Notebookcheck Logo

Lenovo promises: TrackPoint will always be present on ThinkPads

Lenovo promises: TrackPoint will always be present on ThinkPads
Lenovo promises: TrackPoint will always be present on ThinkPads
One could think that the TrackPoint is dying out. Dell and HP have buried their pointing stick variants, leaving only Lenovo with its ThinkPads. Now, Lenovo has promised: The TrackPoint will never die, as long as ThinkPads exist.

In the pioneer days of laptops, it was not yet clear which mouse input device would win out. Most popular in the 1990s were the trackball, the IBM TrackPoint (and competitor's pointing sticks based on it) as well as touchpads.

By now it is clear: Touchpads have won out. Trackballs practically do not exist anymore on laptops. The only real alternative, apart from touchscreens and corresponding digitizer pens, is still the TrackPoint, which primarily appeared on business laptops.

In the last years though, even this alternative has become rarer. Two of the three big business laptop manufacturers, Dell and HP, have step by step stopped using their TrackPoint variants. By now, none of the recent Dell Latitudes or HP EliteBooks still has a pointing stick.

That leaves Lenovo, the heir of the IBM PC history. The TrackPoint has been part of the ThinkPad brand since the very first IBM ThinkPad. Its red rubber cap has become part of the brand image itself and even appears in the logo. But with the trend towards a Trackpoint-less business laptop, one could easily think that the days of the TrackPoint are numbered, even on ThinkPads.

It seems that this will not happen. In an interview with the Japanese tech website PCWatch for the 30th ThinkPad anniversary, Jerry Paradise, Vice President of Lenovo, had this to say (translated from Japanese): "We believe that TrackPoint will be implemented forever as long as the ThinkPad continues to exist. That's our promise to our customers, and we believe it's still an iconic part of the ThinkPad brand's design."

When questioned about the ThinkPad X1 Fold, which did not have a TrackPoint in its first generation, Paradise told PCWatch that customers gave Lenovo the feedback that they wanted to have the TrackPoint back. So, the new ThinkPad X1 Fold 16 does have the iconic red dot.

The TrackPoint staying put does not mean that the surrounding design is set in stone, however. With the ThinkPad Z13 (available from Amazon, affiliate link) and ThinkPad Z16, Lenovo has introduced a haptic trackpad with integrated TrackPoint buttons. This was done to expand the touchpad area while still providing the TrackPoint, and according to Paradise, the feedback has mostly been positive so far. This could result in a step by step introduction of this design for other ThinkPad models.


Read all 13 comments / answer
static version load dynamic
Loading Comments
Comment on this article
Please share our article, every link counts!
> Expert Reviews and News on Laptops, Smartphones and Tech Innovations > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2022 12 > Lenovo promises: TrackPoint will always be present on ThinkPads
Benjamin Herzig, 2022-12-24 (Update: 2022-12-24)