Apple’s Macbooks previously had an advantage over their Windows trackpads when it came to their touchpads. While Windows touchpads were often clunky, plastic and irritating, Macs had large glass spacious ones which allowed for the execution of gestures large and small. Microsoft has crossed this gap with the precision touchpad driver for Windows PCs which in combination with bigger and smoother touchpads from OEMs makes using touchpads for gestures and navigation in Windows pleasurable.
Accessing the Precision touchpad settings
To access the Precision Touchpad settings, open the Settings app, navigate to Settings > Devices > Touchpad. If you have a precision touchpad as ships on Windows PCs now, both midrange and high end, you’ll be able to take control of a few basic settings here and there.
The first thing you’ll want to do is to set your touchpad sensitivity according to your needs, medium is fine for most people, but if you find that you need to be more responsive, you can do that from this screen too and set it to either high or low sensitivity.
Manage your taps
Microsoft offers a bevvy of options regarding taps in this area, which you have the option fo turning off an on including tapping with a single finger to act as a single click, tapping with two to act as a right click, and more. You can turn these off if they interfere with your workflow, but the option is there.
From the Windows 10 Creators Update onwards, Microsoft has included more gestures in the touchpad interface, such that you can use any amount of fingers from 2 fingers to 4 fingers to control how your PC works,
Your three of four finger swipes in any directions can be used to do things like invoke the multitasking view, show the desktop or switch apps.
Customise your gestures
While you can’t customise all your gestures, MIcrosoft’s lets you choose what three and four finger taps, as well as drags and slides, can help you do.
With a three and four finger tap, you can search with Cortana, open the action centre, choose to do nothing, play and pause your media or act as a middle mouse button.
With a three or four finger drag/slide (a gesture where you drag your fingers across the trackpad as opposed to swiping on it), you can switch between desktops and show the desktop, change the audio and media volume, or switch apps and show desktop.
Once you get the hang of the precision touchpad, the Windows experience will get faster and smoother. Windows PCs from the Acer Swift 7 to the Xiaomi Air to the Microsoft Surface Laptop Book have been shipping with spacious precision trackpads for the last few years now. As long as you have a decent PC, you’re fine.