Summary: From the first run the touchpad was behaving oddly. The multi-touch features (pinch to zoom, etc.) were partly to blame but there were still severe problems with those disabled. The cursor was basically uncontrollable and no amount of fiddling with settings could fix the problem. The problem seemed to go away, and the computer worked great-- until it reappeared. It seems the problem is provoked when the AC power cable is plugged in, and the touchpad becomes unusable.