Pecking and grabbing: why touchscreen laptops are nice

Lots of people don't understand why touchscreens are nice for "desktop" activities. The orthodoxy pushed by Apple is that your fingers are utterly useless unless the UI was designed exclusively for touch. After using a touchscreen laptop for a while, I've identified two big advantages.

  • If you're in the middle of typing, you forget where your cursor is. Suppose a dialog appears, and you want to dismiss it. It's a lot easier to peck at it with your fingers rather than finding your cursor, dragging it over, and clicking. Mentally, you remain in typing mode.
  • Keeping your hands pronated on the home row / trackpad is stressful on your wrists and forearms. There's a reason why these exist: In a lot of tasks - web browsing, document reading, movie watching - you can get by with a tablet-like grip: