Windows laptop w/high quality, Mac-level touchpad

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Windows laptop w/high quality, Mac-level touchpad

Postby markfaix » Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:05 am

Title says it all. I'm looking for a Windows laptop with a high quality touchpad. I have tried multiple Windows laptops (Dell, HP, Lenovo, Samsung, Acer, Asus, Toshiba), and the touchpad functionality was far less than that of a Mac laptop. This tech writer describes my experience perfectly:

http://pandodaily.com/2012/06/24/why-do ... -hardware/

I am asking an honest question, and am not trying to start a Mac vs PC thread. I think Windows 7 and Mtn/Lion are both excellent operating systems, but I'm looking at one aspect of hardware. I don't want to use an external mouse or spend the extra $ to run Windows on a Mac.

Thanks for your suggestions.
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Re: Windows laptop w/high quality, Mac-level touchpad

Postby linuxuser » Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:43 am

I don't like the touchpad. I prefer the trackpoint especially the bright red ones on the IBM Thinkpads of yore.
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Re: Windows laptop w/high quality, Mac-level touchpad

Postby ThatGuy » Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:55 am

Similar to tablets, I view touchpads as inferior for getting real work done anyways. Why use those when you can get better precision and speed with a cheap mouse?
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Re: Windows laptop w/high quality, Mac-level touchpad

Postby mhalley » Mon Jan 28, 2013 12:16 pm

Here is a nice review of the new lenovo. Leo Laport likes the brand a lot.

http://www.theverge.com/2013/1/17/38835 ... uch-review

Mike
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Re: Windows laptop w/high quality, Mac-level touchpad

Postby ianferrel » Mon Jan 28, 2013 1:36 pm

Do you have access to a Mac laptop that you can try running Windows on (as an actual install that you boot, not in a virtual machine)?

The reason I ask is that my understanding is that part of the awesomeness of the Mac trackpads is actually in MacOS itself. Not in the hardware, and not in the driver, but in the OS. So, it's quite possible that even the Mac hardware isn't going to be as good with Windows installed.

My information may be out of date here. I know this was an issue a few years ago, but it's quite possible that Windows has closed the gap since then. Testing on Mac hardware with a recent Windows install would let you know for sure.
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Re: Windows laptop w/high quality, Mac-level touchpad

Postby lindisfarne » Mon Jan 28, 2013 7:14 pm

mhalley wrote:Here is a nice review of the new lenovo. Leo Laport likes the brand a lot.
http://www.theverge.com/2013/1/17/38835 ... uch-review
Mike


I do not like Lenovo, especially the touchpad. Perhaps it depends on the Thinkpad model, but the one I have on a work computer (not my main work computer, a Dell Latitude) is very sticky (does not respond well & sometimes jumps to a completely different point on screen) & I don't like the texture. If you read the review of the Linux Thinkpad (linked to above), you'll see that they rated the touchpad relatively low (7 - I would have rated it lower for my computer), & comments left by readers also rate it low.
I've done google searches & tried adjusting various settings, & it just is nowhere near as good as either of the Dells I have worked on over the last 7 years (inspiron & latitude. The Lenovo DVD player door is always coming open. There are other smaller issues with Lenovo & unless Lenovo changes dramatically, I will never buy another. (Another minor issue: The Alt & Control keys are reversed (from most other manufacturers) on the Lenovo, but you can remap them fairly easily; do a google search).

I wouldn't claim Dell is a wonderful computer (I also had an Inspiron & learned a lot about laptops because of failure of multiple parts, all under warranty - I extended the warranty because of the problems; the Latitude seems better in this regard) but it seems a better computer than Lenovo (or HP - I had to disassemble a family member's HP entirely to replace the screen; I was amazed how flimsy everything was & it was a small miracle that it actually worked after I reassembled it. On a Dell, it would have been far easier to replace the screen.)

Macs have fewer repair issues (according to Consumer Reports) but I've also heard that Mac is moving in a direction of computers which the owner cannot repair themselves. At least in part, this is due to the ever shrinking computer (esp. in terms of weight & thickness). If I decide to buy another personal laptop in the computer, I will certainly take into account how accessible the internal parts are & am willing to have a heavier computer as a trade-off. I'm hoping it doesn't get to the point where no computers are accessible.
Last edited by lindisfarne on Mon Jan 28, 2013 7:31 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Windows laptop w/high quality, Mac-level touchpad

Postby stevewolfe » Mon Jan 28, 2013 7:28 pm

linuxuser wrote:I don't like the touchpad. I prefer the trackpoint especially the bright red ones on the IBM Thinkpads of yore.


This. Much prefer the trackpoint on my Thinkpad T420 / W520 to any touchpad.
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Re: Windows laptop w/high quality, Mac-level touchpad

Postby ourbrooks » Mon Jan 28, 2013 7:51 pm

Which Dells did you try? They have several, entirely different product lines. The Inspiron line is their mass market, "Style and Entertainment" line. Initial purchase price is the primary consideration for that line. In contrast, the Latitude line is their business, "total cost of ownership" line. They offer things like five year, on site warranties on the Latitude line. They also have a gamer laptop line and a portable graphics workstation line. I can easily imagine touchpad quality varying a great deal across these lines; everything else seems to.

Also, experiment with touchpad settings. Changing things like pointer acceleration can make a big difference in how a touchpad feels.
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Re: Windows laptop w/high quality, Mac-level touchpad

Postby linuxuser » Mon Jan 28, 2013 8:30 pm

lindisfarne wrote:
I wouldn't claim Dell is a wonderful computer (I also had an Inspiron & learned a lot about laptops because of failure of multiple parts, all under warranty - I extended the warranty because of the problems; the Latitude seems better in this regard) but it seems a better computer than Lenovo (or HP - I had to disassemble a family member's HP entirely to replace the screen; I was amazed how flimsy everything was & it was a small miracle that it actually worked after I reassembled it. On a Dell, it would have been far easier to replace the screen.)


Like with Dell's Latitude line of laptops, you won't find HP's business line of laptops Elitebooks in the stores.
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Re: Windows laptop w/high quality, Mac-level touchpad

Postby lindisfarne » Mon Jan 28, 2013 8:41 pm

linuxuser wrote:
lindisfarne wrote:
I wouldn't claim Dell is a wonderful computer (I also had an Inspiron & learned a lot about laptops because of failure of multiple parts, all under warranty - I extended the warranty because of the problems; the Latitude seems better in this regard) but it seems a better computer than Lenovo (or HP - I had to disassemble a family member's HP entirely to replace the screen; I was amazed how flimsy everything was & it was a small miracle that it actually worked after I reassembled it. On a Dell, it would have been far easier to replace the screen.)


Like with Dell's Latitude line of laptops, you won't find HP's business line of laptops Elitebooks in the stores.


My Inspiron wasn't anywhere near as flimsy as the HP. (I haven't had to disassemble the Latitude - which is a far better track record than with my Inspiron at the 2.5 year point, although time will tell).
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Re: Windows laptop w/high quality, Mac-level touchpad

Postby markfaix » Tue Jan 29, 2013 8:29 pm

I have not tried the "business" grade laptops from Dell or Lenovo. However, they are usually not available in stores. Any other suggestions?
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Re: Windows laptop w/high quality, Mac-level touchpad

Postby harland » Tue Jan 29, 2013 9:08 pm

IMO, if you want the 'feel' of the Mac trackpad while using Windows, just buy a Mac and put Windows on it using Bootcamp. I haven't used a PC touchpad that comes close to the Macbook Pro. I use a 'business' laptop - a Dell Precision M4600 with a standard ALPS touchpad. It sucks, relatively speaking.

However, like another poster mentioned, you might not have all the nice gestures that Mac OS X recognizes.
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Re: Windows laptop w/high quality, Mac-level touchpad

Postby lindisfarne » Tue Jan 29, 2013 11:08 pm

markfaix wrote:I have not tried the "business" grade laptops from Dell or Lenovo. However, they are usually not available in stores. Any other suggestions?


For Dell, you'd can order them online. If your underlying question was "how can I see before I buy", I haven't answered it! Some universities might have "tech" departments in their bookstore where you might be able to see some (you probably wouldn't be able to get the student discount).
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