thing to put in your laptop computer. OEMs love them because they look all futuristic
and add an air of mystique to their product. Quite a few users hate them because they make simple mouse tasks a chore to do.
The touchpad blurb
makes a big thing of how you can tap it to simulate a mouse click. Unfortunately you can't push hard to simulate a drag. Some drivers allow you to double-tap to drag-lock
, but then how do you doubleclick
? The most straightforward way is to hold a mouse button and proceed as normal, but for the uncoordinated (or those with poorly positioned buttons) this is a two-hand operation.
Badly positioned touchpads get in the way while typing
. It is possible, especially while touch-typing
to snag the touchpad with the base of either thumb. Moving the pointer around is not a bad thing in itself, but when the pad is set to 'tap to click', this can mean moving the cursor, and an irritated typist.
There is no real middle-ground with regards to sensitivity on most touch-pads. After all, the finger is quite a chubby object. That's why most people don't write with finger-paint
. This makes it quite difficult to position the thing accurately enough to snag small items (such as the Winamp
volume control, or Netscape
's toolbar retract buttons). With the sensitivity way down low, the screen can be upwards of three touchpads long. With a mouse or a trackstick
, you can just move faster (or harder) and use proportional acceleration
. This would just make touchpads even more confusing...
You can't play Quake
with them. At all. Try it. (You can, however, play Descent
with an Accupoint
/trackstick. It's like a tiny analogue joystick
Touchpads mostly benefit the OEM
by being extremely flat. They have a smaller vertical footprint
than an Accupoint
, much smaller than a trackball
. This leaves more space for a circuit board under the keyboard
, or a screen above it. From a user
's point of view, they do look cool
er, and they don't suffer from Accupoint drift
. They don't need new cap
s, don't get grubby
, and don't need their rollers cleaned. But you still can't play quake
on them. ;P
has a nice solution in their Inspiron
range where the laptop has two sets of buttons, a trackstick and a touchpad. Touchpad hater
s can configure the touchpad to behave like additional mouse buttons; Trackstick haters
can ignore it, or use it as a button. Clever
Incedentally, Accupoint is a trademark of Toshiba but it has fallen into common use in the same way as Hoover...