Home Tech News The Lenovo TrackPoint, what is the red dot for your notebooks for?

The Lenovo TrackPoint, what is the red dot for your notebooks for?

by Tejas Dhawan

When you open a Lenovo laptop it catches your eye TrackPoint, the red dot in the middle of the keyboard. For more than 25 years, when they were IBM, this device stars in the keyboards of their laptops as substitute for mouse or touchpad. When it was born it was the solution to not depend on an external mouse (there were no touch panels). They presented it as “the mouse inside the keyboard” But today Lenovo maintains it because it still has many convinced users … You know what can it do and the functions it has?

Point and aim

The TrackPoint is a pressure sensor on which we act with a finger. Its first function is most obvious: like a mouse or panel, it serves to move the cursor on the screen. Thus we can point to parts, point to icons, etc. In combination with the panel keys, it will also act just like the mouse with its buttons left (select) or right (context menu). Here is already a feature of TrackPoint that can differentiate it for example from the touch panel. If you have the touch panel with the normal sensitivity to navigate, use programs, etc. on your laptop, the cursor will move quite fast. The same will happen with an external mouse: it is normal to have it configured quite fast, even with acceleration (with a quick gesture it goes to the other side of the screen).

This is all very well, but … what happens when we want to select a precise area in a drawing program? That speed turns against and here comes the TrackPoint to the aid of whoever owns a Lenovo. It is usually configured slower and more precise, and due to its characteristics it is also easier (pressing with the finger) get more precision when pointing or select. Now you begin to understand why Lenovo users don’t want to give it up, right?

Scroll and scroll

He TrackPoint It has more hidden tricks for those who have not used it. If you look, on the touchpad of Lenovo laptops in addition to the usual left and right buttons, there is a third central button with a rough part. This button is used in combination with TrackPoint: instead of moving the cursor on the screen, it leaves the cursor static and displaces the rest of the content. The configuration can be changed if we prefer to use it as a central button. That is, it is a scroll or “displacement“As it can be used on the touchpad on most two-finger laptops or on the panel end area. But 25 years ago, remember, there were no touch panels, and all of these tricks were a perfect solution for those who had Lenovo (IBM) laptops and could “pass” the mouse.

Lenovo TrackPoint, what is the red dot for your laptops 1

The original ThinkPad (1992 700C model)

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