Help me prepare for eventual external trackpad death
November 9, 2018 12:04 PM   Subscribe

My Logitech Touchpad T650 will eventually die. It has been EOL'd, and I've been unable to find a similar replacement. Help!

Due to various neck and shoulder issues, I prefer using a trackpad for what mousing I can't avoid, and I've used this T650 in Windows for probably 6 years without a problem. Except it's 6 years old and all hardware eventually fails. I'd like to be ready with an alternative when that happens.

As far as I can tell the external trackpad market for Windows is basically dead? The T650 was EOL'd a few years ago, and NOS replacements are ridiculously expensive. As an additional complication, I'm a lefty mouser. All the ambidextrous trackballs I've used have had one problem or another, although the big one is that they usually have absolutely no concept of either middle clicking or scroll wheel support. It's not 1993 any more, I can't live like that.

I haven't tried lefty mousing in quite some time, so I can't remember if that's a physical impossibility or a brain mapping impossibility. ("My index finger is how I left click, but it's resting on the right mouse button, argh stupid brain.")

I actually have a collection of Apple Magic Trackpads, but I haven't been able to uncover anything like actual support for them in Windows.

Have I just not looked hard enough for third party external trackpads? Are they out there for accessibility purposes? Am I missing some other option that doesn't require me to hack together something terrible with a raspberry pi and a touch screen?
posted by Kyol to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 


If you're not beating the thing around, there's no reason why your T650 might not last a long time. There are battery replacements available for it, under $20. Doesn't even seem like they're soldered in or anything, more like a cordless-phone battery connector. I can't find a photo of the back of the unit to tell how it's assembled; I suspect you might need to pry it open with a spudger, but that's pretty standard with modern electronics.

They are also on eBay for under $50 for used ones. The real deals seem to be on ones without receivers, which presumably you have. If you like the device, I'd pick up an extra while they're still widely available.
posted by Kadin2048 at 12:42 PM on November 9, 2018


Another option you might consider if a used device doesn't appeal to you and you want out-of-the-box Windows support: several of the Wacom pen tablets support multitouch in addition to the pen interface, like this one, which is priced competitively with the Apple trackpads.
posted by Aleyn at 2:24 PM on November 9, 2018


I haven't tried lefty mousing in quite some time, so I can't remember if that's a physical impossibility or a brain mapping impossibility. ("My index finger is how I left click, but it's resting on the right mouse button, argh stupid brain.")

FWIW, I lefty-mouse for RSI reasons and it works fine for me--if I change the mouse settings so that a right button click is a left click. Mirroring works for me, while left-clicking with my left middle finger does not. I won't say I'm as fast lefty-mousing as I am righty-mousing, but the enforced speed reduction keeps the problem from getting worse, a definite plus.
posted by asperity at 3:36 PM on November 9, 2018


Looks like they're pretty common (new in box, too) but pricey from eBay.

That's precisely what I did for a second (loooong discontinued) diNovo Edge for my work laptop. I might even pick up another one as a backup to the one at home.
posted by porpoise at 4:44 PM on November 10, 2018


FWIW, I lefty-mouse for RSI reasons and it works fine for me--if I change the mouse settings so that a right button click is a left click. Mirroring works for me, while left-clicking with my left middle finger does not. I won't say I'm as fast lefty-mousing as I am righty-mousing, but the enforced speed reduction keeps the problem from getting worse, a definite plus.

And it may well have been that I was doing the mouse button mapping in the logitech driver and not the windows driver, so there were periods where the buttons were reversed during boot and shutdown that would always catch me out? Like even now, I get caught when the logitech driver is killed early in shutdown and Windows decides it need to have me make a decision about whether I should save the notes I was taking in notepad, my (logitech driver based) tap to click is disabled, forcing a true click.

I'll give it a shot if I can dig up the ambidextrous mouse I had been using.
posted by Kyol at 9:06 AM on November 11, 2018


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