Since 2007 I own a HP 2510p Notebook. It is a great device. It’s very light, has good 12″ display, and it has a very low power consumption. I ever ran Debian Linux on it, currently Debian Squeeze, Kernel 2.6.32-5-amd64 and KDE 4 desktop.
The soft keys did work also but at any time they stopped to work. I’m not sure but I think that this is some kind of software bug because the the LEDs still work if the keys are pressed, and for whatever reason they do work sometimes. However, there’s a big problem. If you close the lid the notebook will go into standby mode. For whatever reason the touchpad will be disabled. And this is really bad because you cannot activate it again if the soft keys do not work.
Usually I don’t close the lid since standby mode doesn’t work reliably, anyway. IMO standby mode sucks on most notebooks.
One time I deactivated the Wifi by pressing the “RF kill switch” (wireless soft key) but I was unable to activate it again because the key didn’t work later. Maybe there’s just a loose contact inside.
However, it is a pain in the ass without Wifi and a touchpad 😉
I updated the BIOS but it didn’t solve the problem. I also didn’t find any software which lets me enable it again. Thus I think that the enable/disable function is built-in into hardware. The solution was easy but it was hard to find it.
Reboot the notebook and enter the BIOS setup by pressing F10. Now go to “System Configuration > Built-in Device Options” and disable all devices. Save the changes and exit the setup and reenter it again after reboot. Go again into the Built-in Device Options menu and enable all devices again. That’s all!
Note that the touchpad is not listed in the menu but this trick does work, anyway. Probably there’s a software bug behind or the software is written unclean.