Linux Format logo

Off-centre trackpads

I've noticed recently that a large number of PC laptops ship with their trackpads aligned off the centre of the unit, instead directly under the spacebar. This is taken to its most extreme in the Dell Studio 17-inch laptop, which has a numeric keypad on the right of the main keyboard, so the whole keyboard is off centre, and even the far right of the trackpad is still to the left of the centre of the whole unit.

Does anyone have an off-centre trackpad? Does it tick you off, or is it actually quite usable? I did try and Google up some sort of explanation of why this trend has come about, but found little outside of speculation.


Your comments

Well, my shiny new HP

Well, my shiny new HP Mini-Note 2133 comes with a trackpad slightly left of centre, but, being left handed, I find this isn't a problem.

Well I have a Thinkpad T60p,

Well I have a Thinkpad T60p, and only noticed the trackpad was off centre when you mentioned it, so it can't be that bad. Just to add to speculation I suspect it's the right-handed brigade at work again. When I'm using the trackpad, I rest my right wrist almost next to the pad and use it sideways, just swivelling my wrist round to type. My left hand is just used to hit the trackpad button, so hangs off the bottom of the laptop. So there you go.

I have an ACER and I've only

I have an ACER and I've only noticed it because you have mentioned it.

I have an AA1 which has a

I have an AA1 which has a slightly left-of-centre trackpad, and like John above, didn't notice until I read this post. So clearly it doesn't bother me. :)

Have the exact laptop you

Have the exact laptop you specified, but it doesn't really bother me at all. I have no problems typing without mistakes. I don't believe that I've ever used the number pad!

Well we've been looking at a

Well we've been looking at a wide range of business laptops at work recently. The one that;s niggled me the most is the Toshiba R10. The keyboard is right of centre and it's very frustrating when you're working on it and having to move your hands to the right - even worse because I'm a touch typist.

Perversely enough the trackpad is dead centre with the screen - so is the touchpad left of centre, or the keyboard right of centre?

Much more than being

Much more than being off-center, the utter uselessness of most touchpads I have seen is what bothers me most.

These crappy devices usually are in either a non-responsive or ultra-sensitive state. In the latter, the cursor jumps around the screen randomly - it's a guess to know where the next "click" will act.

I just bought a Dell Inspiron 1525 notebook. Its touchpad (a Synaptics) is worth nothing, and from what I have seen on the Internet I am not the only one to complain. I am now using a trackball with it - the touchpad is just a source of anger and frustration, and it really doesn't matter how off-center it is.

(BTW, I don't know whether this is a problem with the touchpad driver (the one that comes with Ubuntu 8.04, FYI) or it is a hardware problem. I an inclined to believe it is hardware, but if anyone can give me some light on this matter I will greatly appreciate.)

I suspect the problem is the

I suspect the problem is the touchpad driver. I've had my ACER over three years and when I started out the touchpad wasn't very sensitive. Then a couple of releases of openSUSE later it acquired all the sensitivity and functions that touchpads are supposed to have and I've never looked back.

John, Thanks for your

John,

Thanks for your reply/comment.
I'll try Ubuntu 8.10 sometime later.

(Or Kubuntu. Or Xubuntu. Or even, maybe, another distribution. I like *buntu and the *buntu folks, but I'm starting to get scared of the ethical/political path Gnome/Mono is allowing itself to take... Well, I apologize for the off-topic outburst, anyway. I just needed to get this out of my chest.)

Again, thank you.



Web hosting by UKFast