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It would be so much easier to love my Thinkpad T460s if it wasn't for the touchpad. Coming to Thinkpad and Linux after many years as a Mac-user this was almost a deal breaker for me. The palm detection in synaptic driver is laughable. People installing Linux on the new Macbook Pros are going to have a blast with that gigantic touchpad.

And I don't even think it's just a driver problem, as the touchpad can register a finger hovering over it, or not register it at all, if the finger is somewhat dry. I've spent countless hours trying to fine tune the thresholds, but it's just complete and utter shit.

I would have returned it and gotten a Macbook Pro if it wasn't for the fact that the new Macbook seems more geared towards light weight users with the smaller battery, memory and crazy expensive upgrades.

I've had to re-position my cursor three times while writing this, because my palm moves it around. It's rarely a problem when coding, because I don't stop to think for shorter periods, like I do when typing. A quick fix is to set the syndaemon to lock the touchpad when typing, but you can't have that treshhold too high either or it gets in the way.

Oh, and don't get me started on the speakers. There is no way in hell that Lenovo spent any time to tune the acoustics. Listening to people talk almost always gives resonance in the case. I know it's a laptop, but in the current state they are more or less useless.

On the other hand, what I do love about it:

- Super light weight, very noticeable when coming from a Macbook. - Amazing battery life, I can easily do a full days work on a single charge. - Recharges very quickly, which I think is a result of having two batteries. - Really good keyboard. Probably the reason I'm keeping it. - Debian Stretch was a breeze to switch to. Everything just worked (except for touchapd and docking station!)

But I honestly expected a little more from a laptop that costs $3000.




If you have a very poor touchpad experience you are probably using synaptics driver. Replace it with libinput for much, much better feel (some distros use it as default including Fedora).

I have the same problem with speakers though (X1 Yoga).


nope. stretch uses lininput by default and doesn't even install synaptics unless you ask it to.


Learn to use the trackpoint instead and disable the touchpad.


That's what everyone seems to be saying, but that is more of a workaround than solution, if you ask me.


More than a decade ago I worked in a shop that was all Thinkpads, and I thought I'd never understand the trackpoint users. Then my wife got an x140e for some light-duty work a couple years ago, and somehow the trackpoint (maybe due to my xmonad use) just clicked. Now I love it.

As an aside the x140e is about the cheapest Linux laptop money can buy. It's built like a tank for school kids, and has nothing exotic inside. You can replace the HDD with an SSD, and upgrade the RAM (shared video / system RAM) up to 32GB I hear. It's not a particularly speedy machine, but it runs well enough, and the price is right.


i switched to a mac for work 2 years ago, and i still miss the track point.


The method of interaction is so different it would be nicer to advise people to not use a pointing device at all. I've always wanted to like them, but the track point is a poor man's trackball, and where do you see a trackball these days?


One of the attractions of the trackpoint is that you don't have to move your fingers from the keyboard. Hence, people who are keyboard-centric get pointer access without the usual tradeoff. A dev running a tiling window manager can still have full use of their web browser.

Expect it would be messy to work with for photoshop. For example, it recalibrates if you hold it down too long, and then creeps away when you release it.

Idea for precision work: small trackball and scrollers built into the side of the laptop (like a port).


I got an external Lenovo keyboard because I really like the trackpoint.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lenovo-0B47221-keyboards-Universal-...


Trackpoint is superior to trackball and touchpad because you don't need to raise your fiber from it when going long distance (say one corner of your screen to another corner), and of course the fact that you don't need to take you hands off the keyboard like others mentioned.


Trackpoint only lets you move the cursor or scroll. The touchpad can do a lot more things with multitouch.


It sounds like you're using tap-to-click. If you don't want to get used to the trackpoint you could disable that and actually depress the touchpad when you want to click. Setting the synaptics parameter "ClickPad=0" makes that touchpad work a lot like the Apple defaults. I've been using this configuration for 3 years and I never have the cursor jump around or misbehave at all.


Thanks for pointing me to the correct wording 'palm detection'. Investigating this I found it was completely disabled and now when using it it seems to improve the situation, but will test further.

I'm wondering why this touch pad issue is so important for you if you do development. When I'm not mobile I have a mouse, an external keyboard, headset or external sound system, external monitor etc


The trackpad of a mac really is addictive. Especially if you get used to any gestures.


I guess it's a workflow that has stuck with me from using a Macbook Pro. For some reason I rarely feel comfortable sitting with a monitor, keyboard and mouse for many hours.


Which distribution you are running? You want to post output of xev to xorg-libinput bug tracker. Generally they are very responsive about fixing touchpad for new devices. I don't know why - but it appears that each device needs to be tuned separately (like there is no Universal Palm detection that works for all laptops).


FWIW, with my new T460 (likely exactly the same touchpad hardware as the T460s mentioned) on Fedora 25, the palm detection is actually pretty good. In a typing situation (recent keyboard events) it's engaged and I see the cursor sit rock solid, but if I remove my hands for a few seconds, replace them on the home row without typing, and then wiggle my palms I can see events generated.

This is IMHO exactly the desired behavior. Not sure whether this is a feature of Xwayland or Gnome...


I had the touchpad problem on my T430. Installing Touchfreeze greatly reduced the problem. That was 3 years ago though, now gpointing-device-settings is recommended. Haven't tried that.


I run windows on my t460p and haven't seen those touchpad issues, so it does sound driver-related.




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