Chromebooks with Pointing Sticks Coming Soon?

An experimental flag that I spotted today suggests that we might soon see Chromebooks with tracking points or pointing sticks like those on Lenovo Thinkpads.

Pointing Sticks?

I focus on Chrome OS and leave Chromebook hardware news to the experts like Chrome Unboxed.

Today, however, I have a news to share.

We might soon see Chromebooks with Pointing Sticks like those on Lenovo Thinkpads.


Here is an experimental flag that I spotted today:

“Separate pointing stick settings: Enables a separate group of settings (speed, button swap, and acceleration) for pointing sticks (such as TrackPoints).”

It says “separate pointing stick settings”. I searched the Settings app for anything related to point sticks.


So this should be a new section that Google is adding to Chrome OS. Now, why would you do that unless you currently have or are planning to release Chromebooks with pointing sticks?

We all know that Lenovo is famous for the red pointing stick that they put on their Thinkpad laptops. A Verge article from 2016 says that Lenovo couldn’t put the pointing stick on their Chromebook because Google has “strict guidelines” about Chromebook hardware.

Are they changing guidelines? Will we see something interesting on the rumored new Pixelbook?

What do you think? Let me know in the comments section below.

Source: Chromium Gerrit.

One response to “Chromebooks with Pointing Sticks Coming Soon?”

  1. The IBM (now Lenovo) Trackpoint found on Thinkpads going back to 1992 has been a Love/Hate topic since their introduction. Count me in the Love section. Actually, count me in the ADORE section. On a plane or a train or an automobile or anyplace where even a small wireless travel mouse could not be used properly the Trackpoint is a godsend of cursor control. I had a Trackpoint on an old Thinkpad T400 setup where quite literally I could simply flex the muscle and tendon in my middle finger and the cursor would instantly and accurately respond. It was as close to having a built in trackball you could get inside the keyboard. Couple the Trackpoint with IBM/Lenovo’s wonderful and class leading keyboard and you really never needed a mouse at all.

    If Google is finally going to support a Trackpoint and Lenovo responds with a Trackpoint equipped Chromebook I will not only respond by buying my first Chromebook, I’ll buy TWO !!

    BTW…a bit of IBM trivia. Before IBM sold off their PC and Thinkpad lines to Lenovo, they produced a Trackpoint equipped wired mouse. However, it was not like the “nub” on the Thinkpad. It was a concave, horizontally shaped thing about the width of the tip of your finger and it was placed right where you would find a scroll wheel. You moved the cursor as you would any other mouse but you scrolled up and down a page by pushing forward or pulling back on the Trackpoint. What was cool is that if you flexed your finger sideways the page would either scroll sideways or you could flip through tabs on your browser. And unlike the red nibs on the Thinkpad the Trackpoint on the mouse had an embedded LED that caused the mouse’s Trackpoint to glow blue…just like IBM”s old nickname “Big Blue”. You can still find a few on Ebay for a few bucks if your interested in unique mouse tech.

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