One of the most frustrating aspects of using a laptop is having to deal with a wonky touchpad. Well, help might be on the way in the form of Synaptics' next-generation ClickPad, which is scheduled for release early next year. The folks at Engadget recently did some hands-on testing with the upcoming design and found a lot to like about it.
Synaptics' ClickPad IS Series 3.0 aims for better gesture detection as well as the ability to ignore accidental swipes. The touchpad also behaves as one big button, making the entire surface pressable.
Engadget noted the improved multi-touch experience and also commented on the ClickPad's scrolling abilties:
. . . we found pinch-to-zoom and two-finger scrolling to be incredibly responsive. In fact, we'd say it was the most responsive we've ever seen these gestures on a Windows laptop. Scrolling was especially smooth, and in Firefox we didn't have to try multiple times to fluidly scroll down . . .
The ClickPad's supposed ability to ignore accidental swipes garnered less praise; Engadget still encountered problems with incidental contact moving the cursor during typing. The issue could be mitigated by dialing down the ClickPad's sensitivity, but this inevitably resulted in a slower, more tedious scrolling experience.
All in all, it looks like Synaptics may have made some real strides in improving the touchpad—next time we're in the market for a laptop, we may have one less thing to complain about.