It is difficult to balance Linux compatibility with the latest features on notebook computers. The most common problems with notebooks are built-in video chipsets that XFree86 does not support. Other components that tend to lack drivers are modems, Ethernet interfaces, sound cards, and CD-ROM drives.
The online community is a good place to look for information on Linux notebook compatibility. The http://www.tuxmobile.org/ site is a clearing-house of links to people who are running Linux on nearly all common notebook models. However, these pages are often out of date, and the driver configuration or bug fixes described may not be necessary with current Linux drivers.