[RESPONDED] Any chance of trackpoint?

I don’t know, but I think this picture fits well here.

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would it be possible to make a keyboard with a built in trackpoint? I much prefer trackpoint to touchpad. Hence, my curiosity.

I wondered also if others might be interested in this.

Probably more likely people who were fans of thinkpads or certain hp elitebook laptops. Touchpad is sometimes annoying, but I digress.

Welcome to the forum.

There have been some discussion. A bit in this thread if I recall.
[RESPONDED] Any chance of trackpoint?

And also project in the early stages.

You can find more threads and talk by searching “trackpoint”.

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If they can do it: HHKB Studio review: you have to want the trackpoint - The Verge

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It would probably be possible first on the 16 Framework due to the modularity of the keyboard. 13 Framework would require a new chassis design to incorporate it. Would definitely be a nice addition.

+1! I would Immediately buy a trackpoint module with dedicated clicker buttons instead of a trackpad - it seems like there are a lot of people who want this, so I hope Framework considers actually making one!!

Welcome to the forum.
HP does pointersticks, and several other companies have as well. But they are usually on business-class models, which have features needed/desired by companies and business users.

If you search “Trackpoint” you’ll see several threads.
This is the one with most of the discussion about it

Lenovo probably has a trademark on the name - other manufacturers call it differently, and they probably have to for legal reasons.

I don’t know about patents - they should be expired by now.

One problem is getting decent quality thing that can be used in a non-Lenovo notebook.

The Lenovo spare parts typically come as a whole keyboard including a trackpoint which is not very practical. You can get some random Chinese clones but the quality is not guaranteed unless you do your own QA.

Another problem is that the trackpoint is BIG. The space reserved for the keyboard in the 13" framework is not big enough to fit in a trackpoint. The 16" model might be better in this regard but it remains to be seen.

As shared above, Lenovo’s trackpoint are in a variety of sizes. A small trackpoint could likely be used.

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As said, you cannot reliably get a Lenovo part in bulk, only some Chinese clones, and there are not that many of them that you would get all these sizes.

And the part extending above the keyboard is only one side of the story. The other is that you need to mount an extra PCB below the keyboard, and that’s going to be difficult as well.

It doesn’t necessarily have to be directly below the keyboard: some trackpoint assemblies use a flat connector (Kapton,I think?) Between the sensor and the PCB, allowing the PCB to be located elsewhere. You still need room somewhere in the case for that PCB, but it doesn’t have to be directly below the keyboard.

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That chart and that picture are both from the website of a person named Saoto Tsuchiya. He runs an Etsy store called SaotoTech where he sells aftermarket 3D-printed TrackPoint caps, and has released CAD data for the “soft rim” (concave) version of the “Super Low Profile” (4mm) TrackPoint cap.

I prefer SaotoTech’s aftermarket TrackPoint caps to Lenovo’s TrackPoint caps. This is because Lenovo only offers TrackPoint caps in the “soft dome” (convex) shape, and no longer offers the “soft rim” shape. The “soft rim” shape requires less force to manipulate the cursor, which in my opinion, makes it more comfortable to use. Here is a visual comparison of the TrackPoint cap shapes.

The existence of these aftermarket caps is proof that nobody needs to depend on Lenovo parts to implement a pointing stick.

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How about using old thinkpad’s keyboard module?
I’m designing for X40 series and X60 series.
And they’re available yet and have good trackpoint module

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I’m looking into this now, too; I’ve ordered a Thinkpad X1 Carbon Gen 10 keyboard for investigation (measuring, pinout hacking, etc). I’ve chosen to discuss the hardware details over in Thinkpad keyboard mod (supper early stages)! in the hopes of combining efforts.

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Hello! just created an account to be ready to order as soon as there is a reasonable trackpoint solution with pointer within GHB and 3 buttons below the spacebar. just in case someone is counting, a good framework trackpoint solution would cause the exchange of a whole fleet here as well. :wink:

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For me… more like 10+ years, before that I mostly used mice because the touchpad was a huge pain in the ass which I detested.

In any case, this is a good idea for a feature.

Before the 10+ years, I didn’t have a trackpoint nor did I use lenovo thinkpads much.

Such a pity too… lol.

It’s looking pretty promising over in Thinkpad keyboard mod (super early stages)! with no blockers identified so far, but of course it’s impossible to be certain until laptops ship. Most likely it’s going to be a bit of a DIY project, at least initially.

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If somebody, whether it be framework or a third party or a hobbyist, makes it possible to put a 7 row thinkpad keyboard on a framework laptop (bonus points for spill resistance), I would tell them to shut up and take my money.

Do I think Framework should sink their company trying to make this happen? No.

Do I hate Framework, a small startup, for not accommodating my own challenging niche? No.

All I’m saying is that the trackpoint is pretty much the ONLY reason I’m still using a thinkpad instead of a framework, and given that the type of person who uses a thinkpad probably tends to be the type of person who aligns with framework’s goal for a modular and repairable laptop, I’m probably not the only one.

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Dito.

I also do a tonne of coding, and having to move my hand to the mouse and back every time I need to move the cursor is agony compared to a trackpoint.

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Please, reverse the way you look at this issue. This is not about how Trackpoint is popular, this is about how touchpad is unpopular. Consider: how many people are actually using touchpad at work? Or do they just use a mouse?

Touchpad is fundamentally flawed:

  • it’s not precise enough to select text
  • it doesn’t allow to move and click at the same time
  • it has do deal with palm rejection, and to this day it doesn’t work. People just keep their hands in the air while typing, then wait for touchpad to reactivate. This is an unacceptable mess.

Framework is amazing, I was even considering to start using a mouse, but since I started to work away from my desk, this is not an option anymore.