Aug 4, 2011

Fujitsu Lifebook T580 - N-Trig DuoSense Modes (pen and touch)

Gear: Fujitsu LifeBook T580, Convertible Tablets, MS OneNote.

Fujitsu and N-Trig have some really good technology on the T580.  N-Trig's DuoSense technology offers something that I had never seen before and that is the ability to switch between different Input Modes. The video shows each one of the 4 input modes and some of my opinions.

Input Modes:

  • Pen Only - Allows exclusive pen input, ignores any finger touch
  • Touch Only - Allows touch input only, and ignores the pen
  • Auto Mode - Enables you to switch between Pen or Touch Only modes. To active Touch Only tap the screen with your finger, for Pen Only move the digitizer close to the screen.
  • Dual Mode - Enables concurrent touch and pen input. It's similar to Wacom's touch and pen input. (this is the default setting)

Image of N-Trig DuoSense Digitizer Settings

The modes that I use the most are Pen Only and Auto Mode. The other input modes are nice but they can be problematic with accidental palm clicks.

Dual Mode Input Notes
It's neat to have both touch and pen input, but it can be trouble with accidental clicks. If the digitizer had a much larger "hover" recognition state then it wouldn't be as problematic.

Pen Button Notes

I wish the right click button would adjust automatically to fit the program's needs based on the gadget type that is being activated.  This would make so many people happy because now we don't have manually switch among our needs.

  • If you are in the drawing canvas and use the pen button it erases drawing strokes.
  • If you are in Explorer and the pen hovers over a folder and the button is activated then it performs a right click.
  • If you hover over "white space" in browsers and use the button then it should perform scrolling functions.

How to open N-Trig DuoSense Digiter Settings:

  • Hit Windows Key or "Start"
  • Type "N-Trig DuoSense"
  • Open N-Trig DuoSense Digitizer Settings
  • Choose the Input mode you desire
  • Click Apply and OK

Windows and Touch+Pen Input

As of right now Windows is not perfect at the touch+pen input game, but it is ahead of the Android tablets, Mac and Linux. Windows based software needs a few adjustments to take advantage of touch and pen input.

The one thing that Windows needs to get done right is to have consistency with TabTip software (the virtual keyboard). It is so inconsistent that it can become frustrating.

Toolbars on the right side
For Pen Only mode having tools on the right side of the window makes more sense because it's much easier to access than tools on the top.  If you have to more your hand all over the screen to access buttons then it is unpleasant.


I absolutely love how we can switch between different input modes through software.  This is something that I didn't see in Wacom with the Lenovo X tablets.  My bet is that N-Trig has a patent for switching modes and Wacom would have to license it.  Switching between those modes is useful for "power users", maybe not so much for the average consumer.



  1. hey jesse,

    nice overview of ntrig software

    ive been hearing a lot of complaints about ntrig: edge inaccuracy, poor accuracy when the pen is being hovered, and phantom clicks. have you had any of these problems, and if so, are they severe?

    what's the inking (onenote, journal) experience like compared to a wacom tablet like the x220t?


  2. The N-Trig digitizer usually cannot reach the exact pixel edges. The Wacom based can reach edges, but it doesn't feel precise.

    After I installed a Lexerd screen protector on the T580 there has been some clicks that are out of place. These clicks did not occur when I didn't have the screen protector.

    The touch + pen modes on X220T and T580 are not flawless. They do sell "gloves" that apparently help.

    The hover of both of them could be improved to reduce accidental palm clicks. As you may know there's a pen only mode in the N-Trig, and the X220T does a pen only version. So... because Windows is not the most "touch friendly" the pen input is the best option after a mouse. It's mostly how I use the T580 these days.