I just wanted to drop in and mention some good news for a change.
I don't know what's different with the video drivers (Intel saying that nearly all recent installations for most major distros have the latest drivers integrated into their stack hints that it's to do with improved drivers though) but on this laptop I've never been able to use the builtin HDMI port. I just tried it on a whim to see if anything changed and to my surprise Ubuntu-Mate immediately located the Television and displayed using it as a second screen. This is awesome!
I never used the HDMI port on this laptop and only used it on my MacBook Pro rarely but it was something that I had a use for that I had lost when I switched to this hardware and back to Ubuntu full time. I can now use my Ubuntu-Mate laptop for on the fly Kodi sessions if I'm out at a friend's house and we want to watch a movie. Thank you so much!
Being that this is bug hunting time and papercuts time I'm sure you're all tired of hearing bad news so I really wanted to report something good here.