[ note: I'll be updating these instructions to be a little simpler to follow -- right now this is the raw notes ]
I just got a new laptop at work and it's working nicely now with Ubuntu 10.04 LTS. There were some obstacles that took a little research to sort out, so, this info may be useful to others.
HP Elitebook 8440p
Intel Quad Core i7-720QM 1.6/2.8Ghz, 6MB cache
NVIDIA NVS 3100M with 512 MB video memory
Higher end versions of the 8440p use Nvidia graphics and this caused some trouble from the start. Installation fails without some manual assistance because the graphics card isn't handled very well.
* after booting from the installer USB stick (probly works w/CD also) you will need to select the nomodeset option, then install
* after installation, hit shift during boot to get grub screen
* change 'quiet splash' to 'nosplash nomodeset' on line that starts w/ 'linux'
* crtl-x to continue booting...
* after logging in, get a popup regarding proprietary drivers for nvidia, activate them
* edit /etc/default/grub, changing GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT per-- GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="nosplash nomodeset"
* then "sudo update-grub"
Everything seems to now work other than brightness control.
Option "RegistryDwords" "EnableBrightnessControl=1"
to Device section of /etc/X11/xorg.conf and reboot
* see that (as root)
echo 80 > /proc/acpi/video/DGFX/LCD/brightness
echo 100 > /proc/acpi/video/DGFX/LCD/brightness
suddenly now does something useful
* see also that the up/down brightness keys still don't work .. haven't had much luck with this yet; you can control brightness from the power mgmt interface
* until the brightness controls really work then you may prefer to remove the xorg.conf entry; at startup the brightness seems to be set a bit low and it would be annoying to reset it each time