RLC99
1 Copper

Latitude Z touchpad

The touchpad on my Latitide Z600 seem to be experiencing intermittant mouse pointer movement issues.  For no apparent reason, and only occasionally, the touchpad stops moving the mouse pointer.  I find that I have to pull my finger away from the touchpad surface to sort of "reset" it.  Almost like it is building up an electrical charge on the surface or spuriously detecting a "phantom touch".  When this happens, I look down to see where my other hand/fingers are in relation to the touchpad.  In some cases, it is near the touchpad, but is NOT touching it.

This is my third Dell laptop with a touchpad and I have been very pleased to date.  Not sure what is different about this one, but it seems a bit touchier.  (yes, I have experimented with various Control Panel settings, and have even turned OFF all the extra gesture features).

In all other respects, I love the Latitiude Z.  However, I use the touchpad a LOT, and this tempers my overall experience.

Anyone else experiencing this?

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33 Replies
M_Six
1 Copper

Re: Latitude Z touchpad

I have the same problem with my Z. I also have a keyboard issue where three or four letters in the middle of a word will be missing like I never typed them, even though I did. Like the keyboard blinks out for a second while typing. The trackpad issue may not be Z specific as the same thing happens on my fairly new Latitude E6500.

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jr255
1 Copper

Re: Latitude Z touchpad

I had the exact same problem with my z600. Also had some blue screens on reboot and a couple of other issues. After three chat sessions with tech support, they said they wanted to replace the system. Just got the new system about 4 days ago and it's still got touchpad issues (though not as severe as before).

I think I have the settings optimized (max fast speed, max heavy touch and almost max touchcheck), but I still get the cursor freeze issue you describe. It's very annoying. Tonight it actually locked up and stuck -- had to force restart.

The problem "feels" like there's some sort of periodic resource conflict. I'll probably try a few more calls with tech support -- it's just a drag to have to invest so much time on this.

Weight, speed, performance and screen are all fantastic on the z600 but the touchpad issue is close to being a dealbreaker. If it had been the camera, or something else that was acting up, it wouldn't be a big deal. But it's hard to ignore a flaky touchpad if you're working on your computer all day.

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RLC99
1 Copper

Re: Latitude Z touchpad

I agree with you jr255.  Even though aspects of the Latitude Z are wonderful, the touchpad is an integral part of the "experience".  I didn't buy a lightweight laptop only to have to carry around an external mouse.  I almost returned the laptop, but decided to wait it out and see if some sort of driver or firmware update is issued.  Like you, I assume there is something going on inside the computer that causes the touchpad commands not to get serviced.

If your efforts with Tech support uncover something (e.g., a BIOS update), please post to this thread.  

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r_boyce
1 Copper

Re: Latitude Z touchpad

I'm experiencing the same issues as reported by the Users on this post and agree it's almost a deal breaker (in all other respects I love the Z).

It seems the Touchpad & Driver is from a 3rd party vendor (Alps Electric Co Ltd) and it may be out of sync with the BIOS. I may be wrong but the BIOS seems 1 revision ahead of the Driver but when I check the Alps or DELL website there is no driver update.

So, DELL ... PLEASE HELP!! I'm sure this is a wide spread issue for Z owners so you better please get on this ASAP as it's a major issue for the general User.

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smersy
1 Copper

Re: Latitude Z touchpad

I'm also having a lot of problems with the touchpad. Past Latitudes had the rubber "eraser" as a secondary option for mousing, but this doesn't, and it's quite frustrating. I see lots of posts on this forum, but no input from Dell. Has anyone escalated to them via another channel?

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RLC99
1 Copper

Re: Latitude Z touchpad

Now that there are multiple reports of the same issue, it certainly makes sense to notify someone through a different channel.  I assumed that Dell personnel would monitor the community forums as a way of getting quick, real feedback, and that they would either contact the posters directly, or post an update on this thread.

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jr255
1 Copper

Re: Latitude Z touchpad

Quick update. For the last week to 10 days, I've been working directly with a member of the Z support team to troubleshoot this issue. One thing we found was that Intel's iastor driver caused a full lockup of the cursor (this was reported in the minidump file). Apparently, that particular driver has been known to cause a few different problems on recent Dell systems. I reinstalled the driver, but the problem still exists.

At this point, Dell is recommending that I do a clean install of Windows 7 and then reload applications one at a time -- verifying with each app load that the problem doesn't come back. Obviously, that's a bummer. The time commitment involved in dealing with this system has been extreme. Hopefully, the clean install will work. If not, we'll see what the next step is. I might just buy another system (non Z) for getting work done and then work on fixing the Z on the side when I have time. Very disappointing.

One other note. The support person I'm working with is very helpful. However, he told me that with the exception of the complaints on this one discussion string, there have been no other reports of this problem. I'll take his word for it, but I find it hard to believe that we're the only people complaining of this problem.

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M_Six
1 Copper

Re: Latitude Z touchpad

I first posted this complaint on my blog just ranting about poor quality. A Dell rep found my post and left a comment that I should join this discussion. Dell knows this is an issue. I don['t believe that they haven't received a ton of complaints about this.

Does anyone else have problems with the keyboard as well? Mine will quit working for a second just like the cursor. I'll go back and read something I just wrote and I'll find numerous instances of two words run together with the first word missing three letters. It's like for a split second the keyboard winks out, so it misses some letters and the space.

FWIW, I just ordered a Bluetooth mouse to go with the laptop. Even if they find a fix for the cursor pad, I still find it uncomfortable to use because of the sharp edge of the casing just below the pad. After 30 minutes or so it really begins to bother the heel of my hand. My old Inspiron had nicely rounded edges.

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karljacob
1 Copper

Re: Latitude Z touchpad

Yep I have exactly the same problem.  Given the issues with getting my z600 I doubt there are that many in circulation so this is likely to be a bigger problem than they think.  Dell help us out here!!!!  We spent a ton of money on your latest and greatest you want us happy!

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