So now that I have a notebook with Express Gate/SplashTop installed (woof) I was starting to doubt whether or not I would ever leave the rapid booting environment. But the temptation was too much so I installed Hardy on my notebook - and this is what I've found so far.
CPU: Intel C2D T9400 2.53GHZ
RAM: 4GB DDR2 800MHz
HDD: 320GB SATA 5400RPM
ROM: Bluray drive
Video: ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3650 1GB (native 1440x900)
Audio: Built-in Azalia compliant audio chip, with 3D effect & full duplex
LAN: Not sure yet... Reported as Unknown
Wireless: Intel® WiMAX/WiFi Link 5100
Asus Specs Link
I was able to boot from the CD just fine and started to install Ubuntu (x86_64). The keyboard and mouse were picked up fine and I proceeded to repartition my hard drive with great ease.
The system then rebooted and presented me with a logon screen running at 1280x800, I logged in and received no login Audio (this always happens, so I wasn't worried).
My first task was to change my resolution to 1440x900; because I'm a fussy turd, so I proceeded to the System Menu and checked out the Restricted Drivers to find that the ATI Drivers were installed, but not active... So I opened up a terminal and cat'd /etc/X11/xorg.conf and to my surprise - bugger all was configured. So I tried to enable the driver to no avail and then loaded up Synaptic to install a different driver - only to find that my network card had not been identified!!! THE HORROR!
I then rebooted into Express Gate and downloaded some files from the Asus website (from here) complete with drivers for VGA/Audio/LAN and Raid. Inside this file were LAN drivers for Suse, Mandriva, RHE and Fedora... no Ubuntu.
After cursing Asus I opened up the Mandriva folder to find that the included sis190.ko file was for X86_64 architectures, but none of the others were. So I copied this file to /lib/modules/`uname -r`/kernel/drivers/net/sis190.ko and rebooted - it freakin worked!!!
Who'd've thunk it?
I then loaded up synaptic, searched for "radeon" and installed the FGLRX drivers. I rebooted again and was greeted automatically with 1440x900 resolution and a much prettier desktop. I then turned on "normal effects" and dribbled a little.
So now I am left with fixing the WLan (no surprises there), testing Bluetooth (the applet is there) and finding out why ALSA has correctly identified my sound card; but is unable to playback any sound. I suspected it might have been "switches" or "options" under the Sound Applet as it was on my last notebook, but this did not work.
I also need to look into finger-print-reader support for Linux since I really do like this feature and Vista does it so nicely (*ducks*).
All in all - a pleasant surprise over my last Hardy-notebook experience. I'll update this post as I fix more things and discover more stuff that I like!
If anyone is looking for a new notebook - the F8VA is awesome!
And if Asus is looking to send me free stuff, send me an e-mail.