BlackBerry 9020 (Onyx) to Get Optical Trackpad Afterall

BlackBerry 9020 to Have Optical Trackpad
By Kevin Michaluk on 19 Jun 2009 02:42 am EDT

Ooops. Remember Wednesday when we dropped word on the blogs that the Onyx had been tagged the 9020 and that we had also heard the trackball would be staying on the final version?? Well we've got good news - it turns out that in regards to the trackball, that's not the case!!!

Upon further digging, and double confirming with some trusty peeps who have now actually seen it, there are already now Onyx's in existence that in fact have the optical trackpad (currently featured in the Curve 8520 - pictured above on right). The new and improved word is that the Onyx's buttons have received a slight redesign to accomodate the inclusion of the trackpad and that the 9020 will go to market with it. Awesome. This all jives well with previous word (dating back to May) that the Onyx/Driftwood would definitely be getting it (even though pre-release devices were sporting trackballs).

As for why the Onyx didn't have the trackpad in place from the get-go, I think part of the reason has to do with the fact the Curve 85xx was designed by RIM's Florida team (tasked with reducing costs/replacement), while the onyx was/is being developed by RIM's German design team, obviously somewhat in parallel. Though the trackpad isn't a 'perfect' solution (check out this forum post of where it has let me down just once in over six weeks of use), as I've gushed many times in the blogs already I'm absolutely in love with it. Now I'm truly excited for the Onyx. I can't wait to see photos of the updated device. The only bad news here is for the those who have pre-release Onyx's... it's hard to say (I'm guessing it's doubtful??) that future firmware upgrades will continue to support the trackball with the trackpad now going in place. Ah well.. them is the breaks. Bring on the trackpad!

Topics: News & Rumors

Reader comments

BlackBerry 9020 (Onyx) to Get Optical Trackpad Afterall


my pearl's ball is falling out and its a pearl for heaven sakes, i have to get a Tour. Sucks that im Canadian with Telus so i have to pay more than my TV to get the tour knowing that there is something better around the corner. id switch carriers to get an honest reliable phone.

i have my bold for about 6 months, but i just cant help myself i'm jumping on the onyx as soon as its released.

still a tour for me but man.. when the time comes I will definitely look into at&t again to see if its improved in my area because thats freaking awesome ;)

I am completely stoked on this device. The track pad seems to make sense as far as navigation "evolution" goes, sans the wheel. Where are the trackballs on notebooks ... replaced by touch pads.

the notebook also has buttons that function with the touchpad. (right/left click) The trackball has the ability to scroll and select, ...with the trackpad who knows, ...BlackBerry touchscreen's are new, and have problems, and this even newer.

The track ball sucks. Movings parts suck.

Moving parts will break. I know about 10+ people that had to get the trackball fixed by RIM. That costs RIM and the carriers money. This will help their profit margins, which is further evidenced by the fact that the 8520 group came up with it.

This is great news, but I wonder how they fit the trackpad on the Onyx after looking at the 8520. It takes up a lot more space than the trackball, so the keypad must have gotten moved all the way down to the bottom frame to make room for it. Looks like the 8520 is slightly longer than the onyx as well. If they moved the keypad too far down on the Onyx, the device could become a bit top-heavy maybe? Or not as nice to type with. I'm really curious about how they solved this, can't wait for new photos.

I just hope that the track pad is an "evolution" of the track ball. As long as the navigation & the use of the track-pad are the same or "better" than the track-ball we should be good, right? After all we're not the designers/engineers of this devices. (Really like the track ball)

this is new for Blackberry, and may have problems, just as their touchscreen did/does. Hopefully, it will work!, and as good or better than the trackball, which i also like. :)

I am not used to seeing a blackberry without a trackball. I mean I'm not put off by the trackpad, I would have to use it first to see whether or not I'll like it.

I soooooooooooooo hope AT&T gets it. I have the Bold but this is great and Im sure someone will want my Bold

I actually like the idea of having an optical trackpad on future devices. It gives the BB a new look without changing too much about the device we love. Can't wait to see what the finished product looks like and I'm sure once it becomes available, the people here at will post them for us.

Why is it so important for you to have the first post and to point it out? It's quite annoying. Say something of relevance!

I believe that that Onyx will be a dominant BB for the near future. It's going to have all the bells and whistles that a smartphone should have!

Kudos to RIM for making such a great device!

People are gonna be all hyped, just like the Storm. Then when it comes out, its gonna be preference. Just like touch screen vs a physical key board. Some will like it, and some wont. Some will prefer the feel of the track ball, vs a touch sensitive pad. I like my storm, and they should put a track pad on the storm 2, but Im glad they are putting the track ball on tour. It should be a solid device.

you are exactly right, it is preference, and up to the individual user. Some like the touchscreen some don't, ...some will like the trackpad, some will continue to prefer the trackball, though, both are good. (though being that both the touchscreen and trackpad are new to BlackBerry, they may be more problematic, as with any new technology.)

I am thinking this is going to be my first Blackberry and I was looking forward to the trackball, oh well, trackpad it is.

Does anyone have an idea when this device is coming out? My contract is up and now Im just waiting.

Kevin, can you make a post explaining how to use the trackpad? I think a lot of members would be interested in this!

The people who chose the 8900 did so because of the physical keyboard and trackball, otherwise they would have gone with the Storm. Not that an 8900 with the trackpad would be bad, just preference. (perhaps on the next one)

I havent used it, but it doesn't sound like it will work as well as the ball. Anyone who's tried it can they comment? Better or worse than the trackball.

My only question is the same as Califilm's:
WHEN is the Onyx going to become available?

No ETA from RIM so far?

Great news... I can't wait for the Driftwood to launch on T-Mobile! The fact that it will have a trackpad makes me happy.