I’m going to be honest, I hoped the roll-out of the Samsung Chromebook Plus was going to be smoother than it has been to this point. With so many irons in the fire right now, I suppose some grace is essential for the developers working on things behind the scenes.
One bug that showed up just a day or so before our review of the Pro went live involved the trackpad. I’d hoped it was simply something short-lived and wouldn’t be an issue when I got my hands on the Plus.
It unfortunately is apparent on the Plus as well and I want to get this out to everyone who will read because, before this bug showed up, the trackpad experience was simply amazing.
Now, however, it is a little maddening.
What Is The Bug?
From what we’ve been able to gather, a change was made to the way the trackpad senses proximity and touch. This change was in an attempt to fix some finger separation detection issues, but in the process, it created a very odd and very perplexing behavior in the trackpad surface.
Here’s what happens: once your fingers make contact with the trackpad, it continues to sense touch even when your finger has lifted from the trackpad. So, when trying to place the cursor in a specific place, as you lift your finger to click or to type, the motion of your finger being lifted off the surface is tracked up to 1-2 millimeters above the surface.
This causes some pretty aberrant behavior, to say the least.
Two-finger scrolling is particularly odd, as the tendency is to pull your hand back to yourself after scrolling a page into place. As the trackpad continues to sense your fingers’ positions, the move back to your body gets subtly picked up and causes a scroll action in that direction (up or down, depending on your scroll settings).
It took me a bit to identify the issue, but I can actually move my mouse cursor around the screen now without actually contacting the trackpad surface.
Kinda neat when you are just messing around, but insanely aggravating when you need the trackpad to simply work.
Additionally, this can cause 2-finger gestures to not respond at all from time to time.
There is good news, though. This bug is already being fixed as seen here: https://chromium-review.googlesource.com/c/438646/
This commit is from February 8th, so it could be a little bit before we see the fix fully roll out in a quick update, but it cannot come soon enough!
As we get more info, we’ll pass it along. Mainly, we want all of you to know that our trackpad wasn’t behaving like this for the review and, when cleaned up, this things performs beautifully.
If you’ve just received your new Samsung and were thinking the trackpad was less than stellar, hold on just a bit. It will get much, much better soon!