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I'm using a ThinkPad L440 with a Synaptics touchpad. A while ago (~1-2 months) the touchpad started acting strange when trying to move the mouse pointer diagonally.

The picture shows the first line drawn with an external mouse, second with the trackpoint and the last one with the touchpad.

At first I thought the issue was related to libinput or a kernel update but even after booting into older distros (like Ubuntu 14.04 without libinput and with older 3.16 kernel), the problem still prevails.

Any ideas?

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You might be affected by something similar to Thinkpad X220 touchpad movement is jumpy and extremely imprecise (libinput bug report). In essence, for some firmwares:

[the] touchpad only sends x/y events every 50 device units. libinput has a custom acceleration method for that.

(Comment #10 in the bug report above.)

This would explain the behaviour you're seeing. I had the same experience on a ThinkPad x240 (despite the fact that the bug report targets x220), and the fix from comments #10 and #13 in that bug report solved it for me.

If this works for you it might be worth telling the libinput people so they extend the "custom acceleration method" to more firmwares.

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