinkpad for two years and never used the trackpoint. In fact, I hated it. Then I forgot to take my mouse on a two week trip and I was forced to use it. Since then, it is a dealbreaker for my laptop purchases. I’ve even gone so far as to bring a USB keyboard w/ a trackpoint to labs in the computer because my productivity drops w/o it.

For graphical work, the trackpoint is not up to snuff. A mouse is better, a graphical pen is the best.

IMHO :slight_smile:


trackpoint is the best because it’s what I’m using.


I also feel that if one spent a bit of time with the trackpoint they would like it over the touchpad. I have two full sized keyboards with the trackpoint and hope to always have them. My desk is too cluttered for a mouse and the touchpad is too imprecise. My ideal would be a trackpoint and a high quality trackball in the same keyboard.


At the Swedish IT-department where I used to work
the track point was called the “clit”.
Myself I’m using the external USB mouse rather than the track point and touch pad

Spike -

I assume you prefer a “gearstick” in general then???




Touchpads suck!


Someone who believes that “scrolling is out of the question” with the TrackPoint interface couldn’t have spent more than two minutes using it. And of course, Jeff never acknowledged the corrections or retracted this false claim.

Also, Jeff cited the “slide faster to move faster” touchpad feature, but he failed to note that the TrackPoint is pressure-sensitive (“press harder to move faster”).

Lastly, the argument regarding IBM’s/Lenovo’s decision to include touchpads on some models is ludicrous. This says nothing about the relative quality of either. It’s simply a company giving consumers what they want. Some people hate touchpads and love pointing sticks, while others hate pointing sticks and love touchpads. IBM/Lenovo set out to satisfy as many ThinkPad owners as possible. In particular, consider a situation in which two people (one from each camp) share the computer. This way, both can be happy.