The only thing I don’t absolutely love about my Framework 13 is the touchpad. In fact, I hate the touchpad. It has non-stop issues and I’ve run out of willpower to keep buying and trying replacements (admittedly, I’ve only tried replacing once, and I got that one for free). I can’t wait to repurpose the laptop as a console or something (or work up the willpower to try replacing the input cover again) and banish this infernal touchpad to the planes of oblivion where it belongs.
With that said, please make the touchpad on the 16 good. By good, I mean it has to be Macbook good, or it has to have buttons. I’m dying to preorder this thing, but I can’t really do so unless I know I’m not gonna be stuck with an otherwise fantastic device that I can’t wait to get rid of just because it uses some crummy knockoff of an apple touchpad.
Please take this with a grain of salt, by the way. It seems like there are a decent proportion of users that are actually okay with the current iteration of touchpad! (Perhaps a poll is in order?)
I felt the same way until I stopped clicking and started to only tap. Works much better that way. That said, it’d be nice to see an improved touchpad for clickers since I’ve seen people frustrated when using my Framework.
Hear, hear. Touchpad with buttons is the one modular piece I was watching for in the 16" presentation.
I just don’t really know if there’s enough buzz around the plight of the crappy touchpad to actually have development effort towards fixing it.
BTW, I mouse fast - it’s the reason the plight is so serious. I move and click at the speed of thought, and having my touchpad slow me down – ESPECIALLY with the required delay of stopping a movement, lifting finger, raising finger, tapping finger, raising finger again… that is why clickpads feel like sandpaper. Having a button with my thumb resting on it - that’s why it’s necessary. Cursor is in the right position, thumb moves down, click, release, done. It’s like the difference between a full keyboard and a mobile keyboard, for someone that types fast.
I would love to have an option for a touchpad with buttons - 3 buttons would be incredible. I don’t mind giving up a bit of vertical real-estate for dedicated buttons a-la older thinkpads. If we could get an input module with a trackpoint as well, that would be great, but I’m not holding my breath for that to be an official module because I imagine it would be a pretty big design cost.
Maybe a more elegant solution from a modularity perspective could be a separate input module that would fit on one of the sides of the touchpad that could offer buttons? I don’t know if the ergonomics of that would work though…
I do actually like non-clickable touchpads like the MacBook’s way more than the ones with the whole touchpad being clickable (my least favourite) or additional touchpad buttons (I’d rather have the area for the pad instead of buttons).
But it seems this is a controversial topic, maybe different options would be nice?
Now that you mention it, I could totally see Framework releasing the 16 with whatever they’re rolling with (which would probably be sufficient for the entirety of fillable pre-orders) and later coming out with an upgrade like they did with 13’s speakers, hinge, etc. I guess I would be taking a gamble if I purchased the laptop before I knew that they were going to do such a thing. However, it does seem a lot more likely than doing something similar for the 13, since the 16’s input cover is going to be way more modular (and presumably more customizable/upgradable).
Really hoping the whole input area can be easily modified and moved around not just the keyboard and numpad or side panels. The community mods could be amazing.
I’d love to have a small keyboard offset to left front and a small non clicky touchpad with buttons on the front right. Then have a macro pad and small info screen above. This would be more similar to my desktop setup in a laptop which would probably eliminate my need for an external keyboard and mouse most of the time. The couple of extra inches away from the laptop screen really makes a difference to my eye strain and I’ve never understood the ergonomics of having touchpads in the centre front, it’s so uncomfortable.
Or if there wasn’t enough space or connections for a small touchpad on the front right remove it altogether and just use an external mouse.
TIL that a decent touchpad exists off-the-shelf! Still, the language/marketing on their website makes me think that the cost of integration into the 16’s design might be prohibitively expensive for the framework team if not enough people spring for it.
I was getting really excited about the Framework 16 - until I read that
a) there’s no plans to support trackpoint (which I’ve loved for 20+ years and always use in preference to lenovo trackpads), and
b) the alternative, the trackpad on the 13, seems to be deeply unsatisfying to some users.
3 buttons on the trackpad would be awesome - and hopefully sufficient connectors for the keyboard to allow 3rd party keyboard/trackpoint development?
Alternate touchpads, keyboards, and trackpoints will definitely be possible.
Each framework-16 input module just connects via usb. The Framework produced modules plan to use a rp2040 controller with qmk open source firmware. A trackpoint can just be combined with a keyboard, running off the same controller / no need for an additional connector.
Trackpoints and touchpads can be easy with qmk. github.com/qmk/qmk_firmware/blob/master/docs/feature_ps2_mouse.md