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TrackPoint vs TouchPad

Performance, hardware, software, general buying and gaming discussion..

Which do you prefer? TrackPoint or TouchPad?

TrackPoint
100
83%
TouchPad
12
10%
I don't mind
9
7%
 
Total votes: 121

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A31
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TrackPoint vs TouchPad

#1 Post by A31 » Mon Mar 01, 2010 3:28 pm

Hi all!
Seeings as most ThinkPads were/are sold with both Touchpads and TrackPoints, I was just interested to see which you prefer. Vote in the poll and amybe leave a reply explaining why?

I prefer the TrackPoint, I had an R40 with a TrackPoint and TouchPad ('UltraNav') and as I had the A31 for a while, I had got the used to the Trackpoint (A31 only has trackpoint for those of you who don't know). I took me a while to get used to the Touchpad! The TrackPoint on my A31 is hard to use now however, it has no grip whatsoever and so my finger keeps liding off it, I think it is original 2002 one! :eek: I'll have to buy some new ones for £1.50 off eBay soon!

I hope this is in the right forum by the way!!
A31
Last edited by A31 on Mon Mar 01, 2010 3:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: TrackPoint vs TouchPad

#2 Post by craigmontHunter » Mon Mar 01, 2010 3:48 pm

I put that I don't mind, because depending on what I am doing, I will choose to use a diffrent device. When I am web browsing, I normally use the touchpad, since the top right corner is like a middle click, to open in a new tab, and it allows me to surf without much effort.

I use the trackpoint when I am typing, or using the computer in my lap, as I find that it gets too close to use the touchpad, especially in a car with limited legroom, so the computer is very close in.

Overall, I switch between them 50-50, with no real preferance, except that I would like the trackpoint on all my future laptops.
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Re: TrackPoint vs TouchPad

#3 Post by Neil » Mon Mar 01, 2010 4:14 pm

I choose Trackpoint because none of the Thinkpads I currently own have a touchpad. When I have had touchpad Thinkpads I would use either. I have found the few laptops I've used that have only the touchpad to be cumbersome, though. I really do refer Trackpoint.
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Re: TrackPoint vs TouchPad

#4 Post by tom lightbody » Mon Mar 01, 2010 5:53 pm

typists abhor trackpads: inadvertent thumb-dragging on the pad,
often is enough to displace the text to...who knows where?

> most ThinkPads were/are sold with both Touchpads and TrackPoints

was the t30 first to pad? (and not all of them). No pads on the classic
number-series 200s,300s,500s,600s,700s,800s (powerPC); no pads on a2*-3*;
no pad on g40; no pads on R30; no pads on t2*; no pads on x2* and 3*s:
nor on the x40 tho that's from the Lenovo era.

so we're pretty safely padless with the great classics
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Re: TrackPoint vs TouchPad

#5 Post by archer6 » Mon Mar 01, 2010 6:42 pm

I'm a bit embarrassed to say that I had to Google "TouchPad" to find out what it was. Ha...ha...ha... (Just kidding). Well, after that statement I'm sure you know what I prefer, by a wide margin. In my case I've used ThinkPads way before they slapped one of those useless devices on the palm rest (sorry my humor is out of control today...heh). OK being serious for a moment, when TouchPads were relatively new on other laptops, but not yet part of a ThinkPad, I found them terribly imprecise. Like other tech components they've since evolved to the point where I find the ones on my T & W500's quite nice. And yet I use it only 2% of the time if that. Usually after a long day on the keyboard, if I decide to do a little recreational web surfing, I may use it. Each time I do, I think to myself just how nice it is. Yet for me, simply nothing beats the stellar ThinkPad TrackPoint. I tend to type quite fast, and being able to also control the mouse without taking my hands away from the keyboard keeps my overall speed up.
.
As a comparison just for those of you who may be considering a new MacBook Pro. My new 15" MBP has the massive new all glass TrackPad, which does not have any buttons. Easily twice the size (or more) of any other TrackPad, the entire pad is a button. When depressing it, the first impression is that there's not much travel. Thus it takes a bit of time to become acclimated. It's a multi-gesture pad which is far more sophisticated than any others as well. Once one learns the many gestures, it's actually a lot of fun to use. Would I use it as a work computer? Nope. Not even close, that's what ThinkPads are for. Yet as a break, offering some variety for personal use, it's fun and entertaining.
.
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Re: TrackPoint vs TouchPad

#6 Post by gb_ibmguy » Mon Mar 01, 2010 7:55 pm

TrackPoint no doubt about it.
I will admit I have never used an IBM Touchpad, but I have used DELL's version and it sucks. It seem's I always lose text, and the mouse pointer goes everywhere except where I want it. Dell's version of the Trackpoint also leaves a lot to be desired, just too stiff and too far away to use. I much prefer IBM's version.
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Re: TrackPoint vs TouchPad

#7 Post by jdhurst » Mon Mar 01, 2010 8:02 pm

I use the Trackpoint. On any laptop computer of any make and of any OS, the touchpad has a mind of its own and is unuseable. Most of the people I know who must use touchpads (a) dislike them; and (b) use two hands to use them. I only very rarely witness a person using a touchpad accurately, productively, and with precision. Please do not shoot the messenger. It is just what I see. ... JDH

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Re: TrackPoint vs TouchPad

#8 Post by ajkula66 » Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:14 am

Trackpoint is likely the only reason why I haven't dumped the ThinkPads altogether by now and moved entirely to (contemporary) ToughBooks which have - at least in my opinion - the best touchpads I've ever used.

So, yes, I'm a trackpoint kind of guy... :D ...who has always been mad at IBM for not offering a touchpadless palmrest on 15" version of T4x machines...
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Re: TrackPoint vs TouchPad

#9 Post by sarbin » Tue Mar 02, 2010 1:32 am

trackpoint only.
all touchpads get disabled immediately on my machines.
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Re: TrackPoint vs TouchPad

#10 Post by Vempele » Tue Mar 02, 2010 1:45 am

Trackpoint, except when I'm using Linux. There, a real mouse is the only usable pointing device (though perhaps the touchpad could work properly if I stopped futilely optimizing for the trackpoint).

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Re: TrackPoint vs TouchPad

#11 Post by A31 » Tue Mar 02, 2010 1:49 am

gb_ibmguy wrote:TrackPoint no doubt about it.
I will admit I have never used an IBM Touchpad, but I have used DELL's version and it sucks. It seem's I always lose text, and the mouse pointer goes everywhere except where I want it. Dell's version of the Trackpoint also leaves a lot to be desired, just too stiff and too far away to use. I much prefer IBM's version.
I used the TouchPad on the Compaq Evo N110 and the Fujitsu Esprimo Mobile laptops whilist I was round my Nan and Grandad's house last month. Although I only had my R40 for two days before it died, I do remember the TouchPad quite well. The Compaq's touchpad was OK but the touchpad on the Fujitsu was just... the end of the world really! I couldn't get on with it! I have never used a Dell laptop and therefore I haven't used a Dell touchpad either, but it sounds a bit like the Touchpad on the Fujitsu that I tried. Still, nothing compared to the touchpad on that R40 I had... that was a nice touchpad once I had updated the UltraNav driver... I had to do a system restore on it and it didin't install the UltraNav drivers.

Has anybody used a TrackPoint on a non-IBM/Lenovo machine? Like some Dell's and HP's for instance have TrackPoints... has anybody tried one of those?
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Re: TrackPoint vs TouchPad

#12 Post by dr_st » Tue Mar 02, 2010 2:25 am

I've used the trackpoint on my Evo N610c. The trackpoint itself is the same Synaptics one used on Thinkpads. However, the original cap Compaq supplied was horrible. After changing to a Thinkpad cap it became much better, as good as on any Thinkpad.

Generally, HP's trackpoints seem to be compatible with the Thinkpad caps, while DELL's aren't. I am not sure whether the trackpoint itself on newer HPs is the same or not. Doesn't seem like it is.
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Re: TrackPoint vs TouchPad

#13 Post by pianowizard » Tue Mar 02, 2010 2:46 pm

Wow, after 22 votes and I remain the only one who voted for the touchpad! Actually, I could have voted for "I don't mind", though I do like the touchpad a bit more than the trackpoint and so I went with "touchpad".

Even if you don't like using the touchpad per se, there are still two reasons why it's a good idea to have both:

1) If you use the trackpoint exclusively, once in a while it drifts. Touching the touchpad immediately stops the drift.

2) If you use the trackpoint 100% of the time, your palm and wrist are constantly on the warm palm rest. Switching to the touchpad once in a while gives you an opportunity to cool down a bit.
jdhurst wrote:Most of the people I know who must use touchpads (a) dislike them;
I recall a touchpad vs. trackpoint survey on CNET or some other similar site, and the great majority (~70%, I think) of people preferred the touchpad.
jdhurst wrote: and (b) use two hands to use them.
That explains why these people dislike the touchpad -- they are using it incorrectly!
jdhurst wrote:I only very rarely witness a person using a touchpad accurately, productively, and with precision.
If you ever come to Ann Arbor, we should get together and I'll show you! I use the touchpad much faster and slightly more accurately than the trackpoint. However, the trackpoint does have one advantage: when one finger gets tired, I can easily switch to another finger. For the touchpad, only the index finger works well for me, though someday I may try to train my other fingers.
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Re: TrackPoint vs TouchPad

#14 Post by t140568 » Tue Mar 02, 2010 3:55 pm

A good friend of mine and I just had this debate yesterday, just as we have for years. For me, I use: TrackPoint 75% of the time, Actual mouse 23%, and TouchPad ~2%. I do prefer to use an actual mouse, if it's there, for overall accuracy, but when mobile, the TrackPoint (for me) wins hands down. Not that it's a distant move to make when using the Pad, but if using the TrackPoint, your hands never leave the keyboard.
tom lightbody wrote:typists abhor trackpads: inadvertent thumb-dragging on the pad,
often is enough to displace the text to...who knows where?
I couldn't agree more. While it wasn't an issue on my R50, the T500 is constantly moving and clicking elsewhere.
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Re: TrackPoint vs TouchPad

#15 Post by Vempele » Tue Mar 02, 2010 3:56 pm

pianowizard wrote:1) If you use the trackpoint exclusively, once in a while it drifts. Touching the touchpad immediately stops the drift.
Wow, thanks for the tip!
pianowizard wrote:2) If you use the trackpoint 100% of the time, your palm and wrist are constantly on the palm rest. Switching to the touchpad once in a while gives you an opportunity to cool down a bit.
So does switching hands.

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Re: TrackPoint vs TouchPad

#16 Post by jdhurst » Tue Mar 02, 2010 5:50 pm

pianowizard wrote:<snip> I use the touchpad much faster and slightly more accurately than the trackpoint. <snip>
I turn it on sometimes just to see, but I can never put the cursor where I want, and while I most assuredly believe you, I have never seen anyone else get the cursor where they want.

Worse, letting go or otherwise having a slight finger fault causes unwanted copy/paste/move operations that I never intended.

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Re: TrackPoint vs TouchPad

#17 Post by jdhurst » Tue Mar 02, 2010 5:54 pm

pianowizard wrote:<snip>
2) If you use the trackpoint 100% of the time, your palm and wrist are constantly on the palm rest. Switching to the touchpad once in a while gives you an opportunity to cool down a bit.
<snip>
And so that I do not dig myself too deeply into a hole, I actually do not use any keyboard navigator much any more. I have a LogiTech VX Nano mouse with a flywheel instead of a scroll wheel. This is my mouse of choice now and it goes in my bag with me wherever I go. ... JDH

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Re: TrackPoint vs TouchPad

#18 Post by ZaZ » Tue Mar 02, 2010 8:28 pm

jdhurst wrote:I turn it on sometimes just to see, but I can never put the cursor where I want
That's funny I'm just the opposite. I'm much more precise with the trackpad. On the stick I frequently overshoot my destination. I've played around with the settings, but haven't found the right combo for me. I really like the scrolling on the stick and having my hands closer to the keyboard.
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Re: TrackPoint vs TouchPad

#19 Post by pianowizard » Tue Mar 02, 2010 9:27 pm

Vempele wrote:So does switching hands.
Sorry, in my post above I accidentally left out the word "warm" before "palm rest". When one uses only the trackpoint, the palm and wrist are constantly on the WARM palm rest (and for some laptops, it may even be HOT!). Switching to the other hand won't solve this problem because both hands are still on the palm rest the whole time. But when you use the touchpad, you are removing most of your hand from the palm rest, letting that hand take a break from the heat.
FredGarvin wrote:I'm much more precise with the trackpad. On the stick I frequently overshoot my destination.
Same here, and that's why I have to move the trackpoint slower than I move my finger on a touchpad. With a touchpad set to maximum speed, I can move the pointer from anywhere on the screen to anywhere else accurately within about 0.3 second -- I came up with this estimate because I can move the pointer to three different places in a second. Using a the trackpoint, it's no more than two locations per second.
FredGarvin wrote:I really like the scrolling on the stick
Have you tried the scrolling on the touchpad? You slide your finger up and down on the right edge of the touchpad.
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Re: TrackPoint vs TouchPad

#20 Post by gb_ibmguy » Wed Mar 03, 2010 7:57 pm

I've used the touch-pad on a Dell Latitude D600, and it is one of the worst mouse manipulators I've ever had to try to use. And their track-point rendition is even worse! The ballistics are just wrong somehow, no matter how many adjustments I make, I just can not control the pointer.

A dear friend of mine has a newer Dell Latitude, one of the shiny metal wide screen jobs, with only a touch-pad. I have to laugh when I see him using the thing, two hands to move the mouse?

I don't know, maybe it's an acquired skill, but the IBM Track point just works best for me. (With the soft cap)
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Re: TrackPoint vs TouchPad

#21 Post by ajkula66 » Wed Mar 03, 2010 10:40 pm

My daughter has a HP NC6220 which has their version of trackpoint, and is half-decent to use, but the cap has not lasted very long, and no, it's not replaceable with an IBM one. Having said that, these are definitely closer to the "real thing" than ones I've seen on Dells...

If I ever remember, I might get a couple, assuming I can find them on feebay, if not...she uses an external mouse 95% of the time anyway...
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Re: TrackPoint vs TouchPad

#22 Post by ZaZ » Wed Mar 03, 2010 11:38 pm

pianowizard wrote:Have you tried the scrolling on the touchpad? You slide your finger up and down on the right edge of the touchpad.
Yes, I'm aware of the scroll zones, I just like scrolling on the trackpoint better.
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Re: TrackPoint vs TouchPad

#23 Post by Worzyl » Sun Mar 07, 2010 12:59 pm

I've only ever used laptops with touchpads until I bought a laptop with a trackpoint. The trackpoint is interesting as you can scroll the pointer from one end to another in one swoop - something you can't do with a touchpad. However, the buttons being situated below the keyboard just isn't really comfortable to me, so I never use it. It's a great idea having both options on a laptop, as the touchpad on my last laptop has broken buttons.

Touchpad for me.
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Re: TrackPoint vs TouchPad

#24 Post by pianowizard » Sun Mar 07, 2010 2:22 pm

Worzyl wrote:scroll the pointer from one end to another in one swoop - something you can't do with a touchpad.
Yes you can, if you set the speed of the pointer at the maximum. It might feel too fast at first, but not after some practice.
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Re: TrackPoint vs TouchPad

#25 Post by Worzyl » Sun Mar 07, 2010 6:43 pm

pianowizard wrote:
Yes you can, if you set the speed of the pointer at the maximum. It might feel too fast at first, but not after some practice.
Heh....I didn't even know a touchpad even had such settings.
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Re: TrackPoint vs TouchPad

#26 Post by parsona » Mon Mar 08, 2010 8:39 am

Trackpoint is the sole reason why I stay with the Thinkpads. Its simply more efficient and accurate, you don't have to lift your finger to drag anything across the screen therefore reducing the time it takes to complete a mouse movement. I use mouse gestures alot on my Firefox and I really can't imagine how it can be done easily with a touch pad. Scrolling with the trackpoint is also superior with the middle button an extremely crucial element that sets the Thinkpad above the rest of the trackpoint competitors. Dells do not have the middle button for scrolling, hence making its trackpoint worthless. I'm not too sure about HPs though.

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Re: TrackPoint vs TouchPad

#27 Post by Tõnis » Mon Mar 08, 2010 4:45 pm

I voted track point because that's the device I find myself using the most. But I like options, and I love that I can use one, the other, or both at the same time, and that Fn+F8 allows me to shut off one or the other. There are times when I clearly prefer the touchpad -- like when I'm doing a lot of highlighting ... or when I'm driving.
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Re: TrackPoint vs TouchPad

#28 Post by paul*robertson » Wed Mar 10, 2010 4:02 pm

Trackpoint for a true laptop, ie on your lap. If used on a desk, mouse. I avoid touchpads where possible.
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Re: TrackPoint vs TouchPad

#29 Post by jvarszegi » Fri Mar 19, 2010 5:47 pm

Touchpad, because it strains my hand much less. I never did understand the need for the trackpoint; it seems to solve a non-existent problem. I never need to type a few characters, quickly move the mouse, type a few more, move it again, etc.

Also, I can work faster with a touchpad. Any time saved by leaving my hands in place with the trackpoint is lost due to the general speediness of the touchpad.

A touchpad also offers richer functionality with the new multi-finger gestures (which I don't use).

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Re: TrackPoint vs TouchPad

#30 Post by jdhurst » Fri Mar 19, 2010 6:27 pm

jvarszegi wrote:<snip> I never did understand the need for the trackpoint; it seems to solve a non-existent problem.
It is personal prefernce and nothing more. I could same the same thing about a touch pad as you did about the track point. ... JDH

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