Most hardware manufacturers today support most Linux distributions. In addition, most Linux distributions today automatically detect most hardware, but in some cases, you might need specific drivers for new or unusual hardware. If your hardware falls into that category, you might encounter a hardware compatibility issue. Somebody eventually may write a driver for your problem hardware, but you might have to put your project on hold until you can locate an appropriate driver. The alternative is to buy new hardware.
In the case of laptops, you shouldn't have much problem getting your graphics card to work, but just in case, consider downloading the Linux drivers from the manufacturer. Virtually all video cards are supported in 2D mode, which is all most users need for desktop productivity. However, depending on the card, you might not be able to gain support for 3D games, DVD playback or the TV-out capabilities of the card -- features that aren't generally required for the average work environment. Other home use issues are usually USB-related. For example, some digital cameras can't be hooked up to Linux desktops, as well as some printers and scanners -- at least without the services of an experienced Linux systems engineer. It's also worth noting that Centrino notebooks don't work with Linux.
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