Multi-Touch & OEM built laptops

Multi-touch touchpads are now quite common in machines now days but some OEM machine builders have chosen to disable them in order to sell newer/different models. For example my brand new Compaq Presario CQ62 has a multi-touch enabled Synaptics LuxPad v7.4 but the stock drivers don’t enable the support… in fact the options are there but are greyed out. Yet other models sold by hp ship with it enabled such as the HP Mini 110-3100 PC series.

I did some experimenting with the latest driver from the Synaptics site and low and behold the locked out features started working at the loss of the enable/disable hot corner. So far what I have noticed between the oem and generic driver installers is the items they install.

First off the oem hp driver only installs “Synaptics (Syn TP) Mouse” driver version 15.0.7.0 dated 02/04/2010. The Generic driver installs “Synaptics (Syn TP) Mouse” and “Synaptics (Hid Usb) HIDClass” drivers both are version 14.0.3.0 from 08/27/2009. My guess is that the HIDClass enables the multi-touch support on the laptop.

Now why install the full hardware support but install crippled driver software. Anyway for those who want to enable these features on their machine can download the driver from the Synaptics site and try it out… if your laptop has a modern synaptics touchpad odds are you got the hardware to support it but the driver may not enable it.

Tried this? Did it work or not work? Other thoughts? Leave a comment below.