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Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

When you use your laptop, must you have a mouse or can you operate with the touchpad?

Asked by Hypocrisy_Central (22142 points ) April 4th, 2014

When you use your laptop, do you have to be someplace where you can roll a mouse around or can you use the touchpad? Do you find yourself using one over the other or use one, the mouse of the touchpad, exclusively?

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34 Answers

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I have a wireless mouse on a pad. To me it’s much more precise than the touchpad. I have to use one or the other a lot and the mouse is much more efficient for me.

gailcalled's avatar

I have a 13” Macbook air and use only the touchpad..

ragingloli's avatar

I have turned off the touch pad in the BIOS. Mouse is where it is at.

KNOWITALL's avatar

I have both (wireless mouse) but I use the touchpad, hubs likes the mouse better but only for real work.

PhiNotPi's avatar

I usually use touchpad.

longgone's avatar

I only use the touchpad.

DominicX's avatar

I never use a mouse with my laptop anymore—I used to all the time, but for some reason, I’ve gotten used to using only the touchpad. Of course, when I had a MacBook Air, my touch-pad failed twice within a year. =\

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Mouse users, when you are in an area or situation where you don’t have a flat surface for a mouse, do you bypass using your laptop until you can?

Pachy's avatar

As many laptops as I’ve owned—and currently it’s a MacBook Pro—I’ve never mastered the trackpad. I use it when I have to, but I always carry a wireless mouse.

tedibear's avatar

I use the touchpad on my MacBook. It took me a couple of days to get used to it, but I’m good now. If I were doing spreadsheets, Power Point presentations or Photoshop, I would want a mouse.

BhacSsylan's avatar

Mouse almost exclusively. I can use the trackpad but ugh.

SadieMartinPaul's avatar

Does anyone still manufacture a laptop with that little “pencil-eraser” nub? I think it’s real name was “TrackPoint.” As annoying as it might have been, the nub was easier to use, and much more precise, than a touchpad.

jerv's avatar

I go either way, depending on what I’m doing. If I need to do much dragging or require pixel-perfect precision, I go mouse. For general use, trackpad.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@SadieMartinPaul I actually liked the TrackPoint but before I could get really good at using it, the Toshiba it was on crapped out and my Asus didn’t have one.

SadieMartinPaul's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central Agreed. I recall the TrackPoint being a fairly easy-to-use substitute for a mouse. A mouse was better, but a TrackPoint, after you’d become comfortable with it, could do in a pinch.

jerv's avatar

@SadieMartinPaul You mean the “Keyboard clit”? I never liked them as they were more sensitive than their non-keyboard namesake, and while slightly more accurate than a trackpad, they cannot approach a mouse or trackball for usability. The only real use for them is if you are a touch-typist with a severe hatred of ever removing your fingers from the home-row of the keyboard.

Cruiser's avatar

I do both. At work I have a mouse that I use but leave on my desk. Here at home I am expert at using my thumbs, index finger, nose and elbow to navigate the mouse pad.

hearkat's avatar

I have a touchpad both on my Mac at home and on the ancient Toshiba at work – I prefer it to using a mouse.

jerv's avatar

I wonder how many of the trackpad-only people do shooter games, graphics, or CAD/CAM…..

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

It is just my opinion, but to have a computer to play games is a waste of the computer, you can save that HD space and get a game console.

johnpowell's avatar

On my desktop I have one these on the right of my keyboard and a mouse on the left. Both can be used at the same time. I am a southpaw. If I need precision I use the mouse. If I just need to scroll down a document I use the trackpad and gestures.There are also things like three finger drag to the left for the browser to go back a page.

On a laptop I will use the mouse if that is a option. But I don’t really mind either.

jerv's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central That is like saying that cars are a waste of time when you can just walk 40 miles each way to work. Consoles are non-upgradable, less repairable, and incapable of the good games because of the controls; an 8-button controller is inferior to a standard 104-key keyboard, let alone a good gaming keyboard with macro capabilities, and thumbsticks don’t allow the precise aiming that a good laser mouse does. Oh, and the graphics are better too.
Besides, without games, over ¾ of my 2TB drive would be empty; I don’t think taking up ¼ of a $100 drive is really a waste. In fact, comparing the cost of console games to PC games, especially with Steam and their sales, I’d say that even on the software side, it’s a cost-saver.

You are entitled to your opinion though; I guess you just aren’t a gamer. Nothing wrong with that so long as you respect that gamers are people too.

ragingloli's avatar

not to mention that the so called “next gen consoles” the xbone and the ps4, were already severely underpowered on release. They are only on the level of a sub-mid range PC. To say that you should just get a console instead of a PC is like saying that you should just buy a pocket calculator instead of a supercomputer to simulate protein synthesis.

dabbler's avatar

I’ll use whatever’s built into a laptop, but I do not like trackpads at all because thumbs are continuously wanting to rest there.
I like the hula-point, trackPoint, nipple-mouse thingie that thinkpads have had forever. I find them accurate and effective and never in the way.

hearkat's avatar

@dabbler – I was going to mention that I liked the one I had on my old, old work Toshiba, but I couldn’t figure out what to call it!

jerv's avatar

@hearkat They are called many things; eraser, TrackPoint™, J-stick, FlexPoint™, pointing stick, AccuStick™, wart, PointStick™, keyboard clit, QuickPoint™, nipple… the list goes on.

@dabbler Studies show that those things are generally 15–25% slower than trackpads. You are correct about “never in the way”, but in general, the only people who like them are those who type a lot. The other 90% of computer users generally prefer… well, anything else.

hearkat's avatar

@jerv and @dabbler – I was going to call it the rubbery-joystick-thingy in the middle of the keyboard. As I recall, that laptop was an upgrade purchased by my job in order to be Y2K compatible – that pointer thingy was the shiznit back then! I set the sensitivity very low so it could move pretty quickly, and I think they eventually made it pressure sensitive, too It was nice to not have to take my hands off the keyboard to navigate.

I definitely prefer the multi-purpose functionality of the trackpad with gestures, though. My ancient laptop will probably be replaced with a desktop soon, because it doesn’t run anything newer than XP, the specs are so low. I wonder if I could convince my job to get me a trackpad instead of a mouse – they seem to be less aggravating of the tendonitis I get with my Rheumatoid Autoimmune Disease.

jerv's avatar

@hearkat Yes, the pressure and contortions required to use those things makes one’s fingers hurt more than gently caressing a capacitive trackpad.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

If I’m at a desk I need a mouse regardless. Sitting on the couch or bench with a laptop I use the touchpad. The new multi-touch gestures on the macs are a huge help. Especially now that it is supported under Linux.

dabbler's avatar

@jerv Indeed, it’s probably because I type a lot that trackpads seem to be a nuisance. I’ll be hacking away and the focus suddenly lurches to someplace where my thumb sent it.

Silence04's avatar

I usually use my laptop more like a desktop; I keep it closed and attach it to my 30” monitor and use a wireless keyboard and mouse to control it.

But when I’m on the go, I will just use the track pad (but will bring a mouse just in case for precision tasks)

gailcalled's avatar

I often use the laptop and the touch pad in bed when I have insomnia and am always touching something that screws up what I am typing or zipping the browser window sideways into a black hole.

jerv's avatar

@dabbler I generally keep my thumbs close and am more likely to hit V, B, or N than the spacebar. I don’t get how one could hit the trackpad with their thumb even if they tried, but maybe I’m the one with a weird hand position.

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