I’ve had my laptop for a few months now, so I thought I’d post another update on it. In general it’s been pretty reliable, however, the one thing that did fail was the DVD burner. After doing a bit of research, it would appear that the QSI drives used by Averatec are somewhat lacking in the reliability department. So, rather than waste time getting it serviced under warranty with another poor quality drive, I went ahead and ordered a slot loading Pioneer DVD burner to replace it. It fits in the same spot as the original drive but has a black bezel and is slot loading instead of a tray. I actually prefer the slot load drive as it takes up less space when loading or unloading a CD/DVD.
I’ve also finally managed to get 3D accelerated video working on Linux as well. This has the added advantage that I can finally get the backlight on the LCD to shut off, which saves power whilst on batteries. I also found a replacement DSDT file that allows controlling the fan speed and backlight brightness through software. And, in the vein of saving power, I discovered a little program called Athcool which allows the system to save more power when lightly loaded. Plus, it makes everything run cooler, which reduces the need for the fan, further reducing the load on the battery.
There’s now an online community supporting the Averatec laptops unofficially. There’s lots of good info and a number of knowledgeable people there, I highly recommend checking it out.