This is the greatest touchpad I've tested in years — and it's on a gaming laptop

Lenovo Legion 7i Gen 9 review
(Image credit: Future/Rami Tabari)

Touchpads in laptops seem to feel more like jelly after it's dried in the sun than the sleek glassy perfection they once were years ago. It’s unfortunate because the touchpad is arguably one of the most important features of a laptop. It is one of the two key sources of input. So why are touchpads getting worse?

This really hit me when I reviewed the Lenovo Legion 7i Gen 9. Even the best gaming laptops can sport terrible touchpads, and I’d forgive it because you’ll likely use a discrete gaming mouse instead. My patience has run thin. Blame the Legion 7i, featuring the greatest touchpad I’ve tested in years.

How is it so good? And what the heck is wrong with touchpads in laptops? Let me tell you a story all about how touchpads got flipped-turned upside down.

The gaming laptop with an excellent touchpad

The Lenovo Legion 7i Gen 9 is outfitted with a 3 x 4.9-inch touchpad. I knew it was going to be good when my finger slid across it, and I didn’t feel that sticky, resistant sensation. Instead, it felt like gliding my finger across glass lathered in oil.

Lenovo Legion 7i Gen 9 review

(Image credit: Future/Rami Tabari)

The click is also important. Some touchpads are too shallow or firm or depress so far into the deck that you could slot a coin in and it'd spit out tickets. The Legion 7i had a sharp click with just enough travel to make the input feel impactful.

Interacting with the Legion 7i’s touchpad was refreshing. Haptic touchpads have become more common in premium laptops. From my experience, they’re softer than your average touchpad, and you can get used to the haptic feedback with prolonged use. But it’s just not the same as a physical click. I felt the same way when smartphones moved over to touchscreen instead of physical buttons. Maybe it’s inevitable for laptop touchpads, but I’ll still hate it.

Despite me holding onto a potentially dying tech, the touchpad’s materials are more important. They’re either made of plastic, glass, or rubber (this is rare). Plastic is the most common, and glass is the luxury item.

Lenovo Legion 7i Gen 9 review

(Image credit: Future/Rami Tabari)

Unfortunately, manufacturers rarely disclose the materials they use in the touchpad. Even Apple doesn’t list it for its MacBook, despite it being common knowledge that the company uses glass trackpads. The Lenovo Legion 7i Gen 9 features a glass touchpad, and I know that because of this spec sheet PDF I found when I searched the laptop’s name, followed by “touchpad materials.”

But if you’re shopping for a laptop with a good touchpad and can’t find any info, you’ll just have to punch the river and hope you get a salmon. Or, ya know, read our lovely laptop reviews. Researching a product that’ll take a chunk out of your bank account is vital, no matter your priorities.

Now let me address you, manufacturers. If you’re selling a premium laptop, it better come equipped with a glass touchpad. Ditch the plastic. I don’t want to feel it, let alone see it. Away with thee.

Outlook

If you’re not always connected to a discrete mouse for gaming, then the Lenovo Legion 7i Gen 9 is an excellent choice if you’re looking for smooth connectivity in your gaming laptop. No one likes navigating through Windows, but this touchpad makes it feel satisfying.

You’ll unlikely find the perfect laptop, so if you need to sacrifice a quality touchpad, you can buy the best gaming mouse, or at least one of them, in our thorough guide. No matter how good a touchpad is, you’ll still need a discrete solution for gaming. Although, you could get away with point-and-click games.

Do you like the sound of the Lenovo Legion 7i Gen 9? The gaming laptop will also net you excellent mid-range performance, a beautiful display, and cool thermals. You can find it at Best Buy.

Category
Arrow
Arrow
Back to Gaming Laptops
Brand
Arrow
Processor
Arrow
RAM
Arrow
Storage Size
Arrow
Screen Size
Arrow
Colour
Arrow
Condition
Arrow
Price
Arrow
Any Price
Showing 10 of 1,490 deals
Filters
Arrow
(1TB 32GB RAM)
Our Review
2
EXCaliberPC [2024] ASUS ROG...
Amazon
Our Review
5
MSI 17.3" Titan GT77HX Gaming...
BHPhoto
Recommended Retail...
(15.6-inch 8GB RAM)
6
Victus by HP Gaming Laptop...
HP (US)
(17.3-inch 2TB)
Our Review
9
MSI - Titan GT77 HX 13V 17.3"...
Best Buy
(1TB 16GB RAM)
Our Review
10
ASUS - ROG Zephyrus M16 16"...
Best Buy
Load more deals
Rami Tabari
Editor

Rami Tabari is an Editor for Laptop Mag. He reviews every shape and form of a laptop as well as all sorts of cool tech. You can find him sitting at his desk surrounded by a hoarder's dream of laptops, and when he navigates his way out to civilization, you can catch him watching really bad anime or playing some kind of painfully difficult game. He’s the best at every game and he just doesn’t lose. That’s why you’ll occasionally catch his byline attached to the latest Souls-like challenge.