Synaptics gets touchy with its new ClickPad

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.

Comments closed
    • sweatshopking
    • 9 years ago

    meh. I’ve never really hated touch pads. I think as a tech, they aren’t great. I’ve used em all. I just like mice better, so i keep one handy. they still BEAT THAT AWFUL NUB

      • eitje
      • 9 years ago

      you don’t know what you’re talking about, dude. keyboard nubs are the only way to mouse around.

        • Corrado
        • 9 years ago

        I disagree. I’ve had 2 or 3 Thinkpads over the course of my computing life (going on 26 years now) and never liked them. I’ve always like ‘good’ touchpads. I had an NEC Pentium 200MMX laptop that could actually detect multiple fingers and right click with a three finger tap. That thing was awesome until I dropped it off my top bunk in college back in 1997.

      • Delphis
      • 9 years ago

      I love the touchpad on my Thinkpad T61 .. it’s plenty sensitive and does ‘clicks’ as needed. It does the scroll action on the right side. I think it’s great. I do however remove the characteristic red ‘nub’ since it can rub the screen and I don’t use it.

        • Voldenuit
        • 9 years ago

        Whereas I hate the trackpad on my X300. It’s too easy to accidentally brush when I’m typing, so I usually disable it.

        Another benefit of the trackpoint is that its location near the alpha keys means that I don’t have to contort my wrists to use it in cramped quarters (on my lap, in bed, on an airplane).

        EDIT: PS I used to get the nub print on my old R50 screen, but I haven’t seen it on my X300 in over 2 years, so it looks like lenovo has improved the clearance issue.

      • BobbinThreadbare
      • 9 years ago

      No way. The nub is king. Well prince, after a real mouse.

      Maybe it’s just because I’m used to thumbsticks with controllers, but I find the nub way easier to use. It’s really nice not to have to lift my finger off the device every .5 seconds.

    • Corrado
    • 9 years ago

    Yeah, this seems like they’re merely copying the Apple trackpad, which I believe Synaptics already makes for Apple. Maybe their contract with Apple had an exclusivity agreement?

    • axeman
    • 9 years ago

    In other words, you won’t have to buy a MacBook to get a trackpad that doesn’t SUCK.

      • adisor19
      • 9 years ago

      That remains to be seen.

      Adi

        • 5150
        • 9 years ago

        We’ll have to wait to see what Steve tells us.

      • tay
      • 9 years ago

      The “magic” trackpad is even better. I really like it for my work imac. Still use a mouse with the win7 gaming/home machine.

        • blastdoor
        • 9 years ago

        I agree — I do like the magic trackpad. But I definitely use the “tap to click” option rather than using the whole thing as a button.

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