Due to a lack of support by some manufacturers, not every feature of a laptop is always supported or fully operational. The main devices which may cause trouble are: graphics chip, IrDA® port, sound card, PCMCIA controller , PnP devices and internal modem. Please try to get as much information about these topics before buying a laptop. But often it isn't quite easy to get the necessary information. Sometimes even the specifications or the hotline of the manufacturer aren't able to provide the information. Therefore I have included a Linux Compatibility Check chapter in every section of Part V in Linux on the Road Hardware In Detail below.
Depending on your needs, you might investigate one of the vendors that provide laptops pre-loaded with Linux. By purchasing a pre-loaded Linux laptop, much of the guesswork and time spent downloading additional packages could be avoided. See TuxMobil for a survey of Linux laptop, notebook, PDA and mobile phone vendors.