Lenovo Confirmed TrackPoint Will Always Be Present on ThinkPads

Lenovo Promised: The TrackPoint Will Never Die, as long as Lenovo ThinkPads Exist

One of the more controversial issues with the latest ThinkPad laptops is the inclusion of a TrackPoint, a miniature pointing stick that is built into the keyboard. During the early 1990s, many laptops used to feature a trackball or a mini joystick. These input devices would require users to move their hand, which was inconvenient for long periods of typing. However, these days, touchpads have evolved to include integrated buttons. Moreover, some modern laptops have multitouch gestures. Compared to trackpads, this input method is more comfortable to use for longer periods of typing.

Lenovo has vowed to change this perception. With the new ThinkPad X13s, the company is aiming to provide users with a superior typing experience. Powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 processor and ARM, the X13s is the first device to earn the ThinkPad badge. It is also the first Windows device to have native 5G connectivity.

The X13s will be available in May. Lenovo has also announced that AT&T will be selling the device. Unlike previous Windows on ARM devices, the X13s is an ultra-light fanless clamshell PC. As such, it promises always-on, always-connected performance. Additionally, it features a triple microphone array and intelligent noise suppression. Lastly, it comes with Windows Hello IR for facial recognition.

Despite being a relatively small input device, TrackPoint has had a large impact on the ThinkPad brand. While TrackPoint was never as popular as it was in the 1990s, it has remained in Lenovo's line of business. Since its introduction, the company has introduced a number of variants, including the ThinkPad 11e and ThinkPad T14. Though many customers complained, the company eventually made it a standard feature on all its business notebooks. In addition to this, the company partnered with Microsoft to bring security software to the ARM-powered devices. This included the development of a chip known as the Pluton, which is designed to offer chip-to-cloud protection.

For those that don't know, TrackPoint was designed by Ted Selker, a computer scientist at IBM. He envisioned a system that would replace a trackpad with a tiny cursor that could be pressed to move through documents. After testing and refining the idea, he shipped 100 prototypes to various labs around the world. Some fans, though, criticized the implementation, calling it "a gimmick." They argued that TrackPoint was too fiddly to use and too small to fit in a briefcase-sized laptop. Although TrackPoint is still used on ThinkPads, a growing number of consumers are opting for other input methods.

Despite this criticism, however, TrackPoint remains a favorite among ThinkPad users. It offers a number of benefits for those that are willing to learn. Besides eliminating the need to shift hands between a keyboard and a trackpad, it provides a fast typing experience. And since it uses an input method similar to that found in non-QWERTY keyboard layouts, it may be more comfortable for those that have trouble adjusting to the QWERTY keyboard layout.

Chandeshawar Singh

Chandeshawar Singh is a Blogger with more than 10+ years of experience in Tech Blogging

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