Microsoft Precision touchpads use a standard set of drivers that offer a consistent, smooth and accurate touch experience. Although Precision drivers appeared for the first time in Surface Pro 2 and have since been used on all Surface devices, many laptop manufacturers, other than Microsoft, also take advantage of the drivers to offer the best possible touch experience.
Why are Precision Drivers Preferred?
Back in the days of Windows 8.1 and SurfacePro 2, Apple had distinguished itself from everyone else by offering the touchpad experience. In fact, there was not much competition between iMac and Windows laptops (at least in the touchpad area), so Microsoft decided it was time to create a set of drivers that would provide a standardized experience on Surface devices.
Precision touchpads include drivers and gestures upgraded with Windows 10 functionality updates, and offer a consistent, smooth and accurate touch experience. If you've ever used a touchpad with Synaptics or Elan drivers and then use a precision touchpad, the difference is remarkable.
Microsoft does not seem to differentiate the hardware of the touchpad and that's why we see quite a few laptops in the Precision touchpad category, despite the significant differences in size and materials. You can find an economical laptop with a small plastic touchpad and an extraordinary Ultrabook with a huge glass touchpad. Both can use Precision drivers. This eventually gives third-party manufacturers, like Dell, Lenovo, Dell Samsung, Acer and Razer, great flexibility in machine design.
With a Precision touchpad, you have the full range of Windows 10 movements, including multiple clicks for shortcuts at all, from turning on Cortana to quickly switching between windows.
Can you install the Precision drivers on a non-Precision touchpad?
If you have a laptop that uses Synaptics or Elan drivers - usually found in HP and economical laptops from a number of other manufacturers - and you want to go to Precision, there is a way to do it, although it's not sure to succeed.
There is one a guide that can guide you throughout the process, but keep in mind that Windows 10 updates have made the process not work as it once did. If it does not work, the solution is to buy a laptop that has Precision drivers in the beginning.
If you are wondering if your laptop uses Precision drivers, there is a simple way to test it by following these steps.
- Right-click the "Start" button.
- Click on "Settings".
- Click on "Devices".
- Click on "Touchpad".
At the top of the window you will see a note that says: "Your computer has a precision touchpad."
Which laptops come with Precision drivers?
Until Microsoft decides to place Precision drivers on all Windows 10 laptops, there may be some confusion in the market. HP's EliteBooks business line, for example, uses Precision drivers, while the line for consumers, including the impressive HP Spectre 13t, uses Synaptics drivers.
You can be sure that all the devices Surface use Precision drivers, but if you shop elsewhere, make sure you double-check the touchpad before making a final decision.
If you are looking for a Surface device that combines quality and price, Surface Laptop 2 is an ideal choice. It is powerful, has high quality construction and the touch screen is one of the best out there.
Dell XPS 13 9380 is an excellent alternative to 2 Surface Laptop for those who want to move away from Microsoft. It's a classic notebook, but there are many configuration options, including non-touch screens and 4K, as well as Thunderbolt 3 ports.