[Issue] Palm-rest Clicks Trackpad

One thing I’ve noticed on the Framework 16 is that if I’m using the device where there isn’t much support underneath the laptop, such as on my lap in bed instead of on a desk, then any pressure on the left palm rest has the potential to either click the left mouse button or lock it into the clicked position once I do actually click. This is a mechanical behavior that results in physical clicks to the trackpad. This can make interactions slightly irksome and accommodating the limitation isn’t as comfortable as relaxing my arms.

On the bright side, it encourages me to further ditch the cursor on my install of i3.

Someone appears to have reported the same issue for the Framework 13:

While this post talks about some software related stuff, I suspect this user is also seeing the mechanical issue I described.

I’ve had the trackpad “click” when I’m just moving the cursor around and not touching the palm rest. It may be a sensitivity issue, with it detecting the movement as a click. I’m spoiled by the excellent trackpad on my MBP though!

I’ve since narrowed the issue down to if the trackpad flexes or twists, even slightly, the twisting motion can cause the trackpad to perform a physical click. This can be tested by remove the trackpad module and giving it a slight twist.

I found that it was too easy to accidentally physically push down on the track pad, causing it to register a click as well. Someone told me they fixed this by sticking some pieces of folded paper underneath the bottom of the track pad (left and right side) to help stiffen it. This helped a lot. I wish we didn’t have to do these mods. I mean, I also had to stick some post-card thick pieces on the bezel to keep it from pinching and causing light bleed, too.

Not sure if doing this will help your issue. My guess is if you can stiffen up the touch pad click action like it did for me, maybe this will help with not registering a click if you place you rest your palm on the left side.

When I was looking into this, the palm rest itself is of thin aluminum and flexes too easily. The mechanism where the touch pad is anchored to also flexes with the aluminum (that includes the bottom part where the physical micro switch is located - dead center as well, making clicking on the bottom left or right feel terrible). However, the glass track pad itself feels like it’s floating in this flexible opening and thus any flex of the aluminum palm rest moves independently of the rigid glass track pad.

I may have to do a video of these dumb little “mods” to illustrate what I had to do to make my FW16 feel “like it should”.

FYI, I have not experienced this issue pre or post paper shoving mod, though.

I recently put in a support ticket asking if Framework had any advice on the topic. I’ll update here if they come back with anything:

For the Framework Support tech who clicked the link in my ticket: It would appear this thread isn’t dead after all.

I added 2-folds of card stock to each side of the wrist rest and it appears to have drastically improved the touchpad’s reliability on uneven surfaces. The wrist rest no longer sits completely flush with the chassis, which is unfortunate but better than a trackpad that’s not working 100%. It’s possible there’s a better place under the mid-plate to put a spacer and support through that, but I have not yet checked.

Update: I’m not sure if I’ll keep this workaround, as I’m concerned the lack of sitting flush may damage the display over time.