HP EliteBook 8460p and Ubuntu

Posted on 2011-07-08 21:21

I got a new laptop for work today (an HP EliteBook 8460p). I've never used an HP laptop before (we usually get Thinkpads for work) but we had a subsidy to use up and it was easier to get everything from the same vendor. The idea was to get a laptop I could use in meetings and elsewhere around the plant and this one looked as close as I could get to a MacBook at least from HP anyway.

Well, I'm underimpressed with the hardware, but its really not all that bad - not quite on par with my 3 year old MacBook (which is saying something I think) but pretty close. Of course, it came in with Windows 7, and while my desktop at work runs Linux, I was willing to set up Win7 on the laptop and just start working with it. I got the thing all plugged in and fired it up, ran through the numerous screens to select various initial settings and eventually kicked off the Windows setup. Four hours later it was still "installing software" and had little status bars creeping so slowly across the screen that I couldn't tell if they were really moving or if it was an optical illusion.

Running out of time, I downloaded and burned an image of Ubuntu 11.04 (the latest version) on my desktop and killed the Windows install on the HP. Selecting to boot from the CD, the Ubuntu install required only a couple initial setup screens and in under 40 minutes I had a fully functional OS which recognized not only the wireless and sound, but even the integrated webcam. I quickly had the touchpad working with two finger scroll just like the Mac (just a checkbox in the prefs) and was streaming video from youtube. Closing the lid puts the OS right to sleep and its woken up fine each time (requires a power button press to resume from hibernate). I've read the fingerprint scanner won't work in Ubuntu, and have yet to check out 3D acceleration but will touch base here again after I've messed with it some more.