One of the advantages of this type of touchpad is that you get the same level of feedback no matter where you click. It is not deeper towards the front and there are no strange dead zones. Mac users are already aware of this, but touch panels are still very rare in the PC world. The feeling of using the Sensel pad is not terribly different from Apple’s Force Touch. Although it does not have the level of integration that opens a world of secondary functions on the MacBook. On the other hand, the actual ‘clicks’ on the Sensel pad are much more satisfying. Apple’s trackpad can feel small, hollow and shallow.
Of course, there is also a high-resolution touchscreen grid and Sensel force sensors. For now, its use is limited to a few visualizations and CAD rendering. In a CAD demonstration, applying force to the edges of the trackpad rotates the 3D model, while applying a differential force blows it so you can see what’s inside. It’s easy to see how this could extend to say video editing, as you can clean up a clip faster depending on how hard it is to compress. Or it can be paired with a stylus pen, similar to a Wacom tablet.
As a regular old touchpad, the prototype is in. It has a smooth glass finish and recognizes multiple finger gestures flawlessly. Honestly, it’s undoubtedly better than the trackpad on the 2-year-old Dell XPS 15. Although it is a little smaller.
Nobody guesses if or when we’ll see a file Sensil Touchpad in machine ready for production. But I’d be lying if I said I’m not intrigued by the possibility of a small morph built into my laptop.