I just got a shiny new Dell Inspiron 17R laptop for work...and it's sweet.
I loaded it with Mint Linux Debian v10 ... the debian testing branch, with Minty flavours, and a rolling release.
The graphics card was a hassle to get going because it relies upon nVidia Optimus; a switching technology that changes between the onboard Intel and nVidia GPUs. After much ado, I managed to get the thing running by loading the experimental Bumblebee project. This is not running fully yet, so I haven't been able to fully run the nVidia card.
The touchpad toggle switch (Fn+F3) refused to do anything also. Eventually the fix was to assign the switch to a script /home/username/toggle-touchpad.sh, containing:
status=$(xinput --list-props "PS/2 Generic Mouse" | grep Enabled | cut -f3)
if [ $status = 0 ];
xinput --set-prop "PS/2 Generic Mouse" "Device Enabled" 1
echo 'Touchpad is on'
xinput --set-prop "PS/2 Generic Mouse" "Device Enabled" 0
echo 'Touchpad is off'
and do :
sudo apt-get install xinput
to get the xinput program that is run in the script.
Assign in GNOME 2.3x: System menu, go to Preferences, then Keyboard Shortcuts, click Add, give it a name like Toggle Touchpad, and the command is FULL PATH /home/yourusername/toggle_touchpad.sh
Also don't forget to do the chmod +x ~./toggle_touchpad.sh that makes the script executable!