Where to the touchpad?

Synaptic, the company behind the iPod click wheel, also designs and builds notebook touchpads. CNET has a photo gallery of some of their latest R&D. Some are already available and others may turn up on upcoming laptops and desktop keyboards.

For example, the Toshiba Qosmio features a dual-mode touchpad that can work in cursor mode or switch to multimedia mode with a single tap in the corner of the pad. Other prototypes have volume and channel controls on keyboards (idea for a Media Center PC), remotes with scroll wheels and even touchpads and small screens on the lid of a notebook so that it does not even have to be opened to scroll and control applications (like a media player).

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