The secret of the Elitebook 8730w’s middle button

I always had questioned the need for a “third mouse button” on a notebook PC but the middle button above/below the HP Elitebook 8730w’s touchpad is certainly more useful than it looks. Coming from some of HP’s smaller notebook PCs with your conventional two buttons, I really appreciate the extra button. The MAIN two things I like about it: It’s so easy to activate the “track and scroll” feature to move left/right and up/down just by moving the cursor and ESPECIALLY simple to open/close new tabs in Firefox.

On a two button mouse, I had to hover over an internet link and either 1) press both the left and right buttons together or 2) right click and “open in new tab”. Now I just hit the center button.

And oh, I managed to get my hands on and try out the new Apple MacBook Pro last weekend (you know, the one with the glass trackpad). Honestly, I don’t quite care at all for a “glass trackpad” which has no buttons, no tactile feedback as to “where” the button is. The entire trackpad is “clickable” but is more “clicky” towards the bottom – a design that supposedly gives you more space to move and scroll but I digress.

Call me old-school or “un-cool” but I’d rather have my two (or three) buttons back, thanks =) . If I wanted more “mouse power”, I’d attach an external mouse to one of the three (or four on the HP 8730w) USB ports on my Compaq notebook. The MacBook/MacBook Pro notebooks only have two USB ports, so an external mouse would take up a precious USB port, leaving just one more left… ah, that probably explains what’s up with the glass trackpad.

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One Comment

  1. Dragos December 18, 2009 Reply

    The main reason for a *workstation* class laptop to have 3 buttons for the trackpad is that most workstation-class applications (3D, CAD, compositing) actually *require* 3 buttons.

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