S h o r t S t o r i e s

// Tales from software development

Logitech Wireless Rechargeable Touchpad T650

leave a comment »

In my quest to find the perfect pointing device I’ve recently bought a Logitech Wireless Rechargeable Touchpad T650.

Having held off for months because I wasn’t convinced that this device was anything new, I caved in and decided to give it a try.

To give some context to what I’ve previously tried, I have a large storage box full of discarded and defunct input devices including:

Griffin PowerMate
Logitech Trackman Wheel trackball
Logitech NuLOOQ Navigator
CyKey MicroWriter
Numerous Logitech and Microsoft mice and keyboards

For the past five or six years I’ve used a Microsoft Natural Ergonomic 4000 Keyboard and a Logitech TrackMan Wheel trackball in preference to a mouse and, more recently, a Wacom Bamboo pen graphics tablet alongside this.

The attraction of the Logitech T650 is that it’s large at around five inches square and supports iOS/Windows 8 style gestures. My concern was that the gesture support might be limited in Windows 7 and would require Logitech specific software rather than a generic Microsoft driver. Having read a few reviews (e.g. Amazon) it appeared that the Windows 7 support was good and that the driver software is stable.

Having used it for the past few days this seems to be true and I’ve been very impressed with it. The gesture support is good with various combinations of taps, swipes, and fingers allowing you to click, right-click, double-click, drag, scroll, zoom, navigate forwards and backwards, switch applications, minimize current application, show the desktop, etc.

I never intended it to completely replace the TrackMan but having put that to one side for a few days to force myself to use the T650, I can see that I could live with T650 as my only pointing device.

The only significant downside I’ve found is that the new Logitech ‘unifying’ driver software that handles all of Logitech’s newer keyboards, mice, trackballs, and touchpads, isn’t compatible with my old TrackMan wireless trackball. Having installed the new driver software, it recognised the presence of the TrackMan but the device simply didn’t work. There is a new version of the TrackMan, the M570, that uses the new ‘unifying’ wireless technology so I guess I might have to buy one if I want to continue using a trackball as well. The upside is that only a single wireless receiver is required for up to six devices and it’s miniscule – the receiver only extends a few millimetres beyond the USB plug itself. The idea is that if you use it with a laptop then you can leave it plugged in even when putting the laptop into a bag or case.

A couple of other observations… First, by default the scrolling action is that swiping two fingers upwards across the touchpad results in an upwards scroll, and a downward scroll when two fingers are swiped down the touchpad. I’ve encountered this convention with other devices but it always seems back to front to me, i.e. it feels more natural and intuitive to push two fingers upwards to scroll down as though the text in the application (e.g. a web page in a browser) is a page of paper that is being pushed upwards so that you can view what is below. Fortunately, there is an option in the driver software to switch between the two conventions.

Secondly, unlike the TrackMan wireless trackball which uses a single AA battery that lasts for around a year or so, the T650 uses a rechargeable lithium battery which lasts for around a month before it needs recharging. A USB cable is provided for this but it is purely for recharging, i.e. it does not allow the T650 to used as a wired device rather than a wireless one. I can’t help but feel that this is the worst of two possibilities – a wireless device that I am likely to leave plugged in all the time because I can’t be bothered to periodically (even if only monthly) plug it in and charge it. That said, the T650 is much too slim to take even a AAA battery never mind a AA and being wireless and rechargeable does mean that it can be picked up and used to control the PC at some distance. I just can’t think why you’d want to do that.

Summary: Does what it says and works well on Windows 7, although I’ve only tested it on the 64 bit version.


Written by Sea Monkey

October 10, 2013 at 8:00 pm

Posted in Hardware

Tagged with

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: