Updated: April 30, 2015
First, let me begin by saying this is only part one in a series of articles on how to combat the touchpad menace in Windows 8 and above. So if you don't find everything to your liking, don't worry, we will get there. Anyhow, several months ago, I bought myself a mighty Lenovo Y50-70 notebook, and I really like it. As with all things, once the initial glamor fades away, you start noticing some small problems here and there. The big one affecting some of the IdeaPad models is the touchpad control, offered by a rather sophisticated Synaptics Pointing Device Driver. Namely, if you want to right click like a normal human being, you can't.
Instead, you get a bunch of multi-finger click features, including a two-finger one, which activates the context menu. Sounds retarded, does it not. So let's fix this two-finger salute problem, and move on with our lives. Follow me.
What you have is this. Too much stuff for such a simple and uncomplicated thing. It's just a touchpad. I'm not here to outsmart Apple folks. Besides, using a touchpad is not very efficient or ergonomic. You're better off with a real mouse.
When you're all livid with rage and you see this ugliness before you, you're not thinking properly. Making things worse is that the two-finger multi-finger option cannot really be changed in any sensible manner. You might want to play with configuration files and registry keys. But why bother. There's a simpler, more elegant way.
And it goes away
Uninstall this thing. Instead, you will get the generic Windows driver, and it does almost everything you need (hence the first part of this article), plus the actual button area inside the touchpad surface behaves like it should. That's all you need to do to enjoy your productivity. Problem solved, no worries.
And so we salute back, not with two fingers UK style, but rather just one:
Well, not quite
In a way, the problem is solved. But with the generic driver in place, you have no control over how fast or sensitive the touchpad is, and you will need to resort to some ugly registry hacks to get things working. We will discuss this separately. But this isn't just something affecting Windows 8.X. This also happens in Windows 10, as I've already hinted in the G50 hardware review several nights ago. Which is why you need to hold your breath for a while.
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There's another issue. Whenever you wake from sleep, the keyboard repeat rates goes slow and wonky. Again, this is a seemingly complicated problem, and it only affects Lenovo, but we will rant about it in a separate guide. For now, our job is done.
OEM vendors sometimes try way too hard to make their laptops shine beyond spit and polish, complicating things. Having a good and decent touchpad driver is a welcome gesture, but if that driver, among so many various colorful options, misses the basic behavior you expect from a mouse, then all the extras are simply pointless. In fact, this article should read how to make a pointing device pointless. Hihi.
In this case, rather than abusing your operating system, removing the driver is the best thing. You will save space, retain functionality and fix the problem. Three birds in one oven. I shall definitely follow up with the keyboard issue, as it's even more important. That would be all.
Well, almost. I have another interesting problem related to Synaptics and touchpad to show you, but we will do that on another occasion, and we will discuss both Windows 8 as well as the brand new Windows 10 Technical Preview. Keep your eyes and ears open. Now, that would really be all.