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Definition: pointing device

An input device used to move the pointer (cursor) on screen. The major pointing device is the mouse for the desktop computer and the touchpad for the laptop, although many road warriors bring along a mouse. Pointing sticks are available on some laptops, and a small number of users prefer trackballs over the mouse. See mouse, touchpad, trackball and pointing stick.

The Major Pointing Devices
Clockwise from the mouse at the upper left are the trackball, pointing stick (red tip) and touchpad.

Freedom of Choice
Some laptops provide a pointing stick and touchpad on the same machine, both of which are active at the same time. (Image courtesy of Winbook Computer Corporation, www.winbook.com)