Saturday, January 21, 2012

ASUS Zenbook Touchpad Hack

So if you have the ASUS zenbook UX31 (13"), you probably know how much the touchpad sucks. Most compliants about it comes from the touch pad being a bit too sensitive, and seemingly doing things you don't want it to do.

Some adjustments that can be made to help it work better are:
  1. Tapping - disable two finger tap for popup menu
    This helps prevent the action of putting your thumb on the "left button" being mistaken as a two finger tap.
  2. Drag and Drop - disable to avoid dragging windows if you are fast, where you double-tap and move the cursor, and the Smart-Pad thinks you are dragging.
  3. Smart Detector - enabled, and change the detect area to where you actually put your finger.
    You can tell after some moderate use by looking at the smartpad and seeing an area of "clean" (or grease - ewww). This is the area you most likely actually are putting your pointer finger.

However, if that's NOT enough, here's one more. It's a good one. Hack the registry. This will allow you to see all the functions the smart-pad software can control, but for whatever reason ASUS or Elantech disabled for the Zenbook

  1. Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Elantech\SmartPadDisplay, and change all values to "1"
  2. Go to the Elan Smart-Pad's properties by using the Mouse Properties dialog box
  3. Now you'll see all the hidden options

Once all the options are enabled, you'll see "Palm Tracking" under Additional tab. Turn that up one notch, and it'll make the smart pad less sensitive, but it also makes accidental brushing less likely to register as a mouse movement.

Interesting note on this. Once you make changes to whatever formerly hiddened options and click OK or Apply, the previously modified registry keys will revert back to the way "they want it". If you want to experiment, it's best to change all the values to 1's, export the registry key, and use that to change all the keys at once.

Not all the newly activated options will work with the Zenbook's Elan Smart-Pad, but the Palm Check is tested to work on my UX31. Hopefully this will help you get better control over your Zenbook.


Mathieu said...

I'm planning to buy a Zenbook.
Thanks for your review and hack tips.
The touchpad issue exists for the first iteration of the UX31 (featuring a pad made by Sentelic) or also the ones made by Elan?

Clickety said...

The reason some of the options are disabled is that they simply dont work properly. For instance they disabled the two-finger scrolling in the configuration because it is impossible to turn off horizontal scrolling without also turning off vertical scrolling at the same time (eventhough there are seperate checkboxes for both). And it would be nice to be able to turn off only horizontal scrolling because it interprets even the slightest movement as horizontal scrolling. The laptop is nice but this touchpad really runs the experience :(((

Ez007 said...

This might help, im not sure though, enables hidden options propely

alan said...

I got so fed up with it, finally sold it and replaced with a Toshiba Portege. It doesn't have a touchpad problem, but the battery doesn't last as long, either!

Nathan Burnham said...

Awesome registry solution

thank you

Humble Voice said...

Thanks for the tips. This problem drove me crazy for a few days. With your tips I was getting a tolerable setting with the following:

- Set the palm sensitivity to highest
- Enable the Smart Detector, use Custom setting, reduce the green circle, and move the circle to the left (The touch pad has more space under the right palm, which triggered most of the palm clicks).

The touch pad is far too big to be useful, IMHO. It is quite a bit wider than my old Dell XPS15

Dtes Homeo said...

Excuse my newbie-ness , but WHERE do you change any sensitivities, settings?

My cpanel shows only PS/2 Port Clickpad and there are no settings available there...


Arpan Patel said...

There used to be an icon on the bottom right, but now mine is gone as well. I can't find where I can change the smart pad settings. Please help.

Arpan Patel said...

The icon for setting changes to the smart pad used to be on the bottom right of the screen, but now its gone. Please help. Where do I find the settings button.

PV said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
PV said...

I don't have UX31, but I have same problem in N76VM: touchpad is too sensitive, there is no sensitivity settings and Smart Detector doesn't work.

"Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Elantech\SmartPadDisplay, and change all values to "1""

I don't have file named "SmartPadDisplay" there.
What format the file should be? (there was only exe, dll and avi files in Elantech folder)

Abby Larson said...

Does anyone have a solution for this, since I don't see an option to change the settings? Also, Alon, can you put the hack into layman's terms with how to initiate the process?

Michael Larson said...

Abby, if you don't know how to edit the registry then don't edit the registry. Get your brother to help you

Mark Bagshaw said...

I agree with everyone's comments that the Touchpad on the Zenbook lets down what is otherwise a fabulous machine. My greatest issue with it is the fact that the buttons on the touchpad are part of the touchpad surface, which means that if you move your finger even slightly when you first touch either of the buttons you will end up moving the pointer before you actually click the button which is incredibly annoying! Does anyone know if/how you can change the size of the touchpad surface to exclude the area where the buttons are located?

Marcio Henrique Vale Campos said...

Try this: