What you have experienced (pressure to the left of the touchpad) has been experienced by one of our users on his new laptop as well. However, in most cases our touchpads have just gone bad and not returned to normal until rebooting the system. (Then they go bad again after several minutes of use.) We are in the process of getting our hardware touchpad and keyboards replaced as necessary. Supposedly the replacement hardware in the field should now be okay. Yes, this problem has made the M6500 model a real disappointment.
Just checking in again...
Since my keyboard & touchpad replacement over a week ago the problem is gone.
Given that I was re-booting several times each day to fix the touchpad before the replacement I would have to say it is all looking good.
My only complaint is over the length of time it took Dell to take this problem seriously, and for the fact that their support web site never did register an open support case in my name or against my service tag over all of the numerous times I spent my precious time to key all of that information in to open a case.
I never even got a single "Somebody will be in touch real soon!" email message. It's like they just let you key in your info to make you feel better and hope that you will sort your problem out yourself sometime afterward.
The only support response I ever got was the result of ringing Dell Pro-Support in Sydney to ask to talk directly to a tech.
And then every time I talked to a tech after that they did the old database search for similar complaints against the M6500 and each time they said "We don't have any other records of any other M6500 touchpad complaints." And all the while there were all of us on their own support forum and stories of machines being swapped by their techs and operating systems being reinstalled, and touchpads being swapped over to try to fix this problem, and I had already tried to get the problem into their support records over 5 different times before...so I think Dell needs to be asking themselves what good their support database is doing for them.
I'm not having a go at their techs. They were all really good to deal with. And once they took the problem seriously they sorted the problem out quickly and effectively. But the support automation that Dell has put in place is obviously letting down their staff, their products, and most of all, their customers.
I've been battling these very issues for months now! I finally gave up and learned to live with a defective, top-of-line laptop... I'm going to contact Dell support (again) and see if I can get this resolved.
Here's my story. I purchased an M6500 in May 2010. The problems as described showed up immediately. Freezing pointer, left mouse clicks without pressing a left mouse button anywhere. Sometimes the trackpad would move the pointer vertically but not laterally. The problem would start after 15 minutes or so of use. I noticed though that the track pad would work fine, so long as you were not touching the palm rests of the computer. Sometimes a light touch would cause a problem. Sometimes it required resting your palms on the palm rest to cause the trackpad problems. Predominately it occurred when I would touch the left side palm rest. But it never seemed to occur when I was not touching the palm rest at all.
I reloaded all the drivers, and actually reloaded the operating system and all the drivers, and it didn't change a thing.
I could also easily duplicate the problem by simply putting pressure on the left palm rest and trying to move the pointer with the trackpad. When there was nothing touching the palm rest, it worked fine. When I put pressure on the palm rest it would stop the pointer. Sometimes it required a fair amount of pressure, sometimes just a light touch.
In June 2010, Dell techs put a new trackpad on the machine and it got better, but was not eliminated. It seemed to be worse, the warmer the machine got.
In August 2010, they put another trackpad on the machine (the 3rd one), and the problem appeared immediately after firing up the machine. As soon as I turned the machine on, there it was. I showed the tech who fixed the machine, and he seemed befuddled.
My ideas. It is a mechanical/hardware issue. Both pressure and heat seem to affect the touch pad. As pressure is placed on the palmrest, particularly the left side, the trackpad actually warps a bit. When it is warped, erratic things occur. As the machine warms up, the problems increase. It is duplicateable. At least I can.
Could it be there is not adequate support of the trackpad? Adequate heat shielding? Could there be a problem in manufacturing that makes some of the cases or trackpads poorly fit together? Could the case be causing the trackpad to twist or warp slightly? Could it be that some trackpads are ultra sensitive to pressure or heat?
Just some ideas.
BTW, some of the machine specs:
Single 320 gb hard drive
Nvidia FX 2800
17" Wide Screen WUXGA RGBLED LCD Panel w/ integrated camera and mic
Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit
Dell Bluetooth Card 365
internal swipe fingerprint reader
Dell Wireless 1510 Card
M6500 Precision Workstation Laptop
As a note, the Laptop arrived w/o a touchpad setup option (only had mouse setup with no touchpad tab).
Local IT identified this potential fix from Dell Site.
Following install of driver and suggested setup (except of 3/4 setting for touchpad sensitivity), have not experienced the problem after an hour of use.
System I am running is XP Pro 32 bit.
Not sure if this would fix newer operating systems.
Will update info if problem reappears.
I tried jhounsch's suggested solution and all it did was make it more difficult to use the track pad and it shut off the tap to click feature. The pointer still freezes when left palm is resting on the palm rest.
This might bandaid some of the symptoms of the problem, but it doesn't solve the underlying problem.
M6500 Precision Workstation Laptop
My M6500 was "repaired" twice in the field with no improvement. So I sent it to Dell's Service Center for them to fix. I wrote a very long and detailed note concerning what the problem was, when it occurred, and my thouught concerning the causes of the problem.
I received the machine back today, fired it up, and before windows was even booted up, I could repeat the trackpad issue immediately. In essence, when I place hands on the palm rest in the normal resting position, the track pad freezes. Evidently:
I did receive a call from them while in for service. They evidently use an in house hard drive to test the machine. Supposedly with their hard drive in the system they couldn't duplicate the problem. (I doubt they tried very hard.) They were calling to as for my password to start up the system with my hard drive. That was the last I heard.
Now I'm left with a machine who's track pad doesn't work right, a reformatted hard drive, which wiped away all my programs and data to operate properly. Thankfully I have full backups for everything.
Needless to say I'm not happy.
M6500 Precision Workstation Laptop
The update I listed earlier (http://support.dell.com/support/topics/global.aspx/support/dsn/en/document?c=us&cs=04&docid=361927&l...) did NOT fix the problem. While it seemed to work when I was at the office, it did not work outside of the office. Not sure how the design of a mousepad works, but seems to be more prone to failure in higher humidity conditions than low humidity conditions. Sorry for leading anyone down this path.
The solution is new hardware. Dell discovered the problem (bad parts from China) and have now (I'm told) cleared the issue with good parts. I had a Dell tech out last week to service 3 of my M6500 units. So far, the touchpad issue seems resolved.