Not only is the XPS 15 trackpad no match for the rMBP trackpad, but it isn't even close. Driver issues seem to be plaguing the trackpad on the XPS 15. Beyond that, some have commented that their XPS doesn't want to register right-clicks, and others have commented that their XPS doesn't like clicks in the far corners. Your mileage may vary, but the consensus has been that the only reliable work-around is to accept that some gestures intuitive to the user simply must be re-learned. However, the firmware update mentioned below improves responsiveness somewhat.
The trackpad is glass, with no coating on it. If you're getting discoloration, use isopropyl alcohol to clean it; it's better than any other option.
Trackpad Doesn't Work As ExpectedEdit
- Install the latest Dell FHD Touch Panel Firmware Update or Dell QHD+ Touch Panel Firmware Update (depends on your model). Several users have stated that the firmware upgrade on their touchscreen has actually improved their touchpad performance. Specifically, two finger scrolling was improved significantly.
- WARNING: Thus far there have been 3 reports that the firmware update caused the touchscreen function to be bricked entirely (the display itself and the trackpad were unaffected). Those owners had to set up a service appointment with Dell to get a replacement display. Therefore if you don't care about your touchscreen and feel your touchpad is just fine, you may wish to avoid the update. Otherwise, accept the risk that your touchscren may not work after the update and require a replacement display from Dell.
- Install the latest Dell driver for the trackpad. The one released on January 8th, 2014 fixed many issues. Also disable any gestures that you don't have any use for in order to minimize the potential for triggering them accidentally. The edge swipes in particular are prone to be triggered accidentally and arguably unnecessary when you have a touchscreen.
- Install the Synaptics driver for the trackpad. One user noted that some gestures in the Dell driver are not available with the Synaptics driver, and vice versa. I have not yet done a comparison between the two. If you have, please edit this entry to reflect! Also disable any gestures that you don't have any use for in order to minimize the potential for triggering them accidentally. The edge swipes in particular are prone to be triggered accidentally and arguably unnecessary when you have a touchscreen.
- Some users experienced odd trackpad behavior after bringing their XPS out of hibernation. Ultimately this was determined to be caused by the touchscreen driver (not the touchpad at all), which was failing to return from a sleep state. This should be resolved with the firmware update mentioned above.
- One user (djklmnop) made some adjustments to the Synaptics driver for an XPS 12 and recommended it for XPS 15 owners.
Trackpad is Showing Signs of DiscolorationEdit
Several users have noticed that the trackpad of the XPS 15 is unusually prone to discoloration from use. As of January 2014, the user consensus seems to be that the surface of the trackpad is uncoated glass; as such, wetting a microfiber cloth with ethanol (rubbing alcohol) should be a safe and effective way of restoring the touchpad's original lustre. Please note that the glass touchpad surface on Apple laptops has an additional oleophobic coating on the glass and it is designed to be cleaned with a cloth dampened with distilled (deionized) water only. Some XPS 15 owners also endorse using only distilled/deionized water on the XPS 15, in the event that it has a coating similar to the coating on Apple trackpads.