On my system, I tell which version by running "cat /etc/vector-version" without the quotes in a terminal.
As to synaptics, I gave up on that long ago. To gain control of my keyboard, I disable the touchpad (fn F10 on my system) and now use a wireless mouse. A lot better than a touchpad even when the touchpad works right.
And, welcome to Vector. It is a very fast, stable system which puts you in control of everything, or just about. Give it a chance and you will likely stay.