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IBM TrackPoint


The TrackPoint was IBM's name, now Lenovo's, for the stick that sits between the g, h and b keys of the keyboard. It is used as a PS/2 pointing device and hence as an alternative to an external mouse or a touchpad. What sets it apart from devices found in notebooks of other manufacturers is that it has no moving parts. It works by using a solid state strain gauge. Its tap-to-click feature, which means that you can tap the stick to do a left click instead of using the left mouse button, is also handy.


The TrackPoint has gone through four known minor revisions: TrackPoint, TrackPoint II, TrackPoint III, and TrackPoint IV.

The original TrackPoint was not actually a pointing stick as it is supposedly named. Instead, it was just an average trackball painted in red. The second revision of the TrackPoint 'fixes' this minor oversight, and is now finally a pointing stick with a red cap.

The third revision of the TrackPoint was notable for adding a feature called 'negative inertia', which essentially counter-acts against the 'positive inertia' caused by the force applied onto the solid-state strain gauge. This was to increase the accuracy of the previous TrackPoint as it was occasionally over-exaggerating the amount of force applied to it, making it inaccurate/too fast or difficult to use.

The fourth revision of the TrackPoint adds a feature called 'press-to-select', which is implemented by using a virtual Z-axis. This feature allows the TrackPoint to emulate a mouse's left button.

Configuration and Customization

See How to configure the TrackPoint for more information.

Hardware-wise, the TrackPoint (II, III, and IV) has only one form of customization, which is the red-colored cap that sits on top of the TrackPoint. There are four types of caps that can be fitted on: Eraser Head, Classic Dome, Soft Dome, and Soft Rim. As of today, only the Soft Dome cap can be brought from Lenovo. Note that it comes in three profiles: standard (no longer produced), low profile, and super-low profile. Also, please note that the Soft Dome is the only cap with a low profile and a super-low profile variant, the other caps do not have such profile variants. Unofficial bootlegs may exist, though.

The TrackPoint II and TrackPoint III revisions did not come with the Soft Dome or with the Soft Rim cap pre-installed. However, the said caps can be fitted onto these TrackPoint revisions, as long as they are not a low-profile or a super-low profile variant. Only the TrackPoint IV revision accepts low-profile or super-low profile caps, but it also depends on your ThinkPad's keyboard, as not all keyboards implementing the TrackPoint IV uses low-profile or super-low profile caps. Some models use standard profile caps, at least on most of the older pre-2013 models with the TrackPoint IV.

External Sources

Models featuring this technology


TrackPoint II

TrackPoint III

TrackPoint IV