I’m currently using MacBook Pro for a long time and I’ve been using lots of different Windows laptops.
So I’ve used to use my MacBook without a mouse, cause its touchpad is awesome. First of all, due to using the glass, the finger is not sticking to the touchpad’s surface, second, the touchpad is quite large.
Does anyone has already experience switching from MacBook to Framework Laptop? And what is your opinion about the Framework Laptop touchpad? I’m expecting near the same experience of using Framework’s touchpad and it’s really important for me.
I was a MacBook user until a few years ago. The touchpad on my Framework has the “glass” finish feel that you’re alluding to. It’s big enough I think (roughly 11cm x 8cm). I’m happy with it’s responsiveness and gestures it supports. So far I’ve tried Windows 10, Ubuntu 21.04 and Manjaro 21.1.2 – touchpad works beautifully on all three for me. It does remind me of the responsiveness of the Mac touchpad (from back when I had one in ~2016).
Framework’s trackpad is among the best of the Windows laptops, but Macbooks still beat out even the best Windows laptop trackpad by a fair margin IMO.
The overwhelming majority of Windows trackpads (including Framework’s) are diving-board style, meaning the ability to physically click on them diminishes the higher up you do it. Macbooks have a unique haptic system that provides uniform click feedback across 100% of the area (with no moving parts!).
While Windows Precision drivers have improved on past drivers remarkably, Macbooks’ trackpad software is still superior, with noticeably better gesture and palm rejection.
I think with the Framework trackpad you’ll be getting a little bit of ‘uncanny valley’ feeling, since the glass feel and size are similar, but you’ll start noticing tiny differences after using it. For example, physically-clicking + dragging and two-finger right-clicking are much finickier on Windows. It’s like 90% there…but if you can’t live without that last 10%, I can see it being a dealbreaker for many Macbook users.
Very minor correction: macbooks’ trackpads still have separate moving parts. They use solenoids as far as I’m aware, so they have a linear motion actuation. That leads to two moving parts the solenoid’s reaction mass, and the trackpad itself. You basically exchange the point of failure from the switch on a standard trackpad to the solenoid. I can’t say I know which one wins out in reliability without making a liar out of myself (good quality switch vs good quality solenoid)
The closest to “no moving parts” I’ve seen is the sensel trackpad, where they integrate coils directly into the base of the trackpad and agitate the whole thing like a voice coil. That’s probably as good as you’ll get, with only the trackpad moving. Theoretically that truly does leave one less part less to fail than both other designs I described above.
As unnecessarily large as Apple’s trackpads are I would hope they figured out how to reject palms.
I worked for Apple for 7 years and, guess what, used Macs there. I much prefer the trackpad on my Gen 3 and Gen 6 X1 Carbons to my old Macs. Great size, physical buttons at the top (something I’ll sorely miss on the Framework), plenty precise and natural feeling motion. It will be interesting to compare with the Framework once I get mine in. I imagine it will come in third behind the Mac.
Not having a separate button to assist with this is the single worst aspect of losing separate physical buttons. I shouldn’t have to worry about running out of runway while holding modifier keys. No the 40 square inches of trackpad on a MacBook Pro doesn’t solve this problem.
I compared the Framework and an X1 Carbon Gen 9 side-by-side and both have their pros and cons.
- Framework wins on how much of the trackpad is usably clickable:
- Framework wins on trackpad height (larger = good) but loses on width (larger = bad). Since it’s non-centered, I’ve frequently brushed my right palm against it while typing (see poor Windows palm rejection).
- X1C9 wins with the physical top buttons, but arguably would make no sense on the Framework without the trackpoint. Would much prefer dedicated bottom buttons
- X1C9 loses big-time in that three-finger press to middle click doesn’t work (probably from subpar Lenovo/ELAN drivers).
- Smoothness and accuracy are a tie (both glass)
Overall I much prefer the Framework’s, just have to be a bit careful of my right palm. But the Macbook’s still reign supreme IMO.