My first question would be what video driver are you using ?
user@it-etch:~$ cat /etc/X11/xorg.conf | grep Driver
if your system has a nVidia graphics controller and you are using the 'nv' driver (or even worse the 'vesa' driver) installing the proprietary nvidia driver will probably resolve the video issues you are experiencing.
Just a guess, since I'm sure that laptop comes with several different graphics controllers. Let us know what video card is in the laptop and we can get you steered in the right direction.
If you are unsure what video controller is in your laptop, post the output of the following command: lspci