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Laptop Trackpoint: A Complete Guide For 2023

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Laptop trackpoints are small, red, rubber nubs located between the G, H, and B keys on some laptop keyboards. They are also known as pointing sticks or nubs. Trackpoints have been a staple of business laptops since the early 1990s. In this article, we will delve into what trackpoints are, their history, how to use them, and their advantages and disadvantages.

What is a Trackpoint?

A trackpoint is a small joystick-like device that allows you to move the mouse cursor on your laptop screen by pushing or pulling the nub in different directions. It is a pointing device that replaces or supplements the touchpad on a laptop. Trackpoints are most commonly found on ThinkPad laptops, but some Dell and HP laptops also feature trackpoints.

History of Trackpoints

Trackpoints were first introduced by IBM in 1992 as a way to make laptops more efficient for business users. The first trackpoint was called the "TrackWrite" and was featured on the IBM ThinkPad 700 series. Since then, trackpoints have become a staple on business laptops around the world.

How to Use a Trackpoint

Using a trackpoint is easy. Simply place your index finger on the nub and move it in the direction you want the mouse cursor to go. You can also click the left and right buttons located just below the keyboard to perform left and right mouse clicks. Some laptops also have a middle button that allows you to scroll through documents or web pages.

Advantages of a Trackpoint

There are several advantages to using a trackpoint. First, it allows for more precise cursor movement than a touchpad. This is especially useful for tasks that require precision, such as photo editing or graphic design. Second, a trackpoint is more efficient than a touchpad. It requires less hand movement and allows for faster navigation. Finally, a trackpoint is more durable than a touchpad. Touchpads can wear out over time, but a trackpoint is built to last.

Disadvantages of a Trackpoint

While there are many advantages to using a trackpoint, there are also some disadvantages to consider. First, trackpoints can be difficult to use for people who are not used to them. It may take some time to get used to the small nub and the way it moves. Second, trackpoints can be uncomfortable for some people. The constant pressure on the finger can cause discomfort or even pain over time. Finally, trackpoints can be less accurate than a touchpad for some users.


Q: Can I disable the trackpoint on my laptop?

A: Yes, you can disable the trackpoint in your laptop's settings. The process varies depending on your laptop model and operating system, but it is usually found in the "Mouse" or "Pointing Devices" section of your settings.

Q: Can I use a trackpoint and touchpad at the same time?

A: Yes, you can use both a trackpoint and touchpad at the same time. However, it may be difficult to switch between the two devices quickly, so most users tend to stick with one or the other.

Q: Do all laptops have trackpoints?

A: No, not all laptops have trackpoints. They are most commonly found on business laptops, such as those made by Lenovo, Dell, and HP.

Q: How long do trackpoints last?

A: Trackpoints are built to last and can last for several years without needing to be replaced. However, they can wear out over time and may need to be replaced if they become unresponsive or difficult to use.


Laptop trackpoints are a useful tool for business users and anyone who needs precise cursor movement on their laptop. While they may take some time to get used to, the advantages of using a trackpoint are numerous. Whether you prefer a trackpoint or a touchpad, it is important to find the pointing device that works best for you and your needs.

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