Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The first real ultrabook

update: official trackpad drivers now ok-ish, not worth the trouble. Can't find a bios to disable hyperthreading. otherwise really happy about the laptop still. had to cut a micro-hdmi cable to make the micro-hdmi output work (port in laptop too deep).

Been a while since the macbook air started a trend of very thin very light laptops... but so far they were only crap to me.

Sure they were light and thin, but do you really expect me to work in 1366x768 on a MBA or 1600x900 on a zenbook ?

More than that, the only credible competitor to the macbook air, the asus zenbook, had a very bad touchpad and keyboard, or so the reviews said.

And then, ASUS eventually got it.

And then, I bought a laptop.

I must say this zenbook prime hit the spot with the only quality I was looking for in a thinbook (confusion intended) : a high quality full HD IPS pannel.

This screen is just awesome, and although the keyboard feels a little strange, it's more than fine for a laptop.

Just a word of warning though, basic stuff like tap to click has more than 300 ms lag (I call that completely unusable) and should be disabled.

The rest of the touchpad is fine though, except the bottom would've been better without touch sensor, that accidentally moves the mouse when you click, or record it as a second finger or ...

All in all, once I find the touchpad configuration utility, remove the tap to click and find a way to ignore the bottom of the sensor area, it'll be perfect.

Let's hope the other manufacturers wake up and we start seeing more ultratops with killer screens (like an affordable fullHD MBA (although they'll probably call that retina, or cornea... or whatever really) running windows 7 ...).

Oh and, contrary to most reviewers, I don't get free stuff or make money so you can trust me ;)

Obviously the trackpad drivers issue was enough for someone to leave the beautiful screen in the trashcan --

They say a few driver updates do away with the problems, I have always touch typed and I have absolutely no problems, as if the european version which came out later didn't have the same driver version or something.

major edit

Let me correct this : asus update .24 sucks too. The elan pad sucks, there are no usable drivers like what you would get with an old dell / synaptic combo, letting you set preferences like deactivate when mouse plugged in, no solution to have a working click (because the tap sucks, too), overall I feel like writing my own driver with a part to ignore the address range of the button positions, and making buttons register correctly rather than laggingly (measured >100ms,this thing sucks balls) - Let's hope I find a solution though.

fixing the problem

Step 1 : get a usable driver

Step 2 : tweak the driver

As explained here : 

Go to the etd.inf file (the .bak is not important), and select lines 751 to 907, replace all 0 to 1 (that is, in all the [ETD_SmartPadDisplay*] sections) - if you can't replace all in selection, get notepad++

Step 3 : palm contact when typing

Skip if you intend to game with the touchpad on the laptop, this disables touchpad when typing.

There's a hidden feature in the driver, in the ETD_OtherSetting part, that covers disabling the touchpad when you type:

HKLM,%ServiceRoot%"\Elantech\OtherSetting",DisableWhenType_Enable,%REG_DWORD%,1 ; 1 = Disable Function, 1 = Enable Function
HKLM,%ServiceRoot%"\Elantech\OtherSetting",DisableWhenType_AllArea,%REG_DWORD%,1 ; 1 = Edge Area, 1 = All Area
HKLM,%ServiceRoot%"\Elantech\OtherSetting",DisableWhenType_DelayTime_Tap,%REG_DWORD%,1000 ; Unit (ms)
HKLM,%ServiceRoot%"\Elantech\OtherSetting",DisableWhenType_DelayTime_Move,%REG_DWORD%,1500 ; Unit (ms)
HKLM,%ServiceRoot%"\Elantech\OtherSetting",DisableWhenType_DelayTime_Gesture,%REG_DWORD%,1000 ; Unit (ms)

This part is cloned in every ETD_OtherSetting, as for the previous tweak (ETD_SmartPadDisplay) and as I didn't check the id being used, I changed them all this time again.

Once you have set this setting, the touchpad will be disabled "DisableWhenTypeDelayTime" after you started typing and re-enabled "DisableWhenTypeDelayTime" after you stop.

I'm currently toying with the delays, trying .3 for the Time_Move, but evidently that setting is going to be quite personal and related to your WPM and typing density distribution (i.e. if you type a bunch, wait, type a bunch, you risk having the touchpad reactivate during the typing break).

For some reason there is no registry key to handle that,and no file in system32 that contains that string so ... goodbye enable/disable script it seems.

Step 4 : Left and Right click

I noticed the touchpad would consider a right click any click from anywhere on the touchpad as long as the last "new touch point" was in the right half, i.e. keep your finger in the left click position, put a finger on the right half of the pad, click with your left finger and wtf it's a right click.

Another hidden setting in the driver it seems ;) - actually three settings

HKLM,%ServiceRoot%"\Elantech\DriverOption",ButtonMode,%REG_DWORD%,1 ; 1 = Button Combine, 2 = Button Indenpendent
HKLM,%ServiceRoot%"\Elantech\DriverOption",ClickPadActiveAreaClickMode,%REG_DWORD%,2 ; 1 = Not Two Finger Click, 2 = Two Finger Click (Right Button), 3 = Two Finger Click (Left Button)
HKLM,%ServiceRoot%"\Elantech\DriverOption",ClickPadRestingAreaClickMode,%REG_DWORD%,2 ; 1 = Not Two Finger Click, 2 = Two Finger Click (Right Button), 3 = Two Finger Click (Left Button)

I used 2,1,1 instead of the default 1,2,2 , it feels more normal now.

Step 5 : set some options

After running setup.exe, you can now access your mouse driver like civilized users -- I personally did the following but then that's all up to your preferences.

Removed every multi finger gesture (I hate those things anyway).
Enabled "disable when external pointing device plug in".
Enabled edge scrolling.
Pushed PalmTracking to the max.

Right now I think that's all ;)

No comments:

Post a Comment