I’ve been a touchpad user for some 20 odd years now - since I was in high school, being a huge nerd bringing a laptop to every class. The touchpad is life. I don’t bring a mouse to use a laptop… I solely use the touchpad, even if a mouse is right there.
And I have absolutely HATED the trend of the past 5-8 years, where since around 2014, it’s become cool to go “full Apple” and remove the buttons from below the touchpad. Apple did it well enough, though - the click feel is adequate, and the cursor never/rarely behaves erratically when clicking. They worked really hard at making sure this huge design change would actually be tolerable. And it is - the rare occasions when I use my MacBook Air (2013), it doesn’t grate on my nerves too bad.
But within ONE DAY of opening my new Framework laptop, I’ve been frustrated by repetitive “sliding clicks” - a term I give to targeting an intended click, pushing down on the pad to click, and ʷᵒᵒᵖ the cursor slides to a side and clicks - usually missing the button or clicking something else. wₒₒₚ, it dodges to the other side and clicks. It takes touchpad frustration to the next level. It’s like a troll level in your own freakin’ PC.
About 1 in 10 clicks (and you know how many clicks you make while using a PC) seems to mis-register as a movement+click. My motion is typically to move the cursor and then push directly down (no actual movement on the pad) with the same finger, never lifting it. 10% of the time, slide-click. Often, multiple times in a row. (BTW, this is on a brand new install of Windows 11, with the Framework driver pack installed)
This is obviously not intended behavior, so there’s no setting to “fix” it. It’s just an inherent problem with clickpads, and it’s why, until my desire to support Framework outweighed my disgust of clickpads (and a quick test-drive of a friend’s Framework didn’t reveal any issues - obviously not long enough), outweighed my single-issue filter to only ever buy laptops with dedicated, real touchpad buttons.
Framework folks, I love y’all. But could you please. PLEase. PLEASE. Develop a secondary, swappable touchpad with actual left/right click buttons that are not active touch areas. I’d pay a hundred friggin’ bucks for it, maybe more. Just to have real buttons.
Alternatively, an idea may be to black out/numb part of the pad, so my finger can always rest there as if it were a hardware button, but not affect the cursor. As it is now, I adopted the style of “point and click with the same finger” (no thumb), but THAT seems to result in sliding clicks. If I were able to go back to “thumb on button, finger to point” as is the norm, that’d eliminate sliding clicks as well.
I have no faith in touchpad makers (Alps, Synaptics, Elan, etc) to actually produce a touchpad driver on-par with what Apple made in order to ditch the touchpad buttons properly. So the right thing to do is just to put buttons back and stop making everyone immediately reach for a mouse.