LG just showed Dell how to make an invisible touchpad visible

LG just showed Dell how to make an invisible touchpad visible

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When Dell first announced the XPS 13 Plus, it is safe to say that people’s jaws were on the floor at how forward-leaning and futuristic the laptop is versus everything else. Super thin bezels, an edge-to-edge keyboard, an LED function bar, and zero-lattice keys gave the XPS 13 Plus an unquestionably unique look.

But the “invisible” haptic touchpad divided tech glitterati and potential customers. After all, how do you know where to put your fingers if you can’t see the touchpad’s borders?

Dell was able to go with this design because the touchpad isn’t physical – it doesn’t actually click. Instead, piezo sensors detect your fingers, and the touchpad vibrates, simulating touch. (Apple has done this for years on the MacBook, but the tech on laptops like the Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio is newer and much more advanced). Dell then made the entire lower keyboard deck all glass, which looks fantastic, although many questioned its usability.

“Loook ma, no touchpad!” (Image credit: Daniel Rubino)

The question of usableness, in my opinion, is moot primarily as muscle memory and simple intuition make using the XPS 13 Plus’s touchpad a breeze. In addition, the touch area is big enough, and when you press down, it “moves” just like a mechanical touchpad.





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