Funny thing abt PC Laptops

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by spacepower, Feb 3, 2004.

  1. spacepower macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2002
    #1
    hello all

    I am not sure if i am the only one that noticed?
    Why do many PC laptops have an offset trackpad? The trackpad is offset to the left rather than in the center. Ironicaly it is offset to the left and not right, when the majority of the population is right-handed. Besides making their laptops ugly for not being symmetrical, it just plain seems odd to me.

    I guess they have amazing marketing departments that either say that all the rich laptop buyers are lefties or they know something i have no clue abt.

    Nothing against South-paws, but since i am a rightie, putting the track pad left of center will only cause finger strain for me ;)

    what do you think?
     
  2. MoparShaha macrumors 68000

    MoparShaha

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    #2
    Yeah, I've seen this too. It does strike me as odd. I would be interested to know the reasoning behind it.
     
  3. virividox macrumors 601

    virividox

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    #3
    now that iv read this post i want to know. i have noticed it before but it never occured to me or bothered me. NOW IT BOTHERS ME!!!
     
  4. johnnyjibbs macrumors 68030

    johnnyjibbs

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    #4
    Yes, it is very strange. I have to say, although I like 2 button mice, I can't cope with more than one trackpad button! Apple's trackpads are nice and central and make no preference for left or right handers! You can't accidentally press the wrong button either!
     
  5. Dunepilot macrumors 6502a

    Dunepilot

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    #5
    I've got a feeling it's something to do with the processor size/ location of the optical drive. It is bloody wierd though.

    But then, why should we be surprised by this, when you look at the absence of design virtue in many Wintel-compatible hardware products in general?
     
  6. sonofslim macrumors 6502a

    sonofslim

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    Jun 6, 2003
    #6
    i believe that it's because this position puts the trackpad in range of your right index finger when, if your right hand is in the 'home' position on the keyboard (ever take a typing class?), you rotate it at the wrist -- think of a clock hand going backwards from 12 to about 9:30, with the origin of that arc being your wrist and the radius being along your index finger.

    if the pad were offset to the right, it would end up obscured by your right palm and there's no way you'd be able to get a finger on it without moving your hand from its rest position -- ergonomically, an inefficient and wasteful movement.
     
  7. johnnowak macrumors 6502

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    #7
    Its better than cranking your wrist 90 degrees left all the time. You'll have RSI issues in about a week.
     
  8. jxyama macrumors 68040

    jxyama

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    Apr 3, 2003
    #8
    i *think* it's because most right handed people use the right thumb to hit the space key. so it would make more sense to let the left thumb do the tracking?
     
  9. takao macrumors 68040

    takao

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    Dornbirn (Austria)
    #9
    hm i never noticed that hm ...but now im looking everytime iff its offset lol

    the best ergonomical solution . im my opinion ist the red IBM trackpoint ...if your typing you dont have to raise your hand so workflow is much faster (if your used to it of course)

    i would love a trackpoint in my desktop keyboard...
     
  10. amnesiac1984 macrumors 6502a

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    Europe
    #10
    I think sonofslim is sort of right. It makes sense to have it left so you have space to rest your right hand on the big space on the right. Middle is better especially as not everyone is a rightie (moi!)

    And jxyama, who uses their thumbs for the track pad anyway?
     
  11. Rincewind42 macrumors 6502a

    Rincewind42

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    #11
    Except I don't know of anyone that can use the trackpad with their thumb! Regardless it seems to me that in general PC uses regard the trackpad badly and will do anything to plug a mouse into their laptop asap.
     
  12. sparks9 macrumors 6502a

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    Copenhagen
    #12
    I have a trackpoint on my ibm. I think it's to the left so you can rest your hand on the computer while using the trackpad.
     
  13. Mr Maui macrumors 65816

    Mr Maui

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    Jul 19, 2002
    #13
    Re: Funny thing abt PC Laptops


    Simple answer is ... PEE CEE
     
  14. stoid macrumors 601

    stoid

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    So long, and thanks for all the fish!
    #14
    For quick tracking (for short quick navigations when I'm typing or web browsing), I do tend to use my thumb to do the tracking. However, for all other applications I use other fingers. Since a typical PC is used for typing, internet and games (gamers don't really use the trackpad anyway) and relatively nothing else, it would just make sense to make thumb-padding convenient.
     
  15. jxyama macrumors 68040

    jxyama

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    #15
    right... my point was not so much to exclusively use the left thumb on the trackpad. if you are typing, left thumb is *usually* the only free finger, so if one didn't want to disturb the typing but still wanted a quick and short access to the trackpad, i thought it would make sense to flush the trackpad to the left, closer to the left thumb.
     
  16. Hodapp macrumors 6502a

    Hodapp

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    #16
  17. airborne macrumors newbie

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    #17
    WHAT?! You wouldn't?! Not even a... Oh, yeah, I see what you're saying. PREACH IT, BROTHER, FROM THE MOUNTAIN TOP!!

    [​IMG]
     
  18. Rincewind42 macrumors 6502a

    Rincewind42

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    #18
    Nice try, but that doesn't lend consistency either :( . The Hell Despiron on my desk (for work, ugh) has it's trackpad almost left justified with the spacebar.

    And another thing I've noticed is that WinXP doesn't seem to have any preference for turning off click-on-trackpad functionality, yet seems to detect almost any movement on the damn thing as a click. I hate PCs...
     
  19. Hodapp macrumors 6502a

    Hodapp

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    #19
    Yeah, you've got to install the Synaptics touchpad driver to disable that, very irritating.
     
  20. Makosuke macrumors 603

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    #20
    I've always wondered about that myself, and haven't come up with a satisfactory answer. I'm sure that the guess about it giving you room to rest your right hand on the computer while using the trackpad is correct, but that doesn't make it any less uncomfortable to use a trackpad with your wrist at that angle (certainly not how I hold my hand when using one), and it obviously discriminates against lefties if that's the case.

    I'd like to weigh in on those IBM mid-keyboard pointers, though--yes, they're certainly efficient in that you don't have to move your hands to use them (cool for quick motions), but they're tremendously uncomfortable, slow, and generally annoying to use under any other circumstances at all.

    Man, I hate those things.

    Say, I'm curious--I seem to remember at the time Apple first put trackpads on their laptops PC laptops all seemed to have either the joystick thing or a trackball. Am I remembering wrong, or is this another Apple first they don't get credit for?
     
  21. Rincewind42 macrumors 6502a

    Rincewind42

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    #21
    M$ makes mice that only fit righties, why shouldn't PC makers follow that trend :p .

    Me and my friends have a nickname for those things, but I don't think it would be very appropriate for these forums :D .

    Yes, Apple was the first to use the Trackpad, and at the time the PC press basically dismissed it. And then PC makers started using them. And then the PC press loved them. Figures :confused: .
     
  22. 7on macrumors 601

    7on

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    #22
    lol,I was helping this guy with his wireless connection on his PC laptop and kept accidentally clicking the left and right buttons at the same time (by clicking between them).
     
  23. Powerbook G5 macrumors 68040

    Powerbook G5

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    St Augustine, FL
    #23
    I fixed my girlfriend's roommate's laptop today and now that you mention it, the trackpad was off centered to the left, too. I really hated the thing because if you touch the right side, it scrolls when you don't want to, and if you touch the trackpad too hard it thinks you meant to click something and it kept moving icons and clicking back in My computer and closing the start menu when I didn't want to when all I wanted to do was move the cursor around to navigate.
     
  24. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #24
    The trackpoint *is* in the middle of the keyboard, in the sense that's exactly between your fingers in the "home" position....

    My first laptop (Compaq Pentium/150) had a trackball, and although I didn't like that it gunked up, I still don't think anything came closer to a mouse. On my work laptop, I have a trackpoint and I use the mouse primarily, but every once in a while I use the trackpoint because it's right there.

    On my iBook, I was assuming I wouldn't like the trackpad and bought a wireless mouse, but actually I hardly ever use it and mostly use the trackpad. But that may be because I've been working on the sofa lately.... :)
     
  25. patrick0brien macrumors 68040

    patrick0brien

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    #25
    -spacepower

    Thank you.

    You have the entire team up here in Montreal thinking about it - staring at our laptops in wonderment
     

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