In our reviews of HP's Envy 13 and 15, we noticed that the touchpads on both were finicky and difficult to work with. Our reviewers noticed jumping cursors, poor response to input and intermittent gesture recognition. Like the rest of the system, it was obvious the touchpad's style and design were meant to mimic the ones on MacBook Pros. We wished that they worked nearly as well.
Passing the systems around the office, we discovered that staffers who used the touchpad with one hand had an easier time dealing with the Envys than those who use two hands.
Unlike typing, I never received any formal instruction on how to use a touchpad, so I defaulted to what made sense to me. Is that true for everyone? If so, what does the way you use a touchpad say about you as a person? Perhaps it reveals deep mysteries about your personality. Or perhaps it just means you're more or less frustrated with your laptop on a daily basis.
I'm a two-handed user, so I always keep a finger from my left hand on the mouse button while my right moves the cursor around, like so:
Some of the people on staff use just one hand, like so:
I find it really difficult to use the touchpad this way, especially when working on a netbook:
The second way works much better on small netbook pads. However, because the buttons on netbooks are often small, there are times when a tip of my finger accidentally strays onto the touchpad, making the cursor jump or scrolling difficult. This doesn't happen too often, but often enough to notice.
Neither the one-handed or two-handed approach seems to be more common than the other in the office, but I wonder if maybe the designers and engineers who worked on the HP Envy line are all one-handed users. That certainly makes using the touchpad a bit easier. Perhaps they are all secretly MacBook users, as I've noticed a correlation between one-handed touchpad use and Mac users:
However, when I use a MacBook touchpad I default to my usual two-handed stance and don't encounter problems. It seems Apple's hardware is usually able to tell the difference between a finger resting on the touchpad and those in motion, allowing even people like me to use it frustration-free.
Are you a one-handed or two-handed touchpad user? Maybe you're lucky and can do both. Have you noticed that some touchpads are more difficult to deal with than others? Could it be because you're using it differently than the designers intended?
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