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X1 Carbon Gen 7 TrackPoint Issue

X1/X1-Carbon (X1Cx)/X1-Extreme (X1Ex) series and later, specific matters only
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Daniel B·
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Mar 19, 2010 5:47 pm
Location: Augusta, VA

X1 Carbon Gen 7 TrackPoint Issue

#1 Post by Daniel B· » Wed Apr 08, 2020 7:14 pm

I just recently upgraded from my fall 2007 T61 (was still using Vista!) to an X1 Carbon Gen 7 (Core i7 10th Gen), and was pleased to find the Trackpoint is just as responsive as on my T61, if a little firm in the down direction, but it has an annoying issue (luckily, not too frequent) that is rather unexpected for the latest hardware (all Windows 10 / Lenovo drivers are up-to-date, including Synaptics firmware)...

If I'm moving an object with the Trackpoint, with the left button depressed, occasionally it acts as if I've released the button and drops the object. This can occur in any application, even when moving the scroll bar thumb of a window, and in my Web app I found that an erroneous pair of the mouseup and mousedown events are issued when this occurs, despite the button still being pressed, i.e. on releasing button, the expected final mouseup event is generated. I initially encountered the issue when I was doing a ton of edits in the Windows 10 2D paint app, where I was moving small parts of the image around, and when the issue occurred it could result in the selection being unexpectedly re-sized, requiring an undo operation.

I've subsequently found a similar issue with the middle button, where when I'm scrolling up the page it again acts as if I've released the button, and stops scrolling with the mouse cursor shooting off in the direction I'm pushing.

Hopefully someone has encountered this issue and has a solution, but if not, can anyone have a good go in trying to re-create it? To do this I would suggest using 2d paint and trying to quickly move around a 50x50 pixel selection to see if it's ever unexpectedly dropped. I would suggest moving different parts of the image to re-create my experience. I just tried this, and eventually managed to repeat the issue a couple times.

I did try contacting Lenovo technical support, after I got no responses on the official Lenovo forum, and they're sending me a box... I'm trying to cancel, but this appears to be easier said than done. They suggested I update a few different drivers, but I'm already using the current versions.

P.S. I used the points I earned with my X1 purchase to snag a "leather" sleeve, but man, I swear the first one they sent me was imitation leather, and smelled of mold (made my X1 smell of mold too!), and the second one filled my house with a chemical smell :(.

Daniel B·
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Mar 19, 2010 5:47 pm
Location: Augusta, VA

Re: X1 Carbon Gen 7 TrackPoint Issue

#2 Post by Daniel B· » Thu Apr 09, 2020 3:55 pm

See my short video (unlisted) that demonstrates the issue: https://youtu.be/CCqjZuwO10I (no sound).

Here's my image that I used for the test, and is where I first encountered the issue, which occurred a good few times while I was creating it: https://i.imgur.com/bYddKlg.png . I made this for my recent YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iVtEugSdvGw

I edited out the first six minutes of the test, and was thinking that perhaps the issue doesn't occur when charging, but I seem to recall that I had it plugged in when I was making the image.

Daniel B·
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Mar 19, 2010 5:47 pm
Location: Augusta, VA

Re: X1 Carbon Gen 7 TrackPoint Issue

#3 Post by Daniel B· » Tue Apr 14, 2020 1:26 pm

I think I've discovered the cause; it's quite possibly due to the type of button switches used in the X1 Carbon Gen 7, where if you don't keep perfect pressure on the switch, such as when making large movements with the Trackpoint, the switch briefly (~10-150 ms) breaks contact, which is consistent with the slight rocking motion created on the switch, when using one hand to operate Trackpoint and keeping the button depressed.

The workaround for the left button, where doing many operations in succession that use Trackpoint and left button, such as doing lots of edits in Paint, is to use finger from other hand to keep consistent pressure on button, using normal hand to just move cursor. This workaround feels super awkward for scrolling (middle button), but the issue isn't so much of a problem where scrolling, given its infrequency, and if does occur, it isn't so serious, e.g. doesn't require undoing of an unintended edit.

In due course I'll let Lenovo know about my findings, so they can perhaps address this likely hardware issue in future iterations of X1 Carbon's etc.

w0qj
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Re: X1 Carbon Gen 7 TrackPoint Issue

#4 Post by w0qj » Tue Apr 14, 2020 5:20 pm

Wow, many thanks for sharing your detailed findings!
Daily Driver: X1 Extreme 1st Gen (X1E1): i7 | 16GB | 1TB | IPS
Current Thinkpads: X1E1 | X1C4 | X1C3 | X250 | X230 | T410
Retired Thinkpads: T42 | 560 (circa 1996)
~~IBM Thinkpad era computer bag !

polezaivsani
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon Jul 23, 2018 5:10 am
Location: Cherniakhovsk, Russia

Re: X1 Carbon Gen 7 TrackPoint Issue

#5 Post by polezaivsani » Tue May 12, 2020 9:10 am

I can confirm exactly same issue with my X1C7. Not a show stopper, but definitely annoying.

polezaivsani
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon Jul 23, 2018 5:10 am
Location: Cherniakhovsk, Russia

Re: X1 Carbon Gen 7 TrackPoint Issue

#6 Post by polezaivsani » Fri Jun 26, 2020 4:59 pm

Daniel and anybody else experiencing this issue - have any of fixed this issue, e.g. serviced by Lenovo?

I keep thinking of all the scenarios where this could screw things up and prob would turn it in for service.

Daniel B·
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Mar 19, 2010 5:47 pm
Location: Augusta, VA

Re: X1 Carbon Gen 7 TrackPoint Issue

#7 Post by Daniel B· » Mon Jun 29, 2020 4:57 pm

polezaivsani wrote:
Fri Jun 26, 2020 4:59 pm
Daniel and anybody else experiencing this issue - have any of fixed this issue, e.g. serviced by Lenovo?

I keep thinking of all the scenarios where this could screw things up and prob would turn it in for service.
Yeah, this remains a real pesky issue, that is significantly degrading my X1 user experience, for even simple things like selecting text (quite often have to do this multiple times because of the issue)...

I just tried Lenovo technical support again, and, they offered to send me another box, despite providing all the details, and suggesting that the issue is likely common to the model, not my specific laptop, so Lenovo should be able to re-create issue with the same hyperbook model...

Synaptics Inc., who are responsible for the technology, don't allow direct contact by end users, but they do have a Twitter account: https://twitter.com/DanielB_/status/1277717291300532224

polezaivsani
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon Jul 23, 2018 5:10 am
Location: Cherniakhovsk, Russia

Re: X1 Carbon Gen 7 TrackPoint Issue

#8 Post by polezaivsani » Mon Jun 29, 2020 11:41 pm

Ouch, sounds like this machine would stay that way :roll:. Might be my wishful thinking, but it seems that the issue gets less prominent with (significantly) hotter temperatures here.

Thanks for the tips, Daniel!

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