Gone are the days when you had to use trackball on laptops to scroll through pages. Technology brought changes and we now have Trackpad or Touchpad on all our laptops. Though these Trackpads enabled gesture controls it was earlier confined to only one finger scrolling. With the advent of Apple’s Macbook laptops we saw multi-touch gestures as well as two-finger scrolling and three-finger click with pinch to zoom feature. If that was the case with Apple devices, laptops running Windows OS got these via hardware from Synaptics.
Most of the Windows laptops/ Netbooks available in market now houses Synaptics trackpads that are capable of providing two-finger scrolling. But the problem is when your laptop is shipped having OEM version of Windows with compatible drivers the Synaptics trackpad drivers installed will be an old version. Those drivers won’t let you scroll with two-finger and pinch to zoom. But with latest version of Synaptics trackpad drivers available on their website you can leverage the real power by enabling those Macbook like features on Windows laptops. There are drivers available for Windows XP, Vista, and 7 ( both 32 bit and 64 bit).
This works on many laptops/ netbooks housing Synaptics trackpads like that from Dell, HP, Acer. Some laptops have touchpads that are crippled and will not allow you to have multi-touch features. This worked well on our Dell Studio laptop with Synaptics trackpad hardware. Check with your laptop specs sheet to find if your laptop is using trackpad from Synaptics.
Steps to enable Multi-Touch and Pinch Zoom with Synaptics trackpads on Windows laptops :
1) Download and install latest Synaptics TouchPad drivers from the official downloads page ( make sure you download the 32 bit or 64 bit version correctly), and reboot your PC.
2) Go to Control Panel > Mouse. From the Mouse Properties window select Device Settings tab, where you can click the Settings button to get into the advanced settings page.
3) Enable Pinch Zoom, Rotation, three finger clicks etc from the Synaptics TouchPad settings window and hit Apply.
The settings window includes video tutorial links which showcases how the various features of Synaptics TouchPad driver works.