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I am shopping for a new laptop and am focused on the keyboard and trackpad -- both for reliability and usability. I'm coming off of a Macbook Pro which has failed me. I had continual issues with the keyboard and trackpad locking up.

Can anyone recommend which laptop has the best keyboard and trackpad? I know it's a subjective question, but I'm just after opinions! I'm looking for something that might come in a 17" screen, though I could live with 15".

Thanks :-)

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Just curious, did you apply the keyboard firmware updates? I had issues like this on my MBP 3,1 but it was resolved with the firmware update I installed. –  atroon Dec 29 '09 at 21:20
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6 Answers 6

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Have been a PC support tech in the commercial and industrial markets for 9 years, and institutional market before that for 10 years. For my money, best laptop keyboards and touchpads come from HP, period. No competition - full stop. When I get to the point where money is no longer an object, it will be HP all the way. The issue with unknowingly touching the pad while typing is a pretty universal problem among us less-than-perfect typists. You can combat this either through device settings for the touchpad, which often provide "accidental-touch-tolerance" settings, or using a little freeware program called TouchFreeze. TF has no settings whatsoever, but seems to do the job.

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Dell Studio Notebooks have excellent and durable keyboards, rock solid machines, for $30 extra you'll get them backlit.

Same goes for the XPS series, same keyboards, but they're more expensive.

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Toshiba has plenty of great 15" and 17" satellite laptops. And, if your Macbook Pro is still under warranty take it to the Apple Store for repairs. No need to waste a computer :)

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I've got an HP zd8000 (17") laptop which has a pretty much full size keyboard. I've used about a dozen other laptops over the years, both work and personal, and have never had a better, more responsive, better feeling keyboard for a laptop. I've tried a couple other HP 17" laptops as demos and both had similar feel to the keyboards. The only problem was with the touchpad. I tend to rest my wrist on the surface below the keyboard while I type and this would cause the right hand to contact the touchpad and make the cursor wander off to the topright corner somewhere or randomly click and highlight things, but that's more my bad habits than anything.

I've never found a 15" with a keyboard I like and pretty much universally will only use those with an external USB keyboard except when absolutely necessary. Also, avoid Sony laptops. Have worked with three different ones and they were all three the worst keyboards I've ever worked with.

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While I dont know which laptop is good for you, I do know that both, the keyboard and trackpad on my Dell studio laptop stinks. Its not the build quality, but the way the buttons are laid out and the trackpad sensitivity. I get a ton of typing errors due to the sensitive trackpad continuously jumping the cursor on the slightest touch and my accidentally hitting the wrong key due to bad button placement. The keyboard on the old Dell inspiron was way better and while I havent tried the XPS that much, that one seemed much better as well.

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If you have the Dell touchpad driver, you can easily adjust the sensitivity. –  outsideblasts Dec 29 '09 at 22:42
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Some people don't like the new Lenovo keyboards, but the one on my W500 is pretty nice. The trackpad will probably be on the small side for you given that you're probably used to the massive one on the MacBooks, but having the choice between a trackpad and the red "nipple" pointer between G and H is cool.

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