By Evan Ackerman

I almost always use an external mouse with my laptop, but having that touchpad there is damn convenient due to its close proximity to the keyboard, especially for things like scrolling. Synaptics (odds are fairly good that you have a Synaptics touchpad if you have a laptop) demoed a few new fast and intuitive touchpad technologies at CES which should make portable productivity that much more convenient:

ChiralMotion: Using your fingers in a twisting motion, scroll clockwise or counterclockwise to quickly navigate through long lists of files (works kinda like a virtual scroll wheel, with either one or two fingers).

Momentum: Emulates a trackball; just flick the touchpad with one finger and the cursor will exhibit “intertia-like” behavior as if a trackball was still spinning, even after your finger is off the touchpad.

Pinch (my favorite): Use two fingers and make a pinch gesture anywhere on the touchpad to zoom in; reverse the gesture to zoom out.

According to the Synaptics rep, this is all firmware tech, not hardware, which means that we should see a fairly rapid introduction into new laptops.

[ Synaptics ]